Track restrictions were a recurring theme during the Qatar Grand Prix weekend and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said a solution had to be found quickly.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has warned that venues such as Austria and Qatar could be removed from the Formula 1 schedule if a solution to border violations is not found. During last weekend’s race weekend in Qatar, track limits were one of the main talking points of the event.
Drivers had their lap times off all weekend and Oscar Piastri learned in an interview at Parc fermé after reporting that the effort that took him to third was lost, dropping him to sixth. A number of drivers received five-second penalties for violating track restrictions during the race, with Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly receiving a combined 15 seconds.
Lane violations were so frequent at that season’s race in Austria that the judges were unable to deal with the sheer number of violations and the final classification was made several hours after the Grand Prix had ended.
Ben Sulayem stressed that venues could lose F1 slots in the future if a solution is not found quickly. “We had the same problem in Austria [as in Qatar], it was 1,200 [crimes],” Ben Sulayem told selected media, including RacingNews365.com. “I have to salute the managers for spotting this. But is this the solution? No. “The solution is to fix the track itself. I know some people are against it, but frankly, if they don’t, there’s no competition. It’s that simple. We can’t afford it.” “Listen to the leaders” Ben Sulayem insisted that F1 must listen to drivers and make improvements based on their feedback.
I recognize the restrictions are a problem,” he said. “We have to work on a solution. “One of the solutions is to make it slippery when they get out because no one can stop the drivers except the drivers themselves. “And then there’s the [bank] height. Will it hurt the cars? Or maybe it’s possible to put gravel, but we have to be very careful with the gravel.
“How deep is the gravel? Because you don’t want somebody to get stuck. And how big is the gravel? Because you don’t want the car to be damaged. “But I think now it’s not about, ‘Oh, shall we will do this? We have to do it and we have to listen mainly to the drivers, their reactions. The FIA president added: “It has to be introduced next year, we can’t afford [to continue it], especially where we see it all the time. “When you’re a leader, you naturally want to seize the opportunity.
That’s the nature, you want to be faster and you want to push [the limits]. “But we don’t want the limitation to stop it, so it’s about destruction or safety . We want drivers to be convinced that ‘if I go there, I might lose time’ and then you leave it to him.”