The Australian Grand Prix's Albert Park Circuit is now the first F1 track to have four DRS zones. The sport is all set to return to a revised version of the iconic venue this weekend.
The official website of the track has been updated to show that it now features four DRS zones, in a bid to improve overtaking around the otherwise narrow track. The track will now feature two DRS-detection zones - the first just after the newly modified turn 6 and the second just before turn 13.
This weekend will be the first time F1 has returned to the iconic venue since 2019, following COVID-19 restrictions in the country. The 2020 event was canceled after a number of people from the paddock tested positive for the virus while it was still in its early stages, causing an immediate cancelation by the FIA.
It is still unclear whether the new DRS zones will help drivers pass each other with greater ease.
Daniel Ricciardo expects F1's revised Albert Park Circuit to aid overtaking
Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful that the newly revamped Albert Park Circuit will provide better overtaking opportunities for drivers. The F1 circuit has gone through major changes since the sport last visited Melbourne. This is the first time changes have been made to the epic track since its introduction in 1996. The apex of turns 1, 3, 6, and 14 have been widened, while turn 11 has been slightly shifted and widened.
Ricciardo welcomed the new changes to his home track, expressing his enthusiasm for the higher speed overtaking, which will now be possible. He said:
“It was always a track where overtaking was difficult because it was quite narrow and very fast. In general, in Formula 1, it becomes more difficult to follow other cars in corner combinations the faster we go. Widening the apex of some corners I think will help create more room for some daring overtaking or choosing a different line to get out of the dirty air.”
In addition to the widened apexes, 2022 cars will also massively help in the removal of dirty air at the track. 2022 F1 championship leader Charles Leclerc has already praised the 2022 cars for their ability to follow each other closely through dirty air.
However, it is important to note that only racing conditions will confirm whether or not the new changes made to the track will aid overtaking.