Third Austria DRS zone prompts 'Mario Kart' fears from F1 drivers

Leading drivers have warned Formula 1 chiefs against allowing the championship to become like "Mario Kart" after a third DRS zone was added to the Austrian Grand Prix circuit

Third Austria DRS zone prompts 'Mario Kart' fears from F1 drivers

In a bid to improve overtaking in this weekend's Red Bull Ring race, the FIA has added an extra DRS zone between Turns 2 and 4.

But while a lack of overtaking has been an issue in F1 this season, drivers including Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel are fearful that such a push could make racing too artificial.

"I don't know if it's a solution to put in [extra] DRS zones," said Vettel.

"Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people that maybe like the idea of Mario Kart - including myself, I played it when I was young - but then again I think it shouldn't get artificial.

"We will see how it works out.

"Maybe it helps with overtaking and so on, but if you end up driving past another car it isn't very exciting either.

"There is more tension and more excitement if the car is behind and maybe something will happen rather than just sailing past."

Romain Grosjean joined Vettel in expressing concerns that the DRS zones - which now cover the circuit's three main straights - could make overtaking too easy.

"Let's see how it goes," said the Haas driver. "When I saw it first of all, I was a bit sceptical because I think it's a lot of DRS zones, basically every straight.

"So we just need to see how it goes into racing and if it's not like Mario Kart where I pass, then you pass, and then I pass back."

Kimi Raikkonen added: "Half of the track is DRS, so it should make it [overtaking] pretty easy. I don't know if it's too easy or not.

"Obviously we want overtaking but there must be a point where it's kind of artificial overtaking."

But world champion Lewis Hamilton said he could understand why the FIA had moved to add a third zone.

"I think ultimately they're doing that to try and make racing more exciting because it's not exciting enough, and the fundamentals are too big to change within the season," he said.

"We're trying to make the best with what we have.

"I think the way they've got it set up, you can get DRS in one zone, you can overtake, and then the other guy can get DRS in the next part.

"It's not particularly the easiest of tracks to follow on, so it will be interesting."

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Series Formula 1
Author Oleg Karpov
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