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.”

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