Drivers forced FIA into track limit changes ahead of Imola qualifying
McLaren driver Lando Norris has revealed the change to the stringency of Imola's track limit regulations between practice and qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was a decision taken by the drivers.
As in Portimão for last weekend's Portuguese GP, the white painted line that runs along the track edge had been identified as the track-limit indicator, with 60 laps deleted during practice.
Ahead of qualifying, however, the race director's notes were updated to expand the track boundaries at the Variante Alta and Rivazza, with the painted Italian flag preceding the rumble strips denoting the new limits.
When asked if it was frustrating for drivers to have such directives changed over the course of a weekend, Norris revealed: "Well, it was our decision.
"We were the ones that asked for it. It is difficult. The only reason it changed is because there was a lot of people going off where they changed it - so exit of [turn] 13 and [turn] 15.
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"Just basically, constantly, every single lap everyone was doing it which is why they allowed it to open up, whereas turn nine was like...I think me and maybe one or two other people did it like a couple of times and it wasn't the whole grid.
"So that one, they were able to see as normal and use the white line because that is what we were able to stick to.
"But the other ones, just with how the cars go through the corners and the flow of it, everyone was just going off all the time so that is why they changed it.
"But it was us who wanted that and us that made the decision and that is why we got it."
At Portimão, Racing Point's Lance Stroll and Romain Grosjean of Haas were handed black-and-white warning flags to warn them of their driving standards regarding track limits, before being handed time penalties as they continued to flout the rules.
Norris, who lines up ninth on the grid directly ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz, expects track limits abuse to be an ongoing factor during the race at Imola.
Continuing the narrative in calling for an increase in gravel at circuits, Norris added: "The thing is, some of the corners here are really good.
"The exit of the last corner and the exit of turn six - it is just gravel, so there is just no chance to run off. You have an exit kerb and you have gravel. I have gone off already, a couple of times, just dipping a wheel in the gravel and that is punishing enough.
"Then you have some... turn nine being the biggest example where you can run off but I don't know. It has to change all the time for what motorbikes are allowed and what we are allowed.
"It has to please both parties. So ideally, we would have it so it was like the exit of the last corner, so if we go off, we go off and it is kind of game over. But that is the way it is.
"There is probably going to be a lot of warnings - I don't know about penalties - but there will be a lot of warnings tomorrow."
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