Track limits a talking point on first day back in Austria

2014 Austrian Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2014Drivers not obeying the track limits was a common problem when Austria’s grand prix circuit last held F1 races in the early 2000s.

The addition of a raised kerb at the exit of turn one on the Red Bull Ring has improved one of the biggest trouble spots on the circuit. However there are still points on the track where drivers can run wide and gain an advantage, with the penultimate corner proving a particular cause for concern.

“There will probably be a couple of talking points in the drivers’ briefing tonight,” said Jenson Button. “The pit entry at turn eight is tricky; I tried to go round the outside of someone who was pitting, but I just went straight on because I was on the marbles. So that might need a little look.”

Ferrari development driver Raffaele Marciello discovered this problem during the GP2 qualifying session, blaming Rio Haryanto for costing him a chance to take pole position. That could be a problem in Q1 tomorrow when all 22 drivers are sharing one of the shortest tracks on the calendar.

During the practice sessions today several drivers were warned for cutting the pit lane entry line on their way into the pits, which they had been warned not to do.

Button pointed out a further problem with this part of the track. “Additionally, the exit of turn eight needs looking at – it’s seemingly quicker to run with all four wheels off the track, but it’s a bit more dangerous because you run out of asphalt and have to get back on the track before it grasses over.”

But despite this point of concern the drivers were positive about the revived circuit, including many of those who hadn’t raced on it before.

“It’s a really nice track,” said Valtteri Bottas, “I think it will become one of my favourites. It’s an old-school track with some high speed sections and no room for mistakes.”

When it last held the Austrian Grand Prix between 1997 and 2003 the circuit was considered one of the better venues for overtaking. But Sergio Perez has doubts, even though the track now has two DRS zones.

“The track is very challenging and it doesn’t offer many overtaking opportunities,” he said, “so grid position will be crucial”.

For the third race weekend in a row the teams are using the softest of Pirelli’s tyres. But unlike Monaco and Montreal the Red Bull Ring has some quick turns which will put them under greater strain.

“The high speed corners were working the rear tyres hard but they seemed to cope well,” said Lewis Hamilton. “The feeling was good for both sets of tyres, even in the long runs, so if the car is like this for the race, I’m in a good place.”

Some teams experienced visible graining on their rear tyres during practice. But Pirelli motorsport directory Paul Hembery expects them to get that under control: “We’ve seen some notable differences in rear tyre usage between the teams, although we expect this to reduce tomorrow, once they have looked at the data from today.”

Longest stint comparison – second practice

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2014drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Sebastian Vettel 75.047 74.884 78.297 75.361 75.146 74.881 75.097 75.168 75.072 74.953 74.867 74.866 75.368 75.447 76.05 79.507
Daniel Ricciardo 75.576 81.204 75.358 74.686 74.88 74.829 74.713 75.226 75.104 75.528 74.888 74.506 74.672 74.767 74.881 75.153 74.995 76.549 75.145 74.479
Lewis Hamilton 75.083 74.346 74.185 73.829 80.483 73.586 74.203 73.739 77.471 73.688
Nico Rosberg 81.114 71.279 87.025 70.835 88.7 78.613 77.048 77.924 70.73 70.499
Fernando Alonso 74.751 74.856 74.511 74.619 75.251 78.593 74.697 74.497 74.488 74.747 76.236 75.545 74.318 74.243 74.449 74.54 78.22
Kimi Raikkonen 75.196 74.766 75.266 74.958 74.302 75.256 75.568 74.847 74.78 75.239 75.016 75.145 75.499 77.112 76.113
Romain Grosjean 74.689 74.553 74.302 74.862 74.092 74.773 75.714 74.994 77.128 74.975 74.612 75.436 75.512 75.176 75.875
Pastor Maldonado 78.628 75.436 73.648 78.425 72.973 79.141 72.535
Jenson Button 76.393 76.671 75.971 75.49 77.429 75.315 75.732 74.95 74.897 74.713 74.833 75.125 75.163 74.724 74.824 74.217
Kevin Magnussen 75.633 75.654 76.489 76.989 77.223 77.152 77.045 76.72 76.322 75.938 76.371 80.258 76.1 75.929 76.871 76.122
Nico Hulkenberg 76.406 75.84 75.374 75.403 75.283 75.258 75.233 75.338 75.454 75.23
Sergio Perez 75.642 74.41 74.195 77.011 74.329 74.345 75.317 79.213 75.403 75.179 74.957 74.617 76.335
Adrian Sutil 76.145 75.602 75.039 74.679 74.75 74.989 75.934 75.298 75.812
Esteban Gutierrez 77.121 76.827 75.931 76.302 75.669 75.996 76.249 76.076 76.879 75.77 75.677 75.609 75.463 75.181 75.386 75.546 75.417 75.44 75.243 75.379 76.364
Jean-Eric Vergne 75.642 75.434 75.724 74.67 74.876 74.952 75.105 74.962 75.659 75.135 76.187
Daniil Kvyat 75.554 75.607 75.553 75.019 74.956 76.181 75.465 74.99 75.62 75.476 75.326 75.143 75.526 75.744
Felipe Massa 75.145 74.443 74.484 75.212 75.136 74.756 74.852 75.249 75.223 78.357 74.115 74.803 76.907 74.959 75.366 75.566 75.978
Valtteri Bottas 75.275 74.853 74.316 76.229 75.636 74.478 74.687 75.267 75.327 75.521 74.936 74.833 74.581 74.367 75.287 74.739 74.765 75.189 75.171 75.131 74.937 75.138 75.953
Jules Bianchi 77.51 76.77 76.257 75.695 76.204 77.035 75.931 76.908 76.123 75.893 75.909 76.526 76.324 75.897 75.626 75.674
Max Chilton 75.938 76.217 76.174 76.036 76.062 76.026 77.01 76.207 76.808 76.912 76.553 76.568 76.414 76.244 77.304 75.963 75.971 76.043 76.807 76.667
Marcus Ericsson 78.629 78.324 77.418 77.231 77.324 78.407 77.438 77.887 77.273 77.364 77.298 77.224 77.742 77.364 77.701 77.061 77.975 77.285 81.762 77.321 77.145
Kamui Kobayashi 76.595 75.915 75.736 77.421 76.921 76.464 77.437 81.554

