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Australian Grand Prix: Will a fourth DRS zone imply extra overtaking on the new-look Albert Park?

This weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne will function an unprecedented fourth DRS zone as organisers purpose to create extra overtaking alternatives on a circuit which has been modified for the 2022 race

Final Up to date: 06/04/22 5:21pm

Overtaking has traditionally proven difficult at Albert Park

Overtaking has historically confirmed troublesome at Albert Park

Since its introduction to the Method 1 calendar in 1996, Melbourne’s Albert Park has developed a repute as a circuit which produces little in the way in which of overtaking alternatives.

An uncommon mixture of being a avenue circuit however with traits of a everlasting racing venue, the house of the Australian Grand Prix has undergone a redesign forward of the 2022 version with enter into that taken from the drivers.

The chicane at Turns 9 and 10 has been eliminated, turning that right into a quicker, sweeping bend and decreasing the variety of corners from 16 to 14, whereas different corners have been widened by between 2.5 metres and 7 metres. The monitor itself has additionally been resurfaced for the primary time since its inaugural Grand Prix was held there 26 years in the past.

But the side of Albert Park which has created probably the most buzz isn’t a lot the modifications which have been made that are anticipated to see the vehicles lapping 5 seconds faster, however the announcement this 12 months’s race will function a file 4 DRS zones.

“I believe with the brand new design at Albert Park, it is actually targeted on bettering the racing, the spectacle on Sunday, to create extra alternatives for overtaking,” McLaren’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo mentioned forward of his house race.

“It is an exquisite circuit however it’s at all times been fairly slender and tight, and due to this fact fairly difficult to overhaul on.

“So, we have actually tried to take advantage of some areas to permit extra slipstreaming, to permit for extra possibilities for overtaking below braking. So, I believe it should be a unique spectacle this time spherical.”

Anthony Davidson is at the SkyPad to analyse the sensational battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Anthony Davidson is on the SkyPad to analyse the sensational battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc within the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Anthony Davidson is on the SkyPad to analyse the sensational battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc within the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

As with the 2019 version – the final Australian Grand Prix to be held previous to the Covid-19 pandemic which noticed the 2020 race cancelled – there will probably be DRS zones in place on the start-finish straight, Flip 2 to three, and what’s now Flip 10 and 11 within the remaining third of the lap.

However the modifications made in eradicating the previous Flip 9 and 10 chicane imply an additional zone has been added in between the latter two, creating the potential for much more overtaking alternatives – one thing which is able to maybe please the 2 early front-runners in Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.

The pair had been engaged in a titanic duel final day out in Saudi Arabia which finally noticed Pink Bull’s reigning world champion prevail however hinged on the duo’s techniques within the three DRS zones across the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“It is laborious racing however honest,” Ferrari driver Leclerc mentioned afterwards. “Each race needs to be like this. It was enjoyable, I am in fact dissatisfied, we wished to win

Leclerc feels the new regulations are helping to improve the quality of the racing and create more overtaking opportunities

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Leclerc feels the brand new laws are serving to to enhance the standard of the racing and create extra overtaking alternatives

Leclerc feels the brand new laws are serving to to enhance the standard of the racing and create extra overtaking alternatives

“The second to final straight I used to be simply part-throttle making an attempt for Max to overhaul me and for me to have the DRS. It labored as soon as. then the second time he understood so he broke very early, and it was a little bit of a multitude.

“It was enjoyable, I favored racing like this, and it was a lot simpler to comply with than I initially thought.”

The addition of a fourth DRS zone at Albert Park comes three races into Method 1’s much-vaunted new period which has seen laws launched for 2022 that are designed to make sure nearer racing between the vehicles.

That has definitely confirmed to be the case to this point and the brand new laws allied to an additional DRS zone ought to, in concept, result in extra possibilities for swapping positions all through the sphere on race day in Melbourne.

Daniel Ricciardo expects closer racing at a new-look Albert Park circuit

Daniel Ricciardo expects nearer racing at a new-look Albert Park circuit

This resolution so as to add in a fourth zone isn’t with out its controversy as critics will really feel it strikes the needle an excessive amount of the opposite manner by way of making it too straightforward for drivers to overhaul.

Nonetheless, provided that statistics launched by Mercedes confirmed the 2019 Australian Grand Prix featured simply 10 passing strikes – seven of which got here below DRS – then it is extremely a lot up for debate how a lot of a dramatically noticeable distinction this and the modified circuit design will make.

Both manner, Ricciardo is optimistic it is going to be a a lot improved spectacle for followers in attendance and people watching on tv, though he concedes that will probably be all the way down to him and his colleagues as a lot as the rest.

“We would not all be aligned however I believe the aim of that is to make the Sunday higher,” Ricciardo mentioned. “I had that in thoughts after I gave my enter.

“We clearly must go there now and let our actions do the speaking, however on paper I believe there’s promise with that.”

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