Wheels24.co.za | WATCH: Sneaky shortcut vs driver safety – the cool ways F1 drivers use run-off areas to gain a speed advantage on track

The French grand prix had its fair share of crashes and incidents with many racers and teams critical of the infamous Mistral chicane in particular.

It is a given that crashes will occur in Formula 1, some more serious than others. To improve safety, run-off areas play a vital role.

Paul Ricard track organisers unsure over Mistral chicane axe

Some tracks, such as the French Paul Ricard circuit, have a large area of open tarmac that can also serve as a sneaky way for drivers to use shortcuts by zipping across tight chicanes.

Grass, gravel, dirt and tarmac have all played their part over the years, but which works best?

Check out the clip below for an in-depth look at how run off areas and safety affect F1 and the drivers:

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