Following the conclusion to the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team put in an appeal to the stewards that not all track limit offences were significantly punished during the race at the Red Bull Ring, an appeal that was ultimately successful.
There was multiple five- and ten-second penalties handed out during the seventy-one lap race on Sunday afternoon up and down the field, but Aston Martin believed that some drivers got away with more penalties than were given, and the stewards agreed to revisit the race and hand out additional penalties.
The stewards admitted they were unable to keep track of all track limit offences on Sunday, with around 1200 reported breaches, and as a result some drivers had initially got away with taking hits to their race time.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was the driver highest up the order to be handed a penalty, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver being handed a ten-second penalty that relegated him to sixth behind McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.
Lewis Hamilton was also handed the same penalty, with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver dropping from seventh to eighth in the final result, behind team-mate George Russell.
Pierre Gasly also dropped a place from ninth to tenth after the BWT Alpine F1 Team driver was handed another ten-second time penalty, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll gaining a position as a result.
Outside of the top ten, additional penalties were handed out to Alexander Albon (ten seconds), Esteban Ocon (thirty seconds for four separate offences), Logan Sargeant (ten seconds), Nyck de Vries (fifteen seconds) and Yuki Tsunoda (five seconds).
The multiple penalties applied both during and post-race in Austria will bring track limits firmly into the limelight once more, with the circuit likely to look into solutions to the yearly problem, particularly at turns nine and ten.
However, it is not as simple as installing gravel traps on the outside of the corners as motorcycle racing also takes place at the track.