The asphalted run-offs of the new circuits are back on the agenda. This time the four times world champion Lewis Hamilton is the one pointing the finger at the new layouts of the circuits confirming what was already said in recent months by Gian Carlo Minardi. It was on the occasion of the USA grand prix and following Verstappen’s penalty that the manager from Faenza stated
“…The asphalted run-offs give the drivers too much peace of mind and this urges them to go over the limits allowed by the circuit and then they incur penalties which raise controversy that does no favours to the image of the world championship. As a matter of fact these incidents do not occur on the historic circuits such as Suzuka, Spa-Francorchamps or Monza where errors or acts of bravado come at a heavy price since they risk finding themselves stuck in the sand”
The 2017 World Champion from Britain is of the same idea.
The Federation has done an incredible job on safety, but the time has come to take a step back and return to the run-offs with grass or gravel. A driver should not be able to cut a corner so easily knowing that he has available a wide strip of asphalt… What I loved about the past was the risk of losing time – or the race- if you left the track. Today you can approach a corner even 5% faster since if you make a mistake you can come back onto the track in any case”
It was precisely the penalty given to Verstappen for his overtaking manoeuvre at Raikonnen’s expense at Austin that Minardi added another analysis.
“It would be vital having the same work group at Race Director Charlie Whiting’s side for the whole season. Objective decisions can only be avoided in this way. During last season,” added the ex constructor, “there were a number of similar incidents which had different evaluations between them and this does not do the sport any good. One solution to bring together the circuits and to avoid them spending more money and to ensure safety could be to impose heavy penalties in the case of cutting corners,” concluded the manager from Faenza.