Formula One

Albert Park adds fourth DRS zone for ‘fastest race ever”


Australian Grand Prix chief Andrew Prestacott says this year’s F1 event at Albert Park will be the “fastest race ever” in Melbourne thanks to the addition of a fourth DRS zone at the street circuit.

Melbourne will host on April 2 the third round of the 2023 F1 World Championship. Last year’s event took place on a slightly altered layout that was approximately 2.5 second faster than the track’s previous format on which F1 had last raced in 2019 due to Covid.

In 2022, in a bid to improve the show on a track where overtaking opportunities had always been few and far between, organisers added a fourth DRS zone to the mix.

But after the opening day of running, for safety reasons and at the drivers’ request, FIA race director Niels Wittich removed the DRS stretch situated between Turns 8 and 9.

However, that zone will return for this year’s race, with assurances that there will be no safety concerns for competitors.

“I’ve had positive feedback from the FIA and Formula One that technically speaking, a fourth DRS zone will be implemented,” Westacott told the Herald Sun.

“That means the cars will be going faster coming into turn 11 and if they are going faster, that means faster through that whole area and faster lap times.”

Westacott is promoting the upcoming event as “the fastest F1 in history in Melbourne”.

“It will be the fastest race in Melbourne ever and that is a result of a number of things,” he added.

“You’ve got the evolution of the cars from last year, and they’ve obviously got better, and the fourth DRS zones means the cars will be quicker around the back of the circuit.

“Which will obviously increase speed and therefore reduce lap time and make it the quickest Grand Prix and the highest average speed ever in Melbourne.”

As Melbourne’s local hero, McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri is expecting an electrifying baptism of fire at his home race.

“I grew up 10-15 minutes down the road from Albert Park,” he said

“I was there last year as a reserve driver and it was a pretty electric atmosphere. So knowing that the crowd is going to be there, with me as the home driver now. It’s going to be a very special event!”

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Albert Park adds fourth DRS zone for ‘fastest race ever”

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