Corner cutters beware: New barrier introduced at key Canadian GP run-off spot

Henry Valantine
Canadian GP Turns 1 and 2. June 2023.

A view of Turns 1 and 2 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Montreal June 2023.

A new barrier has been put in place at the run-off of Turns 1 and 2 for the Canadian GP, which will stop the drivers from being tempted to cut the opening part of the lap if they lock up.

It has not been an uncommon sight in years gone by at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for those who lock a brake and run deep into the left-hander of Turn 1, which then loops back on itself through Turn 2 and onto a short straight before Turn 3, for some drivers to cut Turn 2 altogether and rejoin the track.

On the first lap of the race, when Turns 1 and 2 also get congested, it’s also not unusual to see drivers take to the run-off and slot back into the order from there.

But now, a new barrier has been installed where the asphalt run-off meets the exit of Turn 2 for this year’s Canadian GP, in an attempt to curb the drivers from doing so this time around.

As a result, anyone who runs too deep into Turn 1 will either have to use the asphalt run-off to turn back and come back on track to take Turn 2 as intended, or cut to join the track by cutting across the grass verge.

Formula 1 technical expert Albert Fabrega shared a close-up picture of the new barrier when taking in a track walk on Thursday, which shows the barrier covering all the asphalt in the run-off area between Turns 1 and 2. recommends

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This change will halt the possibility of a driver skidding across the track on the exit of Turn 2 if contact occurs and they cannot slow down, heavily decreasing the likelihood of a car being side-swiped, though drivers may also point to safety concerns of having to turn sharply to get back on track if they run off the road to rejoin the circuit.