How Formula 1 can finally tackle a major lingering issue

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

Track limits violations have been frustrating Formula 1 drivers all season long, and there needs to be some sort of alteration to the system.

Several Formula 1 drivers have committed track limits violations and received penalties throughout the 2023 season. Oftentimes, penalties have been given in a fashion that is not all that timely.

This season in particular, that frustration has been ever so evident. While some tracks do not produce many violations, others produce a situation in which nearly every driver on the grid ends up with at least one.

The glaring issue it has posed this season is that drivers simply do not know that all four of their tires are over the edge of the white line. Additionally, there are times when drivers only find out when it’s too late and receive a post-race penalty, which results in them moving down the finishing order.

During the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, 18 of the 20Formula 1 drivers committed at least one track limits violation.

The stewards later released an official total of track limits violations throughout the weekend: 83. Six drivers lost positions once the race concluded due to breaches being reviewed later on.

There are potential fixes to this system which are still under consideration, but one that should definitely be put into place as soon as possible is an automatic system which informs teams and drivers instantly if a violation has been committed. A much quicker response time would ease the frustrations that have been occurring.

An automatic system would also eliminate potential human error when it comes to reviewing potential violations, due to the minute differences between having a tire on the line and being just over it.

With that, the number of post-race penalties given out would decrease, putting drivers’ minds at ease. Having to find out once the race ends that you breached track limits early on in the race and have now received a penalty for it is simply not beneficial for anybody.

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The thought process behind punishing drivers for going over track limits is completely fine, but the execution of a penalty system currently leaves a lot to be desired.