Sector times and ultimate lap times – second practice

Pos No. Driver Car S1 S2 S3 Ultimate Gap Deficit to best
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 17.292 (2) 30.717 (1) 21.490 (1) 1’09.499 0.043
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 17.263 (1) 30.862 (2) 21.721 (2) 1’09.846 0.347 0.073
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 17.344 (5) 30.976 (3) 21.964 (4) 1’10.284 0.785 0.186
4 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 17.321 (3) 31.081 (6) 21.909 (3) 1’10.311 0.812 0.210
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 17.368 (6) 31.051 (5) 22.002 (6) 1’10.421 0.922 0.098
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 17.533 (12) 31.209 (10) 22.013 (7) 1’10.755 1.256 0.165
7 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 17.540 (13) 31.263 (12) 21.973 (5) 1’10.776 1.277 0.031
8 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 17.333 (4) 31.100 (7) 22.380 (11) 1’10.813 1.314 0.000
9 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 17.410 (7) 31.030 (4) 22.408 (12) 1’10.848 1.349 0.126
10 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 17.442 (8) 31.119 (8) 22.321 (10) 1’10.882 1.383 0.054
11 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 17.499 (11) 31.195 (9) 22.206 (8) 1’10.900 1.401 0.072
12 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 17.548 (15) 31.437 (14) 22.207 (9) 1’11.192 1.693 0.069
13 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 17.473 (9) 31.230 (11) 22.491 (15) 1’11.194 1.695 0.102
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 17.495 (10) 31.422 (13) 22.487 (14) 1’11.404 1.905 0.087
15 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 17.758 (18) 31.524 (17) 22.453 (13) 1’11.735 2.236 0.030
16 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 17.592 (16) 31.608 (18) 22.568 (17) 1’11.768 2.269 0.167
17 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 17.544 (14) 31.458 (15) 22.781 (19) 1’11.783 2.284 0.023
18 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 17.785 (19) 31.502 (16) 22.545 (16) 1’11.832 2.333 0.430
19 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 17.705 (17) 31.791 (20) 22.733 (18) 1’12.229 2.730 0.000
20 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 17.789 (20) 31.676 (19) 22.814 (20) 1’12.279 2.780 0.000
21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 17.898 (21) 31.929 (21) 23.104 (21) 1’12.931 3.432 0.006
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 18.015 (22) 32.400 (22) 23.181 (22) 1’13.596 4.097 0.000

