FIA race director Michael Masi has adjusted the way track limits will be policed at the Portuguese Grand Prix after over 100 lap times were deleted during Friday practice.
Masi had originally told drivers that they had to remain within the while line defining the track edge on the exit of multiple corners, with specifically Turn 1 and Turn 4 proving tricky at the Algarve International Circuit. 125 lap times were deleted across the two Friday practice sessions at those two corners alone, so after the driver briefing on Friday night the approach was changed.
Instead of drivers needing to keep a wheel inside the white line before the exit curb, they now must keep at least part of their wheel in contact with the exit curb itself. In his race director’s notes, Masi stated any driver cutting behind the red and white curb at Turn 1 and Turn 4 would see their lap time deleted.
However, the final corner — where track limits did not appear to be a problem on Friday as drivers are easily flat out — remains one where drivers must stay within the white line defining the edge of the track, No other corners have specific track limits notes, meaning drivers can use all of the exit curb and more if required.
While the change saw a big impact on Turn 4 — reducing the number of deleted lap times from 46 in FP2 to just three in final practice — the situation did not improve at the first corner, as there were 21 times deleted in FP3 compared to 14 on Friday afternoon.