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Max Verstappen: FIA treating F1 drivers like amateurs

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Max Verstappen says the FIA is treating Formula One drivers as if they were "amateurs" when it comes to discussing topics like track limits in driver briefings.

The FIA's two new races directors, Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich, have clashed with drivers on various topics during briefings this year.

Track limits have been a constant point of contention throughout the year, with Freitas and Wittich taking a zero-tolerance approach to drivers going over the white line at the edge of the track. The ruling has led to several drivers having lap times deleted in qualifying.

Ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, Freitas added a specific note that said that the dotted line designating the start of the pit lane entry would be considered the track limit rather than the white line beyond it.

Verstappen said the matter had been discussed at the Friday drivers' briefing and felt the FIA had not taken the opinions of drivers seriously.

"Last night they started talking about Turn 13, saying that the dotted line is the track edge, but there is a kerb and a white line next to it, which for me personally is the track edge," Verstappen said. "We just have so many silly little things that just also make it so difficult for them to police.

"As drivers we always want to help give our advice but nothing is heard, and for me that is extremely frustrating.

"I don't want to fight with them, I want to advise them, but it seems like they don't really care. My feeling is they look at us like we are amateurs and I don't think that's correct."

The policing of track limits is also a controversial topic, with the FIA largely relying on camera footage to make judgments rather than installing detection loops in the circuit.

In Saturday's Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying, Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez had a lap deleted before it was later reinstated by the stewards when it was deemed he did not go fully off the track.

Verstappen said some of the camera angles can be misleading when trying to make such marginal decisions.

"Most of the time when they look on the onboard cameras, the camera is on the wrong side, so the angle looks like you're off but you are not off," he added. "So it's very hard and I think we can do ourselves a favour and make it a lot easier by adding a bit of gravel on the exit.

"Austria, for example, why do we need track limits at Turn 4 and Turn 6, there is naturally gravel, and even if you go out by this much you will penalise yourself by going wide or damage the floor anyway and your car is going slower.

"So they just make it super hard for themselves. Of course people just say stay within the white line, but that is easier said than done. What I said about this dotted line is just so confusing as well."

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly, who had a lap time deleted in the first part of qualifying, said detection loops should be installed at tracks to offer a hard and fast ruling on track limits.

"They're saying that from CCTV I was over the line, but we've got to check because we know how good the quality of CCTV is and we need to double check," Gasly said.

"For more consistency, the best would be to have a sensor in the car and have it everywhere.

"At Turn 5 in all my years of racing, which is pretty much the last 10 years, I've never had any track limits in that corner.

"And this year it's a quite drastic approach. And that's why I think we definitely need more accurate tools to make sure it's always fairly respected."