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Lauda lashes out at track limits that "stop" drivers from racing

  • Published on 17 Jan 2018 15:30
  • comments 16
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Niki Lauda has voiced his anger over the issue of track limits, as he claims it prevents the drivers from racing. The matter of track limits has seen fans become angry, as they believe the stewards are inconsistent in their decision to award penalties.

At the US Grand Prix last year, Max Verstappen overtook Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the race, but was deemed to do so off-track. Therefore, the Red Bull driver was handed a penalty and was booted from the cooldown room, with Raikkonen instead keeping the third place.

However, Lauda says that the penalties are not good for F1: "First of all, the circuits have had the right development over the last 30 years. This was the way F1 had to go, there’s no question about it. But all this bullshit of penalties if you go over a white line or whatever, I hate.

"It’s completely wrong, stops the guys racing, and gives an opportunity for other drivers to complain. So then immediately someone passes them, they come on the radio and say ‘he passed the white line!’ Are you guys nuts? 

"Use every road you can pass, because the best guys are racing and if the FIA doesn’t like it, then build kerbs. If there are no kerbs let them race, don’t penalise anybody. Let them race. Don’t interfere. It’s an FIA problem and I’ve spoken to Charlie [Whiting] a hundred times – and open things up.”

2018 will see the F1 cars run with head protection in the form of the Halo. The device has drawn a lot of criticism, including from Lauda who believes that drivers who are not willing to risk their lives while racing should stay at home.

"I’m completely against the Halo,” he added. "No one is forcing drivers into racing, you have to decide before, do you want to do this or not? These guys are the best in the world and those who can’t take it need to stay at home. Therefore, I don’t like this development and if it keeps on going, no one will watch F1 because the drivers will not be heroes anymore."

Replies (16)

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  • JCF1

    Posts: 27

    If you get rid of the penalties, start with grid penalties.

    • + 3
    • Jan 17 2018 - 15:51
  • reg

    Posts: 162

    Why penalise a driver with penalty points when in most instances he has been penalised already as an engine has let go or gone down in power in a previous race or practise/qualifying. It would be K to penalise a team on team points but why make drivers take grid penalties, all it does is wreck a race!

    • + 1
    • Jan 17 2018 - 16:12
    • To prevent top teams from using a new engine for each session of every GP, which would increase the gap with the midfield even more. Team penalties won't prevent that in later GP's when team positions are already decided. And when the WDC is at stake noone cares about the WCC anyway.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2018 - 18:50
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    He can't have it both ways. Either you have a white line there or you don't. If you want super safe tracks, the white line is a way accomplish that, otherwise you can just take a shortcut all the time, effectively creating a new layout.
    I agree that better usage of kerbs would be nice. I would also like to see more grass, so you can try an all or nothing overtake, but it'll f**k up your tyres a little bit.

    I also completely agree with him on the Halo. But fear of lawsuits is a motherf**ker.

    • + 0
    • Jan 17 2018 - 16:16
  • I Agree with Lauda here. Track limits are silly.

    • + 1
    • Jan 17 2018 - 17:35
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    Racing is not an activity where political correctness should be considered. I have to agree with the stay at home statement.

    • + 1
    • Jan 17 2018 - 18:18
  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    Not kerbs, gravel traps, Large Gravel Traps !

    • + 1
    • Jan 17 2018 - 18:43
    • Not an option because of Moto GP I believe.

      • + 1
      • Jan 17 2018 - 18:51
    • Gravel traps are stupid. The amount of damage they deal to cars are ridiculous.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2018 - 20:20
    • Gravel traps work and work well, yes you get a bit sandblasted and get gravel everywhere but that's exactly why you avoid them.

      • + 0
      • Jan 18 2018 - 07:16
    • They work, but there are far better options now. And honestly, grass can almost be as punishing without damaging the car as much.

      • + 0
      • Jan 18 2018 - 09:29
  • Kerbs and gravel traps will both work. If a driver knows he's gonna f**k up his car, he's not going to exceed track limits. Removable kerbs are probably the only way to go if the track also hosts MotoGP. While they're not the greatest, the white lines rules work as long as the stewards are consistent. If the best drivers in the world can't overtake another car without exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage then they should be penalized.

    • + 0
    • Jan 18 2018 - 06:35
    • These have all been considered but ultimately rejected because of safety concerns. This didn't use to be a problem before because there were many more gravel traps. But there is no going back to something less safe. It's the same logic that brought us the stupid halo.

      • + 0
      • Jan 18 2018 - 21:24
  • Removable curbs. How hard can it be to design a bolt on bolt off kerb? High enough that it will hit the bottom of the car if you go over it, low enough and profiled so as not to launch the car excessively if it is hit at speed.

    • + 0
    • Jan 18 2018 - 07:14
    • Pauli

      Posts: 140

      It is very hard to design something that touches bottom of car because cars behavior differently depending on factors like direction, speed, suspension and downforce.

      Downforce is about constant in a specific speed expect if car is sliding side ways or "flying". Cars lose a lot downforce if they are traveling towards wrong direction or distance to ground grows. Worst of all is of course bottom touching ground because that removes ground effect generated force.

      • + 0
      • Jan 18 2018 - 16:02
    • Well aware. There is a curb at my local track that rubs the floor of my one car and the sump of the other, I learnt to stay off it. Get it right and put the wheels on it and you get some extra grip.

      • + 0
      • Jan 18 2018 - 20:38

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