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 Qatar GP

Leclerc and Stroll penalised for track limits in F1 Qatar sprint

Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll have copped five-second penalties for repeatedly exceeding track limits during the sprint race for Formula 1’s 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Track limits have become a major talking point again this weekend following a surprise FIA statement.

On Saturday morning, the FIA announced that track limits had been brought in by 80cm at Turn 12 and 13 after Pirelli identified tears between the compound topping and tyre carcass.

This was caused by drivers running long and fast over revised kerbs at the Losail Circuit, which feature 50mm raised ‘pyramid-style’ borders that impact the tyre when they drop over the edge.

As such, an extra 10-minute practice session was added to the schedule for drivers to adjust to the revised permitter. However, track limit breaches still peppered the 19-lap sprint contest.

Ferrari driver Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Stroll have now been hit with five-second penalties, with both drivers found to have left the track on four occasions “without justifiable reason”.

As a result, Leclerc has dropped from seventh to 12th and Stroll from 13th to 15th – last of the finishers in an attrition-hit contest that ended with five retirements.

Alex Albon inherits seventh place and scores two points for Williams, while Fernando Alonso moves into the final points paying position for Aston Martin.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Following the sprint, Pirelli will now conduct extensive tyre analysis to determine whether further action must be taken in time for the 57-lap grand prix.

If the tearing problem is still identified, the FIA will mandate that the tyre life must not exceed 20 laps for new tyres and 22 laps for used tyres fitted in the race - this accounts for in and out-laps in qualifying.

Read Also:

It will also obligate three pitstops. Although the tyres could theoretically go the distance with two stops, an extra had been added to ensure some element of strategic divergence from teams.

McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri won the sprint race ahead of Max Verstappen, who sealed his third world championship as team-mate Sergio Perez was involved in a multi-car collision.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Piastri: "Safety cars my friend" for Qatar F1 sprint win
Next article 10 moments that won Verstappen the 2023 Formula 1 title

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