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FIA clamp down on 'cat-and-mouse' games with DRS change

FIA clamp down on 'cat-and-mouse' games with DRS change

F1 News

FIA clamp down on 'cat-and-mouse' games with DRS change

FIA clamp down on 'cat-and-mouse' games with DRS change

The FIA has confirmed a change to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit that should end the dangerous cat-and-mouse DRS antics of recent years.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix venue features some of the highest speeds of the year as drivers navigate between the unforgiving walls that will punish even the smallest mistake.

Safety is always at the top of the FIA's priority list with every incident investigated to see where potential improvements can be made.

In this respect, the governing body has not taken kindly to the antics of the past two years involving Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Michael Masi says death threats took 'personal toll' and calls for end to hate

Saudi Arabian DRS problem

The problem specifically relates to the final DRS detection point on the circuit that was previously positioned just before the braking zone for the final hairpin.

Leading onto the main straight previously carried the significant risk that the car following at the detection zone would have a relatively simple overtaking opportunity when braking into the tight left-hander that follows the long main straight.

When battling for the lead in 2021, Verstappen broke to allow Hamilton through at this point on the circuit and the pair made contact.

Last year, the Dutchman attempted this trick again, with Leclerc getting involved in the action.

The solution

In order to prevent the same situation from happening for a third consecutive outing, the FIA has now elected to move the DRS detection zone to a point 170m beyond the corner exit.

This means there is nothing to be gained by playing cat-and-mouse and the issue - one that was seemingly exclusive to Saudi Arabia - should be negated.

Commenting after Verstappen's victory in last year's race, Horner said: "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."

The activation point for the system remains the same, as do the locations and activation points for the other two DRS zones on the track.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2023: Date, start time, TV channel and live stream

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