The new generation of ground effect cars introduced this year aimed to make racing more exciting by allowing drivers to race closer to each other, which would then have the effect of improving the chances of overtaking.
However, one feature that appeared throughout 2022 was that the DRS lag between closed and open became much more powerful, so drivers were almost guaranteed a pass on certain tracks once they were at scope.
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The ease of some of the DRS overtaking proved less than ideal and should prompt the FIA to look at this year’s data to shorten some of the areas of activation next season.
FIA single-seater technical director Nikolas Tombazis is clear that a guaranteed overtake for a driver within DRS range is just as bad for the show as faster cars behind unable to pass.
Asked by Autosport if things were going to be changed for 2023, Tombazis said: “In some races we may well need to reduce the DRS zones.
“We don’t want overtaking to be, as they say, inevitable or really easy. It still has to be a fight.
“If it happens too fast, if you just see a car approaching and then passing and disappearing, it’s actually worse than being in the back and fighting. You have to find the right balance there.
Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22
Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
F1’s outgoing motorsport managing director Ross Brawn said last month that he didn’t want the sport’s leaders to be afraid of making DRS movements more difficult.
“The only thing we know is the fans, and we know that because we don’t like it, they don’t like ‘going down the straight, blowing the DRS, overtaking, driving fast, getting a gap ‘ all that,” he told Autosport in an exclusive interview.
“I think in an ideal world, DRS is used just to get on somebody’s back, so you can really have a decent offense.”
He added: “I think we shouldn’t be afraid to lower the DRS in places like Monza because it seems a bit ‘you get on the back of them, push the button, overtake’. It’s a bit of a ritual, isn’t it?
“It’s not very impressive. We should therefore not be afraid to reduce the use of DRS where it is clearly too powerful.