Max Verstappen gives opinion after FIA shorten Miami DRS zones

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen during the Miami Grand Prix. Miami, May 2022.

Max Verstappen during the Miami Grand Prix. Miami, May 2022.

Max Verstappen was among the F1 drivers to voice his opinion after the FIA announced it was shortening the DRS zones ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

The sport’s governing body confirmed on Thursday that the first two of three DRS zones at the Miami International Autodrome would start further down the track as the sport looks to better balance overtaking.

The first DRS zone has been pushed further back past Turn 9 while the second now starts 525m after Turn 16 instead of 450m.

Living in a land of luxury where his car is much faster than the rest of the grid’s, Red Bull’s Verstappen admitted he would prefer there was no DRS and said that such was the speed of the RB19, shortening the zone makes no difference to him.

“I would prefer of course that we could race without DRS but that’s not possible,” Verstappen said ahead of the first of three American races in 2023. “I think for us, it’s a little bit different.

“If the car is faster, let’s say when you have to come through the field from the back, it doesn’t really matter how long the zone is, you will get the car ahead.

“But when the pace is one or two tenths [difference], you could see that in Baku, I think once you’re in a bit of a DRS train, there’s no chance. The DRS zone is just not big enough to have a run.

“So what [causes] that? Is the DRS zone too short? Or the cars are not good enough to follow closely? I think it’s a bit of a combination of both.

“The cars are probably too heavy, they’re too stiff, so you can’t really run a kerb to try and find a bit of a different line. Everyone is driving more or less the same line nowadays because of just how the cars work and how stiff the suspension is.

“Probably now with people finding more and more downforce in the cars, it probably becomes a bit harder to follow as well.”

One man who would take all the DRS he get is Lando Norris who said that the McLaren car was the slowest on the straights. recommends

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“We’ve been through it [with the FIA], it has been discussed,” Norris said sat alongside Verstappen. “We’re the slowest on the straights so I’d love DRS every chance we have.

“I think that’s something to just review. I think we look back at last year, maybe at times you could have shortened it but as cars evolve and get more downforce generally it always makes the racing a little bit worse. Cars are becoming more efficient at the same time so you need that little extra to help you.

“It depends who you’re racing. Red Bull doesn’t even need the DRS and for us, we need everything we’ve got in a way so it depends on who you’re racing against and some of the differences but there’ll be some races which will be a lot better and some races which are tougher.

“Like Max said there’s certain things we’re just not able to do nowadays that we could do maybe a few years ago, which made it easier to overtake like take kerbs and do different lines. So it’s not as simple as just DRS. There’s many things to try and improve and do better.”