Perhaps mindful that the Yas Marina Circuit harbours one of the worst reputations for overtaking, the FIA has agreed to lengthen the first DRS zone for today’s 55-lap race.
The DRS activation zone was placed some 470 metres after the Turn 7 hairpin, but officials have now sought to bring this activation point a further 75 metres closer to the corner.
But in spite of giving the drivers a longer zone to open their rear wings, quite a few still harbour reservations that this will actually achieve the stated outcome of improving passing opportunities.
“From my experience yesterday, no,” was Jenson Button’s response when he was asked if overtaking would be improved with a longer DRS zone.
“I was trying DRS from the exit of Turn 7 all the way down to Turn 8, and I was struggling to overtake cars. So lengthening it by 75 metres or whatever is not going to make a big difference because it is only half the straight we will be using – it is going to be tricky.
“[Overtaking] has always been tough here for the last two years. We haven’t seen too many overtakes on the straight. This should help a little bit, but whether it is enough we have to wait and see.”
Fernando Alonso – who famously struggled to pass Vitaly Petrov for lap after lap at last year’s race – added: “We need to wait until [the race] to have a clear answer.
“Hopefully that will work, but it is very difficult to know now – we need to wait and evaluate after the race.
“Maybe they should extend it even more,” Lewis Hamilton said.
Perhaps a wholesale circuit redesign is in order – one hopes the circuit’s rather stubborn officials will be watching and listening…
[Original image via LAT]
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