Horner calls for gravel traps instead of run-off areas

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says there will be less left to the interpretation of Formula One stewards’s if run-off areas were replaced by gravel traps, after the topic of track limits was put back in the spotlight in Mexico.

Last weekend’s saw several drivers cut through the grass at the first corner, including pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and second-placed Nico Rosberg on the opening lap.

Both Mercedes drivers escaped punishment whereas Red Bull ace Max Verstappen was demoted from a podium finish for a similar offense in the closing stages of the race.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone created a stir last week when he called for walls to be implemented around the track in a bid to prevent drivers from running wide. Horner agrees that more deterrents are needed, albeit perhaps not to that magnitude.

“Bernie’s view is put a wall there, which is probably one end of the spectrum,” the Red Bull team boss said. “But I definitely think there’s an argument for a gravel trap because if you end up in the gravel you either lose an enormous amount of time or you’re out of the race.

“I really think it’s something that should be looked at for corners such as Turn 1 to see if gravel is a better deterrent than large tarmac run-off areas.

“It remains too open to interpretation because why was Max’s move any different to Lewis at the chicane in Monte Carlo or Lewis on lap one here? You’re leaving it constantly up to stewards interpretation on individual events. If there’s a gravel trap there they pay the price, it’s as simple as that.”

Track limits have been a hot issue this year, with several tracks featuring revamped kerbing systems and electronic sensors to monitor it.

However, several paddock figures, including Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff have called for a relaxation of penalties for exceeding track limits.

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