Brawn: Asphalt 'predominantly better' than gravel for run-off areas

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Ross Brawn believes that asphalt run-off areas currently remain a better solution than gravel traps to deal with track limit abuses.

Last weekend's Russian Grand Prix was marked by several incidents at Sochi's now infamous Turn 2 where McLaren's Carlos Sainz crashed on the opening lap of the race.

Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean were also victims of the challenging Turn 2 section that drivers denounced after Sunday's race, urging changes to the corner's design in the future.


"There were some contentious parts of the circuit this weekend, and I know the FIA are very objective and constructive in how they view these things? " Brawn commented in his post-Sochi debrief.

"I’m sure they will be taking a look at the incidents in Turn 2 to see if there is a better solution."

The debate over whether asphalt or gravel should be used in run-off areas was revived at the recent Tuscan Grand Prix where several of Mugello's corners are outlined by the instantly punishing gravel traps.

While Brawn recognizes the deterring nature of the latter, F1's director of motorsports believes asphalt remains the best compromise when it comes to dealing with track limit abuses.

"There is a constant battle to stop drivers abusing track limits. You don’t abuse track limits if you end up in the gravel. They do if it’s asphalt.

"But if you have gravel everywhere, it gets thrown on the track and you lose cars if they go off, which we don’t want to do.

"So you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Predominantly, asphalt is the better solution, but we have to have track limits to make sure drivers don’t abuse asphalt run-off.

"If you go into a corner knowing the worst thing that will happen is you’re run over asphalt and re-join, you will commit more to the corner.

"I’m sure the FIA and FIA F1 race director Michael Masi will look at Turn 2 to see if there is a better solution."

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