Track limits in focus as F1 makes Qatar debut

Track limits will be policed at five corners in Losail

Track limits are set to play a key role in this weekend’s Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix with officials keeping an eye on five locations.

The Losail circuit has never previously hosted Formula 1, the 5.380km circuit containing a number of sweeping, high-speed corners.

Of those, officials have identified five of the 16 where track limits will be policed.

They include the right handers of Turns 4, 12, 13, 14, and 16.

The latter four form much of the final sector, with a triple-apex sequence from Turns 12-14 vaguely reminiscent of Turn 8 at Istanbul Park in Turkey (albeit in the opposite direction).

Turn 16 is the final corner, while Turn 4 is the first part of a double-right hander to end the opening third of the lap.

Drivers judged to have exceeded track limits at any of those locations during practice or qualifying will have their time deleted.

In race conditions, after three transgressions at any location the driver will be referred to the stewards.

Other notable points this weekend is the presence of just a single DRS zone, extending down the front straight, the activation point for which comes on approach to the final corner.

Pirelli has brought with it the C1, C2, and C3 compound tyres, the hardest in its range, with the intermediate and wet rubber not expected to be used at all owing to stable conditions.

That will see a top of 28 degrees on both Friday and Saturday, and 29 on Sunday, though blustery conditions will complicate matters for drivers on track.

Track running in Losail begins with Free Practice 1, the first of three 60-minute hit-outs ahead of qualifying, from 21:30 AEDT on Friday night.

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