New track limits solution being trialled at Qatar after huge Lusail renovations

Jamie Woodhouse
Lusail International Circuit main straight, Qatar.

The main straight at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar.

Unique concrete slabs will reportedly be trialled at the Qatar Grand Prix to discourage drivers from abusing track limits.

Track limits has been a tricky subject for some time now in the world of Formula 1 as circuits increasingly move away from gravel traps as the solution to ensure drivers respect the boundaries of the circuit.

And we are set to see a new initiative for track limits debut at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Qatar’s “concrete” solution to track limits

The 2023 Qatar Grand Prix marks the first of a 10-year deal for the event on the Formula 1 calendar, and since the series’ first visit in 2021, the Lusail International Circuit has undergone a major makeover to get it fit for hosting Formula 1 action long-term.

And as per, half-and-half concrete blocks have been put in place at the venue as a way of policing track limits.

The report says these blocks, measuring one and a half meters by two meters, have been installed behind the kerbs at key corners where track limits would be most expected to be abused.

While one surface of these moveable blocks will be smooth, the other side will be rough thanks to solidified gravel, meaning the thought is drivers will be discouraged from going over them. recommends

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It is said the innovation came about after a clash of opinion between Formula 1’s governing body the FIA and the FIM, the governing body of MotoGP, both series visitors to the Lusail International Circuit in their respective seasons.

The FIA apparently pushed for gravel traps completely covering the run-off areas, while the FIM wanted asphalt strips in front of the gravel, with the circuit opting to go down the FIM’s route and this compromise for Formula 1.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix in 2021, though Red Bull’s runaway Championship leader Max Verstappen heads into the 2023 staging as the overwhelming favourite for victory, following his dominant statement win last time out in Japan.

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