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The Race F1 Podcast

Austrian GP: Untangling track limits and Ferrari's turnaround

Sun Jul 02 2023
Formula OneAustrian Grand PrixTrack LimitsMax VerstappenRed BullFerrariMcLarenSafety ConcernsSpa


The episode covers the track limit issues faced during the Austrian Grand Prix, race highlights including Max Verstappen's dominant performance, strategic intrigue, and improvements by Ferrari and McLaren, as well as safety concerns at Spa. It also discusses potential solutions for track limits, driver performances, and future developments in Formula One.


Track Limit Issues

Track limit breaches were a major issue in the Austrian Grand Prix, with over 100 lap times deleted and significant changes to the top 10 positions. Drivers have difficulty seeing track limits due to visibility in current cars. Potential solutions include using gravel or grass instead of blue curbing. Enforcing a one-size-fits-all rule creates confusion and inconsistency.

Race Highlights

Max Verstappen dominated the race, while strategic intrigue surrounded the VSC incident involving UV-SANODO. Red Bull's decision not to pit under the VSC benefited Perez. Ferrari showed signs of improvement, McLaren's upgrade package performed well, and Mercedes struggled with balance issues. Haas scored points despite overall struggles. Safety concerns at Spa require a thorough investigation.


  1. Track Limit Issues
  2. Race Highlights

Track Limit Issues

00:02 - 13:14

  • The Austrian Grand Prix had many track limit breaches
  • Over 100 lap times were deleted in the race
  • Race control couldn't review all incidents during the race, resulting in penalties after the race finished
  • The revised results had significant changes to the top 10 positions
  • Only five drivers finished where they originally placed
  • Drivers have difficulty seeing track limits due to visibility in current cars
  • A potential solution could be using gravel or grass instead of blue curbing to prevent time gains
  • The cost impact of putting gravel traps down for Formula One and then tarmac for bikes prevents the circuit from implementing track limits.
  • Moving the gravel trap closer to the exit curb at Lesmo helped solve track limit issues in the past.
  • The sheer number of time penalties handed out for track limit violations felt excessive.
  • Max Verstappen's suggestion of having former drivers like Mark Webber police track limits is a sensible solution.
  • Enforcing a one-size-fits-all rule on every circuit using the white line as a track limit creates confusion and inconsistency.
  • Drivers need to take responsibility for allowing track limit violations to happen, especially in races where penalties are given.
  • The increase in penalties is due to more human resources available to monitor track limits, not an increase in violations by drivers.
  • A solution could be implementing natural track limits such as gravel traps or slippery tarmac strips that penalize drivers who go off-track but still allow them to recover safely.
  • Research is needed to ensure any new technology or solutions are safe and fair for all circuits.
  • Consistency is important, but there should be some flexibility with slightly more aggressive track limits depending on the type of circuit.
  • Finding a solution that works for both Formula One and MotoGP is possible while adhering to safety standards.

Race Highlights

06:44 - 59:38

  • Max Verstappen was in a class of his own in the race.
  • The VSC for the UV-SANODO incident created strategic intrigue.
  • Red Bull decided not to pit under the VSC, benefiting Perez who started from 15th place.
  • Ferrari showed signs of improvement and optimization of their Barcelona package.
  • They are still trying to consolidate themselves in second place behind Red Bull.
  • The flashpoint between the two Red Bull drivers on Saturday should have been a story, but they handled it well and downplayed it after the race.
  • Both drivers know it was not an incident worth making a fuss about.
  • Verstappen and Perez were not bothered by the incident during the sprint race.
  • Verstappen's move at turn three was a lunge, while his move at turn four was more calculated.
  • The championship battle between Verstappen and Hamilton added excitement to the race.
  • Aston Martin struggled with corner speed at the circuit.
  • Lance Stroll had a solid weekend, outqualifying Fernando Alonso in main qualifying.
  • Lance Stroll had a solid weekend, showing improvement and disproving recent criticism.
  • Aston Martin did not leave any points on the table by not pitting Stroll during the VSC as they lacked the pace to capitalize.
  • McLaren's upgrade package showed promise with Lando Norris finishing fourth in reality, signaling progress for the team.
  • Norris and McLaren were surprised by how good the upgrade performed at a track that suited their strengths.
  • McLaren had a strong argument for being the third quickest car this weekend.
  • The standout element of McLaren's performance was their race pace, which was a reversal of what has been seen this season.
  • McLaren still has more upgrades to come, with 75% of the package ready for Silverstone.
  • Mercedes struggled throughout the weekend with balance issues and oversteer problems.
  • Mercedes expected difficulties in slow corners but performed well in fast sections.
  • The format of the weekend may have affected Mercedes' performance.
  • Mercedes struggled with a deficit of slow corner rear end grip throughout the weekend
  • The format of the weekend limited their ability to find a better car setup
  • Lewis Hamilton described the car as slow and felt it was reminiscent of the past 18 months
  • The battle for second place between Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari is very close and track-sensitive
  • McLaren and Alpine could also join the fight for top positions
  • Williams had a mixed weekend, showing good pace but not getting any points
  • Alex Albon finished 11th in the race after making it to Q3 and holding seventh in the sprint
  • Williams regretted their decision to pit Albon during the race
  • Nico Hulkenberg performed well for Haas, finishing sixth in the sprint and setting fastest lap before retiring early in the Grand Prix
  • Haas struggled with tire wear issues throughout the weekend
  • Hulkenberg's performance earned Haas three points despite their overall struggles
  • Haas scored three points in the sprint race, despite a miserable overall performance.
  • Nico Hulkenberg's ability to switch tires quickly was praised by Aston Martin.
  • Haas is currently in seventh place in the championship, ahead of Alfa Romeo.
  • Sergio Perez is likely to stay with Red Bull next year, as he has a contract and has been performing well.
  • If Perez were to be replaced, Daniel Ricciardo could be a potential candidate.
  • The stewards have been lenient towards Max Verstappen when it comes to impeding other drivers.
  • There may be a change in the Red Bull driver's stable in the future, with Nick DeVries and Liam Lawson as contenders.
  • Verstappen has been accused of impeding other drivers, but it is argued that he is not treated differently by the stewards.
  • Changing the point system to award points to the top 15 finishes could better reflect the performance of cars at the back of the grid.
  • Logan Sergeant's performance for Williams is under scrutiny, but he still has potential to improve and keep his drive next season.
  • Mick Schumacher could be a potential replacement if needed.
  • Sergeant needs to string a few good weekends together to improve his performance in IndyCar.
  • Science's radio messages about intimidation from Perez were not about overtaking, but rather Perez's abnormal and aggressive driving.
  • Teams behind Red Bull are focusing on developing substantially different cars for next year's regulations.
  • The weather played a significant role in making the sprint race entertaining at Silverstone.
  • Alpha Tauri's next points are uncertain due to their struggles with low-speed corners, but they have a floor upgrade for Silverstone.
  • There will be a detailed investigation and review of the fatal accident at Spa before F1 returns there.
  • Changes may need to be made to the track layout at Eau Rouge/Raidillon to improve safety and containment.
  • Two fatal accidents have occurred at the circuit in recent years, resulting in unnecessary loss of life.
  • The corner combination at the circuit can lead to scenarios where a stationary car is hit head-on by other cars traveling at high speeds.
  • The speed of impact in these incidents is too high for the driver to survive.
  • The layout of the circuit, particularly Radion and Eau Rouge, is fundamentally linked to these safety concerns.
  • A thorough investigation by F.I. is necessary and should not be dismissed as an isolated incident.
  • Drivers have shown genuine concern for safety and expressed their thoughts on the matter.