Formula One’s governing body has announced that it had removed two kerbs at the Red Bull Ring ahead of the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix to ensure teams do not run out of spare parts.
The late Charlie Whiting had always spent hours with the controlling the track limits in between Turn 9 and 10 at the Red Bull Ring. After trying out different ways to dishearten drivers to exceed the limits, the FIA installed very high kerbs between the second-to-last corner, named after 1970 world champion Jochen Rindt and the last turn.
However, the high kerbs have caused several damages to the floor of the cars in recent years. The biggest incident happened to Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat during the qualifying session for the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. The Russian driver labelled the high kerbs stupid after he suffered a suspension failure when he ran over the raised yellow kerbing that is designed to prevent drivers abusing track limits.
Due to the congested nature of the heavily-revised 2020 F1 calendar, the FIA has decided to remove two high yellow kerbs at turns nine and ten. The unforgiving kerbs have been replaced with timing loops that will electronically measure when a driver gets too ambitious.
In the Race Director’s note, Michael Masi communicated that FIA will pay high attention to how drivers master the tricky kerbs between Turn 9 and 10 in order to stop drivers from gaining time by exceeding the track limits.
“A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track and cutting behind the red and white kerb on the exit of Turn 9, as judged by the detection loop in this location, will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards.
“Each time any car passes behind the red and white exit kerb, teams will be informed via the official messaging system. On the third occasion of a driver cutting behind the red and white exit kerb at Turn 9 during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards," Masi's notes read.