F1 installs speed bumps to avoid drivers from disrespecting track limits
Formula 1 cars’ chassis aren’t supposed to go over speed bumps, but the Mexican Grand Prix has speed bumps placed at certain corners to discourage drivers from cutting corners and disrespecting track limits after the controversial events of the United States Grand Prix.
Fifty-millimeter-high speed bumps have been installed inside the left-hand kerb sections of Turns 1 and 2, and a series of additional bumps placed between Turns 2 and 3, and between Turns 8 and 11.
F1 race director Charlie Whiting has claimed that the speed bumps have been installed for safety reasons. However, drivers disagree and believe that these bumps with certainly damage the car if a driver were to go off.
“No one wants to go off, but it is a bit harsh,” said Force India driver Esteban Ocon. “It is dangerous. You are going to launch and I think it’s not going to stay like this.
“I think if someone hits that they will have to make a chassis change.”
Haas driver Romain Grosjean also criticized the placement of the bumps.
“Turn 1, there is a slight issue in that you can’t rejoin the track,” said Grosjean. “You don’t want to go there. There is no route bringing you back to the track. That needs to be thought about.
“There’s another tricky one, which is Turn 7. If you go wide there, you have to come back around an orange bit, it’s pretty narrow. But the rest works.”
Last year several drivers cut the first corner during the race. Lewis Hamilton cut the first corner while in the lead, and Max Verstappen later cut the first corner to defend his position against a charging Sebastian Vettel, but was penalized after the race for his doing.
Although it’s understandable for the FIA to install speed bumps to avoid a Raikkonen-Verstappen incident from last week in Austin, the speed bumps lead to more problems than solutions.
A lot of times, drivers are forced to cut the corner or forced wide to avoid an incident or debris. To put it in perspective, how are drivers supposed to avoid a first corner incident like the one in Singapore? A lot of drivers cut the first corner at the Singaporean Grand Prix to avoid debris and getting involved in the incident between the two Ferraris and Verstappen.
If a first corner incident were to take place this Sunday, it will be interesting to see how drivers avoid it given the new speed bumps.