Max Verstappen attained a dramatic win at the Spanish Grand Prix 2022. The reigning world champ struggled to overtake George Russell a number of times due to a fault in his DRS. Max’s RB-18 suffered a similar problem during Saturday’s qualifying, restricting him from fighting for the pole position against Charles Leclerc and Ferrari. The Red Bul engineers replaced the DRS actuator and flap pivot pins to counter the problem. However, the problem resurfaced during the main race after Verstappen took a trip to the gravel early.  

Recently, Verstappen stated that a malfunction issue with his car in Barcelona demonstrated how important DRS still is to overtake cars on the track despite new technical regulations in place. Formula one introduced some new regulations before the start of the season. The emphasis was to use cars that generate more downforce from the floor. 

Thus, the focus was to rely less on undisturbed air flowing over the car’s wings. So far in the season, F1 has succeeded in bringing the cars much closer on fast corners. However, overtaking is still a long way away without the presence of the Drag Reduction System(DRS). F1 has been looking for a way to make overtaking happen during the races without using DRS.

Red Bull Verstappen
RB-18

But, the action at the Spanish GP shows that even the newly designed cars still need the DRS to rush past the long main straight. As per Verstappen, the absence of DRS on the cars would be like being in a train of cars. Max felt he demonstrated how frustrating that could be in Barcelona. Therefore, the reigning world champ thinks that DRS is still very much needed at the moment with the cars. 

Max Reveals Why DRS Is Still Crucial In F1:

Verstappen revealed that the reduction of the dirty air effect has led to the reduction in drag in the new generation of cars. The reduced drag punches a hole in the air, causing the following cars to slipstream behind. The 24-year-old shared that drivers can follow a little bit easier but from a distance. Moreover, Max said that the lack of drag does not provide the same slipstream effect that the cars had last year. He added, “And then you still need a DRS to be able to have a go into Turn 1.”

Verstappen

Looking forward, the DRS will play a crucial role as Baku’s slow corners and long straights will allow the drivers to stay within a second of other cars. Moreover, Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan assured that the team’s DRS issue had been resolved after a temporary fix backfired in Barcelona. He also mentioned that Baku’s fast test would pose a real test with the DRS being in significant use. Paul concluded, “So, It would be foolish to rest on our laurels.”

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