Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Canadian GP

FIA revises Montreal Turn 1 barrier after F1 driver complaints

The FIA has revised an earlier change to the barriers at Montreal’s first corner ahead of Sunday’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix following consultation with the drivers.

Alex Albon, Williams FW44, leads Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

In previous years, drivers overshooting Turn 1 could return to the track beyond Turn 2 and blend into traffic relatively safely.

However, for this year’s GP weekend, the FIA extended the end of the barrier to stop cars that were out of control, potentially due to mechanical failures, from spearing across into traffic that was exiting Turn 2.

As a result of the change, drivers who ran wide had a choice of either bouncing across the grass, going around the new barrier and taking a hard turn to the right onto the track, or in effect doing a U-turn in the run-off, heading back towards the traffic, and then turning right onto the track.

Both options were used on Friday and in the evening’s drivers briefing the subject was discussed at length, with Lewis Hamilton apparently pointing out that he’d never seen a car have the type of accident that the barrier extension was designed to prevent.

A removal of the new section was discussed but the barrier remained in place for Saturday’s track action, when there were more incidents at the corner.

However it has been adjusted for Sunday, with the final 4m removed to make it easier for drivers to rejoin the track safely and further up the track from Turn 2.

“The [original] change was done to avoid the possibility of a car going off at T1 and coming across the exit of T2 at speed and potentially t-boning another car,” an FIA spokesperson told Autosport.

“Following discussion with the drivers we are making the change to allow them to rejoin more easily and will refine this solution further for future events.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Speaking before the Sunday modification was officially confirmed drivers said that they should have more say when track changes are considered.

“We all spoke about that last night,” said GPDA director George Russell when asked about the barrier.

“In hindsight, we probably should have been consulted about the views on that before decisions were made. And we all agree that it's suboptimal.”

"It's one of those where you kind of scratch your head and try to understand the reasoning for it,” said Alex Albon.

“I was off there on Friday, I was exploring the fair bit over the last two days! It was actually I think, a well-designed corner pre-change, if you went off. Now it's obviously more dangerous than it was before.

"A bit of help from the drivers, I think, we've would have only stopped it from happening in the first place. It's definitely something as the GPDA we've spoken about a fair bit to them.”

Read Also:

Yuki Tsunoda, one of many drivers who has been off at Turn 1 this weekend, said he understood why the barrier was originally modified.

"Everyone's mentioned it, it's so dangerous,” he said. "I think in the end the FIA understand as well, but I think also I understand their perspective as well, why they did it.

“Me and Lewis were saying the last 20 years it's been the same. There's definitely a good side of what they've done, obviously when someone had a massive brake failure or whatever, we can avoid a T-bone.

“But at same time more chances to overshoot the outside of Turn 1 and come back straight into Turn 2 which can lead to more T-bones as well.”

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was another to sample the escape route: “I've had one trip through the grass myself, and it was not the safest of rejoins, even with the best I could do And I've seen some of the other attempts to follow and it's quite incredible. So I hope the wall goes.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Hulkenberg handed three-place grid penalty for F1 Canadian GP red flag infraction
Next article Gasly: Sainz F1 impeding was “extremely dangerous” and “unnecessary”

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe