[F1 drivers pushing FIA for fourth Singapore DRS zone
Due to construction work around Marina Bay, the characteristic 90-degree corners that previously made up Turns 16-19 have been replaced by a kinked back straight.
Despite the curve, drivers were still anticipating a fourth DRS zone to help with passing into the lower-speed Turns 16-17 chicane. However, the FIA has stuck to three.
Motorsport.com understands that modifications, such as an extra DRS zone, are put to the teams in advance but will only be adopted if they garner enough feedback.
Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas says the matter will be raised in the drivers’ briefing on Friday.
He said of the track changes: “It’s going to be better but if it’s actually going to make a difference in terms of ‘Will it be a race that you can overtake easily?’ I don’t think so.
“It’s going to be a hard track to overtake. Most drivers were expecting to have another DRS zone for the [new back] straight. I’m sure it’s going to be a discussion point.”
Esteban Ocon suggested scans of the circuit might have misrepresented bumps in the surface and the severity of the kink, so a last-minute trial could be put forward.
The Alpine racer explained: “We are all pushing at the moment to give [another DRS zone] a try.
“The FIA is concerned about safety in that little left kink. I reckon personally, and the other drivers too, that it’s not going to be an issue.
A view around the track
Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images
“We are pushing at the moment to be able to try it at least in FP1, see how it feels and if it’s OK, potentially keep it. There’s no reason why we would not be able to keep it.
“In the simulator, there was a big bump on that left kink, which could be the cause of not having it. But I don’t think it is there in real life.
“I reckon that’s an issue from scanning with the walls being there and it’s fast and all that.
“But even if we want to be really safe, we just put [the DRS zone after the T15 kink].
“We are going to be in fifth gear, so really the drag effect comes after that kink so we can put it after.”
Due to the obvious safety concerns, it is extremely unlikely that the FIA will green-light the drivers’ idea to test a DRS zone in FP1.
Motorsport.com has asked the FIA for comment.