Despite the penalty meted out to Max Verstappen following last year’s United States Grand Prix, which saw the Red Bull driver demoted from third to fourth just moments before he stepped out on to the podium, drivers are continuing to exceed the track limits at the Circuit of the Americas.
As a result, ahead of today’s final practice session, Race Director, Charlie Whiting warned of a zero-tolerance approach to those drivers who continue to flout the rules.
“If a driver crosses the kerb on the exit of turn 19 during qualifying and, as a result, no part of the car remains in contact with the red and white section of the kerb, the lap time of the driver concerned will be deleted by the stewards,” he warned.
“During the race a black and white flag will be shown to any driver who clears the red and white section of the kerb three times, any further occurrence will then be reported to the stewards. Each time any car clears the red and white section teams will be informed via the official messaging system.”
The move follows the addition of kerbs at Turns 16 and 17, the spot the Red Bull driver cut last year in his desperation to pass Raikkonen.
The kerbs, are 2m long, 1m wide and 50mm high and along with the three bumps similar to those on the exit of Turns 11, 15 and 19 that have been installed behind the exit kerb at Turn 1, are all intended to prevent drivers exceeding track limits in the wake of last year’s race.