Lewis Hamilton opens up on difficult season for Mercedes
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Martin Brundle has demanded the FIA make a major tweak to F1’s Drag Reduction System (DRS) for 2023. The Sky Sports commentator moaned the DRS had been “too strong” in 2022 which had taken away from the challenge of overtaking.
It is understood overtaking is up 25 per cent compared to previous seasons under the new regulations which were introduced to make races more exciting. However, Brundle suggested passing cars had become too easy and has called on stewards to shorten zones for next year.
He said: “You have to say the DRS by and large has been too strong this year hasn’t it. Passes are made down the straight and they need to be made under braking. They need to put you in play to make the overtake not to actually just plain overtake. They need to shorten the distances, delay the activation.”
Earlier this season, Peter Somerville, the FIA’s head of aerodynamics, stressed there was still a need for the tool in F1.
However, he revealed the governing body would like to see the device removed from the sport in the future. Speaking to Peter Windsor, Somerville explained: “During the initial research, because we reduced the size of the ‘hole’ that sits behind the car, we reduced the downforce lost [by a following car] but we also reduced the tow.
“So we were a bit mindful that we probably weren’t going to be able to just park DRS and remove it from the regulations. I think DRS, for us, is a very tune-able feature. “It’s very circuit-dependent and it can be dialled in and out.
“I think most of us feel, longer-term, we’d very much like to try and phase DRS out if we can. But we didn’t think that was necessarily going to be the right thing to do overnight for these regulations.”
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A range of drivers including Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez have previously claimed the new regulations were making it simpler to pass other cars. Ahead of the new season, Valtteri Bottas also warned the DRS was likely to be made more powerful under the rules package.
Somerville continued that the FIA was looking at various options for how to incorporate DRS into the new 2026 regulations. He even hinted the tool could take a backseat role in future cars with the driver more in charge of overtaking.
He concluded: “For the 2026 car, we’re looking at different solutions. And it may be that DRS doesn’t have to have such an important role in the concept of those cars.”
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