Red Bull Ring to work with the FIA on track limits solution
By Ian Parkes
Tuesday 4th July, 2023 - 7:30am
Red Bull Ring bosses have vowed to work with the FIA on finding “a joint way forward” following the track limits furore that occurred over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
The sprint event weekend was reduced to a farce and left F1 looking “a little bit amateurish”, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
There were a staggering 83 deleted laps during Sunday’s grand prix after race control had sifted through 1200 possible infringements over the 71 laps that eventually came to light.
Numerous time penalties were awarded, some applied post-race which led to a belated reshuffle of the classification, notably affecting Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes as the duo slipped down the order in the top 10.
Before confirmation of the final classification had come through, the FIA had pointedly made clear in a statement what it now expects of Red Bull Ring general manager Erich Wolf and his team.
Motorsport’s governing body has renewed its recommendation to the circuit “to add a gravel trap at the exit of turns 9 and 10”, the corners where the overwhelming majority of the offences took place.
The FIA used the word ‘renew’ bearing in mind former race director Michael Masi and current incumbent Niels Wittich have both, in the past, suggested steps be taken to avoid the kind of situation that reoccurred at the track over the weekend.
The FIA is mindful of the fact that its gravel trap proposal is “not a straightforward solution in relation to other series that race” at the venue, notably MotoGP.
Whilst such a deterrent would work in F1, given the speed carried through the two offending corners, safety would be compromised in MotoGP.
Wolf declined to speak to Speedcafe when contacted, leaving a circuit official to simply state: “The Red Bull Ring is in constant contact with the FIA and we will evaluate together on a joint way forward.”
It now remains to be seen what steps – if any – will be taken over the coming 12 months ahead of next year’s race given the circuit has twice previously ignored the FIA’s recommendation.