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’11.435 1’09.542 50
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’11.295 1’09.919 37
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’11.606 1’10.470 40
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’12.114 1’10.519 44
5 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’11.756 1’10.521 39
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’12.988 1’10.807 39
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’11.839 1’10.813 44
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’12.570 1’10.920 36
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.313 1’10.936 45
10 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’12.364 1’10.972 39
11 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’12.365 1’10.974 45
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’12.372 1’11.261 45
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’12.009 1’11.296 36
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’12.984 1’11.491 42
15 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’13.642 1’11.765 30
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.691 1’11.806 42
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’12.072 1’11.935 39
18 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’13.857 1’12.229 43
19 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’13.168 1’12.262 46
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’13.738 1’12.279 36
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’14.611 1’12.937 24
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’17.501 1’13.596 48

Speed trap – second practice

# Driver Car Engine Max speed (kph) Gap
1 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 318.3
2 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 318.1 0.2
3 22 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 317.2 1.1
4 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 316.1 2.2
5 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Renault 316 2.3
6 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 315.9 2.4
7 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 315.3 3
8 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 315.2 3.1
9 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber Ferrari 315.1 3.2
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 314.3 4
11 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 314 4.3
12 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 314 4.3
13 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari 313.8 4.5
14 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 312.9 5.4
15 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Renault 311.4 6.9
16 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 311.4 6.9
17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia Ferrari 310 8.3
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 309.8 8.5
19 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 309.6 8.7
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham Renault 308.9 9.4
21 4 Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari 308.2 10.1
22 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus Renault 306.8 11.5

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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43 comments on Track limits a talking point on first day back in Austria

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 20th June 2014, 19:09

    The track was recently added to Gran Turismo and I noticed the same issues, especially that pit lane. The corner itself is blind so you can’t really see if anybody is halfway into the pits until you’re right there.

    I wonder where Ferrari have come from all of a sudden? Didn’t Kimi say they have new updates?

  2. Malik (@malik) said on 20th June 2014, 19:50

    I am sorry for commenting about unrelated thing but I want to say that the Canadian GP was the best because the backmarkers (Marussias and Caterhams) were eliminated early in the race so imagine how the racing would be without these GP3 cars competing in F1

    • Michael C said on 20th June 2014, 19:55

      Ooof.. that’s harsh mate, they’re only GP2. (Factually, the GP2 pole time was 1:15, whilst I think everyone bar Ericsson was in the 1:12′s or below)

      • Malik (@malik) said on 20th June 2014, 20:53

        @ Michael C: It’s just an observation which might be wrong but still I think F1 should have the highest standards

        • Michael C said on 20th June 2014, 21:12

          You’re right.

        • pastaman (@pastaman) said on 20th June 2014, 21:57

          It does

        • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 21st June 2014, 1:48

          Bernie’s response to this would be: “400 staff redundant, 2 teams less – 9 teams, 18 cars… sounds ripe for 3 car teams. 27 on the grid like in GP3. The top 5 teams will definitely vote that through. Finally, $50m more for CVC and I; Let’s do it.”

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 21st June 2014, 1:50

            While our response would be, with $50m more prize money, we could have 2 more teams, 26 cars on the grid and 400 extra jobs in F1. Throw in another $50m to the back of the grid, and they would all be latching onto Sauber at the tail of the midfield. CVC and Bernie would only lose less than a fifth of their annual profits.

    • trotter said on 21st June 2014, 6:20

      @malik
      “the Canadian GP was the best because the backmarkers (Marussias and Caterhams) were eliminated early in the race”

      Could you please elaborate on this? I don’t understand how do you connect these two things. :/

  3. Michael C said on 20th June 2014, 19:52

    I also drove this track on Gran Turismo (very good rendition, I like it!), and the pit-lane is just dangerous. Not just in qually – imagine closely following another car in the race when they have to slow down on the apex of the corner to make the pit entry.
    As for practice: Hamilton, Rosberg, Hamilton, Vergne, Vettel spins, Ricciardo almost, Hamilton Hamilton Hamilton

  4. timi (@timi) said on 20th June 2014, 20:49

    Is there any news on the time-penalty a pitstop will incur? It seems like an awfully long entry and exit for such a short track.. If pole is where I think it will be (high 1:07s), and the pit looks as though it’s around 25ish seconds, then that has to be the lowest pit-to-lap time ratio all year, no? I’d imagine most teams will attempt a one stop if at all possible

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 20th June 2014, 22:29

      @timi Pole will be a mid 1:08 IMO. Nevertheless you’re right, the ratio is crazy. But Pirelli say they don’t think it’s possible to do a 1-stop. Too high rear degradation for that

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 21st June 2014, 1:52

      I saw 22 seconds quoted on another site.

