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Masi denies DRS played role in Russell / Bottas crash

FIA Race Director Michael Masi inspects the damage to the track barriers after a crash between Jack Aitken of Great Britain and Campos Racing (9) and Luca Ghiotto of Italy and Hitech Grand Prix (25) during the Formula 2 Championship Sprint Race at Sochi Autodrom on September 27, 2020 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

George Russell had claimed that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) contributed to his crash with Valtteri Bottas at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. However, that claim is now dismissed by F1 race director Michael Masi.

DRS was first disabled due to wet conditions at the start of the race but was later enabled as the track dried up.

“Probably in hindsight, given the conditions, given the circuit – that the straight is not straight – the DRS probably should not have been activated,” George Russell said.

“I would not have [spun] if I was in the exact same position with the DRS closed. So I highlighted that may be one for the future.”

Despite Russell’s claims of the DRS being a factor in his crash with Bottas, Masi dismissed the theory, saying there were successful DRS overtakes before and after the incident.

“It’s obviously something we were monitoring closely, looking at it,” he said. “To be fair, there was a number of DRS overtakes that were completed successfully before and after.

“So no, I don’t think it was. I think looking at all of the footage, the track was all fine from our perspective and it was no issues on that end.”

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