Formula 1 technical director Pat Symonds criticised the decision to remove the fourth DRS zone which was added to Albert Park for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
“We worked on the changes to it, the first changes in the 20-odd years we’ve been here,” Symonds told Sky. “Yes, we have a new car and we hoped it would be good but we didn’t know for sure until we’d seen it in action.
“Now, you have to say, although this is probably one of the best events of the year, in terms of a race, it’s been a little bit disappointing over the years. It’s a very difficult circuit to overtake on, so we had to be quite radical.
“The idea of four DRS zones was not four overtaking zones. The idea was to use two of them so the cars could close up and two of them so they could overtake.”
However the zone was removed on safety grounds after F1’s first day of running at the circuit with its heavily revised 2022 cars.
“I’m disappointed that we’ve lost one – I think it was unnecessary,” said Symonds. “But I still think we’re going to have a great race today.”
Asked whether the removal of the zone had been instigated by a single driver, Fernando Alonso, Symonds said: “There were some concerns raised by some drivers, a driver, who probably thought he might be a bit more competitive without it.”
“There’s probably more to it than meets the eye and I think you’ve got that,” he added.
Max Verstappen criticised the removal of the zone yesterday, saying it was no more dangerous than seen at other circuits such as Jeddah.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2022 Australian Grand Prix
- Aston Martin’s porpoising “does not allow us to exploit the progress the guys have made”
- Wolff puts Mercedes’ odds of championship victory at “two to eight”
- FIA responds to Verstappen’s criticism of Safety Car performance
- “So this is the end of our race, I guess?” How Alonso’s luckless Australian GP unfolded
- Two-degree temperature rise led to Hamilton’s “difficult position” radio message