A ‘sausage kerb’ has been added from the exit of Turn 20 to stop drivers abusing track limits at the penultimate corner, but as drivers ran over it in Friday’s sessions, plumes of dust were getting kicked up from it.
While the kerb was visibly breaking up as the sessions went on, it also caused some drivers difficulties, with Max Verstappen driving all the way along it and unable to steer his car away from it, and Charles Leclerc bouncing over it when he tried to rejoin the circuit at speed after running wide.
“The kerb is a good idea, there is no more track limits issue,” said Grosjean after FP2 in Abu Dhabi.
“But every time you go on [it] there is a fair bit of dust coming out, so it’s not great. It doesn’t look very F1 standard.
“If you go too wide then you go out [of the circuit] and you lose time, which is why it’s there.
“It’s a good solution, it’s just not done properly.”
Grosjean said the new kerb will probably be discussed at the F1 drivers’ briefing on Friday night.
Despite his dramatic moment between the two corners, Verstappen said the higher kerb was an improvement on previous attempts to get drivers to respect track limits at Turn 20.
“I understand why it’s there, and honestly I think it’s also better, because otherwise at one point you start playing with the limits,” he said.
“At one point I went a little bit over it, but yeah, it can happen. The wheels were off the ground, you can’t do anything.
“I don’t expect it to be a big problem in the race, because you don’t want to go that wide.
“Even last year if you didn’t abuse it you could also lean on it a bit. Now that thing is a bit higher.”
Renault’s Carlos Sainz said he didn’t mind the new kerb, and that the incidents on Friday were just drivers “getting used to having to negotiate these corners with a bit more careful approach”.
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Photo by: Simon Galloway / Sutton Images