May 11, 2022

Max Verstappen gives his verdict on the use of DRS

Ian Parkes and Topher Smith

Max Verstappen has rejected calls for F1 to scrap the DRS and believes he would not have emerged victorious from his battle with Charles Leclerc without the device at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit featured three successive DRS zones which played a part in the thrilling showdown between the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers, with everyone playing “cat and mouse” take advantage in the last corner.

Verstappen eventually won to take his first victory of the season with Red Bull but, after the race, debate was reignited over whether DRS could be dropped due to new regulations allowing cars to fight harder closely.

“Well, if I hadn’t had the DRS, I never would have made it,” Verstappen said. “We are still too sensitive for that.

“Of course, some tracks are easier to pass than others. But for me right now, if the DRS wasn’t there, I would have been second.”

When asked to compare the battle between him and Leclerc in Bahrain to the one they had in Jeddah, Verstappen explained: “Every battle is different but it’s just a smart race and a good race.

“[You] you just have to put up with it, adapt to it. And it was great fun. It was not easy but very fun.”

Verstappen and Leclerc were adversaries in the days of karting and on whether the battles in each of the first two races reminded him of those fights, the reigning world champion replied: Well, in karting you can rub a little, you know, with the pontoons and all that.

“It’s unfortunately no longer possible in Formula cars. But we have done it in the past. I think everything is fine.”

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