F1 track limits solutions being explored by the FIA

The FIA is exploring a number of options to prevent Formula 1 drivers from exceeding track limits during the course of grand prix weekends

F1 track limits solutions being explored by the FIA

The breach has become more prevalent as kerb designs have changed over the years, leaving the FIA struggling on occasion to rigorously enforce any ruling.

Raising the height of the kerbs is not an option as it promotes concerns over cars becoming airborne, so the FIA is looking at both mechanical and electronic solutions.

For FIA race director Charlie Whiting, one of the mechanical possibilities is the use of a double-width kerb, used this year at Motorland Aragon for the MotoGP race.

Whiting explained: "At the moment we have a single kerb that is 25 millimetres below track level. The second part is 50 millimetres below.

"The idea is this kerb would work with both bikes and cars. We want to make something that is compatible for both disciplines.

"At Motorland Aragon the riders claimed they were happy with it

"With cars, if it comes too far over it will be become increasingly uncomfortable for the driver.

"If he were to put two wheels beyond the kerb, he then would have to cross back, so it should act as a deterrent, which is the plan anyway.

"This is a nice kerb solution which we anticipate trying at turn nine at Barcelona and a couple of other places where we race."

The idea for the electronic solution incorporates the use of GPS and track loops, but Whiting said: "We need much more accuracy before using these sort of solutions."

Former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer employs pressure sensors at his circuits that detect when cars go beyond kerbs, triggering pictures from a high-resolution camera that then go straight to race control.

Whiting said he is "aware of the system and it is something we could use".

He was also impressed with the solution in place at Austin, scene of this weekend's United States Grand Prix.

"Here they've put in bumps that are at 90 degrees to the track, and drop into holes, at turns 11, 12, 15 and 20, and also at the apexes of the very fast corners - three, four, five and six," he said.

"They are flat for bikes, but raised 50 millimetres for us, and the Aussie V8s have 125 millimetres, so that I believe is a proper solution and works very well here.

"It's the sort of thing we should be looking for into the future."

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Series Formula 1
Author Ian Parkes
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