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Max Verstappen

Have Red Bull really got on top of their DRS issues?

With niggling problems continuing to afflict the Red Bull team's DRS setup, Max Verstappen has had a completely new issue hit his RB18 during the Monaco weekend.

Verstappen Monaco
To news overview © XPB

Red Bull have had to contend with numerous DRS (Drag Reduction System) issues in recent months, even towards the end of the 2021 season when Formula 1 raced with the previous generation of machinery.

The problems appear to be linked to the actuator and its overall robustness, with the team having to frequently take steps to try strengthening the mechanism during the course of a Grand Prix weekend.

Despite the entirely new set of regulations for 2022 – albeit a rule change that has had little effect on DRS mechanisms – Red Bull have had intermittent niggles throughout the 2022 campaign, most notably at the Spanish Grand Prix, where it possibly prevented Max Verstappen from fighting for pole position with Charles Leclerc.

The problem would persist in Sunday's race, when the rear wing flap sometimes refused to open, or immediately slammed shut after activation.

Despite his team offering up a host of hopeful solutions from the pit wall, such as only using DRS once off the exit kerb, the system proved something of a lottery.

This would be much to Verstappen's chagrin as he spent many laps in the slipstream of Mercedes' George Russell, but was unable to overtake him until the pit-stops.

Verstappen encounters DRS issue in Monaco Friday practice

Arriving at Monaco, Red Bull were confident that they had gotten on top of these issues during Free Practice 1.

However, Verstappen still complained of problems with the DRS, prompting new concerns that the issue had resurfaced for the Milton Keynes outfit.

Speaking to members of the media, including RacingNews365.com, Christian Horner believes the problems encountered in Monaco are actually completely unrelated to what's been seen before

"I think yesterday's [Friday's] problem again was another independent issue, or just purely a software issue, so it was just a reset and that was it," Horner explained.

"It was very different to the issue that we had the previous week. So, hopefully, we've now got on top of those issues and won't be encountering them again."

Verstappen on the importance of DRS

With overtaking at Monaco at a premium, and only one short DRS straight as an opportunity, Red Bull can't afford any more issues.

Although the new technical regulations have allowed for closer racing, Verstappen has given his thoughts on the importance of DRS.

"If it's [DRS] not there anymore, then we're just driving a train," he said.

"I think I demonstrated that it's really frustrating. So you need the DRS at the moment with the cars.

"We can follow a little bit easier and I do think the drag is a little bit less. Like you don't have that slipstream effect, like last year, for example."

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