Formula 1 Racing

F1 considering glued gravel traps as ‘best solution’ for track limits· RaceFans

Valtteri Bottas, Sauber, Red Bull Ring, 2024

Formula 1 teams and the FIA are discussing whether adding glue to gravel traps could provide the most effective solution to enforcing track limits.

The operators of the Zandvoort circuit, which returned to the F1 calendar in 2021, added glue to the edges of some gravel traps to prevent cars dragging stones onto the course.

At the FIA’s request, other circuits have added or expanded gravel traps this year to physically enforce track limits instead of relying on cameras and stewards detecting whether drivers have strayed across white lines. However if gravel is dragged onto the circuits it can damage tyres.

Pirelli’s chief engineer Simone Berra said the solution used at Zandvoort could prove the best compromise between enforcing track limits and preventing unnecessary damage to tyres.

“We think that going in the direction to improve the gravel trap is the right direction for the track limits,” he told media including RaceFans. “Probably the best solution, and it’s something that I know that the teams are speaking with FIA and FIA is speaking with the teams, is trying to use a solution like we have in Zandvoort where they glue the gravel. That could be a good solution because you don’t bring a gravel into the racing line.

“I don’t know if we will go in this direction, but that could be a possible introduction for the future. Anyway, the FIA we know are going to introduce gravel traps for the future more often because it’s working, honestly, and it makes sense.”

At Zandvoort, the borders of some gravel traps have glue applied to prevent the stones being moved if a driver touches the edge of the run-off.

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“It’s a solution that we have available and we should consider because it’s preventing gravel to come onto the track and maybe slowing down the cars if they run over this glued gravel,” Berra added.

Pirelli detected more cuts in its tyres during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend after two new strips of gravel were added at turns nine and ten. The manufacturer does not believe the cuts were a cause for concern at that circuit.

Pirelli detected more tyre cuts at Austrian Grand Prix

However Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola pointed out the more appropriate solution needs to be found for each circuit, particularly after its experienced in Qatar last year, where drivers had to be prevented from running onto kerbs which triggered tyre failures.

“Obviously gravel has some…

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