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Why Formula 1 has a pit lane speed limit and the penalties for breaking it

Each F1 circuit has its own pit lane speed limit that drivers must comply with at all times. Why is there a speed limit in the pits at all in the series – and how fast are the drivers allowed to drive?

A speed limit in Formula 1 seems contradictory.

In a series where speed is absolutely everything and missing even a small amount can cost you millions in prize money, limiting speed is an antithesis to the idea at hand.

But the pit lane speed limit in Formula 1 is one of the most strictly enforced elements of a Grand Prix weekend.

Why does F1 have them, what is it and is it the same at every track?

Photo by MARK THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

F1 pit lane speed limit

Speed ​​limits in the pit lane were first tested in practice in 1993.

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They were introduced into each season following the tragic weekend of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Rookie Roland Ratzenberger and three-time world champion Ayrton Senna had fatal accidents in qualifying and in the race – another incident occurred in the pit lane.

After the race was restarted after Senna was flown to the hospital, Michele Alboreto exited the pits at full speed on lap 48.

The right rear of his Minardi car was not properly secured and came loose, with mechanics taking notice.

Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images

Thereafter, speed limits became mandatory to protect mechanics, media and officials working in the F1 pit lane.

The current maximum speed in the pit lane is 80 km/h – 49.7 mph.

However, it can be adjusted by the race director in appropriate conditions.

penalties for breaking

At the entrance and exit of the pit lane, a white line marks the spot where F1 drivers must obey the speed limit.

They simply press a button on the steering wheel to put the car under the restriction – sometimes locking up their tires to slow down in time.

For every km/ha driver who exceeds the limit, there is a fine of 100 euros, up to 1000 euros.

If a driver exceeds the limit during the race, penalties such as a drive-through are not uncommon.

Sebastian Vettel received a pitlane speeding penalty for exceeding the limit in his Aston Martin at the last Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Photo by TPN/Getty Images

In other news, why is everyone quitting Netflix and moving to other platforms?

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/04/22/pit-lane-speed-limit-f1/ Why Formula 1 has a pit lane speed limit and the penalties for breaking it

Zack Zwiezen

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