FIA clarifies pit entry line limits for F1 Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1 race director Niels Wittich has clarified with drivers which lines they must not cross on the high-speed entry to the Baku pitlane.

FIA clarifies pit entry line limits for F1 Azerbaijan GP

The layout of the run from the final corner and across the finish line in Azerbaijan means that, at times, drivers can ride close to, and even over, the pit entry on fast laps.

If drivers ahead of them suddenly slow while coming in to the pits, then that could potentially cause trouble.

The matter has been further put into the spotlight following the FIA’s latest clarification that drivers are now allowed to cross pit entry and exit lines as long as a whole tyre does not go beyond it.

Following the first day of running in Baku, Wittich amended his event notes to explain what is expected of drivers if they are continuing on track.

He said that "for safety reasons", the pit entry line is now defined as the entire line that starts well before the pits and continues into the pitlane.

This means that drivers wanting to come into the pits must be inside it at all times and cannot cut across once the line has started.

Furthermore, to stop drivers drifting too far to the left if they are on a hot lap, it has been explained that they are not allowed to cross a dashed line (highlighted with yellow arrow below) on the track if they are not coming into the pits.

Pit lane entry

Pit lane entry

Photo by: FIA

The notes say: “The dashed white line at the pit entry defines the track edge. For safety reasons, any driver continuing on the track, may not cross that line in any direction.”

As well as the clarification about behaviour at the pit entry, the FIA has installed a bollard on the left hand side of the pit exit.

Wittich said: “All drivers must stay to the right of this bollard when leaving the pitlane.”

Pit lane exit

Pit lane exit

Photo by: FIA

The bollard (highlighted with yellow arrow above) provides a hard limit for drivers in terms of how much they can cut the apex of the exit, with the new FIA interpretation since Monaco meaning they could push the limits much more than before.

Furthermore, the FIA has also removed a kerb on the right-hand side of the track on the entry to the Turn 15 left-hander.

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