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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2021

Masi: DRS wasn't activated too early in damp conditions

FIA Race Director Michael Masi has denied that the DRS was reactivated too quickly as the track dried, with the overtaking aid switched on three laps before the red flag.

Masi
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FIA Race Director Michael Masi has said that he doesn't believe the DRS (Drag Reduction System) was switched back on too early in the drying but damp conditions at Imola.

With the race starting in wet conditions, the DRS was not activated until Lap 30 following the changeover from the intermediate to the dry tyres. However, the track was still damp off-line and, just three laps after the DRS was re-activated, it appeared to be the cause of a major crash.

Williams' George Russell, passing Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, lost control of his car on the damp patch off-line and crashed into the Finn. An investigation by the stewards pointed to the British driver's lack of rear downforce, due to his DRS flap being open, as being a contributing factor into him losing control.

Despite the close proximity of the DRS re-activation and a big crash partially brought about by the overtaking aid, Masi believed it wasn't too early to have enabled the system for use.

"No, not at all," Masi told media, including RacingNews365, when asked if he thought it was premature to have enabled DRS.

"Having looked at it at the time, and it's obviously something we were monitoring closely, to be fair there was a number of DRS overtakes that were completed successfully.

"Before and after [the crash], so, no, I don't think it was, I think, looking at all of the footage. No, the track was all fine from our perspective, and there was no issues on that end."

Asked for his perspective on the crash that forced the red flag reset of the race, the Race Director was reluctant to point the finger either way after the stewards decided neither driver was predominantly to blame.

"Having looked at it, having seen the stewards decision for that incident, being there was no further action, I think it was just one of those circumstancesthat arose," Masi said.

"I don't know if it was 50/50, or 60/40. But the stewards have determined that neither driver was wholly or predominantly to blame."

F1 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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