Formula 1 drivers are raising eyebrows at the absence of a fourth DRS (Drag Reduction System) zone on the newly revised back straight in Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit, expressing concerns about limited overtaking opportunities. The layout change is a result of ongoing construction work around the final sector, which has replaced the iconic 90-degree Turns 16-19 with a lengthy straight featuring a high-speed kink.
In response to these changes, drivers are planning to use their Friday briefing to lobby the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) for an additional DRS zone. However, the likelihood of gaining approval for such a last-minute alteration in FP1 (Free Practice 1) is slim due to safety concerns.
The FIA, the governing body of Formula 1, initially expressed openness to adjusting the circuit configuration. Nevertheless, they cited a lack of “clear consensus” among the teams during consultations leading up to the Singapore Grand Prix. Their official statement to F1 Flow.com stated that they won’t be assessing any extra DRS zones for the race.
This decision came after reaching out to all the teams several weeks prior to the event. However, not all teams responded to the governing body, and the consultation process had begun months in advance.
One factor in the decision not to add another DRS zone is the track’s surface condition. Esteban Ocon of the Alpine team suggested that simulations may have misrepresented the severity of a bump in the track at Turn 15, which also played a role in the absence of an additional DRS zone.
Ocon stated, “The FIA is concerned about safety in that little left kink. I personally believe, as do other drivers, that it won’t be an issue. We are pushing to at least try it during FP1, assess how it feels, and if it’s safe, potentially implement it. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do so.”
He also addressed the simulator’s findings, noting a significant bump on the left kink in the virtual track, which might not accurately represent the real-life conditions. Ocon suggested that this discrepancy could be due to the scanning process, with walls present on the circuit during the scan. He proposed the possibility of placing the DRS zone after the Turn 15 kink, which would still allow for ample overtaking opportunities as cars transition to fifth gear.
While the debate over the fourth DRS zone rages on, it remains to be seen whether the FIA will reconsider its decision or if teams will adapt their strategies to the current circuit configuration. In any case, the intrigue surrounding this Formula 1 race in Singapore continues to build, both on and off the track.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Formula 1 Singapore
Q: Why are Formula 1 drivers requesting an extra DRS zone in Singapore?
A: Formula 1 drivers are requesting an extra DRS (Drag Reduction System) zone in Singapore due to concerns about limited overtaking opportunities at the Marina Bay circuit. The track’s layout has been altered due to construction work, replacing a section with a high-speed straight and kink, making overtaking more challenging.
Q: Has the FIA considered adding a fourth DRS zone in Singapore?
A: Initially, the FIA was open to changes in the circuit configuration, but they ultimately decided against adding a fourth DRS zone. This decision was based on a lack of consensus among the teams and safety concerns related to the new track layout.
Q: Are all Formula 1 teams in favor of the additional DRS zone?
A: Not all Formula 1 teams responded to the FIA’s consultation on adding a fourth DRS zone in Singapore. The lack of a unanimous decision among the teams contributed to the FIA’s decision not to proceed with the change.
Q: What is the driver’s perspective on the safety concerns regarding the DRS zone?
A: Drivers, including Esteban Ocon, believe that safety concerns related to the DRS zone’s location may be overestimated. They suggest that the track’s simulator data may not accurately represent the real conditions, and there’s a proposal to place the DRS zone after a specific turn to ensure safety while still allowing overtaking opportunities.
Q: Will there be any further adjustments to the Singapore Grand Prix circuit?
A: As of now, the decision not to add a fourth DRS zone for the Singapore Grand Prix stands. Whether any additional changes or adjustments will be made to the circuit remains uncertain, and teams may need to adapt their strategies to the existing track configuration.