MELBOURNE : Organisers are promising the fastest Australian Grand Prix ever after the addition of a fourth DRS zone at the Albert Park circuit for the third round of the Formula One season in early April.

The fourth zone – a first for a Formula One circuit – was introduced for last year’s race on a newly upgraded track but removed by the governing FIA on safety grounds after the opening two practice sessions.

Australian Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott told Melbourne’s Herald Sun on Monday that he had “positive feedback from the FIA and Formula One that technically speaking a fourth DRS zone will be implemented”.

The result, he told the newspaper, was that the cars could reach speeds of 340 km per hour (211 mph) around the Melbourne street track.

“It will be the fastest race in Melbourne ever,” Westacott said.

“You’ve got the evolution of the cars from last year, and they’ve obviously got better, and the fourth DRS zone means the cars will be quicker around the back of the circuit.”

“Which will obviously increase speed and therefore reduce lap time and make it the quickest Grand Prix and the highest average speed ever in Melbourne.”

The drag reduction system (DRS), which allows drivers to adjust the rear wing of their cars in certain parts of the track to reduce aerodynamic drag, was introduced in Formula One in 2011 to better enable overtaking.

The Australian Grand Prix, once the season-opener, was cancelled for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will take place this year on April 2, after the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia races.

Charles Leclerc won last year’s race from pole position for Ferrari.




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