F1 drivers will be greeted at Imola by a considerably less forgiving circuit, with several asphalt run-off areas replaced by gravel traps for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

This shift towards gravel traps signifies a course correction for F1. In recent years, the proliferation of asphalt run-offs had a dual effect: it reduced the risk of accidents but also opened the door for drivers to exploit track limits with minimal consequences.

This culminated in a farcical situation at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix where a staggering 1200 track limit infringements were recorded, highlighting the need for a change.

At Imola, key corners like Piratella, Acque Minerali, and Variante Alta now feature significantly reduced asphalt run-off areas and a generous helping of gravel on their exit.

This means mistakes like Charles Leclerc’s infamous spin at Variante Alta in 2022 will likely result in a retirement, not just a slap on the wrist.

Imola isn’t alone in embracing the return of gravel. After last year’s abuse and infractions, the Red Bull Ring is also expected to implement changes.

Similarly, it has also been reported that modifications will be made at specific corners at Monza for next September’s Italian Grand Prix.

This coordinated effort demonstrates a united front within F1 to address the track limits issue and restore a sense of accountability for drivers.

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter

The post Imola replaces asphalt run-offs with gravel at three key corners appeared first on F1i.com.