An extra kerb at Turn 4 would put an end to the confusion that marred the Bahrain Grand Prix, says Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Formula 1 had an epic start to the season as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel in the final few laps of Sunday night’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Verstappen, having started on pole position but left chasing Hamilton, made his move at Turn 4 only to run wide, which was legal, and pass the Brit while doing so, which wasn’t legal.
Verstappen gave the position back to Hamilton who took the win by 0.7s ahead of the Red Bull driver.
That wasn’t the only issue with Turn 4 with Hamilton running wide 29 times in the opening half of the grand prix only to be informed by Mercedes that the stewards has warned him against doing so. Even though Race Control’s notes said they would not be policing the Turn 4 limits during the grand prix.
The Brit was confused.
“It was very confusing,” said the race winner. “Most tracks we’re not allowed to put four wheels outside the white line but this weekend on that particular corner we weren’t allowed to on Friday.
“In actual fact, you could go two wheels outside the line but you can’t go past the blue and white kerb, but in the race you can, and that is what had been written so going into the race then you can.
“You’re not allowed to overtake off track but halfway through the race, they basically changed their minds and all of a sudden you’re not allowed to go outside that white line, which is fine for me.”
And he wasn’t the only one with Toto Wolff saying the rules should be “sacred, not a Shakespeare novel” while Red Bull’s Christian Horner says it was a case of “shades of grey” in the race.
The chief executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, has a simple solution, lay a kerb down and then no one will run wide.
Here is the sequence between Verstappen/Hamilton at Turn 4. Should Verstappen have kept P1? Did Hamilton squeeze Max off the track? Was the FIA not clear enough on track limits rules? You be the judge! #BahrainGP 🇧🇭 pic.twitter.com/NYa0DAUieJ
— BackMarkers F1 Show (@TBMF1Show) March 28, 2021
“As a venue, obviously we follow the homologation of the FIA and what they need,” he explained to RaceFans.net.
“You can add an extra kerb in [Turn] Four, we have the the red and white kerbs.
“The idea is obviously to keep them on the track and what can you do so that there’s no advantage going out.
“So the idea is to work with the FIA and maybe extending the kerbs a bit like having a double layer or something that could limit that.
“As long as there’s no advantage, then people won’t use it.”