Ferrari drivers reveal FIA’s biggest concern after Saudi Arabian GP

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz's comments will alarm the FIA, especially as other drivers have echoed their remarks.

Following Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have both revealed that following another car was just as difficult as “in the old cars”, potentially causing panic amongst the FIA.

Whilst last weekend’s race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit saw more overtakes than ever before at the venue, the number of completed overtakes was largely due to Max Verstappen having recovered from 15th on the grid to finish second.

Other than Verstappen and Leclerc making some ground in the early stages of the race, very few other drivers were able to make multiple overtakes, due to following having been difficult.

This was largely the reason why the new aerodynamic regulations were introduced in 2022, with the previous era of the sport having involved very few overtakes.

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Last season saw more overtakes than ever before but following aerodynamic developments by the teams it’s once again becoming a challenge again.

“I could have gone a bit faster, but when I was closer than a second to Carlos you felt the turbulence of the car in front of you,” Leclerc admitted.

Leclerc’s team-mate also complained of the turbulent air and how he was reminded of the 2021 regs during the race.

“I had the feeling that there was more turbulent air on the road. It almost felt like in the old cars,” revealed Sainz.

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Overtaking was also more difficult at the season-opener in Bahrain, where closing onto the back of the driver in-front was more challenging than last season.

One of the believed reasons why overtaking has become difficult again is due to more outwash elements being developed, most notably on the front wings.

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This has largely happened due to freedoms in the new regulations, with many now wondering if the FIA need to tighten up the regulations once again.

A short-term solution to the FIA’s problem if the drivers continue to complain, is to extend DRS zones, something which would likely frustrate fans who have asked for the sport to move away from overtakes only happening due to DRS activation.

Next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix perhaps isn’t the best venue to take feedback from regarding overtaking, given that drivers have always struggled to overtake at Albert Park.