Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2017

Red Bull Ring kerbs weren’t designed for F1 – Verstappen

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said the kerbs at the Red Bull Ring aren’t right for F1 after running over them during practice.

“This is not the highest grip track,” Verstappen explained, “and with the higher speeds this year, if you have a moment, it is difficult to correct without hitting a kerb or going through the gravel which a lot of people have experienced today.”

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Red Bull Ring, 2017
Austrian Grand Prix practice in pictures
“The yellow kerbs were definitely a challenge and I think maybe they are not the type of kerbs for Formula One, the cars just aren’t designed for it.”

Other teams also experienced problems with the run-off areas at the Red Bull Ring. Both Williams drivers incurred damage after running wide at turn nine.

The run-off areas at the Austrian circuit have been a cause for concern before. Last year Verstappen also criticised the kerbs after Friday running. During qualifying Daniil Kvyat crashed due to a suspension failure caused by hitting one of the kerbs.

Verstappen said he was pleased with his car’s performance after ending Friday within four-tenths of a second of the fastest time.

“All in all, I think it was a positive day,” he said. “We had a small issue with a brake connection at the start of FP2 meaning we had to take the floor off the car which lost us some time but we pretty much completed our programme so we can be happy with that.”

“We still have some work to do tonight as I’m not fully happy with the balance we had today but we are also not too far off. We always know that in qualifying Mercedes will turn up their engines and of course the weather here can change very quickly, so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.”

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “Red Bull Ring kerbs weren’t designed for F1 – Verstappen”

    1. Yes at Monaco Sir Stirling thought he shouldn’t run into the kerbs as he might get killed. At Monza it was ill advised to have moment because of the trees. The oil drums at silverstone where also well respected as they might redesign your car!! As many features of times gone by. I think we can allow these kerbs and if you run out of talent or push the limits too far I suggest winding it back to a level you feel safe.

      I think at Cadwell park and Oulton park club drivers will tell which corners they will fully commit and which they don’t because of potential car redesign but I don’t hear them moving about it👍😀

        1. +1

          Ayayay these children, when will they learn?

      1. I think at Cadwell park and Oulton park club drivers will tell which corners they will fully commit and which they don’t because of potential car redesign but I don’t hear them moving about it

        Maybe because nobody hears anything from Oulton park club drivers? Seriously how is Max moaning? (I assume you mean moaning as moving makes no sense) All he said was that he didn’t think that the kerbs were right for F1 cars.

        1. And all people are saying in reply is stay off them. At what point does the penny drop for Max that he needs to stay on the black stuff.

      2. Well put Sir.

        My hatred for car oark run-offs becomes less and less with these curbs.

        Whatever you do, don’t go off the track. Thats the way it should be.

      3. Whoever has the most willingness to die wins. Good sport.

      4. F1 drivers are the biggest bunch of whiners in motorsport. Maybe they should get paid lots of money for all the stress they must go through.

        1. Check out Patrese spinning off in Austria in 1982. It looked like rolling hills or a building site. He was in a huge ditch. Looked at this track in the late 90’s and looked awesome with gravel and grass. Schumacher ran wide in 98 and lost his front wing, nowadays he would of just come back on track in 2nd where he was before and not lose any time.

    2. It is interesting that such short and seemingly simple circuit is causing so much trouble to all the drivers/teams. They are being punished for making mistakes, which is how it should always be.

    3. Yep ! Too many circuits which coddle and flatter these F1 guys.
      We need more circuits that have a realistic potential to wreck your
      car beyond immediate repair if you aren’t exceptionally skilled.
      In my view these highly paid dream pilots need to feel seriously
      threatened by circuit conditions as they were in the past.

      Yes, I do fully realise that what I am saying runs counter to all
      current thinking in F1. It will always be that way too.

      1. In my view these highly paid dream pilots need to feel seriously
        threatened by circuit conditions as they were in the past.

        Why?

        1. To separate the good from the very good. Without consequences they all just go for it. It dumbs down the racing.

          1. You can have consequences without them being dangerous though.

    4. I managed to catch part of FP2 and it was odd to see Sainz I think, slide off the track on to the grass and ‘bounce off’ the wrong side of the kerbs unable to rejoin the track until he had reached the next corner.

    5. Stay on the track then max

      1. Hope max tapping the wall in p1 doesn’t cause issues during the race, we all know how ‘sens’ these gearboxes are..

    6. Yes, it’s really simple. Stay at track limits. They are highly paid for one reason. They are just too used of running in fancy parking lots. A real circuit should always be challenging. I can’t remember no one complaining about the kerbs of the first S in the old circuit layout. ( Osterreichring)

      1. @mmertens, mind you, it could be said that chicane only existed because of the death of Mark Donohue and the threat by his family of taking legal action against the circuit for negligence.

        1. Yes, Anon I knew that as well. Thanks for mentioning it. If you think about it, most chicanes were introduced to slow cars down due to accidents earlier on. I just tried to explain that the drivers at that time had a really high chicane to cope with at that time, and it wasn’t deemed as “not made for f1” , they stayed inside the track.

