Aston Martin’s technical chief is optimistic that the influence of DRS in Formula 1 can be gradually reduced if new regulations work as intended.
Formula 1 has overhauled its regulations this season in a bid to facilitate closer racing, courtesy of the return of ground effect, minimising the ‘dirty air’ produced by the car in front.
DRS has been used in Formula 1 as an overtaking aid since 2011, with the driver behind permitted to open a slot in the rear wing when within one second of a rival in a designated zone.
Speaking at the launch of Aston Martin’s AMR22, Chief Technical Officer Andrew Green said: “I think the DRS itself is going to be just as powerful [as in 2021].
“But I think it’ll be up to the FIA to look at the track layouts and see whether they need to modify the DRS zones accordingly. I suspect they will do.
“If it plays the way that they think it’s going to play, with the cars being able to follow more closely, they shouldn’t need as much DRS assistance.
“I think we might see the DRS zones reduced over time and some of them may even be removed. I think that’d be a good thing.
“It goes without saying that if you’re using the ground to generate the load and the downforce, you’re going to put less stress on the air, which is then less turbulent for the car behind.
“So, we think that’s the general plan: that the car behind will be in a much smoother air stream and will be able to follow more closely, so the racing should be more exciting.”
Green nonetheless anticipates that it may take several rounds before a true pecking order emerges.
“To start the season, we may still find that there’s quite a big spread in the grid as everyone finds their feet with the regulations, understanding the directions that other teams have taken,” he said.
“There are going to be teams that have found a rich vein of performance in the direction they’ve taken, and there will be other teams that have not quite got there in the early stages.
“It will be a few races before we start to see how the pack plays out. Then, I think we’ll start to see everybody close up relatively quickly compared to previous years.”
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