F1: DRS still helping F1 ‘show’ – Wolff

(GMM) There will be no fewer than 4 separate DRS zones on the Albert Park layout this weekend as Formula 1 finally returns to Australia.

With the ‘ground effect’ 2022 cars proving much easier for drivers to chase and pass rivals with, some have questioned whether the drag-reduction rear wing system is even needed anymore.

“I think without DRS, passing would be reduced significantly,” Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz said after the opening Bahrain and Saudi Arabian grands prix.

“So I think we are still better off with it, but we should make sure the advantage from DRS is not so much that overtaking becomes too easy.”

Lando Norris agrees that the 2022 aerodynamics in combination with DRS are now making the racing highly unpredictable.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (DRS closed) holds off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (DRS Open) at the line to win the Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah. Photo courtesy of Oracle Red Bull F1 Team

“I overtook Esteban Ocon on the second last lap with DRS,” the McLaren driver said.

“In the past, I would have shaken him off in my turbulence, but with the new cars, he was able to keep up and overtake me on the last lap.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner, though, was critical of the way the DRS zones in Jeddah allowed Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc to play “cat and mouse” with the activation points.

“You could see them braking before the line and then accelerating again to the corner,” he said.

“I think we need to take a look at where the DRS points are in the next few years so we avoid that sort of thing.”

Unsurprisingly, Horner’s team boss nemesis Toto Wolff doesn’t agree with that.

“I have to say that I liked it,” the Mercedes chief after the Verstappen-Leclerc battle. “The cars are delivering what we had hoped for.

“Obviously the DRS is a great advantage, but it also provides a very good show. As a spectator, I found it to be very entertaining.”


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