Track extending. One of the pet hates of F1 fans and officials alike. How do we know if a driver has gained an advantage after leaving the track? Often we don’t, and Charlie Whiting, FIA Formula 1 race director, knows this, which is why he wants to introduce more high kerbs into the F1 calendar.
The ‘sausage kerb’ on the exit of turn 20 in Abu Dhabi last week was an annoyance for plenty of drivers, but Whiting thinks it “worked very well”.
He wants to make sure that drivers lose time by leaving the track as marshalling whether or not a driver gains time from track extending is “dreadfully tedious”.
He told Autosport: “I’m not one for saying every time [a driver] goes over the white line they should be penalised.
"Because as I’ve probably said countless times, leaving the track is not a penalty. Gaining an advantage from leaving the track is.
“We want to try to make sure that every time a driver leaves the track he doesn’t gain anything from it, and preferably he loses time doing it.
“I think on that basis that kerb between Turns 20 and 21 has worked very well.
“I’m pretty sure you can ask any driver if he can gain anything by going onto that kerb, he’d say, ‘No.’ That’s exactly the sort of thing I think we should have.
“Generally, what we want to do is make sure the track enforces the limits and we don’t have to resort to marshals or judges of fact reporting every time a car goes over the line.
“It’s something that is dreadfully tedious, and I think it demeans the sport.”