Lewis Hamilton and George Russell blasted for FIA lobbying

The FIA has been under the spotlight for shortening DRS zones at recent races, making it harder to overtake.

Former Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert has blasted Lewis Hamilton and George Russell after the pair came out against the FIA’s decision to cut the length of DRS zones at recent races.

The DRS zone on the main straight in Baku was cut by 100 metres, prompting fans to argue the race was “boring” with only a few overtakes.

In Miami, the FIA continued to cut DRS zones, shortening two areas, to reduce overtaking opportunities, prompting claims from drivers that the authority was going in “the wrong direction.”

In his role as the director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), Russell Mercedes drivers criticised for moaning about DRS zones accused the Formula 1 body of making a “knee-jerk reaction” without consulting drivers.

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Hamilton sided with Russell, claiming that, by the time drivers turn on the DRS, the zone has ended, eliminating any advantage that would have been gained.

“They shortened the DRS this year down the straight, I don’t know why they did that, we have always had great racing the way the DRS was,” Hamilton said.

Herbert has pushed back on the two drivers, claiming that the DRS zone didn’t slow down Mercedes in the race, the team’s performance gap to Red Bull did.

“DRS is a very, very hard thing to control. The difference between the fastest car and at the moment it’s Red Bull that has an advantage anyway,” Herbert told Express Sport.

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“Then you’ve got the Ferrari, then you’ve got the Aston, then the Merc, the McLaren, all the other cars. They are not all the same so the DRS does effectively vary from car to car, team to team.

“You look at what happened in Baku, the racing didn’t quite happen in the race when they’re were a lot of expectations of it. So I know it got blamed that it was the DRS. But isn’t it interesting when the DRS is working, everybody sort of goes well overtakes are too easy.

“When it gets to where actually it’s a little bit more difficult then it’s wrong. So it’s wrong when it works but it’s wrong when it doesn’t work.

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“Who makes the call? Well, it has to be the FIA.

“If you leave it to the drivers and the teams as I see it they will try and influence it so it benefits them maybe. That’s not what the FIA are trying to achieve. They are trying to achieve that the overtake is not like the Red Bull.

“It’s trying to find a balance and over the years they have always tried to move it.”