The FIA introduced a change to the pitlane limiter zone ahead of the French Grand Prix this weekend, and it’s safe to say the drivers are not happy about it.
Previously, the speed limit zone, which is capped at 60km/h, ended just after the last team garage. The pitlane then carries on a bit longer snd goes past another unused garage.
Race director, Eduardo Freitas and his deputy Niels Wittich, carried out the track inspection on Thursday and decided that this was a potential hazard for drivers to collide with when accelerating. Due to this, they have decided to extend the pitlane speed limit until the pit exit.
This change brings much longer pit stop times to the drivers, by as much as 3.4-4 seconds. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but during an F1 race, this could be huge. We could see more teams attempting to do a one-stop race on Sunday to combat this.
Without the extra time for acceleration, this will also put drivers in a worse position for turn one, making defending a place extremely difficult.
Some of the drivers have argued these points in the briefing, but were shut down as the changes were put in place for their safety and the safety of others.