Formula 1 drivers have been warned that they face penalties in the event of exceeding track limits at the final two corners of the Spielberg circuit.
The nature of the tarmac run-off and the kerb layout through the final two right-handers of the 10-turn Austrian Grand Prix venue has prompted drivers to push the boundaries in recent years. Even bet365 has signalled movement in their odds for these events… no wonder, due to the current situation.
Large orange or yellow kerbs, designed to act as a deterrent, have been installed in the past but these have caused controversy due to the risk of an accident or damage to a car.
For 2020 the FIA has acted and has removed the yellow kerbs, instead installing timing loops, which will be able to detect the location of a car.
In Race Director Michael Masi’s pre-event notes, issued on Thursday, drivers have been warned that “a lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track and cutting behind the red and white kerb on the exit of Turn 9, as judged by the detection loop in this location, will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards.
“On the third occasion of a driver cutting behind the red and white exit kerb at Turn 9 during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards.
“Each time any car passes behind the red and white exit kerb, teams will be informed via the official messaging system.”
The same instructions apply for Turn 10.
Drivers have also been reminded that they must re-join the track in a safe manner.
The rules “will not automatically apply to any driver who is judged to have been forced off the track, each such case will be judged individually.”