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Track limit madness [merged]


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Poll: Track limit madness (607 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you think the track limit handling is a problem?

  1. Yes (486 votes [80.07%])

    Percentage of vote: 80.07%

  2. No (121 votes [19.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.93%

If it is a problem, how could it be solved?

  1. Electronic sensors and an exact amount of allowed incidents (167 votes [27.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.51%

  2. As long as they do not cut, there should be no repercussions (122 votes [20.10%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.10%

  3. They way they handled it now is ok (71 votes [11.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.70%

  4. Other (247 votes [40.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.69%

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#1 ardbeg

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 22:57

I have been following F3 this season and while it was a bit amusing when basically the whole field had a Stop&Go because the had not shown the proper respect for the track limits, it is now becoming tiresome. I guess the worst is that the decisions to give out penalties are so random, I doubt that they check each car the whole race so while one driver might get away with 10 off track excursions, the next one might have to make a drive through after 5.

 

In F1, last at Silverstone, we heard Alonso and Vettel concentrating harder on checking if the other was driving outside the lines than of their own driving and then report any offense to their pitwalls in high pitched voices. Reminded me of football players that first fall flat on their face after someone touched their shoulder and in the next sequence the same player put a leg out to trip someone and runs to the referee and scream "I did nothing" in a very animated state.

 

What are your thoughts? Change the tracks so off track is never beneficial? Install electronics that automatically detects when the car is outside? Let them drive as they want as long as they don't cut? The last option worked for almost a hundred years. Are there other solutions? Should there be a defined amount of "off track" before a penalty is given and should we get a display of how many each driver have? That could make it somewhat exciting I guess, like in Indycar where you know that Driver A has 4 push to pass left, while the driver he is chasing have only one.

As I see it, it can not go on as it is now.



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#2 Risil

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 23:15

The only real solution would be to define the track as the paved bit. And then make sure only the track is paved.

 

I understand that building runoff areas out of tarmac was well-meaning and has safety benefits, and I totally accepted it as The Right Thing To Do at the time. But it's hard to get excited about ugly grey circuits where drivers can miss sections of track at will and make the most lurid mistakes without penalty.


Edited by Risil, 12 July 2014 - 23:22.


#3 redreni

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 23:16

Electronic sensors are used in V8 Supercars. They're not reliable. I would favour human judges of fact that keep track of the number of track limits violations because they would be more reliable.

 

We saw at Silverstone that Whiting does see fit to issue verbal warnings and show warning flags for repeatedly leaving the track, and it is an absolute nonsense to do that if you don't have a reliable way of keeping track of how many times each car has exceeded the track limits. That's why the decisions are inconsistent and the drivers are resorting to using the team radio to barrack Whiting.

 

In V8 Supercars they also have a defined number of "kerb hops" that each car can get away with, and drivers will save these up and use them strategically to try to get a run on an opponent or to defend their position. That's also entirely wrong, because whilst it's okay to tott up the minor infringements and warn and eventually penalise systematic abuse of track limits, that doesn't alter the fact that if you gain an advantage in terms of track position, that advantage has to be given back promptly and, if it isn't, a penalty should follow regardless of whether there have been any previous infractions..



#4 Anderis

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 23:20

The solution is: make sure that each time you leave the track you'll lose enough grip to prevent you gaining time from such move.

 

I know tarmac run-offs are perhaps the best from safety point of view, but you can always put a thin strip of a surface that contains less grip between the track and run-off, so gaining time will be practically impossible.



#5 Seano

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 23:33

Drivers are consistently abusing this well intentioned safety feature to gain an advantage. Look at Kimi at Silverstone or Nico in Canada. OK Kimi came a cropper because he kept his toe in and paid a heavy price. But so did the fans and TV audience.

 

I wonder if we could modify driver behaviour by making it impossible to get back on without either damaging your car or slowing right down before rejoining the circuit. That way drivers would have a safety feature that they didn't want to ever use.

 

Seano



#6 DS27

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 23:37

Biggest problem in racing full stop as far as I am concerned, but I am much more concerned about the effect it is having on club racing than I am on how it effects F1.

#7 R Soul

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 00:35

I thought the kerbs were first used to protect the edge of the track and discourage cutting by being steep, but for motorbike riders the kerbs became flatter (e.g. Monza 1996). But the sport kept going soft on them by surrounding the flat kerbs with concrete and finally tarmac runoffs. If we must continue to have tarmac runoffs, a compromise could be to have a narrow strip of gravel around the edges of the track. Drivers would get dirt on their tyres but would be not go into a barrier.


