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Austrian Grand Prix 2023

Several drivers admit track limits rules 'super harsh' at Austria

More than 80 laps were deleted during the race, with the FIA later admitting that over 1,000 instances of track limits were reported. But what did the drivers think of it all?

Bottas austria
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Several drivers have admitted that track limits rules were "super harsh" at the Austrian Grand Prix, after a number of penalties were issued by the stewards.

Seven drivers fell foul of the track limits during the race and were given time penalties, while a further 12 penalties were issued four hours after the chequered flag after a protest was lodged from Aston Martin.

One of those who was penalised twice and dropped to eighth position in the final order was Lewis Hamilton, who believes a new solution needs to be found for the Red Bull Ring.

"I think they need to probably find a new solution for this track. Years ago when we didn't have the track limit thing it was much more enjoyably to drive," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"It's strange to be driving and have to have to comment on the car ahead, because that's what the team wants you to do. They did it in Barcelona, but it's not racing right?"

Lando Norris, who was directly behind Hamilton at one stage of the race, was surprised the seven-time world champion was only penalised once in the race.

“I was going to do a live commentary at every corner, pretty much,” he laughed, when speaking to Sky Sports.

“He [Hamilton] only got a five-second penalty? It should be way more! He had about four strikes in one lap!”

'Never fun' to work out who has penalties during a race

Yuki Tsunoda was issued with two penalties in the race, then subsequently received a further five-second time penalty for another infringement.

However, the AlphaTauri driver felt that the stewards were being "super harsh" and that he was not all four wheels off the white line.

"I got a warning, but some of the track limits I didn't feel like I was outside of the white line," said Tsunoda.

"I know they were being super too harsh or whatever. But like some of those, frankly, I don't feel I was outside of the white line."

Oscar Piastri was following Tsunoda closely throughout the race and claimed he was "lucky" not to get more penalties: "I heard Tsunoda had 10-second penalty, and I think he was lucky enough not to get a few more to be honest."

The Australian believes more needs to be done to improve the spectacle for viewers, after many drivers were left waiting to see whether they got through in qualifying sessions.

He added: "It's never fun to have to go through a race and work out who's got penalties in qualifying, crossing the line then waiting for a minute to see if you're in or out because of track limits.

"We can try and do things to make the spectacle a bit better for everyone, for us as drivers, everyone watching on TV, and we have to account for MotoGP.

"It gets to a point where we try our hardest but we're on the limit and these little things can can push you over the edge so easily."

Russell: No pride in lack of penalties

Only two drivers did not have any lap times deleted throughout the 71-lap race and it was George Russell and Yuki Tsunoda.

Russell says he does not "take any pride" in the fact, and joined the calls to find a better solution for policing track limits at the Red Bull Ring.

"I don't take any pride at all in that fact to be honest. It's definitely possible, but equally it's a very challenging circuit to stay within [the white lines]," he explained.

"It's clearly probably the only circuit during a whole season where it's difficult to stay within, there needs to be a hard stop there.

"Turn 4 there's no track limits because of a gravel trap, Turn 6 no track limits, because there's a gravel trap. So when you're just trying to judge a white line, it is difficult."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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