1,200 instances of potential track limits breaches were recorded at the Austrian GP. It frustrated the drivers and ruined more than one’s race, particularly Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton. It was so bad that Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, labelled it “amateurish” and the FIA is recommending a change to Turns 9 and 10 for future events.
While there were more than a few penalties handed out on the track, there were even more handed out after the race thanks to a successful protest from Aston Martin.
The stewards explained in a note that “having become aware of the existence of a number of deleted laps (due to exceeding track limits) that were drawn to our attention after the receipt of the protest” the panel “have requested Race Control to perform a reconciliation of all deleted laps with penalties applied.”
Christian Horner told Sky F1, “I think the track limits things need to be looked at because it makes us look a little bit amateurish.
“With so many good drivers making those… breaking those limits, it’s just too easy. I think it’s something that needs to be looked at here for next year.
“Either the kerbs or maybe a bit of gravel on the other side of the kerb would just tidy that up but I think, with all those penalties coming through, it’s very tough for the drivers.”
In fact, that’s just what the FIA are suggesting to be done at Spielberg adding that “we will renew our recommendation to the circuit to add a gravel trap at the exit of Turns 9 and 10” for future events.
It’s easy for fans to say that Race Control were being overzealous with their penalties, but Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, doesn’t think so despite one of his drivers being the worst affected.
“I think, no, the Stewards are doing their job,” said Wolff. “It’s what the rules say.”
He didn’t suggest a gravel trap, but he does believe that changes need to be made to discourage drivers from mounting the kerb.
“I think we’ve either got to go back to the sausage kerb and take into consideration that teams and drivers shouldn’t complain if they break their cars because that’s clear,” said Wolff.
“Or you’ve just gotta let everybody go where they want. That’s the other solution as they do in some of the races in the United States.”