Alexander Albon says the FIA should “just put gravel” down to define track limits after eight of his lap times were deleted for violations in the first day of running at Imola.

The Red Bull driver secured fifth place on the grid for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix but only after his first lap time in Q3 was deleted for exceeding track limits on the exit of turn nine, Piratella.

While he was able to put in a legitimate lap time to secure fifth place on the grid, Albon questioned the need for the track limit rules as they have been defined around the Imola circuit for this weekend.

“Honestly, I don’t know why we’re changing different corners and different track limits,” says Albon. “Just put gravel and we’ll be fine.”

Albon had a total of eight lap times deleted for track limit infringements through free practice and qualifying – four at turn nine and four at turn 15 – more than any other driver.

“I’m sure people will comment that drivers need to respect [track limits],” says Albon, “but we’re pushing out there and these cars are so well built that, for us, there is basically no risk or punishment for going too wide. It’s just pure lap time. The more you can get close to that white line you’ll just go faster and faster.

“It all comes more down to the circuits. If you think about, say, Nurburgring, that’s a great example of a good track with good exit kerbs and then gravel straight away.”

Albon says he is not the only driver who has raised concerns over the current approach to track limits taken by the stewards. The boundary at Piratella, which is defined by the white line at the exit of the corner, was one cause for concern0

“In the drivers’ briefing, for instance, a question was raised of why are we going over the white line for turn nine,” he says.

“Because, really, if you go past that jagged tooth – the green diamond kerbs – it’s really slow. You bottom out and you get pulled along the outside of the circuit. So I think that’s a good enough punishment.”

Despite his difficulties, Albon said he is satisfied with his qualifying performance.

“It was an okay session and actually through qualifying I was just getting better and better,” he says.

“Obviously I had that lap deleted in Q3. It’s that thing where you’re in your head and you’ve got to put it behind you and just focus on the next run. But at the same time, you know that you want to do a lap as well. So it was kind of that feeling. But otherwise it was okay.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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