Edited by R Soul, 13 July 2014 - 00:38.


#8 4MEN

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 00:50

Electronic sensors? It's not rocket science. Put something in the track limits than punishes the drivers' butts.

001_small.jpg



#9 ardbeg

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 00:51

a compromise could be to have a narrow strip of gravel around the edges of the track. Drivers would get dirt on their tyres but would be not go into a barrier.

Problem with gravel is that, even if you get gravel on your own tire, you might be able to use it strategically by throwing up gravel for those behind. Your tires will be cleaned on the weak bends after and the guys behind will clean up the dust you spread before you come round the next time.



#10 Afterburner

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:08

The only real solution would be to define the track as the paved bit. And then make sure only the track is paved.

Exactly. As long as you have tarmac runoffs you invite a 'who can cheat best' contest in which the only losers are the fans. The FIA, in their infinite wisdom, will refuse to accept this and continue to assume that it's actually possible for human assessment of track limits to be wholly objective, accurate, and good for the sport. Goes back to the Jean Balestre 'the best decision is my decision' days, I guess.

Funny how things like this are generally not an issue at places like Suzuka. You don't need some FIA bureaucrat to negate any advantage you may gain by going beyond track limits in the esses: the laws of physics do it for you by sending your car sailing into the barriers. Instant karma--how about that?

#11 chipmcdonald

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:13

The solution is: make sure that each time you leave the track you'll lose enough grip to prevent you gaining time from such move.

 

I know tarmac run-offs are perhaps the best from safety point of view, but you can always put a thin strip of a surface that contains less grip between the track and run-off, so gaining time will be practically impossible.

 

This seems a reasonably easy option to execute?

 

A 2 meter wide painted band should work?  We know the areas in question at each track, right?

 

For that matter, painted areas in braking zones and turns could make more than one line through a turn, but I digress...

 

Or merely some flexible bollards, not stiff enough to prevent an out of control car from passing through but enough to take off barge boards, cut tires.  Or a flexible "wall", or even a shallow barrier - just because you have a lot of run off doesn't mean you can't delineate the outside edge of the corner. 

.



#12 turssi

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:28

Yeah paint and some sprinklers to wet that paint. Even Bernie would be happy!

#13 travbrad

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:35

Gravel and curbs that aren't just flat extensions of the track, problem solved.

 

 

I understand that building runoff areas out of tarmac was well-meaning and has safety benefits, and I totally accepted it as The Right Thing To Do at the time. But it's hard to get excited about ugly grey circuits where drivers can miss sections of track at will and make the most lurid mistakes without penalty.

 

 

There are also occasions where the tarmac runoff is actually more dangerous though, as evidenced by Kimi's crash at the last race.  Drivers who go off in the gravel wouldn't be coming back onto the track at such high speeds, if they got out of the gravel at all.  Gravel slows down an out of control car faster than tarmac does.

 

The sole reason for using tarmac is that it's less likely to flip the cars than gravel, but that is always a risk in open-wheel racing no matter what you do.  I've watched a lot of old races and flipping in the gravel trap was really rare anyway, less common than flips caused by wheel-to-wheel contact.  It's usually the big single impacts that are most dangerous anyway, not rolls/flips where the energy is dissipated more slowly.


Edited by travbrad, 13 July 2014 - 02:54.


#14 Knot

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:50

Blowout strips. Retain the safety of tarmac runoff with 100% compliance from the drivers.



#15 Murl

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:35

Blowout strips. Retain the safety of tarmac runoff with 100% compliance from the drivers.

You mean spikes?

 

Yes.

 

They would respect the borders of the track all of a sudden.



#16 pdac

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:17

Just DSQ if you leave the track. Simple. If one driver forces another off the track then the drivers will sort it out themselves and also a report to the steward could result in a DSQ and a ban. It might be harsh at first, but most drivers will work within these rules after a short while.



#17 Peter Perfect

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:16

Sausage kerbs

 

(and not kerb sausages, which are different but may have the same effect)



#18 Bloggsworth

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:27

Bring back narrow kerbs with a metre or two of slippery grass the other side, that would stop it, then it wouldn't matter if there was tarmac outside that; two loaded wheels on grass would be sufficient deterrent..



#19 Seanspeed

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:25

Ha. I was just watching some of the F3 Euro races myself.

