Has Australia gone too far with track modifications?

Ahead of this weekends Australian Grand Prix, there has been a lot of talk about the track modifications made to promote better racing or at least more entertainment value. With several corners reprofiled and the chicane after turn 8 removed, there has been some folks wondering if the modifications have gone too far.

Reading an article from Jonathan over at Motorsport, I was intrigued to get Kevin Magnussen’s thoughts on the changes.

“I think I had the same thought when I saw the layout on this track, that maybe some of it was over the top.

“Maybe removing at least what was Turn 9/10 [before], I don’t think they needed to do that.

“But they’ve made a big effort to make the show better. And I think that’s a great thing for the tracks to try to do their best to improve racing. It is a great thing. Let’s see how it goes in the race.”

These changes may mean the cars will come into the T9/10 complex very hot and with limited rear grip. What the FIA did to add “more” to the race is introduce a fourth DRS zone and that’s had folks really talking.

The DRS is a legacy construct of the old regulations and some fans, me included, were hoping the new regulations may render the device unnecessary but it seems that F1 is doubling, or quadrupling the deployment.

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Do you feel DRS is still needed?x

“I think there’s different opinions of what’s good racing,” he said. “Too easy overtaking can be bad as well, it just kind of puts everyone in the right position in terms of pace.

“So it’s kind of like a balance. Some tracks have just the right balance to still have some racing, still have some action, but also have some opportunity to defend.

“If you can’t defend, if you just get overtaken if you’re even a little bit slower, then that’s also not a good thing. So it’s about balance, I think. So we’ll see how it is on this track in the race.”

This goes back to what Paul and I discussed a on the Saudi review podcast, DRS needs to be completely reconsidered given the new racing dynamics these regulations have produced.

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Peter

Hey, I had a thought to solve DRS!
Each car should be fitted with a proximity sensor. The second a car pulls alongside, the DRS on the car being overtaken can open.
What do you think?
This way the crowd love to the speeding overtaker won’t diminish, but by the time they get to the corner, all hell can break loose with normal overtaking skills required.

Xean Drury

I think that’s a good though, but if the car’s along side due to the boost, then the pass is already done then, isn’t it? I think the DRS crutch is no longer necessary to ‘spice up the show’. In my opinion, and as someone who is a defender of DRS, it’s time to let it ride into the history books. And increasing the DRS zones does not make for better racing either; especially when they’re on small straights. There are many tracks, AUS included as well, where a DRS on a small straight serves no purpose as no pass… Read more »

Fabio

They removed one of the DRS zones today.