Track limits were possibly the biggest talking point during the Austrian GP weekend, with all three competitive sessions having drivers exploring the extremities of the Red Bull Ring.
Lando Norris was one of four drivers to be penalised during the main race – along with Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu and Sebastian Vettel - for exceeding track limits more than the permitted three strikes, receiving a 5s time penalty which he served during a pit stop. Many other drivers also got warnings and black and white flags to warn them of driving standards.
When asked by MotorLAT of his thoughts on Lando Norris’ penalty and the stewards’ consistency on the matter, McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl has said he is “quite happy” with it, given all the teams asked for more clarity and consistency, which they do now, even if it resulted in a penalty for his driver:
“In terms of track limits, all teams and drivers were screaming for consistency, or more consistency, in the past, and in the end that’s why we have ended up with this black and white rule.
“It’s policing track limits at any places on the track, which means you have to stay within the white line.
“And to be honest, even with it ending having a penalty for us [in the race], I’m quite happy with that, because it’s the same [rule] for everyone.”
Especially after Friday’s qualifying session, track limits were even more of a topic. Sergio Perez had all of his Q3 lap times deleted, along with his best Q2 effort, several hours after the end of the session, which meant he would start Saturday’s Sprint event from 13th instead of 4th, and negated those who were in the bottom five of Q2 (especially 11th place driver Pierre Gasly) a chance to fight in Q3.
Asked about this by MotorLAT, Seidl has sympathised with the stewards’ decision, saying he had “no problem” with Perez’s laps being deleted so late, given that under the time pressure of a qualifying session, no decision can be made easily and quickly, because “you want to be sure”:
“Regarding what happened with Sergio [Perez] on Friday, in the end,” he started. “During the course of a session, under the time pressure, which is there as well, and different topics the stewards and race director have to focus on, I think it can happen that you don’t call it straight away, you can’t make a decision straight away.
“Because you want to be sure when you make a decision, and that’s why sometimes it takes to slightly after the race or after the quali, which happened there. Regarding that I have no problem, to be honest,” he concluded.