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
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Prime

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021