F1 drivers are wary of the new kerbs installed at Lusail circuit for this weekend’s Qatar GP after troubles with the older ones in 2021.
The last time F1 raced at Lusail circuit in 2021, there were some cuts on the tyres and even on the cars which needed thorough investigations. Post that, it was understood that some of the kerbs were responsible factor where drivers were asked to stay away as much.
As the F1 circus returns to Lusail after a year’s gap for this weekend’s Qatar GP, the organisers have planted new kerbs along with whole resurface of the circuit. There are already concerns about the new kerbs which some describe it as far more dangerous.
With the current generation cars being a bit more wider and visibility not that great, it could be a concern certainly if they run over some of the kerbs. Most are waiting for FP1 to see what lines they can take and how much of the kerbs they can actually use.
Here’s what some of the F1 drivers stated –
Tsunoda: “I think the biggest challenge will be the kerbs. It seems they have changed to the aggressive kerbs. Here it is always a story of track limits and they have made the kerbs even worse. When you go off the white line, you have to have a proper penalty which seems like it’s going to be a high risk of damaging the car, so that’s probably the main point. I’ve seen the pictures already. There’s definitely a big step between the kerb and off-track. Driving on the kerb won’t be an issue. But once you step out from the kerbs it’s going to be like a complete sliding effect. It is not smooth at all, and especially driving here, with such high-speed corners where the car is really low, it will be hard. Even one time will be pretty costly I think. I think [the weekend will be] a floor destroyer, for sure. I did the simulator on Tuesday. The pictures arrived later on that day so we couldn’t simulate it properly yet, but yeah. The pictures, they look really aggressive and all the engineers were concerned about it – I think all the team anyway.”
Gasly: “I mean, it was definitely a challenge last time out in 2021. So, I think we’ll have to keep an eye on this quite aggressive, aggressive kerbs. I think some of them have been changed, so it’s not really something we are too worried about. But obviously it stood out on that particular track compared to others. So, we’ll keep a close eye but yeah, last time out. I started in second, we have a great qualifying. It was a definitely a positive weekend and, you know, Alpine had a very good race with Fernando finishing on the podium and Esteban in the top five. So, I think we know the team has a good record here on this track and hopefully it can still be the case this year.”
Albon: “It looks amazing. I drove it on the simulator. A lot of fun. I’m interested to see… I don’t know if anyone else has walked it yet, but the kerbs and everything will be interesting, because track limits might be a thing I reckon around here.”
Sainz: “I have to see but lets see, it all depends on track limits. We might not go there if there’s a track limit but at the same time the white line being this wide and the cars being so wide and the lack of visibility we have plus the speeds that we do here, I think we will be talking about track limits more than actual kerb destroyers.”
Leclerc: “I haven’t done the track but I remember two years ago was pretty bad. I know they have changed kerbs but I don’t know how the new kerbs are, so I cannot comment for now.”
Verstappen: “I haven’t seen them yet but you don’t want to end up on that side then (when explained how big the kerbs are positioned especially at Turn 4). We don’t have many floors but we will deal with, otherwise we will patch it up.”
Alonso: “I think it’s going to feel better, to be honest. I think the new generation of cars, they’ve been quite okay at high speed corners and are struggling a little bit in the slow speed corners and here is all about high speed. So, I think the cars will feel good. And yeah, I think the question mark is the new asphalt: how grippy it is and how dusty is going to be in the Free Practice One – but yeah, the Sprint weekend obviously will add spice to everything.”
Here’s details about Qatar GP
Here’s photos and details of some of the circuit changes