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F1 Hungarian GP: Electronic kerb monitoring divides opinion

The FIA's new electronic monitoring system to determine track limits receives mixed feedback ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The FIA's move to introduce technology that helps better determine whether a car has exceeded track limits has been met with a largely lukewarm response from drivers.

New for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, Turns 4 and 11 of the Hungaroring will feature sensors built into the kerb that will be able to detect whether a car has strayed beyond the defined limitations of the circuit.

The move comes after criticism that track limits were being abused too consistently during the Austrian and British Grand Prix, only for the decision to install more aggressive kerbing at the Red Bull Ring to also be lambasted by drivers.

READ: Sebastian Vettel lashes out at 'bullshit' radio rule tweaks

Even so, drivers remain wary of the new technology, with Fernando Alonso stating it is just another 'mountain' that F1 is creating to solve an issue, while Sebastian Vettel believes the technology wouldn't be needed if the circuits were designed properly.

“I think it's the FIA to blame to build circuits that make it faster to run off the track rather than on the track. I went around the track this morning and I think it's quite disappointing,” he said having also branded the latest radio rule tweaks as 'complete bullshit'

“I think there's a lot of money that went into it, which I guess this place had to play to put a certain type of kerbs in place and the result is that it's probably faster to go off track than to stay on track so I think the target has to be to build tracks so that they are designed to stay on track and not allow us to go off track and then put sensors in and so on. If you think about it, it doesn't make much sense does it?”

It is a view held by Daniil Kvyat, who has previously suggested Astroturf or grass be used as a more effective deterrent.

"Just put a normal kerb there and you don't need all these electronic systems," he said. "It seems like the people who are taking these directions don't know what to do. Now we have some sensors, maybe they'll work correctly, maybe they'll fuck everyone up. I personally trust my eyes more than the sensors."

READ: Kvyat: Only a pu**y won't use kerbs!

“It would be better if there was something physical stopping us over the track limits,” added Renault's Kevin Magnussen. “I think that would be more fun, but with things how it is and how tracks how they are I think it could be a good solution.

Championship contender Lewis Hamilton – who had one of his qualifying laps at Silverstone deleted because of a track limits violation – sounded more support, saying there will be more accuracy to the decisions.

“I think it would be an easy thing for them to police. Because at the moment, some corners we're allowed to go out, look at Silverstone, at Turn 7 you're allowed to drive straight off the track no problem which is an advantage. Turn 9 you're not allowed to which isn't an advantage when you go off.

“Whenever you go outside the white line it's an advantage generally. Here we used to have Astroturf on the exit of Turn 4, and it wasn't an advantage there. When we say we're gaining an advantage it needs to be taken, it's a good step forward and hopefully it will be a good step to manage it and not have to look on the replay if we're just inside or just outside.”

McLaren's Jenson Button says he also believes the move is a positive one for the sport, even if would rather not needing a system at all.

“We've talked about it before in the drivers briefing. It's a good idea, hopefully it works correctly. I think we'd all prefer not to have to have that system but we do have to have that system. The way things are all the kerbs are pretty similar at all the circuits now so they're easy to run over on exits, so we need something. We need a limit to stop us from going over there.”

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by Ollie Barstow



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