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Track limits cause trouble

The track limits also remain a pinball at the Grand Prix of Germany 2016. In fact, after a meeting of the Formula One strategy group on Thursday, it seemed agreed to let the pilots go free, regardless of track limits.

But only a day later, FIA race leader Charlie Whiting put a brake on the teams: There will be no lax-fair policy. And even after the first Free Training on the Hockenheim ring, he had actions followed.

Whiting issued a note warning that every driver who crosses the limits three times in curve 1 will be notified to the commissioners. For his taste, too many drivers had disregarded the track limits at that point in opening training. If we were to allow everything, there would be a second, different route that might be faster. We cannot allow this,”says Whitings Credo, against whom Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes now want to go to the barricades.

The top teams are said to have complained to Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and asked him for a power word on the track-limit question. The Scuderia was probably at the forefront: “Yesterday we discussed that we will try a’wild’weekend because this route has adequate exit zones. But now they’re watching everyone who crosses the white line again, like we didn’t agree on anything yesterday. That’s why we went to Bernie’s,”Maurizio Arrivabene warns.

Carlos Sainz:”No reason for track limits”

Whether Ecclestone can actually do anything about it remains to be seen. In any case, when he sees a need for it, he usually asserts his influence. And if you take a look at the track, it seems that a first adaptation has already taken place: on a picture posted by a Spanish Formula One reporter you can see how in curve 1 the electronic measurement of track limits for tomorrow is moved outwards. This would give drivers more room for manoeuvre.

However, there is a shared echo with regard to track limits. We simply try to stay within the white line,”says Daniel Ricciardo, for example, and adds:”I have no problem with track limits. His teammate Max Verstappen sees the matter similarly relaxed: “I think the fastest way is within the track limits, so we will try to comply with it.”

Randstein as “natural limit”

Toro-Rosso-Pilot Carlos Sainz sees in curve 1, which is particularly closely monitored, also does not consider an advantage in exceeding the track limits, but for precisely this reason it is superfluous.” The edge of curve one slows you down when you get too far out. So there’s a natural limit,”the Spaniard explains. Of course, you’ll buy yourself some time if you drive over it, but not much. And if you go too far, you lose. I see no reason why there should be trace limits.”

Accordingly, he critically evaluates the monitoring and interception by the FIA:”In Hungary, the induction loops have worked. They’re harder to spot here. We don’t know if we’re over it or not when we’re driving around the curve with 250 km/h,”says Sainz. For the first time sensors had been installed on the Hungaroring, which triggered an alarm when a car was about twenty centimeters behind the white line. How this is handled in Hockenheim remains to be seen.