FIA agrees to Hockenheim track limits change at Turn 1

The FIA has agreed to a compromise over track limits at the first corner of the Hockenheim track, following complaints from drivers and teams after Friday practice for the German Grand Prix.

FIA agrees to Hockenheim track limits change at Turn 1

Although the F1 Strategy Group had voted to abolish track limits for this weekend as an experiment to see if it made the sport more spectacular, race director Charlie Whiting had ruled such an idea impractical.

His view was that if there were no track limits, it would simply result in drivers consistently running wide everywhere to better their lap time – and would ultimately result in a 'different' track.

That was why he decided to enforce the limits at Turn 1 during free practice on Friday with the use of an electronic sensor – and drivers were given a 'three strikes and you are out' warning.

The FIA's decision prompted some unease from members of the F1 Strategy Group, who went to speak to Ecclestone to ask why their wishes on track limits had been ignored.

Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene had said: “We discussed [in the Strategy Group] that we will try to have a 'wild' weekend because this track has adequate run off areas.

"But then they ended up recording everyone who went over the white lines as if we hadn't agreed anything yesterday. So we have gone to Bernie."

There were further discussions about the matter in Friday night's drivers' briefing.

As a result, the FIA has elected to move the control area further out at Turn 1 – with the electronic sensor being positioned further away from the track.

This means drivers will be able to use the full width of the kerb – which is what the Strategy Group wanted – rather than being forced to keep part of their car on the track.

In a note sent to F1 teams on Saturday morning, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: “Based upon our observations of the way in which the new kerb on the exit of Turn 12 is used, and the comments made in the meeting yesterday evening, we feel that the usable track limit at Turn 1 should be the outer edge of the kerb, i.e. the edge furthest from the track.

“The performance of any driver going beyond this point, with any part of the car, will be examined in order to establish whether or not an advantage was gained by exceeding this limit.”

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