The Red Bull Ring has had a bit of a makeover since the last time Formula 1 visited the venue in Spielberg, with a new surface and new kerbs added to prevent drivers abusing track limits.
Extra run-off areas have been added at Turns One, Two and Eight, while another additional patch has been placed on the right hand side of the entry to Turn Three.
25mm negative kerbs have been placed at Turns One to Three, Five and Eight, while 100mm kerbs have been installed behind the apex at Turns One, Two and Nine, similar to the kerbs found at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Finally, 50mm “sausage” kerbs have also been installed around the Red Bull Ring, behind the 25mm negative kerbs exiting Turns One and Two.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson believes that the kerbs are unnecessary, and would prefer a driver be punished heavier with grass closer to the track.
“To be honest, I was out on the track walk and I think it looks a bit silly,” Ericsson said on Thursday.
“I think why don’t they just make a kerb and then grass? I don’t really understand why they have to make like a kerb and then an extra kerb and an extra kerb again, I don’t know.
“We will see tomorrow I guess how much of the kerbs you can use or not, when I look at it I’m sure there’s going to be discussions about track limits. Some places you might be able to go four wheels off and gain time by doing so that’s why I don’t understand why they cannot do grass or something.”
Track limits have been an issue since Formula 1 returned to Spielberg in 2014, as the track allows for drivers to take more tarmac on exit in certain corners.
The FIA has come down hard on drivers gaining an advantage this way by deleting lap times, although with the newly added kerbing they hope to minimise drivers trying to gain an advantage.
Image via Sauber F1 Team