Its become an absolute joke with the constant warnings/penalties and its pretty damning proof that *lack* of warnings/penalties in F1 are not the cause of this supposed 'problem'. Its not the drivers trying to cheat or take advantage, its just in the nature of driving quickly and the track design.

People that think that harsher enforcement in F1 will solve this are wrong. It will just ruin the racing.

I personally don't see that this is a problem. Its not hurting anything. Let them race. Only give out a penalty if there is a driver who is clearly taking the mick on a regular basis.

Edited by Seanspeed, 13 July 2014 - 10:28.


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#20 ExFlagMan

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:09

Ha. I was just watching some of the F3 Euro races myself.

Its become an absolute joke with the constant warnings/penalties and its pretty damning proof that *lack* of warnings/penalties in F1 are not the cause of this supposed 'problem'. Its not the drivers trying to cheat or take advantage, its just in the nature of driving quickly and the track design.

People that think that harsher enforcement in F1 will solve this are wrong. It will just ruin the racing.

I personally don't see that this is a problem. Its not hurting anything. Let them race. Only give out a penalty if there is a driver who is clearly taking the mick on a regular basis.

I guess that is most of the grid then.

#21 DrProzac

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:53

For me it;s not a huge problem. Let them race, let them extend track limits. Whining about it (especially by drivers) is annoying.

 

But as others said, just redesign the tracks in such a way, that it will punish drivers for excessive corner cutting etc. In a safe way, of course. If you go off too much or take a very wide line, you loose time or risk a spin, getting stuck in a gravel trap etc. Just don't overdo, because it will hamper fights in the corners.

 

Virtual limits aren't good, because drivers will push them and TBH I can't blame them for it.


Edited by DrProzac, 13 July 2014 - 11:54.


#22 Hans V

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 13:53

Graveltraps and concrete walls.

#23 Roscoe

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 14:02

I don't see why it should have to come to walls and gravel.

 

Just about every single sport has a designated playing area and it is adhered to, I have no idea why motorsport is different.  It's not just the fault of run offs, it's because for some reason they seem incapable of controlling themselves..  I would just go for a completely militant approach.  If you're fully over the line, you're out of the track limit, it doesn't matter if it's an inch or a mile.  If it takes a few races of every single one of them getting multiple penalties for them to learn then so be it.



#24 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 14:03

It's the FIA's own damn fault when they removed gravel traps and replaced it with run off areas and astro turf areas next to the curbs.

 

So best, and only, solution for this is to go back to gravel traps like in the early 2000's.



#25 Seanspeed

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 14:11

I guess that is most of the grid then.

No, its not. Read my post again.

#26 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 14:29

This has been discussed in another thread recently. Clearly it's far more satisfactory to design the tracks to prevent people from gaining an advantage than officials having to make subjective decisions as what counts as too much. The track should be able to regulate the drivers.

Having said that, it's only recently that going wide was ever deemed to be a problem. That's partly due to track design (e.g. tarmac run-offs), but when drivers decided to start going wide at La Source at Spa (e.g. Mansell in 1989), nothing was really said. Arguably you could say that as long as drivers aren't gaining time by cutting the inside of a corner, then it doesn't really matter. Let them go wide. It least it's the same for everyone. By the way, I don't actually think this is the most satisfactory solution. I think they should design tracks properly and the FIA need to take some responsibility - basically this is whole thing is their fault.

#27 ardbeg

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:08

The kerbs nowadays is extremely wide, you often get the entire car there. I don't know why they decided to do it like that. If the kerbs was just 50 cm wide and had a "cliff" at the end, 10 cm maybe, then it would hurt when they try to get back on track. The floor would hit it too. Maybe that would help. It would not hurt the bikers either.

 

Anyone knows the reason for the wide kerbs? Or is it curbs?

Something like this on the outside would make them hesitate to go wide...

 

macau-gp-2008-formula-3-and-kerbs.jpg

 

 

This does not

RTEmagicC_140039aut.jpg.jpg


Edited by ardbeg, 13 July 2014 - 17:21.


#28 ExFlagMan

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:25

No, its not. Read my post again.

How do you know they are not all doing it on a regular basis? - we only see a few shots of a few corners during any race, not what liberties are being taken by the other drivers at each corner.

Edited by ExFlagMan, 13 July 2014 - 18:24.


#29 sabjit

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:36

SOLUTION:

 

The astro turf strip which often bridges the gap between the track and the tarmac runoff should be filled with water at the beginning of each session. Run wide, fine. You lose time and risk losing control of the car. If you have an incident, should cause no problem.



