The Formula 3 podium finishers praised the DRS effectiveness that led to “really fun racing” in their sprint race in Melbourne.
Franco Colapinto benefitted from the power of the slipstream to go from sixth on the grid to first at the chequered flag. However, the MP Motorsport driver would later be disqualified due to a technical infringement.
“It’s pretty cool for racing,” he said. “If you’re really struggling and you’re out of the DRS range, it’s going to be really tricky for you. But for the guys that have good pace and want to come through the pack, it’s quite cool.
“And even more for the sprint races that of course the 12 first [drivers] in qualifying [get] reversed. I think it’s pretty good for them to be able to overtake and show the pace that they actually have.”
Colapinto also commented on the Melbourne track layout meaning speeds are “already really high” for drivers before they even open the DRS.
Prema’s Zak O’Sullivan, who inherited victory from Colapinto, was “positively surprised” how easy overtaking proved around the lap, aided by the “super powerful” DRS, which “is super cool for racing”.
“Here in particular, there’s only two detection points for four DRS zones. So it forces you to push super hard in sector one because the detection point for the straight down to turn nine and also down to turn 11 is straight after. So it can be quite tactical, but it also means if you missed that first DRS detection point, you’re in trouble for basically the rest of the lap.
“Tomorrow it’ll be quite interesting when there’s maybe some more cars on the road that were a bit closer in qualifying. It will be a bit more of a DRS train. But equally if you get left out of that DRS train, it’s quite hard to then get back into it. But I mean for us it aids the racing massively, it’s all a positive.”
Hitech GP’s Sebastian Montoya saw the strength of the DRS from the other side as late in the race O’Sullivan was able to approach him in the third DRS zone and go around his outside at turn 13.
“The DRS was also really powerful in the last two DRS zones on the track because we had a bit of headwind there,” said Montoya. “So there it was quite aggressive. You come out of a high-speed corner and then into another high-speed corner.”
“I don’t think it’s too powerful,” he added. “Like Zak, for example, if he didn’t have the first DRS, I don’t think he would have been able to pass me the way he did.
“Honestly, it makes the racing really fun, it makes it good for us, makes it really challenging. And it’s cool also for the fans to see a lot of overtaking and side-by-side action. So for me, being the leader I wish it wasn’t there, but obviously once you’re following, you really like it and it makes it fun.”