The FIA is yet to announce if it will allow the use of the adjustable rear wing (DRS) on one, or both, of the Sepang circuit’s long straights at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, but concerns have already emerged that its use on both straights could cheapen the show by making overtaking too easy.
Certainly these are the concerns of Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who argues that the FIA should not reconsider its current ruling to only allow the DRS to be used on the back straight.
“With the moveable rear wing, the situation will be interesting here, because for the moment, the plan is to be allowed to use DRS during the race on the straight in front of the pits, but at Sepang, the straight that runs back the other way is actually longer,” the Brazilian is quoted on Ferrari’s website.
“It is also true that it would offer a higher chance of overtaking. So, we are waiting for the final decision from the FIA to see if we use DRS on the front straight, the back one or both.
“The right decision could make the race more interesting for drivers and the spectators too. Personally, I am not sure that allowing DRS on both straights is the best option, because I think it might actually make overtaking too easy. You have to get the right balance between helping the chances of overtaking and having almost too much passing.
“At Sepang, the two straights follow one another, so if you are quicker than the car ahead, you might not even try and pass on the first straight, preferring to get well prepared and as close as possible, before then having a simple overtaking move on the second straight.”
Massa endured a difficult season-opener at Australia and believes that Ferrari has done the necessary legwork in the break between races to deliver better results this weekend.
“No one at Ferrari was satisfied with our overall performance, nor the final result of the Australian Grand Prix and much work has gone into understanding why that race did not live up to our expectations and then to plan how to move forward this weekend,” he added.
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]