Motorsport

Driver and track safety in the news again

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll spins off the track during the F1 race.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll spins off the track during the F1 race.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Issue of track limits — racers call for return to gravel and grass

Just a week after Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert’s death during the race in Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, the issue of driver and track safety was firmly back in attention on Saturday during the Italian GP when Formula 3 driver Alex Peroni had a huge crash.

Towards the end of the F3 race, Peroni ran wide at the final high-speed parabolica corner and a small sausage kerb installed outside of the corner launched the driver into the guardrails.

The kerb came under criticism from the drivers and has since been removed though the issue of track limits has risen its head once again.

Bad bandage

Lewis Hamilton said that tracks need to go back to gravel and grass instead of tarmac run-off and said it was a bad bandage on a bad solution of having tarmac.

The tarmac run-off areas mean drivers are willing to take more risks without the fear of getting trapped in the gravel or pushed into the barriers.

During the weekend so far, there were many instances of drivers having their lap times deleted for going all four-wheels out of the track and there were some issues briefly if whether Sebastian Vettel had done the same during qualifying as well.

Biggest problem

“It was much better when it was grass and gravel on the exit there because I remember you used to come into that corner, you kind of… you were a bit nervous going in too deep because you might end up in the wall. The grass would pull you out wide and you’d pay the price for pushing beyond the limit. So now you can go beyond the limit and that’s the biggest — for me — the biggest problem with all these run-off areas that are tarmac now,” said Hamilton.

“It’s a band-aid on the issue of putting tarmac there in the first place. I don’t think they needed tarmac round there.”

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc added, “Yeah, I think it was maybe a bit pointless to put a kerb like this, once they said they would look at the track limits there because anyway if you go out, you have your lap and the next lap deleted.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:39:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/driver-and-track-safety-in-the-news-again/article29368238.ece

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