Formula 1

F1 Singapore GP Controversy: Drivers Demand Fourth DRS Zone Amid Track Layout Changes

In a surprising turn of events, Formula 1 drivers have called for significant last-minute changes to the Singapore Grand Prix, primarily a fourth DRS zone, due to concerns over the revised Marina Bay track layout. Their push highlights apprehensions about reduced overtaking opportunities, prompting urgent discussions with the FIA.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alterations at Marina Bay Stir Concerns: The Singapore circuit, known for its challenging 90-degree corners, has undergone a redesign, replacing key turns with a kinked back straight. Despite these changes, the FIA has retained only three DRS zones, raising concerns among drivers about the impact on overtaking.
  • Drivers Voice Their Opinions: Prominent drivers like Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon have openly discussed the challenges posed by the track modifications. Bottas doubts the changes will significantly enhance overtaking, while Ocon points out potential discrepancies between the circuit scans and actual track conditions, advocating for a trial run in FP1.
  • Uncertainty Over FIA’s Response: While the drivers are united in their request for an additional DRS zone, it remains to be seen how the FIA will respond, given their emphasis on safety and the intricacies of implementing such changes at the eleventh hour.

According to a report from, the drivers’ concerns stem from recent modifications to the Marina Bay Street Circuit. These changes involve replacing the iconic 90-degree corners with a less challenging kinked back straight. This alteration has led to fears that overtaking, already a daunting task on street circuits, may become even more difficult.

Valtteri Bottas, representing Alfa Romeo, expressed skepticism about the modifications’ effectiveness in improving overtaking prospects. “It’s going to be better but if it’s actually going to make a difference in terms of ‘Will it be a race that you can overtake easily?’ I don’t think so,” he stated. Bottas emphasized the importance of discussing the potential addition of a fourth DRS zone in the upcoming drivers’ briefing.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon offered insights that contrast the theoretical track conditions with real-life experiences. He mentioned, “We are all pushing at the moment to give [another DRS zone] a try… We are pushing at the moment to be able to try it at least in FP1, see how it feels and if it’s OK, potentially keep it.” This comment underscores the drivers’ desire to ensure the track modifications translate into a more competitive and exciting race.

As the F1 community awaits the FIA’s decision on this contentious issue, it becomes clear that driver safety and competitive integrity remain at the forefront of these deliberations. With the Singapore Grand Prix fast approaching, the resolution of this debate will be crucial in shaping the dynamics of what is always an eagerly anticipated race on the F1 calendar.

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