Following grid field penalties in every of the primary two races of the 2023 Method 1 season, FIA adjusted the dimensions of the grid bins forward of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Beginning with this weekend’s race, the grid bins firstly might be wider by 20 cm.
FIA can be including a brand new “information line,” or middle line, in the course of the grid field to assist drivers get aligned correctly firstly.
Within the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon was given a five-second penalty for not being contained in the grid field firstly of the race. This touched off a sequence of errors by the Alpine driver and his crew, and Ocon finally retired from the season-opening race.
Then on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Fernando Alonso was given a five-second penalty of his personal. Later within the race, questions arose whether or not Alonso served the penalty correctly, or his crew started engaged on his AMR23 earlier than the total 5 seconds elapsed. Phrase got here down following the race — and the rostrum celebration that acknowledged Alonso because the third-place finisher — that Alonso was being hit with a further ten-second penalty, which dropped him into P4.
Nonetheless, Alonso finally received his attraction, and was reinstated to his unique third-place end.
And finally the third-place trophy.
Here’s a take a look at the brand new grid bins, together with the brand new middle line, as offered by MotorSportWeek:
You may see the brand new, wider field, in distinction to the light paint on the prior grid field.
Right here is one other take a look at the brand new grid bins, from F1:
The broader bins ought to make it simpler for the drivers to align correctly firstly, and this transformation will probably be welcomed by the drivers. Following his mishaps throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ocon argued that with the brand new era of F1 vehicles, visibility points made it tough to correctly align firstly. “Sadly, you may’t see very nicely in these vehicles, particularly not whenever you’re on the grid like that,” stated Ocon after the race. “You may see the yellow line as a reference, however it’s as much as me to repair it.”
Following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, quite a few drivers addressed the issue of getting aligned correctly within the grid field. Following the race, each George Russell, Sergio Pérez, and Max Verstappen spoke to this problem.
“It’s extremely tough [to see the grid box]. We’re sat so low and to place some perspective, we solely see most likely the highest 4 or 5 inches of the tyre so you may’t really see the bottom itself,” stated Russell within the post-race press convention. “We’ve received these large lengthy yellow traces declaring… I can’t even see the yellow line, not to mention the white traces figuring out your lateral place. It’s actually, actually powerful in order that’s why I believe on this regard we have to present a little bit bit extra frequent sense.”
“The visibility is simply actually poor within the automobile, that’s I believe, most likely the principle problem the place you find yourself generally not absolutely, appropriately in your field,” added Verstappen.
Pérez, the winner of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, echoed these ideas. “Yeah, it’s actually tough simply to see the place you’ve stopped. I believe, in my view I simply overdid it and I finished too early, however you don’t have any thought when you’re within the automobile. You don’t know in case you went too far or from behind or too far ahead,” stated Pérez. “So I believe it’s one thing… we want higher visibility to have the ability to give you a greater thought than we at present have it. It’s good that there’s a rule in place, however on the identical time, generally it’s like luck, to be sincere, the place you place your self.”
Alonso talked concerning the new grid bins, in addition to the central line, throughout press conferences forward of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Whereas he believes the broader bins ought to make a distinction, he stays skeptical concerning the central line.
“It’s tough [to see the grid box]. And yeah, apparently this 12 months, it appears much more, as a result of in two races to have two penalties is a little bit bit unusual. However yeah, I imply, in my case, it didn’t change a lot from final 12 months,” stated Alonso earlier this week. “It’s tough and we’re very focused on the yellow line to not go too far ahead. So, you approached the field, let’s say, not trying on the field, you’re looking on one facet of the cockpit. So possibly that’s a little bit of a distraction. However yeah, I made a mistake there. So we’ll attempt to be extra centered on the field this weekend and keep away from any penalty.”
“The central line? I don’t assume so. As a result of as I stated, you method the field trying sideways, so that you’re not trying ahead, in order that’s the most important problem – however the 20 centimetres will assist I suppose. There’s going to be some circuits, possibly Monaco, or Imola that you simply begin a little bit bit sideways anyway,” stated Alonso. “As a result of if not you crash in case you begin there straight. So, we’ll should see how we apply the penalties and issues like that in these races. However yeah, nobody needs to get a penalty for the beginning. Additionally, I believe the FIA doesn’t need to have any drawback with that, as a result of there isn’t any efficiency benefit, so long as you don’t go too ahead. So yeah, hopefully we keep away from something to any extent further.”
Hopefully the modifications make it simpler for drivers to get aligned this weekend, and we will keep away from associated penalties beginning with the Australian Grand Prix.