Track Limits Championship 2023: Where have F1 drivers crossed the line the most?

Track limits has been a common discussion in F1 2023, notably peaking in Qatar and Austria

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Chaos surrounded the conclusion of the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix thanks to dozens of track limits infringements, that even pushed the FIA into producing a new penalty system so that punishments did not get out of hand.

The issue once again surfaced at the Qatar GP, even prompting Formula 1, the FIA and the race runners to make in-weekend changes to the circuit in order to help aid drivers and protect Pirelli rubber from tyre failures.

After Spielberg, the grid called for a definitive end to the saga of the white-lines, and since then some drivers have even called for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to police the edge of the tracks.

The conversation re-appeared at the Losail International Circuit as Sergio Perez declared it was impossible to see where he was going off, whilst Lance Stroll echoed the comments.

But which five circuits have had the most offenders in 2023 in terms of laps deleted, according to data gathered by MotorsportMagazin.com?

5th: The British GP, Silverstone: 29 deleted laps

Across the British GP weekend, 29 drivers had their times struck from the record with Lando Norris having the most of the grid with five, followed by Stroll who got to four along with Logan Sargeant. Overall, 13 laps were cancelled in qualifying, and a further 16 in the race.

Turn 15, affectionally called Stowe, was the most violated corner, with drivers going off there for a total of 24 times. Turn 9, or Copse, was also sporadically abused to the tune of five separate occasions.

4th: The Hungarian GP, Hungaroring: 30 laps deleted

The second European circuit on the list is the Hungaroring, located in Budapest. The track is known for its plentiful and quick corners that will reward drivers who can stray to the edge the most without going over the limit, therefore it’s understandable to see why 30 offences occurred there.

Of the total infractions, 12 of them happened in a qualifying session that saw Lewis Hamilton deliver a surprise pole position, with an extra 18 in the race. Oscar Piastri was found guilty the most times, with a score of four, whilst Zhou Guanyu had three along with Norris and Kevin Magnussen.

Fernando Alonso during 2023 Hungarian GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Turn 4, the fast left-hander after the third straight, accounted for 19 of the 30, with the second most popular place to go off being Turn 5, with five different moments and Turns 7, 11 and 12 made up the rest.

3rd: The Monaco GP, Monte Carlo: 38 deleted laps

The Monaco GP is perhaps an unexpected addition to the list considering the nature of the short and unforgiving circuit, but the race did rain towards the end which perhaps explains why drivers struggled to keep within the lines.

Unsurprisingly, Max Verstappen‘s name does not feature in the Monaco GP deleted laps reports, which is impressive considering the extra laps that he did on worn medium tyres in the rain as he attempted to avoid a Fernando Alonso undercut – a testament to the excellent car control and feel for the limit that the three-time world champion possesses.

The most frequent person pushing the limits of the microstate’s historic circuit was Alex Albon on five separate occasions, with Magnussen second after going off three times and the proverbial podium is closed out by Alonso, also on three.

Turn 10 dominates the track limits violations, with 29 different laps being deleted. Turn 11 makes up seven of the remaining nine, with the last two coming at Turn 1 and 16.

Kevin Magnussen in action at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix | Jake Grant/LAT Images / Haas F1 Team

2nd: Qatar GP, Losail International Circuit: 127 deleted laps

Now we’re into the big numbers…

127 drivers went off at the Qatar GP with many attributing the offences to the conditions they were racing in, for example, Stroll noted he was losing his vision in the high-speed corners due to fatigue and many headed to the medical centre.

Racing in the searing heat of the Arabian peninsula’s desert, several drivers picked up multiple time penalties in Sunday’s main race for their offences. They were Perez, Stroll, Albon and Pierre Gasly, who subsequently accounting for the most violations.

In the 57-lap race alone, 51 drivers overstepped the mark which would have been enough to rank second in the ‘championship’, and by quite some margin too. Across the remaining three sessions, Sprint Shootout had 31 laps deleted, the Sprint Race had 23 times deleted and qualifying had 22 crossed out.

Logan Sargeant in action at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix | Williams F1 Team

Winner: Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring: 150 deleted laps

What were the F1 drivers doing in Spielberg? Qatar, despite the chaos of drivers almost passing out and track limits being redefined on Saturday, doesn’t lay a glove on the Austrian GP which had 150 times deleted.

10 drivers, literally half of the grid, received penalties for repeated offences including Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda. Esteban Ocon, somehow, managed to collect 30 seconds worth of penalties which generally accounts for half of a qualifying lap at the 10-turn track.

83 laps were deleted in the main race, with Turns 9 and 10 by far accounting for the most as drivers attempted to take as much speed as possible through the final two corners.

The FIA said that they had received 1200 reports of track limits violations during the race, which would average out at 120 per corner, 60 per driver or 17 per lap. Such was the volume, the organisation noted that they could not police them all.

Qualifying saw 47 laps deleted, the Sprint Shootout had 13 laps erased and the Sprint Race had just the seven.

What does Max Verstappen think is a solution?

Despite surviving the Monaco GP, Austrian GP and Qatar GP with little-to-no violations for track limits, Verstappen is still not a fan of the current system. The Red Bull driver noted that the cars allow the current grid to take advantage of the track limits.

Whilst accepting that Formula 1 would need to work with MotoGP to find a viable solution for both series, the three-time world champion suggested that an old school apporoach might work best ahead at the 2023 Spanish GP in June.

“I understand at some tracks we race together with MotoGP, and of course they want different kerbs to what we like,” Verstappen said to media. “But I think we still need to find a bit of a, let’s say a middle way, which works for both.

“With our cornering speeds, basically we can really abuse the whole track because of the grip we have with the cars, which just makes it really difficult sometimes to really judge proper track limits. I think we should try and put a bit more gravel back in places.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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