F1 preview: A lap of the Singapore Grand Prix
The FIA have refused to add a fourth DRS zone to the Singapore Grand Prix circuit this weekend, despite calls from some of the drivers, including Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, to do so. Singapore possesses one of the most iconic circuits on the F1 calendar, but overtaking opportunities have always been limited in dry running due to the lack of long straights and an abundance of low-speed corners.
However, in 2023 there will be an adjusted track layout with part of the final sector swapped out for a new, less complex series of corners. This has been necessitated by construction work and will not be a permanent change to the layout of the circuit.
Despite calls from some of the teams to add another zone in for this weekend, an FIA spokesperson told Autosport: “We won’t be assessing any additional DRS zones for the Singapore Grand Prix.
“It is something that was considered following the change in layout for this year, and the FIA contacted all of the teams several weeks ago to ask for their feedback and input.
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“There was, however, no clear consensus from those teams that responded and, following our safety simulations, it was decided that we wouldn’t take the matter any further.”
When asked whether or not the new track layout changes will have any impact on either tyre degradation or the quality of the racing, Verstappen responded: “It’ll probably be a little bit less [strain on the tyres], but I am hoping that it also helps the racing. But it will depend on if we can get a DRS zone in there or not.”
The FIA’s decision not to add another DRS zone onto the new straight will therefore come as a disappointment to Verstappen and Red Bull.
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The Dutchman was excited to sample the new layout ahead of the weekend, but that hype may have diminished somewhat following this latest revelation.
Speaking ahead of the weekend, Verstappen said: “Marina Bay is a cool circuit. This year it will be interesting to see how the revised track layout will impact the general behaviour and setup of the car. I think the lap times will be much quicker.”
Despite this excitement, Red Bull are tempering expectations this weekend with Verstappen revealing: “Singapore is probably going to be the most challenging weekend out of the upcoming races as the stakes are heightened on a street circuit, and the field is usually very close, not to mention the heat and humidity.”
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