Charles Leclerc has hit back at F1 officials who are considering changing the use of DRS, claiming the sport would be ‘boring’ without it. The drag reduction system was introduced in 2011 to increase a car’s top speed and provide drivers with a better chance of overtaking.
It can only be employed in certain areas of the track and cars must be within one second of the driver in front. Due to the changes in aerodynamic regulations for the 2022 season to create closer racing and more overtaking, the sport’s bosses are considering whether to alter the role of DRS in F1.
Technical chief Pat Symonds has suggested that he would like DRS to only be required to lap back-markers, rather than for drivers to fight for positions during the race. He also thinks there is no evidence to suggest that the feature should be removed from the sport entirely and Leclerc shares the same point of view.
“I think DRS needs to stay for now, otherwise the races would be very boring,” said Leclerc, according to Motorsport.com. “As much as following has been better from last year to this year, and it’s a very positive step, I still think it’s not enough to get rid of the DRS.
“It’s part of it and I actually quite enjoy it. It’s part of the strategy for each driver in terms of defending and overtaking, and it’s part of racing for now.” Max Verstappen echoed his rival’s sentiments and suggested DRS still has role to play in the sport.
“If I didn’t have DRS I would have never passed,” Verstappen said after defeating Leclerc in Saudi Arabia last week. “I think we are still too sensitive for that. And of course, some tracks are easier to pass on than others. But for me at the moment, if DRS wouldn’t be there, I would have been second [in Saudi Arabia].”
This is contrary to the view of his Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who believes that the “cat and mouse” games played by the drivers showed that the usage of DRS needs further assessment.
The defending champion beat the current championship leader in a thrilling duel at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, scoring his first points of the season in the process.