Weight loss of Red Bull may explain DRS issue

Date published: May 23 2022 - Sam Cooper

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen driving through the pit lane. Barcelona, May 2022.

Ted Kravitz has theorised if a mission to save weight in the Red Bull car could be the underlying cause behind their DRS issue.

Max Verstappen was a frustrated man during the opening half of the Spanish Grand Prix as his misfiring DRS made it impossible for him to overtake a defending George Russell.

With Charles Leclerc’s retirement, Verstappen’s annoyance at his inability to pass Russell would have only increased as he was now in contention for a race win.

Eventually he was able to pass the Mercedes driver on his way to the race victory but the DRS issue is one that has plagued him across the weekend. During qualifying, he was unable to make a final attempt at securing pole position after the DRS failed to open.

Red Bull are still investigating as to what may be the cause behind the issue but Sky Sports F1 pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz has pondered if it may be a casualty of the team’s aggressive weight shedding.

“What I thought was interesting was Christian Horner saying on the grid ‘well we have been taking weight out of things’,” Kravitz said during his post-race notebook.

“Does he mean they’ve been taking weight out of that DRS actuator and that then has led to it failing?

“Gosh, well, if it did that’s not good, that’s a salutary lesson. If that is just something that they can fix quickly for Monaco, that’s fine.

“But clearly, if they have taken weight out of it and it has failed, that’s a very bad thing and the person who put mass and weight into it in the first place said ‘aha, told you so, told you it had to be heavy’.”

Helmut Marko though has promised Verstappen that the issue will be solved by the time of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

“You have to calm him [Verstappen] down,” he told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com. “I mean, we were surprised by this problem ourselves and you still have to make the best of it.

“When he didn’t press the button on the kerb anymore, it worked properly. He’s just an emotional racer, that’s alright.

“We instructed him to remain calm and to only press once. Before that he pressed the button several times, so that the DRS then closed again. Thank god it then opened at the right moment.

“We now know where the problem lies. There are still five days and a day has 24 hours for us, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”