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FIA modify Canadian GP Turn 1 barriers after complaints

The barriers on the exit of Turn 1 at the Montreal circuit have been modified in an attempt to allow drivers to rejoin the track safely.

The FIA have decided to remove part of the Formula 1 barrier that had been extended at Turns 1 and 2 of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In recent years, the tarmacked run-off area on the exit of Turn 1 enabled drivers to rejoin the track after Turn 2, effectively giving drivers a direct route to return to the circuit if they made a mistake. For 2023, the FIA elected to extend the barrier towards Turn 2, deciding that the openness of the section could see out-of-control cars spear towards any cars exiting Turn 2. However, in the Friday and Saturday running prior to the Canadian Grand Prix, drivers who ran wide at Turn 1 seemed unsure about the ideal way to return to the track. Some rejoined on the exit of Turn 2, which required a trip over a section of grass and sharp right turn to avoid the racing line. Others turned around to use the same tarmac run-off and rejoin on the exit of Turn 1, which posed a risk if a driver behind approaches at racing speed into the corner. The FIA have now decided to shorten the wall and barrier by "one element" (around four metres), and also added instructions for drivers rejoining the track after running wide at Turn 1: "Any driver who fails to negotiate with Turn 1 should re-join the track at the far end of the asphalt run-off at the entry of Turn 2."

Speaking after qualifying, Mercedes' George Russell, who is the director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, believed the drivers should have been consulted prior to the original decision to extend the barrier. “We all spoke about that [on Friday] night,” Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com . “In hindsight, we probably should have been consulted about the views on that before decisions were made, and we all agree that it's suboptimal.”

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