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Austrian Grand Prix 2023

FIA's staggering deleted lap count during qualifying revealed

Race Control deleted a number of laps for exceeding track limits during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Perez track limits Austria
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To news overview © XPBimages

FIA Race Control deleted a staggering 47 laps during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, as drivers were penalised for going off track during their timed laps.

In a document issued by the FIA post-session showing all of the deleted laps, a total of 47 times were deleted from the system for drivers going off track at Turns 6, 9, and 10.

Several drivers were caught out by the deletions including Sergio Perez, who missed out on Q3 for the fourth time in a row for Red Bull.

George Russell also missed out on Q3 after his lap time was deleted at the end of Q2. Only Charles Leclerc and Logan Sargeant did not have a lap time deleted.

FIA take clear stance on track limits

The regulations on track limits are specified in Appendix L Chapter IV Article 2 c) of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 33.3 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

It reads: “Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not leave the track without a justifiable reason.

“Drivers will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with it and, for the avoidance of doubt, any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not."

RacingNews365 understands that FIA Race Control also utilised the help of the Remote Operations Center in Geneva to review potential breaches, similar to how Video Assisted Referee (VAR) works in football.

From here FIA officials have access to more camera angles and additional data to determine whether an infringement took place.

The efficiency of the process has increased since years gone by, after Perez had all of his Q3 times post-qualifying in 2022 deleted for a track limits infringement that happened in Q2.

During last years Austrian Grand Prix there was a total of 43 lap time deletions, with several also coming at Turns 1, 9 and 10.

The Red Bull Ring is an outlier on the calendar due to the nature of the circuit, with many of the corners undulated and naturally 'pulling' drivers away from the racing line.

"Every exit here you're on the look for track limits, because you're just so scared you're gonna get your lap done," Lando Norris told Sky Sports.

Officials have agreed to give drivers the benefit of the doubt when a potential breach is marginal and cannot be clearly defined by the information they have in either Race Control or Remote Operations.

Lap times deleted in Austria GP qualifying

Driver T6 T9 T10 Total
Lando Norris 0 0 6 6
Carlos Sainz 1 3 2 6
Max Verstappen 0 0 4 4
Pierre Gasly 0 0 4 4
Alex Albon 0 1 3 4
Esteban Ocon 0 0 3 3
Sergio Pérez 0 1 2 3
Nico Hülkenberg 1 1 0 2
Lewis Hamilton 0 0 2 2
Zhou Guanyu 0 0 2 2
Kevin Magnussen 0 0 2 2
Lance Stroll 0 2 0 2
Fernando Alonso 0 1 1 2
Nyck de Vries 0 0 1 1
Yuki Tsunoda 0 0 1 1
George Russell 0 1 0 1
Oscar Piastri 0 1 0 1
Valtteri Bottas 0 0 1 1

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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