McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has called for consistency in the application of track limits regulations after the topic caused confusion throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Article 27.3 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations defines the edge of the race track "for the avoidance of any doubt" as the "white lines" adding "the kerbs are not".
FIA race director Michael Masi's event notes for the Bahrain GP, however, ultimately caused bewilderment.
Pre-event, the notes stated that "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".
Masi changed the ruling after the first practice session, which became "a lap time achieved during any practice session by leaving the track and cutting behind the red and white kerb on the exit of turn four, will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards", resulting in numerous laps in FP2, FP3 and qualifying being deleted.
For the race, however, the ruling reverted back to the pre-event position, which led to Lewis Hamilton running wide 29 times before being advised by Mercedes - via race control - his actions were no longer acceptable.
“It was pretty clear last year as to what the rules were," said Seidl. "It was clarified for each track a bit differently.
“That is not great, but all the tracks are a bit different, so as long as it is then...I get the point in terms of the spectators. It is not easy to get [the regulations].
"But purely from the sporting aspect between us and the competition side, as long as the ruling is clear for each track and each corner and it gets monitored consistently and policed consistently in the same way, I am fine with it.”
For Bahrain, however, Seidl felt there was a grey area where the rules were not adhered to.
“I need to double-check because my understanding was in qualifying they deleted the laps," added Seidl.
"In the race, because you are not gaining a time advantage, I thought it was a bit more relaxed the whole thing.
“Of course, if you gain an advantage in terms of position because you benefit from it in a fight, you have to give it back.
"But my understanding was that it is different to some other tracks where there is a count of three and then you get a flag or you get a penalty because each time it is a time advantage.”
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