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FIA seeking driver input over DRS future

F1 drivers have shown discontent at the shortening of DRS zones but RacingNews365.com has learned changes are set to be discussed at an upcoming SAC meeting.

Concerns from F1 drivers over the application of DRS in the sport are set to be discussed in an upcoming Sporting Advisory Committee meeting, RacingNews365.com understands.

The FIA's decision to shorten the main DRS activation zone at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix led to widespread discontent across the grid and resulted in a lacklustre spectacle during the Sprint weekend at the Baku City Circuit.

The governing body again cut the distance of zones for the Miami Grand Prix weekend despite the concerns, with two of the three DRS points shortened.

Competitors aired issues during the Miami GP drivers' briefing, with Grand Prix Drivers' Association director George Russell telling media, including RacingNews365.com: "I think it will definitely lead to changes.

"I understand the FIA's viewpoint but it is not as simple as changing something overnight, and there are other elements to take into consideration.

"All 20 drivers came to the conclusion that we would prefer it to be slightly too easy than slightly too difficult because if it is too easy, it will create a bit more of an exciting race. Slightly too difficult creates a very boring race. Better to be on the safe side in that regard."

Made the point clear

Explaining why issues have been exaggerated this season, McLaren's Lando Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com: "It has changed, last year to this year, the way people set up the cars. More and more often, you are running low downforce set-ups because that seems more like where the downforce is not coming from, so you can get away with smaller rear wings and things, which means the slipstream is less, cars are way more efficient, cars are harder to follow as well because the way you produce downforce makes the dirty air worse.

"In my opinion, there were no overtakes last year [in Miami], hardly any, and they still shortened them [the DRS zones]. So we made that point clear - what you see last year is too late, you need to see what happens in one race and not just make a guess from then on where to put things, but there is enough evidence this year to prove racing is more difficult than in previous years. There are differences.

"When you go to a track like Australia, maybe it was a bit easier. When you go to a lower downforce track it is extremely difficult. The slipstream is minimal, dirty air is still a thing - it is not like these cars have got rid of it and it is easy to follow, it is still difficult to follow.

"I don't see why you wouldn't have a longer DRS, I don't see a downside of having it, you know? I guess you don't want passes that are super easy, but it is better to be on the too-long side than too short because if you are quicker, you will still get past them eventually and still beat them, but if it is too short then you don't even get past in the first place and then it is boring."

RacingNews365.com understands the FIA is welcoming further feedback from competitors ahead of a scheduled SAC meeting [made up of FIA and FOM representatives and team Sporting Directors], with a range of topics set for the agenda.

Should changes be made to DRS, Red Bull would likely be affected more than its rivals given the advantage the Championship-leading outfit has in terms of straight-line efficiency.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have startled the opposition when scything past with the DRS activated in the early stages of the campaign, with Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso backing the shortening of activation zones ahead of the Miami Grand Prix only because of Red Bull's strength.

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