Ahead of the F1 Australian Grand Prix qualifying session, the Albert Park Circuit will now go ahead with three DRS zones instead of the initial four DRS zones. On Saturday morning, new Race Director Niels Wittich stated the change for safety purposes for the rest of the race weekend.
In a statement issued by the FIA post the final free practice session, they said:
“For safety reasons, DRS Zones will be reduced to 3 for the remainder of the event. DRS detection 1 will be moved to before Turn 9, DRS activation 1 will be after Turn 10, DRS detection 2 will remain unchanged, with the following activation zones will be renumbered accordingly.”
The Albert Park Circuit has undergone significant track changes ahead of the 2022 race and was scheduled to feature a whopping four DRS zones, with a new addition between Turns 8 and Turn 9. It would have made the Australian GP the first race to feature four DRS zones. This newly added DRS zone, however, has now been removed.
F1 reporter reveals that team bosses are not happy about changes in DRS decision
The FIA made a rather last-minute decision to remove the fourth DRS zone at the Albert Park Circuit. SkySports F1 reporter Karun Chandhok, meanwhile, claimed that several of the team managers were not thrilled about the decision. He said that their unhappiness stemmed from the fact that they were informed about this merely twenty minutes before the Australian Grand Prix qualifying.
As reported by GPBlog, Chandhok said:
“I spoke to a couple of team managers in the pit lane and they are not happy about it. They were told just twenty minutes before the start of the session that the DRS had been taken away. It has a lot of effect on the set-up. With the DRS open you have less porpoising. Therefore, without DRS there is a disadvantage for the cars that suffer more from porpoising.”
All teams were anticipating some exciting overtaking and racing at the Australian Grand Prix as a result of the fourth DRS zone. That, however, has come to naught now.