The limits of the track remain a rule often mentioned during circuit competitions, sometimes with the desire to go to the end of the possibilities with the regulations for teams and drivers.
The last Bahrain Grand Prix did not deviate from the rule with a turn 4 which largely decided the fate of the event. Back on the heels of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Max Verstappen (Red Bull) used every inch possible on the Sakhir track, crossing the race line to gain the advantage over the Briton’s W12.
Forced to surrender his position, the Dutchman will never be able to reverse the world champion. The latter had however regularly exceeded the limits of the track on this famous turn 4 in the race, before being called to order by the race management, with the possibility of being inflicted with a black and white flag.
Special situation since during qualifying, such liberties with the race line in this area quickly meant the cancellation of the lap times. Hence Toto Wolff’s questioning on this subject.
« The rules must be clear, sacred and not a Shakespeare novel that leaves room for interpretation, wishes the Mercedes Team Principal. We need to be consistent in the way messages are delivered …
We must remember from this that this parameter must be simple, so that everyone can understand it without having the document in the car to remember what is really allowed and what is not.
At the start of the race it was said that the track limits at Turn 4 would not be penalized. And then we suddenly heard that if we kept going wide it would be considered an advantage and could result in a penalty.
What we discussed with the clerk of the course but there was nothing to be done. In the end, this decision made us win the race. Max came out wide in the definition of the race director, taking an advantage. “
One of the recurring defects of asphalt clearances implemented for several years, and which we find in many championships today.
Discover the full report and analysis of the Bahrain Grand Prix, produced by our special correspondent in Sakhir, in AUTO # 2305weekly, available now in digital version and on newsstands.