      • timi (@timi) said on 21st June 2014, 12:01

        You’re right @fastiesty it’s 22 seconds in the pit lane.. but because the pit entry starts so early and includes that weird corner, the time penalty starts earlier due to drivers having to take that new tighter, and slower line before entering the pits. On other tracks it’s generally just a slight change of direction, but here it’s larger than normal.

        Interesting @montreal95 I hope some teams are verging on three stops then, – I’d love to see more split tyre strategies a la Bahrain and Barcelona

  5. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 20th June 2014, 21:13

    Great fix for the problem of extending track limits. Have gravel traps. The first and the final two corners are probably three of the most difficult around this circuit, yet there is an abundance of run-off. There is a great buzz for the people watching and especially the drivers, knowing that if you mess up the corner there’ll be little or no forgiveness, your car could be beached or worse and your session could easily be over. The run-off is there for safety reasons I presume, but it’s being way over the top. Please God let us have more element of risk for the drivers. Some of the mistakes and error’s that drivers can make on most circuits is excessively and needlessly forgiving.

  6. andae23 (@andae23) said on 20th June 2014, 21:21

    “It’s an old-school track with some high speed sections and no room for mistakes.”

    Are you listening, Mr. Tilke? This is what drivers want.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 20th June 2014, 22:25

      @andae23 Indeed. Funnily though this was Tilke’s first F1 track. The second one was Sepang which is also great. However it all went downhill from there, starting with the new Hockenheim

    • PeterG said on 20th June 2014, 23:04

      Tilke does make circuits with fast sections, In fact most of his tracks feature fast/sweeping corners.

      The run-off is mandated by the FIA circuit regulations so in that regard he’s just building the track within the parameters he’s given when it comes to runoff.

      Also consider that runoff areas are not just changed for F1, Other categories also have a say. The Motorbike riders for instance prefer having tarmac runoff so there are a lot of circuits where bikes race regularly that have gone to tarmac runoff for them.
      The tarmac runoff at Montreal was added largely for the Nascar series, They also requested tarmac runoff be added at Road America, Mosport & Watkins Glen as those cars get stuck in gravel extremely easily & are difficult to recover (They also get torn apart by it easily underneath).

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st June 2014, 0:43

      @andae23 You are aware that this was the first Tilke track, right?

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 21st June 2014, 7:05

      The problem with Tilke tracks is not that they are bad, it’s that they are all the same.

      @kaiie resumed it the best: “5.5 km/20 corners/have two 1 km straights”

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 21st June 2014, 12:17

      Sepang is also a very good track I think, and is also Tilke.

      It’s the rules that have conspired against him.

  7. evered7 (@evered7) said on 20th June 2014, 21:54

    Ferrari seem to have genuine pace here. Not only the fastest time behind the Mercs, their long run pace also looks good.

    Hope they run the updates and clinch a podium during the weekend.

  8. PeterG said on 20th June 2014, 22:54

    The pit entry is the same as it was when F1 raced here before & it didn’t cause any problems & back then drivers didn’t complain about it.

    As to track limits, I don’t really see a problem as the little kurb at T1 stops them running off there & putting 4 wheels off at turn 8 means your offline for turn 9 so its not really a time gain overall.

    Also remember that they regularly used to run 4 wheels off the track when there was grass/gravel on the exit of these corners. The only difference now is that back then they used to drag gravel all over the track which caused problems for the cars behind, Thats why they 1st put the grass-crete down for 2001/2002 & then went to full tarmac for 2003.

  9. jonathan102 (@jonathan102) said on 20th June 2014, 22:55

    I don’t know who approved that pit entry because it’s just plain dangerous.

  10. ibdbeast (@ibdbeast) said on 21st June 2014, 3:59

    this should be another course for Rossberg to exploit…

  11. trotter said on 21st June 2014, 6:22

    Mercedes’ long run pace was so horribly hectic and short that I can’t get much info out of it. Ferrari seems quite consistent on the long runs. Red Bull is roughly the same too.

  12. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 21st June 2014, 7:15

    As much as I will look forward to the return of such a scenic track from some good races a decade ago, its certainly a sign of the times that we’re talking about “track limits” at such a venue. A glance at some on-board shots from the original Osterreich circuit and you realize we’re watching a different sport altogether from back then.

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s a huge thrill in F1 today at the right place and time, but man…..Osterreichring in its full countryside glory with the sounds of the beautiful deep throatty V12′s of the late 70′s doesn’t really compare to much anything else. This may well have been the more glorious circuit of all time – and at a time when man and machine really were at their limits.

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