The FIA has confirmed it will police track limits during this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix using electronic devices in a bid to stop drivers gaining an advantage by going off-track.
Over the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone, a number of drivers had lap times in qualifying deleted for exceeding track limits, although questions were raised about the consistency of decisions.
The Hungaroring has undergone a number of changes ahead of this weekend’s race, including the installation of new curbs and a resurfacing of the tarmac.
In his pre-race notes to the teams, FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed that an electronic system would be used at Turns 4 and 11 to inform race control of drivers who put all four wheels off-track.
“In Turns 4 and 11 the new double curb has been installed and the artificial grass removed,” Whiting wrote.
“However, the run-off areas behind the curbs have been set at the same height as the kerbs themselves, the required deterrent is therefore not present.
“With this in mind we have installed loops 1.6m from the track edge which will alert us when a car has all four wheels off the track in these two locations.”
Whiting also informed teams that “the ‘sausage’ curbs on the apex of Turns 6 and 7 have been replaced by a 50 mm high steel ‘Abu Dhabi’ curb on the apex behind the 50mm positive curb”, while “a large number of kerbs have been renewed to a very high standard with great emphasis on improved drainage”.
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto