DRS zones changing at first five F1 tracks to make passing easier

Formula 1 will change the DRS zones at five tracks the championship visits this year to make passing easier at some venues and more difficult at others.

Other revisions to five circuits on the calendar were also agreed during the Formula 1 Commission’s first meeting of 2023 today.

The FIA and F1 said in a joint statement they have “analysed DRS zones for 2022 and made some changes for 2023 in order to either facilitate overtaking, or make it harder in certain circuits where it was deemed not to be enough of a challenge.”

The first five grands prix of the year in Bahrain, Jeddah, Melbourne, Baku and Miami will all be affected by the change. It will involve “the adjustment of detection and activation zones”, and the reintroduction of the fourth DRS zone at Melbourne’s Albert Park track which was used during practice only last year.

Five tracks will also be altered in order to improve the F1 events they hold.

Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Corniche Circuit will benefit from “significant changes” that have been made “to improve visibility on corner entry wherever possible”. Some revisions, including the tightening of corner, were announced in November.

The Baku and Miami street circuits will both be completely resurfaced before their grands prix take place. Several drivers complained about poor grip during last year’s inaugural event at the Miami International Autodrome.

Zandvoort is increasing the “space between the pit stop positions” by 1.5 metres, and F1’s return to Qatar will not be run from the same garages as when the country’s inaugural grand prix took place in 2021 as a “new pit building and paddock infrastructure will be built” at Losail International Circuit.

The F1 Commission’s changes are subject to the approval of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

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