#30 BRG

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:36

Just about every single sport has a designated playing area and it is adhered to, I have no idea why motorsport is different.  It's not just the fault of run offs, it's because for some reason they seem incapable of controlling themselves..  I would just go for a completely militant approach.  If you're fully over the line, you're out of the track limit, it doesn't matter if it's an inch or a mile.  If it takes a few races of every single one of them getting multiple penalties for them to learn then so be it.

Exactly.  This is a non-problem.  All it needs is the will on the part of the race organisers.  There is an observer at every marshal post (at least there is in the UK and probably there is in most countries).  The observers note the drivers who cheat on track limits and report them to race control.  Who then DQs them.  End of problem.



#31 ardbeg

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:49

Exactly.  This is a non-problem.  All it needs is the will on the part of the race organisers.  There is an observer at every marshal post (at least there is in the UK and probably there is in most countries).  The observers note the drivers who cheat on track limits and report them to race control.  Who then DQs them.  End of problem.

Yes, but I'd suggest that both we and the drivers should know exactly how many times they can go over before DQ, and the current count. It could bring an extra dimension to know a certain driver will be DQ'ed at the next offence while the chaser has 5 left.



#32 BRG

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:55

Yes, but I'd suggest that both we and the drivers should know exactly how many times they can go over before DQ, and the current count. It could bring an extra dimension to know a certain driver will be DQ'ed at the next offence while the chaser has 5 left.

Zero tolerance. First offence - DQ.  No second offence.



#33 sabjit

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:59

I'm against the military style approach of if you leave the track, you die.

 

There needs to be ways of allowing for occasional mistakes which do not gain the driver any time.

Hence why I push for making the run off areas wet.



#34 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:03

Yes, but I'd suggest that both we and the drivers should know exactly how many times they can go over before DQ, and the current count. It could bring an extra dimension to know a certain driver will be DQ'ed at the next offence while the chaser has 5 left.

But this just becomes a nonsense. If you have say five allowed offences, you could save them up until the end of the race and have free reign for the last five laps on your preferred corner.

This is a problem, and it would be solved by the FIA designing tracks properly, and if gravel is deemed too extreme, then there are other solutions such as filling astroturf with water mentioned above, or just having a strip of a very low grip surface outside the track before the main run-off.

Also, if we're literally taking the white line to be the edge of the track, then really the car should stay entirely within it. The whole thing about having to have one molecule of your tyre on the track is completely ridiculous. If a track is defined by walls or the edge of a cliff, you couldn't get away with that, for example. That's a bit of a side-issue though, but I'm surprised that even the most militant don't seem to care if 95% of the car is off the track.

#35 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:06

I'm against the military style approach of if you leave the track, you die.
 
There needs to be ways of allowing for occasional mistakes which do not gain the driver any time.
Hence why I push for making the run off areas wet.

Exactly. Going wide used to be a problem for a driver causing them to lose time. Ten years ago, no-one would have ever suggested that it was something that needed to be policed. It's only because if the current design of tracks that going off wide is deemed "cheating". That's what's ridiculous.

#36 Hans V

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:08

Why make track limits a judgement problem? Just make sure that the drivers get punished on the track by not staying within the track limits. Gravel used to do that job just fine. Don't know why they stopped using graveltraps, but I'm sure Herman Tilke has something to do with it. And possibly Sam Micahel. ;) Champions wall in Montreal is another example of punishing the ones who cannot keep within track limits.

#37 BRG

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:14

Gravel used to do that job just fine. Don't know why they stopped using graveltraps, but I'm sure Herman Tilke has something to do with it. 

Car in gravel trap = 10 laps behind safety car.  



#38 ardbeg

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:20

But this just becomes a nonsense. If you have say five allowed offences, you could save them up until the end of the race and have free reign for the last five laps on your preferred corner.

 

Not more nonsensical than if you suddenly get the DQ "out of the blue". At least for us viewers. Which one of Alonso and Vettel should have gotten the DQ at Silverstone? None? Both? As a spectator, you do not appreciate when penalties appear to happen at random.



#39 ardbeg

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:22

Why make track limits a judgement problem?

Mainly because rebuilding all tracks would drain the already strained track owners.



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#40 MAMBA

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:24

I agree with gravel. The driver will lose a lot of time by going wide and gravel does not really hold a danger to the car if it runs wide ( just keep the car from becoming stuck). They should still allow run-off areas where it is deemed a safety (just after a hard breaking turn etc.) issue to have a gravel trap but design the run-off areas in such a way that they do not give the driver any benefit from using them.

