Double Imola track limits warning for drivers

Date published: October 30 2020

Carlos Sainz, McLaren, in action at Mugello

FIA race director Michael Masi has warned drivers that their Imola lap times will be deleted if they abuse track limits at two specific corners.

The first area where track limits will be strictly enforced is at the exit of the left-hander of Piratella and then the Variante Alta chicane.

Formula 1 returns to Imola for the first time since 2006 this weekend to host the first ever Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though it will be a slightly different track that greets the drivers with the Variante Bassa chicane now no longer in use, meaning it’s a straight blast down to Turn 2, also known as Tamburello.

Motorsportweek.com quote the pre-event notes that were issues to the drivers by Masi on Friday morning.

“A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards,” they read.

“A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.

“On the third occasion of a driver failing to negotiate [Turns 9 and 15] by using the track during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards.

“For the avoidance of doubt this means a total of three occasions combined not three at each corner.”

Both Lance Stroll and Romain Grosjean know how track limits can bite after both were given five-second time penalties at the Portuguese Grand Prix for persistently breaching them.

Sadly this weekends’ Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be a closed event after new COVID-19 restrictions introduced in Italy forced the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari to abandon their plans for spectators.

That means that we have seen the final race of the season where fans will be in the grandstands. Turkish Grand Prix officials were also forced to deny fan access to the event.

Both races in Bahrain and the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are also all scheduled to be closed events.

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