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Portuguese Grand Prix 2021

Masi explains Portugal track limits issues

A number of drivers were caught out by track limits at Portugal, with Max Verstappen losing out on an extra championship point for fastest lap after running wide. F1 race director Michael Masi explains how the limits were enforced.

Article
To news overview © FIA

Track limits have been a recurring feature of the 2021 Formula 1 season so far, with drivers going off the edges of the circuit proving an issue in each of the first three races.

Lando Norris had his barnstorming qualifying lap deleted during Q3 at Imola after he just went outside the track limits, while Max Verstappen was forced to give back the lead of the Bahrain Grand Prix to Sir Lewis Hamilton after running wide while overtaking.

After Verstappen also lost out on an extra point for fastest lap at Portugal due to exceeding limits, F1 race director Michael Masi told RacingNews365.com and other select media the rules were being applied consistently.

"I think there were a number of lap times that were deleted during the race. Also, there were a few that were deleted during qualifying. And obviously, we had a greater number, where there was less of an impact during the practice sessions that were deleted," he said.

"So I think that shows that we were policing the track limits for everyone equally. In addition, it was consistent with the manner in which the event notes were portrayed, particularly the additional version three that went out on Saturday morning.

"And that was following the discussion at the drivers meeting about what would and wouldn't be tolerated."

Masi also explained the changes to the track which caused Verstappen's fastest lap time which would have gained him an extra championship point to be deleted.

"Following a review of what happened on Friday in particular, Turn 14 was being used far more, it wasn't an issue in 2020, but became one in 2021. So as a result, I gave all the drivers the latitude to use the red and white curb at that corner in a similar manner to turn five," he said.

However, they were told that if they gained a lasting advantage out of each of those, which there is a number of examples being overtaking a car faster in a mini sector, whatever it may have been, that it will be looked at.

"And having looked at it post race, it's very clear that Max was off the track, but also that he was faster in that mini sector than anyone and as a result, got the fastest lap of the race, which is a world championship point."

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