Yesterday, it was confirmed that the DRS zone leading to Turn 9 was removed after cars were entering the corner too fast. Fernando Alonso was the driver to push for this change at the drivers’ briefing, and Lewis Hamilton agreed with the choice. F1 champion Max Verstappen however, wasn’t in agreement:
“With taking away one DRS zone, it’s going to be harder,” Verstappen told the press.
“I don’t really understand why they took it away, because it was much safer than what we do in Jeddah, for example.
“So, it’s a bit of a mystery to me why that happened. But yeah, we’ll give it our best.
“I mean, normally in the race, you know, the car stabilises a bit more, and it’s not so peaky, compared to finding the grip in qualifying. So, it naturally should be a little bit better.
“And I think my long run yesterday looked quite good in terms of how I felt. So hopefully, it will be the same tomorrow.”
He adds that only one team made a complaint about the potential safety concerns, throwing shade at who we believe to be Mercedes:
“There was only one team who complained about it and it got removed this morning so I don’t really understand because for me, it was way easier than doing it in, for example, in Jeddah because there was way more corners,” he said.
“For me there was never any issue with driving there with the DRS open. So yeah, you have to ask I guess, the FIA, why they took it away. It’s a shame because it would have helped, you know, the racing.”
Hamilton was all for the change, however
“I think it was good that they took the DRS off,” said Hamilton.
“We had so much porpoising down that back straight that I had an oversteer problem in the middle of the straight!
“I was like, ‘this is ridiculous’ but it wasn’t the case today.”