FIA confirms DRS zone details for Istanbul

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Istanbul, 2010

The FIA has set the zone for the Drag Reduction System for the Turkish Grand Prix.

Drivers will be able to activate their systems in the race from shortly before turn 11. The systems will remain open until they reach the braking zone for turn 12.

Significantly, the FIA have again not given drivers the full length of the longest straight on the track to use the devices, in a bid to keep it from making overtaking too easy.

The DRS detection point will be in the braking zone for turn nine (click to enlarge):

DRS zone for the Turkish Grand Prix

As usual, drivers will have free use of the system in practice and qualifying.

What do you think of DRS? Vote here: Drag Reduction Systems: Your verdict

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    78 comments on “FIA confirms DRS zone details for Istanbul”

    1. Is it just my imagination, or is this a really short DRS zone?

      1. Nope, it is.

      2. considering how fast the cars go around there, it should be enough.

      3. But the cars have the previous straight to get closer.

        1. Yeah, it looks like they get measured, then have the first half of the straight to put their KERS into line and then open the DRS to blip past.

          Only very big difference will be, that at previous instances where it was on the pit straight both drivers had fresh KERS seconds at their disposal for the end of the straight (after passing to the start/finish line), something they won’t have here.

      4. it’s a natural overtaking straight anyway, so it was wise to have a short(er) DRS zone.

    2. Is it possible that the FIA will change their minds during the weekend like they did in China?

      1. I doubt it to be honest. It looks like a good area to have it.

        1. I’m not sure the detection zones in a great place though, turn 8 is such an aero corner that cars inevitably space out through it.

    3. I’m slightly concerned that cars may find it a little difficult to keep within a second through turn 8.

      1. Yeah I think so as well. With Red Bull’s aero advantage, I think they will make it to the detection zone over a second before the car behind.

        1. *detection point

      2. Me too. Personally I would have had the detection zone into Turn 7 and activation out of 8. That way cars can keep close but they’ll never overtake. then that can follow into 9-10 and make a normal overtake into 12.

        1. Not a bad idea!

        2. I think detection zone into Turn 7 and activation in the middle of Turn 8 would also be pretty exciting… See who can control the rear of their car the best haha

    4. Glad to see it not too big like the whole straight would have been. Hopefully that will keep cars close but not give us too many obvious unexciting ‘passes’.

      I would say Im worried the FIA keep choosing places that have seen quite a bit of overtaking anyway which seems silly to me but looking at the circuit map I cant see any alternatives in Turkey.

    5. Seems like a tiny DRS zone, but I think the degradation should provide enough interest with this race

    6. Quite a good spot to choose I think. The start-finish straight isn’t really long enough for an overtaking zone and keeping it relatively short on the back straight is the best way of keeping overtaking skilled.

      Also, it’ll put the cars out of shape into the start-finish straight (i.e. side by side as we saw with Hamilton and Button last year) so hopefully we could see some action on that straight too!

      1. watch last year’s race again, the whole pit straight would be a great zone for DRS.

        1. Good point, there was practically a Trulli train down there at times.

    7. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
      3rd May 2011, 16:49

      Isn’t the lack of rear downforce going to make going through the right kink a bit scary? I’m guessing the drivers will wait until after the kink to activate DRS.

      1. admitedly, this is from F1 2010 experience, but isn’t it taken flat?

        1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
          3rd May 2011, 17:16

          Yes, but that’s with no DRS deployed and thus the extra downforce at the rear. I’m just speculating whether having DRS deployed will disrupt the cars balance through the kink enough to force drivers to wait before afterwards to use it.

          1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
            3rd May 2011, 17:17

            *force drivers to wait UNTIL afterwards, rather.

            1. Coefficient
              5th May 2011, 12:57

              At the sort of speed they do through that kink, the car will have plenty of downforce from the diffuser and beam wing to get through if they open the DRS before the kink. The problems will arise if they hit the switch in the middle of the kink as the sudden load reduction whilst the car is in yaw will unsettle the car quite a bit.

