F1 race director outlines track limits for Imola

Max Verstappen exits Acque Minerali during last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has highlighted three areas where officials will be watching for track limits abuses over this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Track limits have become a hot topic in F1 since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix three weeks ago.

In the closing stages of that race, Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton for the race lead, only to exceed track limits at Turn 4.

How those limits were policed had changed over the course of the weekend, prompting Verstappen to seek to discuss the ‘messy’ situation with the FIA.

For this weekend, officials will be taking note of Turns 9, 13, and 15 – Piratella, the exit of Acque Minerale, and Variante Alta to use their traditional names.

During practice (including qualifying), drivers exceeding track limits on the exit of Piratella will have their lap time invalidated by the stewards.

The same penalty will apply for those cutting the apex at Acque Minerali, or leaving the track exiting the Variante Alta.

Drivers have also been warned that those locations will be monitored during the race.

“On the third occasion of a driver failing to negotiate Turn 9 Exit and/or Turn 13 Apex and/or Turn 15 Exit by using the track during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards,” Masi’s notes to teams advise.

“For the avoidance of doubt this means a total of three occasions combined not three at each corner.”

Helping drivers at Acque Minerali is the addition of yellow bumps placed behind the apex of the corner.

There is also a bump behind the apex at Turn 14, which has been extended to be one continuous kerb.

Further refinements at the track include the resurfacing of Pit Lane Entry, and the majority of service roads behind gravel traps.

Free Practice 1 for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix gets underway at 19:00 AEST this evening.

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