Will an additional DRS zone be added to the circuit layout in Singapore before the serious action of the weekend gets underway?
This year’s layout at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore has seen a big tweak, with the removal of a section that saw the track go under a grandstand – four corners have been removed, with a new straight put in their place.
Laptimes are expected to be around 10 seconds quicker than with the previous layout but, despite the lengthy straight, the FIA have opted against including a further DRS zone along the new section.
Might a new DRS zone be introduced?
Speaking on Thursday’s media day in Singapore, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez said the topic of adding on another DRS zone is one topic that will be discussed in the drivers’ briefing ahead of the weekend action beginning on Friday.
“I think we are all expecting and we are all trying to get an extra DRS with the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association), because we feel like it can be improved for racing,” he said.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was another to lend a voice of support for introducing a DRS zone, saying: “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.
“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.
“Even if we want to be really safe, we just put [it after Turn 15].
“We are going to be in fifth gear, so really the drag effect comes after that kink, so we can put it after.”
Max Verstappen was nonplussed about the circuit changes, saying he expects the new layout to be a little “more relaxing” due to the fewer corners.
“It’ll probably be a little bit less [strain on the tyres], but I am hoping that it also helps the racing,” he said.
“But it will depend on if we can get a DRS zone in there or not.”
FIA: DRS zone was considered, but it’s not happening
But the drivers may be facing quite a challenge to get the DRS zone introduced, with the FIA saying that such an addition is not under consideration at this late stage.
“We won’t be assessing any additional DRS zones for the Singapore Grand Prix,” an FIA spokesperson told PlanetF1.com.
“It is something that was considered following the change in layout for this year, and the FIA contacted all of the teams several weeks ago to ask for their feedback and input.
“There was, however, no clear consensus from those teams that responded and, following our safety simulations, it was decided that we wouldn’t take the matter any further.”