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Why Horner expects F1 track limits debate to become a 'bigger issue'

Track limits proved to be a key talking point at the Austrian Grand Prix, with several drivers being handed penalties throughout the weekend. Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes that there could be worse to come at future races.

Christian Horner is expecting the debate over track limits to become even more of an issue at upcoming races. The topic proved to be a key talking point at the Austrian Grand Prix, with several drivers penalised for exceeding track limits both during qualifying and in Sunday's race. Zhou Guanyu, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel were all hit with five-second time penalties for repeated offences in the Grand Prix. Sergio Perez, meanwhile, had his fastest lap time from Q2 of Friday's qualifying deleted after the session, meaning that all of his times set in Q3 were also erased. This dropped the Mexican down from fourth to 13th on the grid for Saturday's Sprint.

Horner concerned about track limits at future races

Horner feels that track limits were bound to become an issue at the Red Bull Ring due to the nature of the venue. "I think the problem is the nature of this circuit," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com . "It invites the drivers to use the track limits. And of course, there were many, many drivers that were infringing that over the weekend." However, the Red Bull team boss is expecting the problem to become even more evident at the upcoming French Grand Prix, held at the Circuit Paul Ricard. "I think my concern isn't so much here [in Austria]," he explained. "I think [Paul] Ricard will be a bigger issue, in that there is a genuine time gain to be had. "Obviously, you've got acres of tarmac there, so it's just inviting you to run offline."

Debate continues over track limits

In light of the number of penalties that were handed out for exceeding track limits in Austria, there has been much discussion over this in the days since. Pierre Gasly – one of the drivers to be punished for the offence – was accepting of his penalty, having said after the race: "[It's the] same rule for everyone. I didn't respect it so I got penalised." However, Max Verstappen was amongst those to voice criticism over the handling of the issue. "I think the track limits debate this weekend has been a bit of a joke, not only in F1 but in F2, and F3," the Dutchman stated.

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