FORMULA 1MOTORSPORT NEWS

F1 veteran Felipe Massa: Overtaking is impossible without DRS system

Formula 1 veteran Felipe Massa believes the controversial drag reduction system is the only thing providing a glimmer of hope for overtaking this season. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg said following the 2017 season opener in Melbourne, Australia, that the newer, faster cars have made overtaking almost impossible. Massa agreed with his fellow F1 mainstay over the weekend.

Felipe Massa

“It’s a lot harder to get past now, but that was clear as soon as they changed the rules,” Massa told Brazilian broadcaster SporTV. “But it depends on the track. Australia is always a difficult circuit to pass on, so it will not always be like that.”

At the same time, he thinks that while the extra downforce in 2017 has exacerbated the problem, the DRS system was introduced some years ago to solve that very issue. However, new F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn has spoken about wanting to rid the sport of “artificial” elements like DRS.

“It (overtaking) was always like this until they invented the DRS,” Massa said. “In the old days, the position you started was more or less where you finished if you didn’t make a mistake or have a problem. So it will not be the same as it was in the past because of DRS. But if we didn’t have DRS, nobody would pass anyone.”