Removing fourth DRS zone at Albert Park was “unnecessary” – Symonds

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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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.

Symonds said the idea of adding a fourth DRS zone to the track had been conceived as part of the F1-led revamp of the circuit, which the series has raced at since 1996. The new, fourth zone was situated on a new, flat-out section bypassing the old turn nine chicane which has been removed.

“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.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Removing fourth DRS zone at Albert Park was “unnecessary” – Symonds”

  1. Get in there Pat!

  2. So he more or less confirmed that it was indeed Alonso, without explicitly saying it was him …

  3. I don’t know if it was Alonso to raise concerns but i wished they got rid of the DRS all together.

    1. Without DRS you would had seen 0 overtakes today.

  4. RandomMallard
    10th April 2022, 7:10

    I mean I’d argue adding it in the first place was unnecessary, but it does seem to be a little bit odd if it was just Alonso who raised concerns and led to it being removed almost single-handedly.

  5. Well the race was interesting, but the race does show that a fourth DRS zone would have worked to make it more dynamic, rather than strategy, luck and lacking it.

  6. Putting a zone on that section in the first place was unnecessary, not to mention risky.

  7. How does Alonso have so much pull? All weekend the Sky coverage was hyping everything he did. Even the local Supercars coverage was hyping him up like he was the second coming of Jesus (he drove a Supercar on the Thursday).

    I don’t get it. Crashed out in qualifying (“hydraulic failure”), and was last of the finishers in the race. Hasn’t won a race since his return (unlike his team mate).

  8. But I still think we’re going to have a great race today.

    Great prediction there, Pat.

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