    7. He’s 100% right.

      Seeing cars stuck in the garage & not out on the racetrack because some stupid kerb ripped the floor off the car (As happened with Sainz) isn’t good for anyone. I want to see cars on track & not stuck in the pits with damage.

      If you want to discourage drivers from going off the track then put grass there which is a deterrent that cost’s them time if they run onto it but doesn’t start tearing bits off the car costing fans the opportunity to see drivers on track & costing teams damage that a lot of them can’t afford.

      Having kerbs that can do a lot of damage to cars just isn’t correct as a driver isn’t always having to run over them due to his own mistakes & having floor’s ripped off a car because they had to run over a kerb avoiding a spun car or maybe sliding on oil or something (See the 2002 quali session) that isn’t down to the driver making a mistake surely isn’t right.

    8. I hate to admit it but if the kerbs are harsh enough to break the cars then it might be a safety risk. If the suspension arms for example crack when going over the kerbs and then breaks later when going 350kmh then it can lead into really bad crash.

      I’d be perfectly okay with the car breaking down if the driver goes over a kerb because he made a mistake. What makes me hesitant to accept that is the chance that the car later breaks down in unsafe manner.

    9. Pain! Yes! I love it!

    10. I guess those track limit lines mean something at this track.

      1. Feel the same way. Kerbs aren’t exactly a part of the tarmac.

        Keep it on the grey stuff. If you use the stripes, be prepared to lose control or launch a little.

        Nothing to moan about Max

    11. I understand the comments about safety etc, but ultimately only the driver who drove on these kerbs is to blame for. Regarding the comments on components or parts of the car breaking later on due to driver abuse, well, this is what racing is about. You need to take care of the car first, trying to do it the fastest possible way. Maybe I’m getting old, but with the incredible reliability we have in the last 15 years + sanitized race tracks, people tend to get upset if we loose a car due to one mistake. Well it was always supposed to be like that in first place, that’s one of the most important aspects of the great drivers , reaching the limit constantly, without breaking the car or making mistakes. Until the last 15 years, that’s what race is about. If a race driver is not willing to cope with that, he can play video games and avoid this easily.

    12. pastaman (@)
      7th July 2017, 20:27

      I think there is a safety issue because of the uncertainty. If you were certain that you would be out of the race if you went too wide through nine (e.g. a wall there), you would make sure not to run wide.

      With the yellow kerbs, the car might make over one or two times, giving the driver a false sense of security. Meanwhile the car is possibly incurring suspension damage that doesn’t fully break until a driver is pushing flat out through a high-speed corner.

      The solution is to either A. have plenty of runoff and have the stewards strictly enforce the track limits, or B. have some combination of turf/gravel that will put the car out of the race.

    13. These blokes are on the whole are very good drivers. They have the skills and experience on keep the car on the track…mostly. Short of being forced off by another driver they have no excuse to complain, the run offs are there for their safety the curbs are there to stop unfair advantage. Simple!

    14. Are we really now getting to the point where drivers complain if there are consequences for going off track?

      No wonder interest in F1 is declining.

    15. “Oh, here’s an obstacle… I’ll just go flat out over it because it should be removed and my car wasn’t designed for it!”

      Taking it to the extreme, but yeah… kerbs are not part of the track… Maybe set up the cars for these sort of kerbs? I dunno, Imola was famous for its high kerbs and they kept hitting them all race long.

    16. I think kerbs been harsh enough to damage a car is all well & good if a driver goes over them due to making his own mistake. However if a driver is forced to go over them by been pushed wide by another car or maybe having to take avoiding action & suffers damage then I think it’s less fair.
      Also think about the debris been dropped off cars as a result of these kerbings, It could cut tyres or maybe hit other drivers or get thrown up & into track workers or spectator areas.

      I also think if we look at what happened to Kvyat last year where the suspension failed on the kerbs & caused him to spear across the track. If another car had been around him & got caught up in it maybe been t-boned as he went through the final turn as Kvyat was spinning across the inside, Thats a potentially massive safety issue as those kinds of accidents can be very serious if the impact is at the wrong angle.

      I do also question is cars running over kerbs & suffering damage that keeps them out of a session actually benefits anyone as at the end of the day the fans lose out just as much as the driver by not getting to see that driver out on track.

    17. F1 fans have go to be the most blinkered bunch I have ever seen. It doesn’t take a minute on the internet to find countless cases in races where drivers have left the track through no fault of their own. It is not the case, as so many of you are claiming, that a driver will end up on the kerbs purely through their own mistakes.

    18. FIA have decided to alter the yellow kerbs because:
      – Their presence in corner 9 prevented the re-entrance of drivers who had left the track ahead of them;
      – It is impossible to drive over them without damaging the floor; and
      – The track was damaged behind a kerb due to erosion, making that kerb especially damaging.

      Last year Verstappen was the first to complain about the kerbs and he got wagonloads of abuse for it.
      Then several other drivers like Lewis ran into trouble and Kvyat narrowly missed a wall after losing control from damage on the kerb, and the kerbs were changed. Had Kvyat hit that wall he would likely have been injured or worse.

      Now FIA makes changes while no serious accidents have happened yet.
      Still Max got a lot of bull for making sense.

    Comments are closed.