Driver concern over ‘dangerous’ pit-lane exit

Date published: October 25 2020

Portimao

A tight pit-lane exit could cause a few incidents at Turn 1 during the Portuguese Grand Prix, with drivers expressing their concerns about the layout.

The pit-lane exit feeds back onto the straight before Turn 1, but the tight line that has caused means drivers exiting the pits are heading into Turn 1 much slower than those on the race track proper.

The FIA has tried to implement a short-term fix by angling the final part of the pit lane exit further to the left to help create a better angle going into Turn 1.

However, drivers are still predicting difficulties during Sunday’s race in Portugal.

“They’ve done the best they can moving that pit lane part of it,” Alex Albon when asked by Motorsport.com.

“But it’s still incredibly tight. So I understand why they’ve done that, if we’re too aggressive going into Turn One, because it’s blind, and we don’t want to hit the back of the car coming out.

“It’s going be really difficult. And I think it could be quite dangerous coming in to Turn One if a car comes out of the pit lane.”

Esteban Ocon also shared his concerns, adding: “The line has moved a little bit, which did help the entry of Turn One, but it is still mega tight.

“And if you are fighting with a car to come out of the pit lane, both side by side, it’s going to be quite hard basically to keep the spot and keep the position.

“You have to do so much of an angle compared to the cars running on the normal place that it could be tricky.”

Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, has said it is still “anything goes” in the Portuguese Grand Prix despite the short-term fix.

“We discussed the pit exit,” Ricciardo said.

“They did open the line a little bit to kind of help us merge a bit easier. But let’s say it’s a part time solution for now. It isn’t the nicest pit exit.

“Obviously, in the race anything goes, but in quali or practice, if you’re coming out of the pits, I think you need to let the guy come through. So obviously the guy on a lap shouldn’t have the job. But in the race, anything goes.”

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