FIA replaces track limit guidance in Qatar with blanket rule

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The Qatar Grand Prix stewards will no longer monitor track limits at just five corners at Losail for the remainder of this weekend but apply a single kerb rule for all corners.

Ahead of F1's opening day of running in Qatar, FIA race director Michael Masi had warned drivers of transgressing track limits at Turns 4, 12, 13, 14 and 16.

Putting all four wheels beyond the white line at these corners would warrant a lap time deletion, while three transgressions on race day would earn a driver a referral to the stewards.

But after Friday's first practice session, Masi sent competitors a revised note which discarded the original instructions as applied to five specific corners and ushed in a blanket rule.

The note stated that the track limit on the exit of each corner "is defined as when no part of a car remains in contact with the purple and white kerb".

"For the avoidance of doubt, drivers will be judged to have left the track on the exit of a corner if no part of the car remains in contact with the purple and white kerb."

The FIA's instructions have put drivers on notice, but venturing out on the kerbs is also frowned upon by the teams who fear the potential damage that riding the borders can produce, as McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl explained.

"The kerbs are quite harsh here," said the German. "I think we have seen on several cars here in the paddock today, also on our cars, bodywork damage from running over these kerbs. So definitely something we need to keep an eye on for the rest of the weekend.

"This a fast track, and I think when you hit them, you hit them hard. Plus, obviously, it's a track that also allows you to take certain risks to go wide because it doesn't stop you completely.

"Probably drivers also take a bit more risk, which maybe causes additional additional risk to the parts."

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