Drivers react to FIA’s decision to shorten DRS zones for the Miami GP

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The FIA has announced its decision to shorten two DRS zones ahead of this week’s Miami Grand Prix. The change will affect the first two of three DRS zones on the track, with both being shortened by 75 metres.

Photo credit: Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly has criticised the decision, arguing that shortening DRS zones strips away potential overtaking opportunities.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Gasly said, “I think there are different reasons why that is, in Baku we reduced the DRS zones which didn’t help.”

He also touched on the fact that many drivers are finding the current generation of cars more difficult to follow, especially once out of the DRS range.

“This year it is more difficult to follow, cars are going faster, there’s a higher rate of development going into it. We’re always pushing it further and further, but the more you push it, the more difficult it becomes to follow each other,” the Frenchman explained.

“On that side, reducing DRS zones won’t help us see more overtakes during the season. It’s something that we talked about in the drivers’ briefing last weekend, I’m sure we’ll talk about it this weekend.

“I think we’re in favour of keeping the DRS zones as they were last year, not reducing them. We’ll see on other tracks, I’m not so keen on making big conclusions after only a few race weekends.

“The tracks have been completely different from one weekend to another. So I think we need to give slightly more time.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc echoed this sentiment in the press conference.

“I don’t think it’s the right direction,”

Fernando Alonso, on the other hand, welcomed the FIA’s decision, saying that the changes are understandable as Baku and Miami saw some of the easiest overtakes last year.

“It was the easiest here last year, apparently, so that’s why I think FIA did shorten the DRS. In Baku it was one of the easiest last year, so they shortened the DRS.”

He added that the overtaking difficulty is largely car-dependent.

“I heard Lewis [Hamilton] was saying that this year it was too short. Which I think for them, with the high downforce it was too short.

“For Red Bull it was too long because at the start/finish line they overtook Leclerc and he was opening to braking on the outside for turn one. So if you take one car it was too long, if you take another car it was too short,” Alonso said.

“I guess it was about the calculation that the FIA do after have seeing last year’s races. Baku and Miami they were on the high side in terms of overtaking and how easy it was so that’s why they shortened it. Let’s see this year.

“But it is difficult to predict. Even if it’s true that this year it seems a bit more difficult to follow cars, that’s 100% correct, Red Bull seems that the DRS zones are too long. So it depends which car you take.”