George Russell claims that most of the Formula 1 drivers are in favour of competitors receiving position drops over time penalties for completing overtakes off track.

The debate surrounding track limits has been a heightened discussion during this season, extending down to drivers gaining an advantage by seizing a place illegally.

The standard penalty the stewards hand out for anybody venturing outside the confines of the track and maintaining a position is currently a five-second time penalty.

However, Williams’ Alex Albon highlighted that such punishments don’t provide a great enough deterrent to drivers in top teams who can mitigate the time loss in clear air.

Oscar Piastri echoed Albon’s viewpoint after Russell was penalised for getting past his McLaren off the track in the Austin Sprint race, arguing that it sets a precedent.

“If you only get a five-second penalty in the race, it is going to be beneficial for people with quicker cars so maybe some people have it premeditated, but it definitely sets a precedent for the kind of penalty you will get for doing that,” Piastri contended.

Russell, who admitted at the time it was a “fair” penalty, believes the opportunity to discuss the matter recently will help the sport deliver more consistency.

“Definitely useful for the drivers to give our feedback and obviously for a bit of consistency,” Russell said on Saturday in Mexico City. “We recognise it’s not easy.”

The Briton confirmed that the topic of leaving the track and gaining an advantage had been noted, with most siding towards position drops being issued over time penalties.

“Yeah I think the big talking point going into next year is whether it’s going to be a position drop or a time drop,” Russell explained. “There’s pros and cons for both but I think on the whole, most drivers are in favour for position drops.”

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-23 and Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri AT04 battle for position. 21.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Sprint Day.

Meanwhile, like Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc insists that a solution must be identified because the current solution to penalising drivers is not “a good look” for F1.

“On that we really need to look into it and find a solution because I don’t think that, in general, it’s a good look for Formula 1, to have this kind of things,” he argued.

But Leclerc believes progress has been made, citing how the FIA agreed to increase track limits mid-weekend at the Circuit of the Americas amid pressure from the drivers.

“I think there’s been, definitively, some steps forward, but, of course, in the last race there were some things I’m not happy they were as they should be,” the Monegasque added.

“But at least there’s been an understanding from the FIA, that it’s not like we don’t want to comply with the rules but it’s just that at one point it’s extremely difficult, we are talking about centimetres and at such high speeds it’s very difficult for us to just because we are so low inside the car and by widening the white line in some corners that came into our direction, and then, after that, we didn’t many track limits infractions in those corners.

“So I’m pretty sure we’re all coming to realize that are some opportunities to improve on that and I’m confident that together we will find a solution,” he concluded.

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