Monza 2022

Sausage kerbs removed at Monza, drivers happy: ‘We will be safer without’

Arriving at Monza for Round 13 of this year’s Formula 2 season, there are a number of changes to the circuit from the last time we visited the Temple of Speed exactly 12 months ago. The majority of these come in the form of the removal of sausage kerbs, which have caused major accidents at Monza in recent years. We asked Tatiana Calderón and Frederik Vesti for their thoughts on this issue.

By Tyler Foster

The use of sausage kerbs is employed to obstruct any cars attempting to use a part of track that is usually beyond the designated limits. The kerb forces drivers to lift or slow, otherwise facing possible floor damage or a loss of control that is supposed to punish anyone overstepping the track limits. However, a major side effect of these kerbs is that their placement can lead to some spectacularly dangerous accidents, including launching cars airborne.

Specifically at Monza, we have seen several accidents whereby drivers have hit the sausage kerbs and subsequently lost complete control of their vehicles before being launched into the barriers or even worse, the catch fencing. Due to the nature of Monza being quick, with most of the circuit being a full throttle, any mistakes involving these kerbs can be extremely dangerous. An example back in 2019, where Australian F3 driver Alex Peroni was sent airborne by a poorly placed sausage kerb at the final corner, Parabolica, directly led to some major changes at that area of the track.

Following the track walks for the F2 drivers on Thursday, it was very clear that the circuit was different from before. A rubber sausage kerb at Turn 1 and 2 have been removed, while all rubber kerbs have been removed at Turn 4 and 5, which is where a GTE car suffered a massive accident earlier this year as a result of the aggressive kerbing previously used.

Speaking to Tatiana Calderón, who is replacing Cem Bölükbaşı at Charouz for the rest of the season, the experienced 29-year-old gave an interesting insight into the effects of removing these kerbs for racing.

Hopefully it will mean that the racing will be more fair this weekend and that we will be safer without those sausage kerbs

Tatiana Calderón

“First thing we looked at this morning was if they removed the sausage kerbs. We all saw what happened in the WEC, with the car flipping at Turn 3 and 4 just touching that banana. I think now it’s more safe. We have some escape roads and not as many sausage kerbs which I think is the way to go. Bringing back gravel, like in Ascari and Parabolica, it’s also the way to go to be punished. There are not so many track limit discussions, but certainly some places you have to get some runoff area, but I think it’s clear that you cannot get an advantage by using them. Hopefully it will mean that the racing will be more fair this weekend and that we will be safer without those sausage kerbs.”

Gravel

These thoughts were backed up by ART driver Frederik Vesti, who also commented on the use of gravel instead of the kerbs at specific points on the circuit.

“I think looking at the accidents that have happened with the sausage kerbs, back in F3, the big crash recently in the second chicane in the GT car, I think it’s clear it’s good to remove them. Also, what they have done in the last corner is they have put the gravel two metres closer to the racetrack, which means that you can just put the car potentially on track limits, we’ll see tomorrow. But if you go any further than that it will be the gravel and potentially lose your lap or even go in the wall. There’s a lot more consequences.”

Header photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

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