Ranked: The best and worst-behaved F1 drivers on Austrian Grand Prix track limits

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez exceeding track limits. Austria, June 2023.

Sergio Perez exceeding track limits. Austria, June 2023.

The deleted track times have been released by the stewards but just who were the worst track limits offenders in the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix?

There was an anxious wait on Sunday night for some of the drivers as stewards announced they were looking into 1,200 incidents of possible track limits.

While the actual number of deleted laps was far fewer, it was still significant with the stewards scrubbing 83 laps out of the record books after the race had finished.

But who were the worst offenders? And who managed to keep it on track at all times?

Zero instances – George Russell and Zhou Guanyu

A hearty congratulations goes to both George Russell and Zhou Guanyu who managed to keep their car within the white lines for the entirety of the race, leaving the penalties for the rest of the grid to worry about.

In Russell’s case, it earned him another two points as he moved above team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

One instance – Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso

Race winner Max Verstappen went wide on just one occasion which was the same number as fellow double World Champion, Fernando Alonso.

Although the stewards said they were already investigating, it was Alonso’s Aston Martin team that shone a spotlight on the issue with a protest soon after the chequered flag. It worked in the end with the Spaniard moving up to P5 following Carlos Sainz’s penalties.

Two instances – Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas

Charles Leclerc keeps hold of his P2 finish with just two incidents next to his name. Valtteri Bottas went wide the same number of times on his way to P15.

Three instances – Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, Oscar Piastri and Nico Hulkenberg

Five drivers came just one slip away from a penalty including Sergio Perez who clearly had some work to do after his problems on Friday. Both of the McLaren boys narrowly avoided punishment as did Lance Stroll.

Nico Hulkenberg also recorded three, which is quite impressive considering he retired in the 14th lap.

Four instances (five-second penalty) – Kevin Magnussen

The first man on our list to get a penalty is Kevin Magnussen who went off the track on four occasions. Considering he finished last, we doubt he will be too fussed.

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Six instances (15-second penalty) – Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries

In their explanation of the penalties handed out, the FIA stated that after a driver had committed five offences, which brings an additional 10-second penalty, their slate is effectively wiped clean meaning the next set of penalties would come at nine instances.

That is good news for Lewis Hamilton, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries who each went wide on six occasions and as such had just 15 seconds added to their time. Two more incidents and that number would have risen to 20 seconds.

It is bad news for Sainz and Hamilton though who drop to P6 and P8 respectively.

Seven instances (15-second penalty) – Pierre Gasly

Now we are approaching the business end and we start with Pierre Gasly who came oh so close to a 20-second penalty but instead got away with just the 15 despite going off the track seven times.

He justified it by saying he did everything he could to stay with Alonso but the stewards clearly did not care for that reasoning.

Nine instances (20-second penalty) – Alex Albon and Yuki Tsunoda

Alex Albon and Yuki Tsunoda both committed the offence on nine occasions which handed them a 20-second penalty. Both drivers stayed in their position though.

10 instances (30-second penalty) – Esteban Ocon

But the winner of this unwanted title goes to Esteban Ocon who went off a staggering 10 times during the race. The stewards handed him a 30-second penalty which was just under half what it took Verstappen to set the fastest lap.

An impressive feat and one that was coupled with a five-second penalty for an unsafe release, taking the Frenchman up to 35 seconds in total penalties.