7 August 2016
Wolff calls for track limit rules to be axed: 'Let them drive'
Toto Wolff: If you start to analyse white lines, and whether a driver has put 2cm of his tyre on a white line and his lap time is going away, nobody understands anymore. This is not long jump, where 2cm makes the jump invalid, this is a 6km track and 2cm shouldn't be changing that.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff argues Formula 1 should scrap track limit rules and just leave the drivers alone and let them drive.
The FIA's position has been far from consistent this season, and while Wolff's suggestion to let the drivers go over the tarmac run-offs as much as they want has been deemed “unworkable” by some, he is adamant it is the best way forward.
“The tarmac run off is so boring anyway that drivers are able to go off and re-join. Even reading car so and so has re-joined the track, if you go off the track you should be in a wall or in a gravel bed. If there is tarmac, let them have the quickest line. Why not?
“A million miles of run of areas, it becomes less and less spectacular and audiences have less interest in what we do, so my opinion is – be it Club or Copse – let them drive the quickest line.
“If it is somewhere too unsafe because we are coming too close to the barriers or when you re-join you are putting others in danger, then OK look at the specifics of that corner but for the rest just let them go, let them drive and we have spectacular pictures.”
Wolff also added that consistency is crucial and that punishing drivers for being a few centimetres out will do nothing to help F1's popularity.
“Consistency in the rules is very important because we are not changing the size of a football goal every game and I felt that, in the last strategy meeting, we made really good progress on the various items,” he continued.
“Finally, the radio nonsense goes away and provides again narrative for fans and spectators and TV audiences, and then we discussed the track limits should be limited by the kerbs and that therefore the drivers should go the quickest possible way. If you start to analyse white lines, and whether a driver has put 2cm of his tyre on a white line and his lap time is going away, nobody understands anymore and I…
“This is not long jump, where 2cm makes the jump invalid, this is a 6km track and 2cm shouldn't be changing that. Just leave the drivers alone, let them drive, provide spectacular pictures over the kerbs…
“We've seen some great TV today [during the German GP weekend], entering the start-finish straight, entering the motodrom - I loved it!
“And it's the same into turn one now, and I think we've become reasonable in those track limits and I hope it stays and doesn't change.”
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