The Albert Park race track in Melbourne was the first circuit to have four DRS zones after it underwent modifications. The upgrades made to the track made it a lot faster and safer. However, the latest news is that the FIA has removed one of the DRS zone citing safety concerns.
The layout of the track remained unchanged since the year 1996 when it was included in the F1 calendar. It sported three DRS zones. The last F1 race at Melbourne was held in 2019 after which, covid restrictions played spoilsport.
Following Friday’s opening practice session that saw the Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz top the board, FIA re-looked at the situation and deleted one DRS zone for safety reasons for the remainder of the event.
The deleted DRS zone existed from Turn 8 right, up to Turn 9 fast left kink. The next DRS zone that follows fast Turns 9 and 10 remains untouched. The activation point for that respective stretch is relocated to a spot just before Turn 9. Drivers would be free to open their rear wings after passing Turn 10 through the fast curve, just before the Turn 11 right- hander.
No changes have been made to the remaining DRS zones and their activation points. Announcing the decision to the teams, Formula One race director Niels Wittich said:
“For safety reasons, DRS Zones will be reduced to 3 for the remainder of the event.
“DRS detection 1 will be moved to before Turn 9, DRS activation 1 will be after Turn 10, DRS detection 2 will remain unchanged, with the following activation zones will be renumbered accordingly.”
DRS zones have sparked a controversy lately. With drivers playing ‘cat and mouse games’ at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, it is often debated whether F1 should do away with DRS zones for good.
With a last-minute DRS zone deletion done to the Albert Park circuit, do you think this would make a substantial difference to the lap timings?