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FIA take action over DRS at Albert Park amid safety concerns

The FIA have made the decision to remove one of the DRS zones at the Albert Park Circuit, citing safety concerns.

One of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) zones at the Albert Park Circuit has been removed, after the drivers took part in Friday practice with four in place. With the Melbourne street track going through various changes to make it much faster and more flowing, four DRS zones were outlined that, essentially, turned every high-speed section into a zone where the drivers could open up their rear wings and enjoy some extra top speed. However, the decision has been taken to remove one of these zones, with the Race Director citing safety concerns.

What zone has been removed?

Practice resulted in quite a few stewards' investigations for blocking and impeding, with drivers finding it difficult to find somewhere to slow down and create gaps. This resulted in several scary moments where drivers on a fast lap encountered others going slowly and trying to generate space for themselves. Race Director Niels Wittich explained that the DRS zone along the lake-side 'straight' between Turns 8 and 9 has subsequently been removed. Aside from the space issue, this narrow section of race track has a deceptively tight constant curve, placing high aerodynamic demands upon the cars.

Four DRS zones becomes three

As a result, the first DRS detection point has been moved to the entry of Turn 9, with the first activation point now coming once the drivers have come out of the high-speed chicane at Turn 10. Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri has explained that the DRS zones came up for discussion when the drivers held a briefing with the Race Director on Friday evening. "There was a bit of discussion about it, but we spoke about underwear more than DRS to be honest!" he told Sky Sports F1 , referring to talks about fireproof clothing. "It was discussed and the FIA made a change based on the feedback."

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