Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2023

Hamilton criticises teams who blocked addition of fourth DRS zone

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton criticised Formula 1 teams who did not support the addition of an extra DRS zone for this year’s Singapore Grand Prix.

The layout of the Marina Bay Street Circuit has been altered this year following the removal of four corners in the final sector which has created a longer straight approaching turn 16. Hamilton praised the alteration to the track and the fresh surface which has been laid in places.

“The changes to the track have been great,” said the four-times winner of the Singapore Grand Prix. “I think they have really opened up the circuit to be even greater than it was before.

“The change they’ve done with the surface, the new Tarmac that they’ve put down, has made it so much more enjoyable to drive.”

However Hamilton and other drivers said an extra DRS zone should have been added to the new straight, in addition to the three already in place elsewhere on the track, to make it easier for drivers to pass.

Singapore Grand Prix track map, 2023
Marina Bay has four fewer corners this year
“I don’t think at the moment there’ll be more overtaking. Maybe there’ll be slightly better overtaking into seven, just because the track is better through that first couple of corners. But I think we need DRS in that new last section.”

The FIA chose not to add a fourth DRS zone at this point on the circuit after canvassing the views of teams. “All the drivers, we all requested it from the FIA,” said Hamilton. “The FIA asked all the teams and there’s a couple of teams that turned it down.

“So in the drivers’ briefing we’ll try to bring it up. But the teams should be for more racing, not against it. It’s interesting to have a few teams that are against it. But we’ll discuss it and try.”

Sergio Perez said yesterday the Grand Prix Drivers Association was pushing for an extra DRS zone “because we feel like it can be improved for racing.”

However Esteban Ocon believes the FIA was reluctant to add a zone which would include the flat-out left-hand kink at turn 15. “The FIA is concerned about safety in that little left kink, I think,” he said. “I reckon personally, and the other drivers too, that it’s not going to be an issue.”

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27 comments on “Hamilton criticises teams who blocked addition of fourth DRS zone”

  1. How is being against an additional DRS spot being against racing? DRS or no, it just augments the type of racing towards or away from the attacker.

    1. Well there’s no guarantee but on a street track it makes sense that on a new considerably long stretch, a drs zone would help, especially given that it’s not a really long one anyway. He did thankfully say racing and not overtaking

  2. I applaud them for not blocking it.

    We shouldn’t have DRS on every meaningful straight meaning that the only passes we see are down to DRS.

    Drivers may want to have slam dunk push of a button passes that make there life easier but i suspect most fans would rather see some proper racing where drivers have to work to try and overtake providing us with better racing and more exciting overtaking that may actually be remembered after it happens.

    1. At this track? They should have DRS on every little spot they can.
      It’s a long, long race and the races there are usually a drag.

      I agree with limiting DRS on some tracks like Turkey, where it’s so powerful it’s not even fun, but at this track where you know the straights aren’t very long and the guys have to be creative, i don’t mind. It’s hardly going to be worse than not having it.

    2. Why stop there, maybe DRS should just ALWAYS be open! hahaha
      Don’t listen to my wife, I’m hilarious!

      1. Actually, not a bad comment! Let’s see, two equal cars racing, one trying to pass the other, necessitating racecraft to get past, with dummies and lunges and late braking. With DRS the car behind just gets a speed boost while the car leading is just ……. Good racing? Not so sure.

  3. I am particularly looking forward to the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend as it is a rare example of a race where it is hard to overtake in 2023. This year whenever someone has been ahead of Verstappen it has been boring and inevitable that he would overtake for victory but this time, if a Ferrari qualifies ahead, Verstappen will actually have to work for it and may even show off his excellent racecraft which we used to see fairly often. DRS has been the main reason that this has been a dull season, because cars can follow closely now but DRS is still set up for the old cars that couldn’t so overtaking is now too easy.

    1. Yes, and yet the drivers are asking for more drs, which I find ridiculous.

  4. I think Rihanna said it most eloquently: “Shut Up And Drive

    1. just start with the former please

  5. I don’t mind an awful lot, but perhaps next year.

  6. Of course he wants more DRS, because when he doesn’t have this stupid advantage over rivals, he’s completely hopeless and exposed, like we saw at Imola 2022.

  7. Four DRS zones…


    Let’s hope the FIA never consults the people who came up with these car regulations again.

  8. I don’t think another drs zone will be needed.

    We often see failed overtaking attempts on the run to turn 14 with the fight carrying on to the old 16/17 section.

    With the longer straight if you position your car well on the run to 14 and get a better exit i think without drs it’s going to give us some good side by side racing on the run to the new turn 16.

    Making it a drs zone would probably just end up making things far too easy in situations where cars are close or side by side in or at the exit of turn 14.

    But drivers just seem to want drs the entire length of every straight so they don’t have to work to overtake. They shouldn’t have a say in where drs gos as they will always suggest what makes things easier for them.

  9. So Brawn’s passing work group failed again? I honestly thought we might have no DRS by now.

  10. I thought a pure racer like Lewis can make passes through sheer force of will and doesn’t need DRS.

    1. Yeah, why race at all? Just give Lulu the title and let everyone go home. A lot cheaper and more carbon-friendly.

  11. Arse, Sir Lewis.
    With your yellow helmet in their mirrors, can’t you just frighten drivers into a mistake?

  12. Only beginners turn on driving aids.

  13. By using tire load sensors, on spec tires, it is possible to limit peak downforce by rule, akin to limiting fuel flow, etc.

    If they set an very low peak downforce limits, you get:
    A) reduce dirty air understeer to where it doesn’t matter much
    B) increase braking zone distances
    C) thereby not needing DRS at all
    D) massively reduce the biggest budget item since aero will hit diminishing returns due to a downforce cap.
    E) Better racing (just look at any low downforce racing for precedent, including MotoGP)

    1. And then open up engine dev rules….let the money go where it helps technology that matters.

      My opinion is to allow a set amount of fuel for the whole race that is challenging, and leave it at that. Design whatever in the world powertrain you want to win races on that fuel budget. Most anything they’d invent to gain an advantage would probably apply to consumer and commercial powertrains.

      1. Agreed. Except have a cost cap on the engine people also.

  14. DRS overtakes should not be counted as obertakes on track. They are just passing by. DRS kills real racing fights because drivers are just gonna wait for a DRS oppertunity. I’d rather see 10 laps of fighing wheel to wheel without overtake in the end than 10 DRS overtakes

    1. But you’re not going to see 10 laps of fighting wheel to wheel. You’re going to see 10 laps of cars following each other with little to no action.
      If there were always fighting wheel to wheel they wouldn’t even come up with DRS in the first place.

      1. Yet the rare cases where drs is disabled, because of an issue or because of weather conditions, there are actually interesting passes, we see it time and time again.

        1. Abu Dhabi 2019 there was a malfuction and DRS was disabled for a number of laps.

          NOTHING happened. There are good tracks and there are tracks that need this crap to make things at least a little entertaining.

    2. The current tyres can’t handle 10 laps of it, or even 3. Please can we switch to a tyre manufacturer that “accidentally” makes some durable, raceable tyres for F1…

Comments are closed.