Construction activity around Marina Bay has led to alterations in the recognized 90-degree corners that characterized Turns 16-19. These have now been replaced by a back straight with a kink.
In spite of this change, drivers across the board were generally expecting a fourth DRS zone to aid in overtaking into the slower-speed Turns 16-17 chicane. However, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has elected to maintain only three.
According to the information acquired by F1 Initiative, any changes, such as the inclusion of an additional DRS zone, are proposed to teams beforehand but are only implemented if sufficient feedback is acquired.
Some of the matter will be highlighted at the drivers’ briefing on the coming Friday, Alfa Romeo‘s driver Valtteri Bottas has disclosed. Commenting on the revisions in the track, he remarked, “It’s going to be better but if it’s actually going to make a difference in terms of ‘Will it be a race that you can overtake easily?’ I don’t think so.”
He further noted, “It’s going to be a hard track to overtake. Most drivers were expecting to have another DRS zone for the [new back] straight. I’m sure it’s going to be a discussion point.”
Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon has put forth the idea that circuit scans may have misinterpreted the bumps on the surface and the severity of the kink. Consequently, a last-minute trial could be suggested.
The Alpine team member elaborated, “We are all pushing at the moment to give [another DRS zone] a try.” Adding to this, he said, “The FIA is concerned about safety in that little left kink. I reckon personally, and the other drivers too, that it’s not going to be an issue.”
In tandem with this, drivers also have the proposal to test a DRS zone in FP1, as communicated by Ocon. However, due to vital safety issues, the chances appear slim for the FIA to approve such a trial.
F1 Initiative has sought comment from the FIA on this matter.