Max Verstappen expects more track limits chaos at US GP after Qatar penalties

Track limits have become a sore point for many drivers, with the number of infringements raising issues about some circuits' viability.

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Max Verstappen feels fears of breaching track limits have caused drivers to concentrate more on not going over the white lines rather than pushing over a hot lap.

Track limit infringements were a hot topic at the Qatar Grand Prix weekend. Several drivers, such as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez, were penalised after breaching them during the race, earning the Mexican three five-second time penalties.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem even threatened circuits which suffer from track limits, such as the the Red Bull Ring, with expulsion from the F1 calendar if they couldn’t find a solution to resolve their issue.

“I will happily let anyone else drive my car and see if they can do better with track limits,” joked Verstappen to media ahead of the race weekend. “But no, some tracks just a lot of runoff. So naturally, you find the limits a bit easier.

“Because we never really talked about track limits at Suzuka, and that’s probably a bit more of an old-school track. 

“I feel like with some of these new tracks, you’re more focused on a qualifying lap, not to go over a white line and find the limit of just the pure enjoyment of pushing.

“It’s more like you’re looking out ‘Did I make it or not?’ and then ‘ah I made it’. We need to do a better job because I think this weekend will be the same story [as Qatar].”

50th win on the cards in Austin

After becoming a three-time world champion in Qatar Verstappen could reach another milestone at COTA as victory in Austin would secure his 50th grand prix win.

Victory on Sunday would mean Verstappen becomes only the fifth driver alongside former championship rival Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, and Alain Prost to hit the half-century mark in F1.

“I don’t know, I think they’re just beautiful in different [ways],” Verstappen said. “But I think the very first one [2016 Spain GP] probably was the most emotional.

“Because that’s what you always tried to achieve. And I think that was a very special day for me and my family at the time. But to pick another one, it’s tough. 

“[It’s] just about also enjoying the moment. Maybe you think about it a bit more later on in your career, but not now.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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