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2017 F1

Only DRS makes passing possible now – Massa

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Felipe Massa thinks F1’s controversial drag reduction system (DRS) is the only thing providing a glimmer of hope about overtaking in 2017.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg said after the 2017 season opener last weekend that the new, faster cars this year have made overtaking “almost possible”.

“It’s a lot harder to get past now, but that was clear as soon as they changed the rules,” F1 veteran and Williams driver Massa told the 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,” he added.

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,” said Massa. “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,” he added.

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