Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Drivers given new track limits rules for turn two

2016 Russian Grand Prix

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F1 drivers must obey new rules regarding the run-off area at turn two on the Sochi track.

A polystyrene block has been placed in the run-off area which drivers must negotiate before rejoining the circuit if they run wide at the corner.

Revised notes from the FIA advises them that “any driver who fails to negotiate turn two by using the track, and who passes completely to the left of the orange kerb element on the apex, must then keep to the left of the red and white polystyrene block in the run-off area and re-join the track safely at the start of turn three”.

A similar polystyrene block was used during last year’s race weekend. But it was removed before the grand prix following a crash during a GP2 race in which Artem Markelov hit the barrier while rejoining the track at the start.

The corner, which is the first braking point on a lap of the circuit, has been a regular trouble spot since the circuit was introduced to the calendar two years ago. A strip of artificial grass and a new negative kerb had been added to the outside of the corner this year to discourage drivers from running wide.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Drivers given new track limits rules for turn two”

  1. Crazy idea: let’s get rid of that second apex. Problem solved.

    1. Lets get rid of all corners. problem solved.

      1. ^even better

      2. indeed, getting rid of the Russian race in Sochi would work for me @andae23, @rethla!

    2. It would not be a bad idea. Those kind of corners with those 2nd apexes are pretty horrible track design. It is basically a really fast chicane. The same horrible thing was made to the hockenheim turn 1. Before the change it was nice fast flowing corner. Now it is just a pointless track cut accusation waiting to happen.

  2. Here’s a crazy idea.
    Put the gravel in the runoff area.
    Problem solved.

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      30th April 2016, 17:49

      Yes, let’s ignore all the safety reasons gravel traps are being removed elsewhere

      1. Well, everything is dangerous, including things that are supposed to be safer than gravel trap.

        Example 1
        Driver going over the track limit because there was tarmac runoff, two cars touch and then one ends up in the wall. Would he do that if there was gravel or grass like it used to be, or would he back off?

        Example 2
        Another brilliant invention. Less dangerous than a simple gravel or grass?

        Example 3
        In this situation gravel would have been better because it would have saved one driver from another driver’s stupidity.

        Only problem with gravel traps is that they are currently too deep. They need to be a bit shallower, preventing cars to dig and roll. Then they would do their job perfectly.
        And problem solved.
        There would finally be no talking about exceeding track limits and drivers abilities would be challenged more.

        1. The good thing about paved runoff is that cars that made a mistake can rejoin the race on their own. The bad thing about gravel traps is that you’d need a tractor and safety car to pull a car out from the gravel trap.

        2. RaceProUK (@)
          30th April 2016, 22:32

          Example 1: Irrelevant, as contact can happen at any part of the track.

          Example 2: Irrelevant, as if the outside of that chicane had gravel, that accident would have been worse as the car would have dug in and flipped. Also irrelevant, as that kerb was somewhere there wouldn’t be gravel anyway.

          Example 3: Irrelevant, as Raikkonen should have known the tarmac ended there and avoided it.

          Well, everything is dangerous, including things that are supposed to be safer than gravel trap.

          So we should stick with something more dangerous because the safer alternatives aren’t perfect?

          Only problem with gravel traps is that they are currently too deep. They need to be a bit shallower, preventing cars to dig and roll.

          The only way to achieve that is to make them so shallow they may as well be removed entirely.

          Another benefit of removing gravel traps means you can also get stuff like MotoGP. And let’s face it, F1 costs so much for the tracks, if I owned one, I’d be making sure I could get as many events as possible to cover the costs of hosting the F1 weekend.

          1. Example 1
            In this case it is relevant. De Jong had nothing to there when contact happened. He was there only because of tarmac runoff.
            Remember Spa 2000, Hakkinen vs Schumacher, one lap before overtake (look at around 1:42). Proper track limit = less chance stupidity.

            Example 2
            Why was sausage kerb installed? It was installed to prevent drivers cutting the track.
            Would they cut the track if there is grass or gravel? They wouldn’t. And that accident would not have happened.
            And the car still flipped.

            Example 3
            If there was gravel Raikkonen wouldn’t have possibility to rejoin the track in the manner he did.

            Bottom line is – gravel isn’t that more dangerous. It just needs to be modified to improve safety even more, but still punish drivers. Whenever someone says that Spa 2008 closing laps were a great racing I laugh. Raikkonen and Hamilton spent most of the time in tarmac runoff than on the track, unable to keep car on the road, they still kept going.

            And please, don’t bring MotoGP in discussion. That is a myth. Just look at the classic MotoGP tracks (Mugello, Assen, Sachsenring, Jerez, Phillip Island, Brno…). Gravel traps are dominating, with occasional strip of tarmac here and there. They are not parking lots like Sochi.

            I’m not completely against tarmac runoff areas. Some dangerous corners, like Eau Rouge, it is good that there is tarmac runoff. Or that they are even completely scrapped like Peraltada.
            But balance needs to be found. These parking lots are in most cases just knee jerk reactions, typical for F1.

          2. RaceProUK (@)
            1st May 2016, 14:12

            Example 1 is irrelevant, as there is nothing special about Blanchimont; as I previously stated, contact can happen anywhere on the track, and it doesn’t have to be at the edge.

            Example 2 is irrelevant, not only for the reason I stated above, but also because the driver was clearly out of control long before the corner.

            Example 2 is irrelevant, because whether there was gravel there or not is irrelevant; there would have been a hard tarmac edge anyway.

            And if gravel is so safe, why is it being removed on legitimate safety grounds?

            Bottom line: It’s 2016. Stop pretending it’s 1980.

          3. RaceProUK (@)
            1st May 2016, 14:13

            That second Example 2 should be Example 3.

  3. Michael Brown (@)
    30th April 2016, 13:27

    This is stupid. The best speed to rejoin the track is at the same speed as everyone else. Slowing down rejoining drivers is only going to complicate things and cause incidents, like GP2.

    Here’s another idea: get rid of that stupid left kink in turn 2. It’s the stupidest corner in F1.

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        30th April 2016, 17:52

        Turn 3 is a left-hander, so the racing light is on the right of the track, the opposite side to where the cars will be rejoining, rendering the speed differential moot

  4. Well, that polystyrene block might even be bloody dangerous if a driver s comes through the curve and just looses it a bit, hitting it straight on to loose all control and then hitting what or who next as a result???

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      30th April 2016, 17:55

      You do know polystyrene is used because it’s very light and breaks up instantly on impact, right?

    2. That block is situated in a place where it is unlikely to be hit by an out-of-control driver (unlike these ones).

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