Formula 1 drivers have been warned that they risk having qualifying times disallowed at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix if they abuse track limits at the final corner.
Following discussions in Friday night’s drivers’ briefing at the Yas Marina circuit, it was agreed that the FIA will not tolerate drivers running wide onto the start/finish straight.
The subject of track limits has become a major talking point in recent weeks. There was controversy in India when drivers were freely allowed to run wide across the curbs at several corners because they had argued it did not give them an advantage.
After intense debate among the drivers about the situation for this weekend, and with the FIA having already laid down stricter rules for cutting the chicanes during the race, it was agreed that the only corner in Abu Dhabi that needs to be scrutinized properly in the fight for grid positions is the final one: Turn 21.
It is felt that the nature of the curbs at that corner mean that running wide does deliver an advantage, whereas at other corners it is slower if drivers run off track.
Sources have revealed that drivers have been told that if they put all four wheels across the track limit lines at the last corner then they will have their lap time disallowed. However, drivers will be allowed to run slightly wide, and as long as at least a part of one of their wheels is within the track confines then they will not be sanctioned.