The FIA has added a third DRS zone to the Australian Grand Prix circuit in an effort to boost overtaking in Sunday’s opening race of the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Melbourne’s Albert Park track previously featured a single DRS detection zone 13 metres before Turn 14, three corners from the end of the lap.
This triggered DRS activation points at the exit of Turn 16 onto the start-finish straight and again at the exit of Turn 2.
A second detection point has now been added on the kink (pictured above) that leads to the Turn 11-12 esses, making it the first time an F1 track will have three DRS zones.
The new zone will begin on the exit of that Turn 11-12 complex, potentially allowing drivers to drag past rivals on the run to the tight right at Turn 13.
The main reason for this extra zone is to help drivers get closer to the car in front heading to the original DRS detection point that follows before Turn 14, which leads into the final two corners.
This would encourage more use of the DRS zones that follow.
The change comes after Australian GP chiefs made a bold bid to redesign the back part of the Albert Park circuit to promote overtaking.
As first revealed by Autosport, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation investigated replacing the fast Turn 11-12 complex with a longer straight and a tight left hander.
However, it was ultimately decided that the changes would not yield a big enough benefit to make them worthwhile.