It has been just a few days since FIA, the governing body, introduced a new law on the fourth engine. The drivers from here on will be able to use four engines in a season. This law was presented at a time when Mercedes driver, George Russell, was on the verge of paying a penalty. He had a DNF at the Australian Grand Prix due to a power unit failure. The whole engine of his car was damaged. He had to use a new engine for the next race in Baku anyway. But the problem is every driver was allowed three engine parts – ICE, TC, MGU-H.
However, Russell’s concern was that moving to the second engine so soon was a bad sign. There are 23 races in the whole season. A new engine after the first three races makes it more difficult for a driver to carry on for an extended period. He would have used up all the engines available before finishing a total of 23 races. Hence, Russell would be then eligible for a penalty. Charles Leclerc of Ferrari already served a penalty after the Grand Prix in Jeddah. He damaged his engine in the Saudia Arabian Grand Prix. But FIA came to Russell’s rescue with the new law. And once again, the governing body has come up with another last-minute change ahead of the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan.
FIA Changes Law On DRS System
Now the governing body has introduced a new rule regarding the length of DRS in the Baku race track. It is going to make overtaking more challenging. FIA has ordered to shorten the second DRS zone in Baku by 100 meters. The race tracks in Bahrain, Saudia Arabia, and Australia are also shortened regarding the DRS system. After Baku, the next DRS change will be done in Miami Grand Prix. The DRS Activation Zone is key for the overtaking of cars to happen.
This initiative is taken after what happened last year. It was the ground effects car that was making things too easy for the teams to overtake in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last year. These ground effects cars were specially made for last year. The cars had it too easy in the long straight tracks of Baku in the DRS activation zone. Hence, this change was essential to make the show more entertaining. For that, overtaking must be more challenging.
The Length Of The Second DRS Activation Zone Is Shortened
There are two activation points and the second of which was previously located 347 meters away from Turn 20. Now it goes back 100 meters to make these DRS activation zones shorter. There has been no change in the detection points, especially the one at the apex of Turn 20. The first activation points at Turn 2 remain the same as well.
Ross Brawn, the ex-F1 director, has always been a keen supporter of the idea of using the DRS more strategically. He spoke to Autosport and mentioned, “Fans mean the world to us. They don’t like when overtaking gets so easy. We should be brave enough to reduce the use of the DRS system where it is getting too powerful.” Hence, he supports the new FIA rule.