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Bahrain Grand Prix 2021

Michael Masi: Track limits did not change during the race

FIA Race Director Michael Masi has explained that the track limits at Turn 4 did not change over the course of the Bahrain Grand Prix, after instructions issued to Lewis Hamilton appeared to suggest they had.

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To news overview © FIA

FIA Race Director Michael Masi has explained the track limits rules applied at Turn 4 during the Bahrain Grand Prix did not change over the course of the race.

The Turn 4 track limits proved critical in deciding the race, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen overtaking Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the corner but ran wide in the process.

Masi explained that, immediately, Race Control got onto Red Bull to instruct their driver to yield the position back to Hamilton.

"Red Bull were actually given an instruction immediately by myself, that I suggested that they relinquish that position as listed in the Sporting Regulations, which they did," explained Masi.

"It wasn't for exceeding the track limits. It was for gaining a lasting advantage by overtaking another car off the racetrack."

The controversy over the situation is due to the fact that, in the first half of the race, Lewis Hamilton ran wide at the same corner for the first 29 laps of the race.

However, with Race Control only interested in the corner in terms of applying the Sporting Regulations, ie. gaining a lasting advantage, Hamilton went unpunished for running wide.

Eventually, he was instructed to stop doing so by his team, with his engineer explaining to Hamilton that they had been told by Race Control to do so.

This would appear to suggest the track limits, or the enforcement of the track limits, changed midway through the race

Masi explained that this was not the case: "No, nothing changed at all. We had two people that were looking in that area [Turn 4], every car every lap, and pretty much every car, bar one, was doing the right thing within what we expected in a general sequence.

"There was the occasional car that had a bit of a moment and went out there but it wasn't a constant thing."

"With regard to the tolerance given to people running outside of the track limits during the race, it was mentioned very clearly in the Friday driver's meeting in the notes that it would not be monitored with regards to setting the lap time, so to speak.

"However, it will always be monitored in accordance with the sporting regulations being a lasting advantage must not be gained."

"The notes were updated between FP1 and FP2 as a result of what we were seeing. And it was made very clear that in the practice and qualifying that it would be all four wheels to the left of the red and white curve.

"So there was nothing, nothing changed during the race, not nothing changed at all during the race."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

The latest news about the Bahrain Grand Prix straight from the Bahrain International Circuit.

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