Sainz: Track limits compromised whole Austria weekend

A host of drivers, including Sainz, were handed post-race penalties for track limits in Austria.


Carlos Sainz has said the track limits fiasco in Austria not only impacts the qualifying sessions, but across the whole weekend.

The Spanish driver was one of several who received a post-race penalty at the Austrian Grand Prix, dropping him from fourth to sixth after Aston Martin appealed the race classification.

The Ferrari man was also at risk in qualifying, after lap times in Q1 and Q2 were deleted as drivers struggled to stay between the lines – notably at turns nine and 10.

Sainz warned that the perceived slow response time from race control to notify the racers threatens to compromise not just qualifying, but also the races as competitors are faced with a dilemma between an extra run or waiting.

“The problem is, I did the Q2 in Austria and finished my lap.” Sainz said to media, including ahead of the British GP, “You might be out of track limits which means you might go, or might not go to Q3.

“So should we run another set of tyres, just in case my lap gets cancelled or not? We don’t know.

“So we run and then you find out that your lap was okay, then you just made me waste a set of tyres and my weekend is compromised, and I was not even off but you didn’t know you wasn’t off.

What is the solution for Sainz?

Over 1200 potential infringements had been missed when Aston Martin appealed the classification and post-race penalties were awarded to Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly and several others, notably Esteban Ocon who managed to collect 30 seconds worth of penalties.

Such was the frequency of infringements, the FIA had to refresh the counter after five violations to attempt to control the amount of time penalties handed out, leaving the grid and fans feeling like the situation cannot continue like in Austria.

“There have been so many solutions offered, and for some reason we keep postponing like an alarm.” Sainz added, “Postpone and postpone instead of acting, and finding solutions for this kind of circuit.

“For me, it’s time to act, whatever they do. I would even be happy if the rule is left the same and you put a loop.

“At least the loop is telling me immediately if I’ve exceeded track limits and I know I can correct it.

“At least immediately give the driver feedback so that we can react accordingly and in the long-to-medium term, gravel or a piece of grass and at least you then know you cannot go there.”


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