Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has emplored Formula 1 to remove the "shades of grey" surrounding the track limits regulations after the confusion of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
As defined by article 27.3 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations, "for the avoidance of any doubt" the "white lines" mark the limit of the track.
However, the grey areas began to emerge when FIA race director Michael Masi wrote in his event notes that during the race: "the track limits at the exit of turn four will not be monitored with regard to setting a lap time, as the defining limits are the artificial grass and the gravel trap in that location".
During the race, Lewis Hamilton ran wide at turn four 29 times without penalty with Red Bull later instructing Max Verstappen to use the runoff to minimise time lost to the Mercedes driver.
"I think, with these track limits they’re always going to be contentious but we always just need a consistent situation," said Horner. "They should be black or white, they shouldn’t be shades of grey."
He added: "It was frustrating. We could see that as soon as Mercedes started to push they just used that part of the track. We questioned race control. In a tough battle, there’s a two-tenth advantage using that part of the circuit. They did it lap after lap.
"The race director then asked them to respect the limits otherwise they’d then get a black and white flag."
In the closing stages in Bahrain, Verstappen managed to pass Hamilton for the lead but, as the move had been completed off the track by running wide at turn four, the Dutchman was instructed to hand back the position.
"We had an instruction from the race director to give the place back immediately," he said. "Max was very sporting and did that.
"It was frustrating and Lewis had just enough to retain his position to the end of the race. There’s no guarantee we could have got the five seconds if that had have been the penalty. He did the right thing."
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