Officials to focus on track limits in France

The return road at Turn 3-5 complex as shown in the Race Director notes to teams

This weekend’s Formula 1 French Grand Prix will see officials once again take note of track limits.

After two events at street circuits, the sport returns to a traditional venue at Paul Ricard.

It’s a circuit famed for its vast tarmac run off areas, with painted areas delineating the racing surface and verges.

With little punishment for drivers abusing the track confines, officials have advised teams and drivers that a list of corners will be monitored.

That includes the first left-right sequence, and the complex from Turns 3-5, with a cut through added for any driver unable to negotiate Turn 4.

“Any driver who fails to negotiate Turn 4 by using the track, and who passes completely to the left of the fluorescent yellow bollard on the apex of the corner, must keep completely to the left of the fluorescent yellow bollard and re-join the track by driving to the left of the block in the run off prior to Turn 5,” Michael Masi, FIA race director, advised.

The chicane in the middle of the Mistral Straight, Turns 8 and 9, will also be monitored.

“Any driver going straight on at Turn 8 must re-join the track by driving through the four arrays of blocks in the escape road, to the left of the first, to the right of the second, to the left of the third and to the right of the fourth.”

For all three complexes, teams will be informed on each instance a driver fails to negotiate those turns on the official messaging system.

On the third instance the driver will be shown a black and white flag before being referred to the stewards.

Omitted was any reference to lap time deletions in practice sessions, which covers qualifying, implying a blind eye will be turned to minor abuse of track limits in Saturday’s session.

Free Practice 1 for this weekend’s French Grand Prix gets underway at 19:30 AEST.

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