 

MAMBA



#41 ExFlagMan

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:33

But this just becomes a nonsense. If you have say five allowed offences, you could save them up until the end of the race and have free reign for the last five laps on your preferred corner.

As one well known BTCC offender stated in a post race interview after they tightened the track limits rule this year - 'I had saved up a track limit violation for the last lap!'

Rather than DQ why not just disable the drivers KERS/ERS usage for a lap after a violation - I bet they would soon learn to stray less.

#42 paulogman

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:35

Just make the area off line extremely slippery. Maybe only a foot wide. So going offline is a penalty in itself.

#43 Maustinsj

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:40

Anyone knows the reason for the wide kerbs? Or is it curbs?

 

Kerbs if you speak English.

 

Curbs if you're American.

 

In English, curb is a verb. Kerb is a noun.

 

The reason for wide ones? Who knows...

 

2 different languages  :cool:


Edited by Maustinsj, 13 July 2014 - 18:41.


#44 BRG

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:41

Not more nonsensical than if you suddenly get the DQ "out of the blue". At least for us viewers. Which one of Alonso and Vettel should have gotten the DQ at Silverstone? None? Both? As a spectator, you do not appreciate when penalties appear to happen at random.

It wouldn't be 'out of the blue' if everyone knew it was a DQ offence.  We all know that jumping the start is a punishable offence, or exceeding the pitlane limit, so why should this be any different.  As for Silverstone, the first to break the rule gets DQ.  If the other doesn't do it, he is safe.  Nothing random, entirely consistent and the same for everyone.

 

There would be pandemonium for one race, then the problem would become history once they all understood that there was zero tolerance.  



#45 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:45

Not more nonsensical than if you suddenly get the DQ "out of the blue". At least for us viewers. Which one of Alonso and Vettel should have gotten the DQ at Silverstone? None? Both? As a spectator, you do not appreciate when penalties appear to happen at random.

But these aren't the only two options. You could argue that the allowance is better than a straight disqualification, but designing track run-offs properly is the real solution.

As for the expense, they make changes to tracks all the time to keep them up to date. Just implementing what loads of people have said - a strip of a low-grip surface running adjacent to the track - wouldn't be that expensive and it would completely wipe out the problem of running wide. It wouldn't solve cutting chicanes though of course.

#46 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:49

It wouldn't be 'out of the blue' if everyone knew it was a DQ offence.  We all know that jumping the start is a punishable offence, or exceeding the pitlane limit, so why should this be any different.  As for Silverstone, the first to break the rule gets DQ.  If the other doesn't do it, he is safe.  Nothing random, entirely consistent and the same for everyone.
 
There would be pandemonium for one race, then the problem would become history once they all understood that there was zero tolerance.

I'd like to see the time half the field was disqualified for running wide at the first corner to avoid the first corner accident. And as soon as you start allowing ad hoc exceptions, the whole thing becomes arbitrary and vague again.

#47 pdac

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 18:58

I'd like to see the time half the field was disqualified for running wide at the first corner to avoid the first corner accident. And as soon as you start allowing ad hoc exceptions, the whole thing becomes arbitrary and vague again.

It wont happen. The moment it's declared that you will be disqualified immediatey, very few, if any drivers will run over the limit and even the few that might will not do it the next race.



#48 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 19:54

It wont happen. The moment it's declared that you will be disqualified immediatey, very few, if any drivers will run over the limit and even the few that might will not do it the next race.

We'll have some pretty big collisions at the first corner then. And I think drivers would rather be disqualified by running wide than slam straight into the stationary car at turn 1.

Also, wet races will be pretty interesting. Any time anyone slides of the track, they'll be instantly out, regardless of whether they could have continued. The whole thing would be absurd and everyone watching would see it as absurd. And it's totally unnecessary anyway. I don't know why this is even being discussed.

#49 pdac

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 19:59

We'll have some pretty big collisions at the first corner then. And I think drivers would rather be disqualified by running wide than slam straight into the stationary car at turn 1.

Also, wet races will be pretty interesting. Any time anyone slides of the track, they'll be instantly out, regardless of whether they could have continued. The whole thing would be absurd and everyone watching would see it as absurd. And it's totally unnecessary anyway. I don't know why this is even being discussed.

 

So how do they manage to cope with barriers and walls then?



#50 jondon

jondon
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Posted 13 July 2014 - 20:31

Attach electrodes to every driver`s genitals which deliver a shock whenever the track limits are exceeded.

Problem solved.