19:01 – The ‘track limits’ at Imola were again an important topic of conversation after the Formula 1 qualifying. Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat clearly expressed their dissatisfaction with the inconsistency in the rules.
Qualifying for the Emilia-Romagna GP did not go smoothly for Albon, who saw a time taken no less than seven times on Saturday due to not respecting the track limits. That happened twice in qualifying, but in the end the Red Bull Racing driver came to sixth position despite a spin. “The session was okay and during qualifying things went better and better”, Albon told Motorsport.com, among others. “To be honest, I’m pretty happy. Of course I would have liked more, but it wasn’t bad.”
What Albon was not satisfied with were the track limits. The British Thai thinks that the current circuits and cars lend themselves too well to abuse the track limits. “The closer you get to the white line, the faster you go,” he concludes. Albon’s irritation focuses not so much on monitoring the track limits themselves, but on inconsistencies in the rules. “There are different things for different corners. The briefing asked why the white line applies in turn nine and why it is not the same there as on the rest of the circuit. Why is that so?”
Kvyat uttered words of similar significance. The AlphaTauri driver reached the third part of qualifying for the first time in 2020 at Imola and will start the race from P8 on Sunday. The Russian was also very critical of the ‘unclear’ rules around the track limits after qualifying. “We don’t need these white lines, you just need old-fashioned gravel bins. Then you get rid of this nonsense of ‘over the white line’ and ‘don’t go all the way over the white line’,” Kvyat said fiercely after a question from Motorsport.com. “It irritates me immensely, because it ruins the racing and also such a great track. That’s the problem.”
The solution, according to Kvyat, is therefore simple: replace the run-off strips with gravel bins and you are no longer hassle. “At Mugello there was never a problem with track limits. There were gravel bins and I think most agree that this is the best solution,” said the Russian. “Unfortunately, not every circuit can be built like this, so we might have to look for a better solution. I mentioned it, but I didn’t want to get involved in that discussion before qualifying. I have better things to do before qualifying.”
Albon agrees with his colleague from the sister team of Red Bull in terms of the solution. “I don’t think the white line should be leading. It depends on the circuits. The Nürburgring is an example of a circuit with good, sloping curbs at the exit of the corner, followed by gravel. Of course I understand that they do too. I have to take into account other things like MotoGP and bikes, so I’m not the one who has to give out orders. But it was frustrating and confusing to see all those lap times being canceled. “