FIA standing firm on track limits, 'white lines define the track edges'

Despite causing widespread aggravation last time out in Austria, the FIA will continue to police track limits at this weekend’s French Grand Prix.

Last time out in Austria 43 lap times were deleted during the grand prix with Lando Norris, one of those hit with a time penalty for repeated infringements, labelling it a “bit stupid”.

“You can’t see the white lines, it’s just guessing and I’m obviously not good enough at guessing,” he explained.

Max Verstappen called it a “joke” while Christian Horner warned of worse to come at Paul Ricard with its “acres of tarmac, so it’s just inviting you to run off-line”.

The invitation has been firmly withdrawn by the FIA.

Motorsport’s governing body has made it clear to the drivers ahead of the French Grand Prix weekend that the ‘white lines define the track edges’.

The Race Director’s note continued, saying that ‘during qualifying and the race, each time a driver fails to negotiate with the exit of Turn 10, will result in that lap time and the immediately following lap time being invalidated by the Stewards.’

Question: "Why is it so hard to keep within the track limits?"

Vettel: "Because we are trying to go as fast as possible…

"Is that not fair?" 😅#F1 #FrenchGP #Autosport

— Autosport (@autosport) July 21, 2022

Beyond remaining firm on track limits, the note also laid out strict instructions to drivers about how they must behave in several run-off areas at corners if they run wide.

For Turn 1 and 2, ‘any driver who fails to negotiate Turn 2 by using the track, and who passes completely to the right of the first fluorescent yellow bollard on the apex of the corner, must keep completely to the right of the fluorescent yellow bollard and re-join the track by driving through the two arrays of blocks in the runoff by passing to the right of the first and to the left of the second.’

For Turns 3 to 5, ‘any driver who fails to negotiate Turn 4 by using the track, and who passes completely to the left of the fluorescent yellow bollard on the apex of the corner, must keep completely to the left of the fluorescent yellow bollard and re-join the track by driving to the left of the block in the runoff prior to Turn 5.’

And for Turn 8 and 9, ‘any driver going straight on at Turn 8 must re-join the track by driving through the four arrays of blocks in the escape road, to the left of the first, to the right of the second, to the left of the third and to the right of the fourth.’

Drivers that do not follow these instructions will likely face sanction from the stewards for not following official instructions.

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