The Melbourne circuit had three DRS zones the last time F1 raced in the city again in 2019, but has since undergone a major revamp through corner changes in an effort to boost overtaking on a design that has not changed since joining the calendar back in 1996
Even with these changes, overtaking is still expected to be a challenge for Formula 1 drivers in the first Australian sports race since the COVID-19 pandemic, With the revised design comprising four DRS zones when the new design was officially determined by the FIA earlier this week.
But after the inaugural two practice sessions in Melbourne on Friday – which she topped the list Ferrari Carlos Sainz’s husband and Charles Leclerc Consecutively – the Board of Directors reassessed the situation and removed one of the DRS areas.
The DRS area removed is from Turn 8 overall all the way to Fast Left Turn 9, which replaced the previous chicane sequence that had previously stood on that part of Albert Park.
The DRS area following the complex of Turn 9 and 10 fast remains unchanged, with the activation point for that run moving just before Turn 9.
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03
Photography: Zach Moger / motorsports pictures
From there, drivers can open their rear wings once they’ve navigated Turn 10 and take off toward the curved path that leads to the right-hand Turn 11, which was expected to be the best overtaking point for F1 cars on a reworking of Albert Park’s layout.
The two remaining DRS areas and their activation points remain unchanged – with drivers being able to activate the system as they head down the main straight and into the second straight lane that leads to the narrow right of Turn 3.
In a note to the teams announcing the move, Formula 1 race director for the event Nils Wittish said: “For safety reasons, the DRS zones will be reduced to 3 for the remainder of the event.
“DRS 1 detection will be moved to before Turn 9, DRS 1 activation will be after Turn 10, DRS 2 detection will remain unchanged, and subsequent activation regions will be renumbered accordingly.”
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