Mercedes driver slams unacceptable FIA decision

The FIA has continued to make track changes in an effort to reduce overtaking opportunities, much to the irritation of drivers.

Fresh from their track changes at Baku, the FIA has continued to alter DRS zones, shortening two around the circuit in Miami.

The situation in Baku proved disappointing for fans and drivers alike, as passing opportunities were limited around the tricky track, leaving frustrating DRS trains and limited wheel-to-wheel action.

The challenge in overtaking around Azerbaijan, following the shortening of the main DRS zone, was encapsulated by Esteban Ocon who managed to hold back rivals despite a 51 lap stint on the hard. 

In total, across the whole race, only a measly 23 overtakes took place, turning an event that is usually a highlight on the calendar into a forgettable affair.

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George Russell calls for ‘collaborative effort’

George Russell, who is the head of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), criticised the FIA for not consulting with drivers before making the decision to cut the DRS zones in Baku, arguing that teams should have been involved in any discussion around track changes.

“We can’t really be having weekends that are just totally dictated by what somebody in the race control office wants to do,” Russell said.

“We just need a bit more of a collaborative effort to improve the sport from an excitement factor, but then also on a safety regard.”

The FIA failed to listen to drivers in Baku and appears to be following a similar course of action in Miami, as officials appear unwilling to change their decision to shorten the DRS zones around the Floridian circuit despite protestations.

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After the first day of practice, the drivers’ briefing reportedly ran for an hour, longer than usual, with much of the discussion focused on the DRS situation.

The FIA hasn’t publicly addressed the situation yet or responded to the concerns raised by drivers but there doesn’t appear to have been any effort to reinstate the original DRS zones.

Only time will tell whether the shortening of DRS zones in Miami has a similarly damaging effect on the entertainment value of Sunday’s race.