A new 'sunken' kerb concept is to be tested by FIA as it looks into ways to deter drivers from exceeding track limits and gaining advantages.
Outside corner run-off areas have become a common feature of circuits in recent years, the FIA preferring to install asphalt areas in place of grass and gravel for safety reasons.
However, many – including drivers - feel the run-offs don't provide enough of a deterrent for drivers who make a mistake, with many able to go wide and re-join the circuit without much loss of time.
Though the FIA has attempted to act by providing designated 'return to track' lanes that do punish mistakes with a loss of time, it is seeking other firmer measures. This includes research into a new exit kerb, which features two sections, with the outside edge of the first kerb sitting 25mm below track level and outside edge 50mm below track level.
The kerb has been successfully installed on the exit of two corners of the Spanish Motorland Aragon circuit and the FIA will now test the kerb on the exit of turn nine at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
“The idea is this kerb would work with bikes and cars because we want to try and make circuits compatible for both disciplines,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting said. “This has been installed at Motorland Aragon and was used for the MotoGP there and the riders claimed they were happy with it.
“We believe that if a car comes too far over it will become increasingly uncomfortable for the driver and if he was to put two wheels over the edge he'd then have to cross back. So it should act as a deterrent."