Horner: F1 track limit rules should not be "shades of grey"

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Formula 1’s track limits rules should not be ‘shades of grey’, after the Bahrain Grand Prix controversy.

Horner: F1 track limit rules should not be "shades of grey"

Horner admitted to some frustration after the Bahrain race at the way he felt there was a lack of consistency and clear guidance over the policing of track limits at Turn 4.

While drivers had been told that anyone abusing the limits in qualifying would have their lap times deleted, for the race there was no such provision – so drivers were free to run wide there.

However, drivers had been reminded about provisions in the sporting regulations that states if they leave the track they can only rejoin ‘without gaining any lasting advantage’.

But the situation got muddied by the fact that race winner Lewis Hamilton regularly abused the track limits at Turn 4 throughout the race, prior to eventually being given a warning.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Then later Max Verstappen was ordered by race control to give up the race lead to Hamilton, after he himself had run wide at Turn 4 as he completed his pass.

While Horner had no qualms over Verstappen having been judged to gain an unfair advantage for running wide, he did not understand why Hamilton consistently got away with abusing the limits in the race and gaining lap time.

“It was frustrating,” said Horner. “We could see as soon as Mercedes started to push they just used that part of the track and we questioned with Race Control if that's the case, can we do it?

“When you're in a nip and tuck battle, there's a two tenths advantage using that part of the circuit, so they did it lap after lap. The race director then asked them to respect the limits, otherwise they would get a black and white flag.

“Obviously Max then ran wide on the pass there. But it had been made clear before the race that if somebody got an advantage by going out there, they'd have to give it back. So he did that immediately the team instructed him to do.

Read Also:

“I think with these track limits, they are always going to be contentious. But we do just need to have a consistent situation. You can't say it's okay to use it in a race but you can't overtake out there. They should be black or white. They shouldn't be shades of grey.”

F1 race director Michael Masi has disputed the fact that there was any uncertainty over the Turn 4 situation though – as he said it was clear to drivers that the FIA would only intervene if someone was gaining a clear advantage from it.

“With regard to the tolerance given to people running outside of the track limits during the race, it was mentioned very clearly in the drivers' meeting and in the notes that it would not be monitored with regards to setting the lap time, so to speak,” he said.

“However, it will always be monitored in accordance with the sporting regulations being that a lasting advantage overall must not be gained."

Pushed on whether he felt things changed during the race because of the warning given late on to Hamilton, Masi said: “Nothing changed during the race. Nothing changed at all.

“We had two people that were looking in that area, at every car, every lap, and pretty much every car bar one was doing the right thing within what we expected in a general sequence.

“There was the occasional car that had a bit of a moment that went out there or whatever it was, but it wasn't a constant thing."

shares
comments

Related video

The calls that decided Hamilton and Verstappen's Bahrain battle
Previous article

The calls that decided Hamilton and Verstappen's Bahrain battle

Next article

Alonso's F1 comeback race wrecked by sandwich wrapper

Alonso's F1 comeback race wrecked by sandwich wrapper
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022