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Why FIA ignored Mercedes and Red Bull kerb pleas

Why FIA ignored Mercedes and Red Bull kerb pleas

F1 News

Why FIA ignored Mercedes and Red Bull kerb pleas

Why FIA ignored Mercedes and Red Bull kerb pleas

Mercedes and Red Bull will have to become accustomed to "physical" track limits in future after the FIA ignored their pleas for change over the French Grand Prix weekend.

Mercedes team manager Ron Meadows and Red Bull counterpart Jonathan Wheatley were both involved in radio exchanges with FIA race director Michael Masi during Friday practice at the Paul Ricard Circuit.

Valtteri Bottas ran wide over the raised rumble-strip kerbing on the exit of turn two in FP1, leading to an angry Meadows suggesting such a track limit had caused "tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage".

Wheatly also complained Max Verstappen had "done a shedload of damage" to his RB16B following an excursion onto the kerbing during second practice.

Like Meadows, Wheatley also suggested they should be removed, following which Masi said he would at least investigate.

But they remained in place for the remainder of the weekend, and are unlikely to be removed at other venues in future should they be employed.

Explaining, Masi said: “Those kerbs, the baguettes on the outside of turn two, there is probably a number of elements there.

"There were the two teams, in particular, that raised it over the radio during the session, one being Mercedes and one being Red Bull.

"One [of the elements] was those kerbs have been in place since the last time we were here in 2019.

"Secondly, they were over two metres from the track so you had to be completely off the track to actually come in contact with them.

“And probably most importantly, yes, they were reviewed on Friday night following the discussion at the drivers' meeting. I did physically go down to turn two to have a look at everything and as much as anything, to satisfy myself or otherwise.

“I did satisfy myself that everything was quite correct but more importantly, as we’ve heard on a number of occasions, particularly this year from both team principals and drivers, they want physical limits.

“There was very clearly a physical limit. Having come off of two street circuits with Baku and Monaco, it’s quite clear there were physical limits there and it was the same in this circumstance.

“To be fair, during the race, there were no issues at all.”

Aston Martin side with Mercedes and Red Bull

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer, however, has sided with Mercedes and Red Bull, declaring himself "not in favour of damaging cars".

"There are probably better ways to assess track limits and to penalise," added Szafnauer.

"The other thing is it just has to be consistent. Even within a lap sometimes it's not consistent. On this corner, it's one thing and on another corner, it's something else.

"So there are better ways to do it, being more consistent, and also being consistent from driver to driver, team to team, and it's got to be measurable.

"I personally like that better than having kerbs that damage the car because in a race situation you may be pushed wide by somebody.

"Your decision is to either get hit because you're being pushed wide, or damage my car, and I think that could be an unfair situation."

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