The new anti-track limits system has proven to be a failure from all angles. Here’s the list of deleted lap times during the qualifying session in Qatar.
The qualifying session at Losail concluded with Max Verstappen securing pole position and several dramatic twists. The lap times of both McLaren drivers were invalidated, causing Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris to drop to 6th and 10th place, respectively. Both drivers only discovered at the end of the session that their times were invalidated due to track limits violations.
And they are not the only ones who had their times deleted during this chaotic night at Losail. The FIA has released an official document listing all the drivers who exceeded track limits during the qualifying sessions.
Who are the drivers on the list?
The list is in chronological order. What stands out is that, at least compared to the mass deletion of times in Austria, the number in Qatar is relatively low. The following drivers had their times deleted: Lance Stroll (twice); Lando Norris (four times, including twice in Q3, which cost him a potential front row); Alexander Albon (twice); Pierre Gasly (twice); Charles Leclerc (three times); Oscar Piastri (twice); Kevin Magnussen; Carlos Sainz (three times); Liam Lawson; Esteban Ocon; Nico Hulkenberg; Sergio Pérez.
The document reminds that teams have the right to appeal the decisions made by the stewards under Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within certain limits.
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In Qatar, a system made its debut with the intention of curbing track limit violations but appears not to have worked. Concrete blocks were placed at the exit of the curbs in corners where drivers might gain an advantage. These blocks measure one and a half meters by two.
And it’s only Friday of the weekend in Qatar; who knows how many more times will be deleted for exceeding track limits?