F1 tried to extend Sochi DRS zone for race | 2018 Russian Grand Prix

Formula 1 tried to extend the DRS zone approaching turn two at Sochi after drivers complained it was too short following Friday practice.

The zone approaching turn two was extended ahead of last weekend’s race. FIA race director Charlie Whiting said Sunday’s race indicated it does need to be extended but there’s wasn’t time to do it ahead of Saturday’s running.

“This is something that the drivers brought up,” he said. “They were saying based on what they felt on Friday that it could be longer.

“It proved impossible to do overnight, there are too many systems that needed to be changed, new loops would have had to be installed. It really wasn’t practical to try to do it for Saturday.”

Race winner Lewis Hamilton said he was one of the drivers who argued for the DRS zone to be made longer.

“I did ask Charlie if he could bring the DRS even earlier, because that maybe would encourage overtaking,” he said. “You need to be 1.4 seconds faster than the car in front of you – and when you’re racing with someone you’re not 1.4s faster than him – to overtake.”

Hamilton suggested an unorthodox solution for the difficulty drivers have overtaking in Sochi. “I was just saying they should do it in reverse,” he said.

“Go backwards. Go the other way around the track, so you have the slow section first and then the fast sections.

“I don’t know if it’ll make a difference. But otherwise they’ve got to change the track to make it more racing-like. There are circuits that have which have a much smaller delta to overtake.”

Whiting believes there’s a “peculiarity to the tyres and how they work on this particular track” which explains why drivers find it so hard to pass at Sochi.

“I think that’s probably made it more difficult. We will of course look to see if we can do it for next year and we’ll be discussing other reasons why it hasn’t actually worked very well here.”

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2018 F1 season

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