Did Formula One Ignore Its Own Rule On Track Limits?

The many drivers who cut the corner at Raidillon this morning during the Belgian Grand Prix raised more than a few eyebrows this morning. It took turn 4 from being a corner to, well, much less of a corner. Not going around the curbing seemed to be a fast line. Was F1 ignoring its own rule here?

Article 20.2 of Formula One’s 2015 Sporting Regulations states:

Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.

Should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage. At the absolute discretion of the race director a driver may be given the opportunity to give back the whole of any advantage he gained by leaving the track.

A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason.

Formula One even released a note yesterday after having removed the curbing at the apex of turn 4 saying that track limits would be enforced should any driver appear to gain an advantage for it.


Here’s the curb that was there for practice, but later removed:


So, let’s look at the common line through Radillon again:


Daniil Kvyat was the only driver who received a warning (not a penalty, but a warning) for exceeding track limits at Turn 4 for the entire race. What’s going on with this, then? Did F1 determine that this wasn’t an advantage over going around the curb, or were they simply not paying attention?


It looks like a shortcut to me, and some even suggest that repeated drives over the curbing at Radillon may have contributed to Sebastian Vettel’s blow-out. Vettel hopped that curb (as he did nearly every lap) at Radillon shortly before his tire blew up.


Formula One, explain yo’ selves.

Screenshots via Imgur (here and here)

Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.

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