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F1 installs Austin kerbs to avoid Verstappen drama repeat

Formula 1 has moved to prevent a repeat of Max Verstappen’s corner cutting controversy from last year’s United States Grand Prix by installing new kerbs at the Austin track.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, celebrates as he crosses the line ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Verstappen was left furious after the 2017 race when he was handed a five-second penalty – which cost him a podium finish – after he was ruled to have gained an advantage by cutting the track at Turns 16 and 17.

The Dutchman had snatched third place on the road from Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap by diving inside the Ferrari driver at the double apex right hander, but with all four wheels off the circuit he was deemed to have been in breach of the regulations.

While there was huge controversy over the incident – as Verstappen launched an attack on the stewards as to why he had been penalised and others had got away with track limits abuse – the FIA has decided to take action for this year.

Ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, the FIA has confirmed that two major new kerbs are to be fitted at the location.

The new kerbs, which are two metres long, one metre wide and 50mm high, have been installed behind the apex kerbs at Turns 16 and 17.

Last year, drivers had no such deterrent from running off the track at that location.

Verstappen said at the time: “I think all the fans loved [the overtake], it was a great move. They told me I was gaining an advantage [by cutting the corner], but if I was really gaining an advantage, I would be doing that every single lap - which I was not.”

The FIA has also added new kerbs at the exit of Turn 1 in a bid to deter drivers from running wide there. The new bumps are similar to those that have been used at Turns 11, 15 and 19.

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