F1 drivers on notice about cutting corners

Charlie Whiting has briefed the stewards, including former American F1 driver Danny Sullivan, to be on alert during the Hungarian grand prix, as the FIA clamps down on drivers sneaking an off-track advantage.

Last weekend at Hockenheim, world champion Sebastian Vettel was demoted from second at the flag to fifth in the classification, for passing Jenson Button late in the race whilst off the track.

Whiting, the highest-ranking FIA official at grands prix, has reportedly warned he will be just as tough about drivers taking all four wheels outside the limits of the circuit in Hungary.

“We’ll see how it applies here at the Hungaroring,” McLaren’s sporting director Sam Michael is quoted by Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. “There are at least four places where you can cut the corner,” added the Australian.

GP2 driver Sergio Canamasas tested the theory on Saturday and was handed a drive-through penalty for exceeding the limits of the circuit for advantage. Indeed, Whiting is understood to have insisted that not only maintained or gained positions will be penalised, but also off-track moves for lap time or ‘DRS’ activation benefit.

Mundo Deportivo correspondent Raymond Blancafort said the problem has arisen recently because of the modern trend for asphalted run-off zones and verges, where previously there was either gravel or slippery ‘grasscrete’.


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