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F1 drivers blame shortened DRS zone for “boring” Azerbaijan GP

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Each the dash and the primary occasion in Baku have been notable for an absence of passing in comparison with earlier occasions on the monitor.

The FIA has the precise to regulate the activation level of DRS zones, often based mostly on knowledge gathered on the final occasion on the venue and at earlier races through the present season.

Drivers already highlighted their issues in regards to the 100 metre lower in Baku throughout their Friday briefing with race director Niels Wittich, however no change was made and nor was it addressed for the Grand Prix after the dash featured an absence of overtaking.

Lewis Hamilton, who was heard asking his workforce for extra energy at one level in Sunday’s race as he chased Carlos Sainz, was one of many many drivers who felt the DRS zone wasn’t lengthy sufficient.

“Nothing went flawed however I simply needed extra energy,” stated Hamilton. “A driver at all times desires extra energy.

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“And I feel finally they shortened the DRS this 12 months down the straight, I do not fairly know why they did that. We have at all times had nice racing the place the DRS was.

“By the point you switched the DRS on, it was too late. Was there a number of overtaking as we speak?”

Alex Albon was one other who felt that the beginning of the activation level ought to have stayed the place it was in 2022.

“You noticed it, there wasn’t a lot overtaking, the DRS was too brief,” stated the Williams driver.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“I feel they confirmed that final 12 months it wasn’t in a foul place, and so they took 100 [metres] off it. You may possibly go one other 100.

“The drivers did discuss this within the drivers’ briefing on Friday. These vehicles, because the load is coming onto the vehicles, they’re getting tougher to observe now, inferior to it was earlier than.

“After which the slipstream hasn’t been pretty much as good as earlier 12 months’s vehicles. That is why you are seeing this DRS prepare.”

Lando Norris, who spent a lot of the race caught behind late-stoppers Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg and couldn’t make the most of his brisker tyres, was one other who felt annoyed by the shorter DRS zone.

“It is just about not possible to overhaul particularly with our straightline velocity,” he stated.

PLUS: The details behind McLaren’s long-awaited Baku update

“Not with how brief the DRS zone is now evaluating to the place it was final 12 months. I did one of the best I might to try to sustain with the vehicles forward.

“I simply used the tyres up an excessive amount of, as a result of we’re not on the identical degree.”

Requested if a shorter DRS zone made sense he added: “No, none. All of the drivers questioned it within the drivers’ briefing.”

Norris’s McLaren boss Andrea Stella agreed that the zone might have been longer whereas acknowledging the larger image of a decreased slipstream impact that was highlighted by Albon.

“It positively took a bit of little bit of the sting off you in braking,” stated the Italian.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“In case you are like 5-10 metres nearer, you possibly can try to assault, which like for us as we speak was not possible throughout the entire race. So actually for us it will have been welcomed.

“I feel what the FIA and F1 have to take a look at fastidiously is that this 12 months it appears prefer it was typically harder to overhaul, probably not solely due to DRS, however due to rather less slipstream impact.

“The suction impact following the automotive forward appears to be rather less than regular, however this will rely upon numerous elements.”

Whereas agreeing that his personal drivers discovered it exhausting to overhaul Alpine sporting director Alan Permane defended the FIA determination to trim the Baku zone.

“You must be very cautious while you’re speaking about issues like that and who you are asking,” he stated.

“As a result of if you happen to’re within the entrance, you don’t need any DRS zones. And if you happen to’ve acquired a faster race automotive than a qualifying automotive, you need longer DRS zones.

“So I feel these issues are finest left to the FIA to evaluate on their knowledge. And that is after all what occurs.

“They’ve a efficiency division, they have a look at issues. I feel they appear again eventually 12 months and felt overtaking was a bit of bit simple. And that is why they shortened it.”

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