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Max Verstappen

Verstappen wades in on DRS debate: I'd have lost without it

Max Verstappen used DRS to complete his overtake on Charles Leclerc during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following 46 laps spent behind the Ferrari driver, and the Dutchman has praised the role it played in his victory.

Max Verstappen has admitted that he would have lost the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix were it not for F1's Drag Reduction System (DRS), and has called on the sport to persist with the overtake-aiding device for now.

The Red Bull driver claimed victory in Jeddah following another close battle with title rival Charles Leclerc.

The two traded places at the front, just as they had done in the season-opening event in Bahrain, with Verstappen catching and passing the Ferrari racer.

However, without the aid of DRS, Verstappen believes that he would have ended the race behind Leclerc due to being unable to find a way past.

Verstappen: Without DRS, I'd have been second

There have been suggestions from team bosses, including McLaren's Andreas Seidl, that DRS could be removed entirely if the new 2022 regulations prove that there is no longer a need for it.

Seidl stated that he favoured getting rid of the overtaking aid when last quizzed on the topic, but only when cars are able to get ahead of one another more easily without it.

In Verstappen's view, F1 is not yet ready to remove the Drag Reduction System that helped him to turn fourth on the grid into a victory in Saudi Arabia.

"If I didn't have the DRS, I would have never passed [Leclerc]. I think we are still too sensitive for that," he admitted when speaking to the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Of course, some tracks are easier to pass [on] than others but, for me at the moment, if DRS wouldn't be there, I would have been second."

Ferrari drivers agree, despite Saudi Arabia defeat

Despite seeing Verstappen pass them both to take victory in Jeddah, Leclerc and his Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz, both agree that DRS still has a place in Formula 1.

"Yeah, I think we still need DRS for now," Leclerc said, before Sainz added: "I agree, I think without DRS passing would be reduced significantly."

Sainz continued: "What we might need to consider, maybe, is the speed delta that there is with DRS might be a bit too much, which gives the car behind too much speed so that sometimes the overtake is done before braking.

"You'd much rather have the two cars battling under braking, rather than passing like on the highway. That is sometimes what can happen.

"Maybe we need to have a look at this. But we definitely need DRS nowadays."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Can anyone stop the Verstappen/Leclerc show?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

F1 2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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