F1 To Trial ‘No Nonsense’ Track Limits At Imola – WTF1

F1 To Trial ‘No Nonsense’ Track Limits At Imola

After the controversy surrounding last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, the FIA has finally decided that enough is enough when it comes to track limits.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s incredible duel in Sakhir was somewhat overshadowed by yet more track limit controversy. Hamilton went off track a massive 29 times during the 56 lap race, while Verstappen’s pass on the world champion was deemed illegal and the Red Bull driver had to give Hamilton the position back.

Fans unsurprisingly felt a bit cheated that a titanic battle between two of the sport’s best ended in such a way, but the good news is it seems that finally the people in charge have heard our prayers and are doing something about it.

The next race at Imola (or Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio Del Made In Italy e dell’emilia Romagna for short), will see strict new track limits in place which the FIA themselves have dubbed ‘no nonsense.’

As one of the more classic venues, Imola of course doesn’t have such a big track limits problem compared to the more modern day tracks like Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, but it still wasn’t without its problems last year.

(c) XPB Images

60 lap times were deleting in practice when the FIA decided that the white lines at the edge of the track determined the race track (ridiculous right?!), but following complaints from the drivers they decided to change that for the rest of the weekend and cars could drive on whatever version of Imola they fancied.

The drivers won’t have such luxuries this year though, as the FIA have reverted back to their original way BUT made things even stricter.

Where things get really interesting is that the stewards will now be able to flat-out disqualify a driver if they run four wheels outside the white lines and onto the run-off areas, and worst of all (for the drivers at least) it won’t even be a three-strike system. Drive outside the track to try and gain a bit of extra lap-time and BOOM. BLACK FLAG.

It appears the FIA have learned their lessons from Bahrain too, and just to make things completely black and white, these limits will apply in ALL sessions.

(C) XPB Images

That’s right! Even running wide in a Free Practice session could mean disqualification, resulting in a driver not being able to take part for the rest of the weekend.

Whether this means cars will choose to sit in the garage for most of the session is yet to be seen, however a spokesperson from the FIA believed the amount of on track running during Friday ‘would be unaffected’.

The new trial may seem very forceful, but the FIA believe it’s a rule that will be better for the sport in the long run.

Sounds kinda foolish to us…

What do you think to the new system? Let us know in the comments section below.

24 thoughts on “F1 To Trial ‘No Nonsense’ Track Limits At Imola

  • Barbara Melville says:

    Sounds a bit excessive to me. Over reaction? I agree rules need to be tightened but what happens if someone makes a genuine mistake and goes outside the track limits without gaining any advantage? What happens if one driver forces another off the track? Or is this a complete April Fools proposal?

  • I’ve always been of the opinion that the white lines are the tracks edges, and anything wider is off track. Kinda like F1 2020 track limits. So I like that it’s being implemented that way. Straight disqualification though, that’s a bit extreme. But yeah, Masi has never been someone who had the ability to have clear rules and be fair, so I’m not suprised about his overreaction.

  • Barrie Lindsey says:

    There is no point in painting track limits on the circuits if drivers can ignore them, they are there for a reason, not decoration. The FIA are to blame for this fiasco by not enforcing them correctly. It’s ludicrous enforcing limits on particular bends and not others on one track, and ignoring them completely on other circuits It is time to treat them correctly, as the track limit. Make it clear that if drivers cross the first line, then 2 wheels must stay on the track, and this should be enforced on every track, then there will be no confusion.

  • Edward Cavanaugh says:

    During free practice, allow drivers to go off the track, and give out a warning for doing so. Remember, one of the purposes in practice is to get real-world experience on the track. During Qualifying, delete the time for that lap, as well as the continuous lap before and after the infraction. If you go to the pit after going off the track, that ends the penalty. During the race, a stop-and go penalty is in order. If on the last lap, 2 seconds plus the average time loss for travelling down the pit. lane should be added to the time.

  • Speedy_Gonzalas says:

    “Sounds kinda foolish to us”…that says it all. Black flagged? lol I pity the fool who believes this.

  • Alex Barnette says:

    OMG I was so mad lol. Like the FIA could ever make a freaking decision about something that isn’t completely nebulous.

  • It’d be simple if out the track was just out the track. Put grass or gravel or whtever just outside the line. Driver would be penalized by the laws of physics

  • I’m glad to see this. Force the drivers to be drivers. Since the cars are all essentially the same (yeah yeah, engines, blah blah) this takes away the drivers’ ability to run wide as a fail safe.
    This will result in better racing.
    Disqualified during practice? Nah, just add time.
    Oh wait… April 1 article lol

  • I didn’t notice the date and was believing that until I got to the part about DQ for the first offense. Then I looked at the date. I should have twigged earlier, though, because stewards would never actually assert authority over drivers before being forced to.

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