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FIA revises “cat and mouse” DRS zone in Jeddah


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2022Saudisunday01@@Fes Width&5E250@@Fes Height^166Following last year’s “cat and mouse” scrap between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, the FIA has revised the final DRS zone ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

It was Red Bull boss, Christian Horner who used the “cat and mouse” analogy following the battle between the two drivers which saw them making full use of the fact that the detection for the final zone was on entry to Turn 27.

This meant that rather than try to overtake in the second zone – located at the exit to Turn 25 – thereby leaving them open to losing the position again in the final zone, drivers would seek to instead benefit from the final zone by hitting the brakes, often in a highly suspect fashion, in a bid to not be first to cross the detection point and thereby nail their rival once DRS was activated on the start/finish straight.

At a time so much was promised by the rules overhaul, the DRS skulduggery made a nonsense of it.

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Not only did this lead to some hairy moments last year, but in 2021 also when Verstappen was battling Lewis Hamilton.

“The DRS is so powerful you could see there was a game of cat and mouse going on between the drivers where they would actually brake to a point where they accelerated into the corner,” said Horner following last year’s race.

As a result the detection point for the final zone is now located at the exit to Turn 27 as opposed to the entry.

Other changes mostly involve the complaints from drivers over visibility – or lack of it – in certain corners, with drivers claiming that the likes of Turns 14 and 20 were blind.

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As a result the fence wall has been moved back at Turns 14 and 20 by 7.5m and 5m respectively, while the fence wall at Turns 8 and 10 have also been adjusted to improve visibility of the corner ahead.

Turns 22 and 23 have also been amended with the fence at Turn 23 adjusted and a bevelled kerb added – this is expected to reduce speeds there by approximately 50 km/h.

The mobile steel plate kerbs have now been removed and replaced with permanent concrete bevelled kerbs all around the circuit, while ‘Rumble Lines’ – which cause traction to be lost and slowing cars down – have been added at Turns 3, 14, 19, 20, and 21.

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