The FIA’s Charlie Whiting says incidents where drivers exceed the track limits will be dealt with on a race-by-race basis following consultation with the drivers themselves.
Exceeding track limits has caused a stir amongst fans on several occasions as some incidents went without penalty, whilst others deemed to be more obvious, didn’t.
Whiting admits it’s a sensitive area and one that is difficult to police, but the race director and technical delegate says they’ll continue to assess each incident on an individual basis, with some leniency given to certain corners.
“Track limits have become a very emotive subject,” he said. “Fundamentally, a driver is required to use the track at all times. If any part of the car remains within the boundaries of the white lines, he is deemed to be using the track. If he has all four wheels over the white lines, he’s off the track.
“A driver is allowed to leave the track and rejoin without penalty, providing he does so safely and providing he does not gain an advantage. It is up to us to decide whether he has gained an advantage from being off track.
“ Circuits are designed so that going off track should always be slower – or at least not faster. My view is that if you have two wheels on a bumpy kerb and two on artificial grass, that is not faster,” he added.
Whiting revealed that he discussed he rule during a driver meeting in Jerez earlier in the year and they raised concerns that some circuits “require special treatment”.
“In Jerez, we held a meeting with the drivers to discuss the matter. They agreed with the general point of view but argued that there are certain corners on certain circuits that require special treatment. Therefore we will treat each circuit individually rather than making a blanket ruling.”