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Miami Grand Prix 2023

Drivers take aim at F1 DRS changes: Completely wrong direction

Formula 1 drivers have hit back against the latest DRS tweaks made ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

Leclerc Baku Sprintrace
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Several Formula 1 drivers have criticised the decision to shorten the Drag Reduction System (DRS) zones for the upcoming Miami Grand Prix amid overtaking problems in recent events.

Drivers formed a fairly uniform stance against the latest modifications to DRS zones, with two of the three activation zones in Miami now being shortened compared to last year's event.

The previous race in Azerbaijan was met by criticism by many for its lack of overtaking opportunities, despite containing the one of the longest start-finish straights in the sport.

The FIA had shortened the DRS zone in Baku, which followed on from modifications at the Australian GP to include a fourth DRS zone.

Speaking ahead of the Miami GP, Mercedes' George Russell said that the drivers had not been consulted for their opinions prior to the latest tweaks.

"I think all of us didn't really understand why they've been shortened. None of us were consulted about it or asked our opinion on it. I think the race speaks for itself in Baku," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"DRS is there to aid overtaking, and it's always exciting when you've got these big DRS advantages, and it gives you the opportunity to fight and clearly in Baku it was way too short."

Ferrari Charles agreed with the reaction, and hoped that the drivers' reactions would prompt the FIA to not shorten any more DRS zones.

"I don't think is the right direction," added Leclerc.

I think with the cars that we have at the moment it's still quite difficult to follow. It is better than the previous generation cars, but still not good enough to actually have less DRS, so hopefully in the future races we won't shorten them."

Verstappen: A combination of overtaking issues

World Champion Max Verstappen conceded that Red Bull has been less affected by overtaking issues this season, with his RB19 car holding a performance advantage when DRS is activated.

However, the Dutchman has twice finished close behind teammate Sergio Perez in the opening four Grands Prix of the season, and pointed to the issue being with the current generation of Formula 1 cars.

"I think for us it's a little bit different," said Verstappen.

"Let's say when you have to come through the field from the back, then it doesn't really matter how long the zone is because you will get the car ahead. But when the pace is within one tenth, two tenths [of a second], like you could see in Baku, then I think once you're in a bit of a DRS train then there's no chance.

"Is the DRS zone too short, or are the cars not good enough to follow closely? I think it's a bit of a combination of both. The cars are probably too heavy.

"They're too stiff, so you can't really run a kerb to try and find a bit of a different line because everyone is driving more or less the same line nowadays because of how the cars work and how stiff the suspension is.

"As people are finding more and more downforce in their cars, it probably becomes a bit harder to follow as well."

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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