Formula 1 drivers have suggested that the current ground-effect cars are now as difficult to follow as in the previous era.

Despite an action-packed Italian Grand Prix that featured plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing, it is felt that as teams develop their cars, the ability to follow closely has become much harder.

This has resulted in several drivers expressing concern over the direction of the current rules, with a general consensus that F1 will need to rely more on DRS to help bolster overtaking a certain tracks.

“In 99% of the tracks I think we’re going to need DRS, and we’re going to need a powerful DRS, because these cars from the beginning of the year are starting to become a bit like 2021 or 2020 where it is difficult to follow,” said Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, as quoted by

“Obviously Monza is a special case because you don’t only have the DRS, you also have very long straights of slipstreaming, which helps a bit more the car behind, but I think in the rest of the tracks, we’re going to need the DRS.”

Max Verstappen echoed Sainz’s view that the current cars are more tricky to race compared to last year, believing the matter will be fluid depending on the layout of each circuit.

“I think in most tracks, we still struggle to follow or pass,” he said. “I mean, at the beginning of the year, a lot of people were complaining about passing.

“We had the luxury of being a quick car, and we could still pass like in Miami where I think everyone was complaining about the passing – remember in the briefings – with DRS?

“I think the cars are getting more and more efficient and they have more downforce. So, it’s harder to follow and then they’re more efficient on the straight.

“Naturally here [at Monza] there’s less DRS effect because there’s almost no wing on the car. But I think it really depends on which track.

“[At Monza] for example, if Carlos, he was putting the car in the middle under braking into Turn 1, it’s almost impossible to do something, because if I go for it and he just moves a little bit to the right, there is no space anymore.”

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was also of the opinion that F1 needed to optimise the effect of DRS if it wanted to have better racing.

“I really agree. I think, definitely less DRS is not the way forward. I remember we were discussing to actually increase the effect because the cars are getting harder to follow,” said Perez.

“I think here the DRS effect, like Max says, is really, really small. So, I don’t think in other places we can race with less DRS. If anything, we need the DRS more in some places to be able to have better racing.”