Formula 1

Whiting Happy with Sauber Fixes to ‘Small Design Flaw’ with DRS after Vicious Ericsson Crash

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Charlie Whiting - FIA Race Director
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Charlie Whiting has said the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team have corrected what caused the Drag Reduction System (DRS) issues during free practice for the Italian Grand Prix, and there are no further concerns of any other problems this weekend.

A DRS failure caused a high-speed crash for Marcus Ericsson that saw the Swede go for a wild ride at the first chicane at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with the car rolling twice before coming to a stop on the grass, and there were also concerns about the sister car of Charles Leclerc, which spent time in the garage as the mechanics worked on the fix.

“We’ve been through it with Sauber, and we know what happened,” FIA Race Director Whiting is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “It was let’s say a small design flaw, which they’ve corrected.

“But generally we don’t have any concerns about DRS on high-speed circuits.”

Whiting’s comments come on the back of Carlos Sainz Jr.’s feelings that DRS is dangerous, with the Renault Sport Formula One Team driver hoping that future designs in Formula 1 can avoid needing the artificial overtaking device.

“This artificial device, the DRS, it’s a dangerous thing,” said Sainz to Motorsport.com. “If it doesn’t close the car changes completely. On balance, on braking performance.

“So, I’m just wondering if Formula 1 is going to develop towards no need for DRS for overtaking.

“I do feel we need DRS nowadays because otherwise overtaking would be pretty much impossible, but hopefully they develop a formula without the need of DRS.”

One thing Whiting was pleased about was the way the C37-Ferrari stood up to the accident on Friday, and it proves that Formula 1 is heading the right way when it comes to safety.

“I thought it did a great job,” said Whiting.  “When you look at the violence in that accident, the wheels all stayed on, which was a magnificent testament to the strength of those, and the strength of the whole car.

“The recent focus has been on the halo, but there have been so many improvements over the years to the strength of the chassis, with impact structures, wheel tethers as a good example, the height of the cockpit.

“All of those things came together to help Marcus yesterday.”

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