The FIA has confirmed that electronic sensors will be installed on the outside of the kerbs around certain corners of the Hungaroring this weekend to monitor the track limits during the Hungarian GP.
The F1 governing body has made the decision in a bid to catch any drivers gaining an unfair advantage by exceeding the track limits and running wide around these corners.
The Austrian Grand Prix saw a number of drivers using excessive amounts of kerb, often having all four wheels off the track, resulting in several suspension failures and other related incidents. At Silverstone, drivers running wide at certain corners during the British Grand Prix weekend saw their times deleted in lieu of penalties but race control admitted having trouble monitoring all corners of the track.
This weekend, the FIA have installed electronic sensors at Turns 4 and 11 to monitor the track limits electronic following Charlie Whiting’s report.
In a note to the teams, Whiting said: “In Turns 4 and 11, the new double kerb has been installed and the artificial grass removed. However, the run-off areas behind the kerbs have been set at the same height as the kerbs themselves, the required deterrent is therefore not present,”
“With this in mind we have installed loops 1.6 metres from the track edge which will alert us when a car has all four wheels off the track in these two locations.”
The F1 grid is pretty evenly split in their reaction to the electronic sensors being installed.
Sebastian Vettel led the unimpressed group of drivers saying, “It’s the FIA to blame for building circuits that make it faster to run off the track than on the track. It’s quite disappointing.”
“The result is it’s faster to go off track than to stay on track,” he continued. “It doesn’t make much sense, does it?”
Daniil Kvyat was also pretty unimpressed saying that the FIA should just, “put a normal kerb there and you don’t need all these electronic systems.
“Now we have some electronic sensors, maybe they’ll work correctly, maybe they’ll fuck everyone up.
“I personally trust my eyes more than the sensors.”
Jenson Button on the other hand reckons it’s a good idea because some form of limit is required to stop drivers exceeding track limits.
“It’s good, I like it,” he said. “The way things are, all of the kerbs are pretty similar on all circuits now, so they’re easy to run over on exits.
“We need something, we need a limit to stop us going over there.”
Lewis Hamilton was also in favour of the idea. Hamilton, who lost one of his lap times during qualifying for the British Grand Prix after running wide, said: “It will be an easier thing for them to police because at the moment some corners we’re allowed to go out,” he said.
“Silverstone Turn 7, you’re allowed to drive straight off the track no problem, which is an advantage but at Turn 9 you’re not allowed to, which isn’t an advantage if you go off.
“It’s a good step forward.”
The electronic sensor technology has previously been used by the FIA to monitor chicanes but this weekend will be the first time it is used to monitor the kerbs.
Photo: Red Bull Racing