George Russell says Formula 1 needs to make changes to circuits to solve the ongoing rows over drivers abusing track limits.almost the entire grid fell foul of them at least once.
A total of 90 track limits infringements were recorded during the three competitive sessions at the Red Bull Ring, leading to 127 lap times being deleted. Four drivers collected five-second time penalties during the grand prix for repeatedly exceeding track limits.
Russell said he sympathises with the challenge faced by F1’s two race directors Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, the latter of which is responsible for the running of this weekend’s French Grand Prix. He believes F1 tracks need to make it less advantageous for drivers to run wide.
“It’s a very difficult job that the race director has,” said Russell. “Ultimately the race director’s job is to police the rules.
“Now, are the rules and regulations correct for these current spec of cars? Ultimately everything has to evolve.
“For me you’ve got to go to the root cause of the problem and the root cause is the circuits. You can’t have drivers just running wild and doing what they want. But when you go to Austria and those kerbs are as flat as a pancake and you’ve got to judge a white line when the car is rolled and loaded, you can’t feel a white line.”
Several drivers have expressed concerns that track limits will present a problem again this weekend, as the Paul Ricard is almost entirely bordered by flat kerbs and asphalt run-offs which drivers can use without losing time.
“It’s going to be another difficult race weekend,” Russell predicted. “As long as we’re all on the same page there’s no issue. But I think we’re just working collectively at the moment to try to get us to that one page, whereas, we’re not there at the moment.”
Freitas has given drivers their now-familiar reminder in the pre-race event notes that the white lines around the edge of the circuit will define the track limits. At three areas of the circuits – turns one to two, three to five and eight to nine – drivers must rejoin the track via designated routes if they run wide, as has been the case in previous races at Paul Ricard.
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