Helmut Marko thinks the FIA should be more offensive if they want the track limits to be respected and that they should not let so many asphalted run-off areas if they do not want track limits to be abused.
What happened on the first Grand Prix of the season is still very controversial to this date and after the Stewarts took their decision. Indeed, Lewis Hamilton went over the track limits at turn four of the Bahrain International Circuit approximately 30 times, probably gaining an advantage of a few seconds while Verstappen thought it was forbidden to do so.
However, when the Dutch prodigy lost control of his single-seater right after overtaking Hamilton and therefore used the track limits in order not to crash, the Dutchman was asked to return his position.
This debate will probably remain unsolved like many others in Formula 1 history. However, Red Bull’s principal team advisor, Helmut Marko wants to avoid these kinds of controversies in the future and thinks it is very questionable that Mercedes was not penalized for using the track limits as much as they did.
“Overall it is a bit of a suspicious issue. There were no sanctions, but time was saved,” Marko says.
The 77-year-old Austrian also questioned the FIA’s habit of letting very wide asphalted exits around corners such as turn 4 in Bahrain. Indeed, the team advisor thought it was simply the best way to create controversy and that the debate would be ended if they decided to place a wall on the outside of this turn.
“If we put a wall there, it will be solved. Anyone hitting the wall would damage their own car. I don’t understand why we have so many asphalt loopholes on the circuits and why we don’t create a clear limit,” Helmut Marko added.
Nonetheless, even though this could be an idea to avoid abusive use of track limits, which has been such a debate for the past years, we should keep in mind that the FIA always studies dozens of possibilities of accidents before implementing anything on a race track where such powerful vehicles will race one.
It is therefore very easy to criticize them but if the FIA thinks it is a bad idea to implement a wall on this part of the circuit, there is probably a reason for it. The highest motoring instance still did not react to Marko’s comments but they could consider it. Another solution could also consist of implementing a simple sandpit at the outside of this turn in order to slow down the cars that decided to take advantage out of it.