Whiting prepared for exceptions to track limits rule
23 March 2014 – Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has conceded that some exceptions will be made to the rule regarding the abuse of track limits during races.
Exceeding track limits became an issue during 2013, with several drivers penalised for running all four wheels over the white line and being deemed to have gained an advantage. Whiting is aware that some corners require special treatment, but did not make explicit reference to specific places.
"Track limits have become a very emotive subject," said Whiting. "Fundamentally, a driver is required to use the track at all times. If any part of the car remains within the boundaries of the white lines, he is deemed to be using the track. If he has all four wheels over the white lines, he’s off the track.
"A driver is allowed to leave the track and rejoin without penalty, providing he does so safely and providing he does not gain an advantage. It is up to us to decide whether he has gained an advantage from being off track. Circuits are designed so that going off track should always be slower – or at least not faster."
Whiting revealed that a discussion was held with drivers at the first test in Jerez and the outcome was that each circuit will be dealt with on a race-by-race basis.
"My view is that if you have two wheels on a bumpy kerb and two on artificial grass, that is not faster," he said.
"Not everybody shares that view but it is held by the majority. In Jerez, we held a meeting with the drivers to discuss the matter. They agreed with the general point of view but argued that there are certain corners on certain circuits that require special treatment. Therefore we will treat each circuit individually rather than making a blanket ruling."