The key stats behind the Austrian GP track limits penalty farce

The FIA saw fit to apply an additional 12 track limits penalties to eight drivers after Aston Martin successfully protested the provisional result of Formula 1's 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Race control was tasked with reviewing more than 1200 instances of cars having reportedly exceeded track limits - all of which came through Turns 9 and 10 at the Red Bull Ring - by running over the painted white lines that denote the edge of the circuit with all four tyres.

For a 71-lap race, that works out as an average of 17 potential incidents per tour or 60 possible infringements for each of the 20 drivers.

Once the cases had been fully reviewed and new penalties applied, the final classification was declared at 21:46 local time, 4hrs51mins after the provisional result was issued.

The updated classification spelt demotions for six drivers: Carlos Sainz (fourth to sixth), Lewis Hamilton (seventh to eighth), Pierre Gasly (ninth to 10th), Esteban Ocon (12th to 14th), Nyck de Vries (15th to 17th) and Yuki Tsunoda (18th to 19th).

These changes followed the stewards declaring 83 firm cases of track limit breaches.

Mercedes driver Hamilton committed the first offence of the race. As the seven-time champion struggled with the W14's balance, he ran wide coming out of Turn 10 on lap four.

He was also the first driver to be reprimanded, copping a five-second penalty for four separate offences (all at Turn 10) as early as lap eight of the race.

Alpine driver Ocon was the most heavily hit in the adjusted result. He copped a total of 30s worth of penalties split between four reprimands (two 5s, two 10s penalties).

The FIA awarded penalties on the basis that four track limits infringements earned a 5s penalty. A fifth resulted in a 10s penalty. However, the tally was then reset meaning a driver had to exceed track limits another four times to cop a further 5s penalty.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Ocon kept with the confines of the circuit entirely until lap 27, at which point he ran wide at Turn 10. This was the 40th confirmed case of a track limits violation.

However, from that point on, he exceeded track limits a further nine times to top the charts with 10 fouls to earn his added race time.

All of his breaches came in the 11-lap window between laps 27 and 37.

George Russell and Zhou Guanyu were the only two drivers to finish the race without having been noted for a track limits offence.

Dominant race winner Max Verstappen was pinged once, having run wide at Turn 10 on lap 65.

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None of the additional penalties created a change in either the drivers' or constructors' championship standings.

The Aston Martin protest that led to Alonso gaining a place also means that team sporting director Andy Stevenson has now successfully represented the Silverstone squad to the FIA stewards in two cases where the race result has been changed (Austria and Saudi Arabia).

He has therefore earned Aston Martin five points which, ahead of the 2023 British Grand Prix, would theoretically place him above AlphaTauri in the constructors' championship.

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