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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton questions FIA over crucial Baku change

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix failed to deliver on excitement after the decision was taken to shorten the main DRS zone.

Lewis Hamilton has questioned the FIA's decision to shorten the main DRS zone at the Baku City Circuit after a lacklustre Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The race in the Azeri capital often throws up exciting events but Sunday's grand prix, which followed on from a preview-of-sorts in Saturday's Sprint, failed to capture the imagination with limited overtaking opportunities.

F1's governing body decided to shorten the DRS zone on the main straight by 100m prior to the weekend getting underway but it became apparent that this decision hurt the spectacle, although both Max Verstappen and eventual race winner Sergio Perez made their way past Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in this zone.

Hamilton had closed into Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz in the latter stages of the 51-lap race but was unable to make a move in his Mercedes, despite having been within DRS range on numerous occasions.

The seven-time World Champion was heard requesting more engine power over team radio and asked if this was because he had experienced an issue, Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com: "Nothing went wrong, I just wanted more power - a driver always wants more power.

"Ultimately, they shortened the DRS this year down the straight, I don't know why they did that, we have always had great racing the way the DRS was.

"By the time we turn DRS on, it was too late."

Ferrari faster

Mercedes fell back off the pace in Azerbaijan having stoked optimism of a resurgence with Hamilton's second-place finish in Australia before the spring break.

But the Briton finished behind both Red Bulls, both Ferraris and Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin and conceded: "They [Ferrari] are a little bit quicker on the straight than us, even with the DRS open.

"He was fast down the straights and even just following through the mid-sector wasn't so easy, but I gave it everything."

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F1 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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