Wolff: Abolishing track limits would fix "boring" asphalt run-offs

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists that Formula 1 would be made far more spectacular if track limits were abolished totally, rather than drivers being forced to stay away from 'boring' asphalt run-off areas.

Wolff: Abolishing track limits would fix "boring" asphalt run-offs
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

Although the FIA reckons that such freedom is unworkable, Wolff thinks that there are bigger benefits to be had if drivers can run wide across kerbs and push things to the limit across asphalt run-off areas.

“The tarmac run-off is so boring anyway that drivers are able to go off and rejoin,” explained Wolff. “If I am reading on screen that car so and so has rejoined the track, I think 'if you go off the track, you should be either in the wall or the gravel bed'.

"If it is tarmac, let them take the quickest line. What is the difference?

“We are having a million miles of run-off areas. It becomes less and less spectacular and we wonder why audiences are having less interest in what we do.

"My opinion is, leave [Silverstone corners] Copse and Club or whatever and let them drive the quickest line.

“If it is somewhere really unsafe because we are coming too close to the barriers or when you rejoin you are putting others in danger, then okay, look at the specifics of that one corner, but for the rest, just let them go. Let them drive. It is spectacular pictures.”

Wolff believes the recent move to clamp down on track limits, which has included the use of electronic sensors, has sent the wrong messages out.

And he thinks it ludicrous to penalise drivers for being a few centimetres off the track.

“I think consistency in the rules is very important, because we are not changing the size of a football goal every game,” he explained.

“If you start analysing white lines and whether a driver has put two centimetres of his tyre on a white line and his lap time is going away, nobody understands any more.

“This is not long jump where two centimetres make the jump invalid. This is a six-kilometre track and two centimetres should not be changing that. So we said: 'Let's leave the drivers alone and let them drive.'

“It will provide spectacular pictures over the kerbs – we have seen some great TV of cars entering the start-finish straight into the Motodrom [at Hockenheim]. I loved it! And the same in Turn 1 now. We have become reasonable on track limits and I hope it stays.”

shares
comments
Sainz fears Toro Rosso falling behind now
Previous article

Sainz fears Toro Rosso falling behind now

Next article

Opinion: How do you solve a problem like track limits?

Opinion: How do you solve a problem like track limits?
Load comments
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021