FIA to seek F1 driver input on Paul Ricard layout

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FIA to seek F1 driver input on Paul Ricard layout

Formula 1

FIA to seek F1 driver input on Paul Ricard layout

The FIA will ask the drivers for their opinions on the Paul Ricard layout used at the French Grand Prix to see if a different configuration could help racing in future.

A number of drivers predicted the circuit layout used last weekend would prove extremely difficult for overtaking, despite two DRS zones leading into chicanes. The race itself featured a number of passing moves with faster cars out of position following incidents at the start, and FIA race director Charlie Whiting says he was happy with the original configuration but will ask the drivers how they found it this weekend in Austria.

“It was a joint decision that was proposed by the circuit and we saw no reason to use anything different,” Whiting explained. “We wanted to have two long DRS zones which I think appeared to work quite well on the back straight.

“I know there appears to be a school of thought that we could have done without it but all the teams and drivers have known about it for a long time and tested on that track so I was a little surprised to hear that come out of the blue on Friday.”

Asked if there was any driver input regarding the layout before the race, Whiting replied: “No.

“We can certainly do a simulation of the long straight and see if the run-off area is sufficient, that sort of thing. I would also like to hear the drivers’ opinions now that they’ve had a race on it. We saw a few decent overtakes there that I doubt we would have seen otherwise. It is a matter of opinion largely but I am happy to discuss it next Friday night.”

Another area that was discussed during the drivers briefing in France was the pit lane exit, and Whiting says the race organizers will look at making changes to avoid cars being released onto the racing line ahead of Turn 1.

“They are not ideal but there is not massive concern about it. The circuit appears to be very willing to do something different for next year so we will work with them on that. There is a great willingness to do so, they’d be happy to help.”

–Chris Medland

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