          2. Maybe just a bit for the gutsy drivers to open it first?

            Some might go for it at the end of the kink, some after the apex and some will go on it immediately to gain maximum advantage.

            1. I was thinking precisely the same thing. This is a clever area for DRS activation as it will allow drivers to take the risk (assuming they are even in the zone) of taking it flat with DRS letterbox open. Itll be interesting to see who is able or daring enough to attempt it on full tanks first.

            2. I don’t think it’s a risk at all to be honest, the kink isn’t nearly sharp enough to cause issues…. Unless, Vettel tries to overtake Webber.

          3. I was thinking the very same. We may see that on Friday until the drivers build up their confidence.

      2. Turn 11 will be easily flat…

      3. I was thinking that too. Maybe they’re giving the drivers a liiiittle chance to get on the DRS too early and spin out.

      4. I think it’d be fine flat, it’s not really a corner where the rear is unstable, the gradient should help a bit with grip too.

    8. “The DRS activation point will be in the braking zone for turn nine”. I think you mean detection point, Keith

      I think this could work out well if an activated DRS significantly effects turn 11… Drivers will need to find a compromise between downforce and speed at the risk of spinning out.

      1. Fixed it, thanks.

    9. Surely they should stick the detection point a little bit after turn 9, because if they pass at turn 9, stick it down to the activation point they will get a pretty good advantage.

    10. To be honest I would prefer if the DRS was available from the last corner as I think that would lead to great racing and not artificial in my view.

      However, I think the FIA have probably got it right this weekend and we will see a good bit of genuine overtaking.

      Let me know what you think.

      1. Yeah there definitely wont be a ridiculous amount of China/Malaysia style DRS overtaking in this race. I think it will be good to see some genuine overtaking this weekend. The only thing that bothers me is Red Bull might seriously dominate this weekend.

        1. Indeed, Turn 8 last year was Red Bull in a nutshell. If they get great drive of it as expected I can see everyone else being out-with the one second gap come turn 9

          1. yes but because of high tyre degradation, red bull may not be able to go so fast through turn 8 this year.

    11. Which turn is colloquially known as ‘Faux Rouge?’

      1. Turn 11. Stupid name really.

      2. no turn 9 and 10… turn 11 is just the kink in the straight, which is flat.
        The left and then right uphill nature of turns 9 and 10 give them the name Faux Rouge (like a mini eau rouge)

        1. Oops you’re right.

    12. If you can DRS through the kink on this track then you can DRS though the tunnel at Monaco, it’s just a hell of a lot more dangerous if you mess it up in the tunnel!

      1. Exactly. But drivers have crashed in the tunnel before without DRS and may well crash with it. If a driver crashes with DRS activated it doesn’t mean it was a DRS induced fault though.

    13. why does this have to be different for every circuit? it smacks of result manipulation if you ask me. wouldn’t it be easy to say (for every circuit): DRS zone is the entire length of the longest straight, or capped at 900m, and the detection zone is 2 corners prior?? moving goal posts every event is stupid.

      1. Isn’t that what they are doing? The straight from turn 10 to 12 is easily the longest straight on the track. It just has a little kink (turn 11) on it, but if it is easily flat with the DRS applied then it will effectively be a straight line.

        1. i’m talking more about the fia waiting until 3 days before the event to announce the details. why not make it standard for every race? the only answer is that it allows them to control who will benefit the most, race by race. ridiculously artificial…

          1. I don’t see how they can do that. All cars have DRS. I don’t see how where it is placed can benefit one team over the other. And even if it can benefit one team over the others, they could also do that if they decided it weeks before the race.

            1. yes, they all have DRS, but they don’t all have the same straight line speed, or the same gear ratios, or the same rear wing. every team has their own philosophy in terms of compromise across all of the car’s design details. these differences make a longer DRS zone more attractive to some teams.

              now if the specifics of the DRS zone was outlined at the start of the season, all the teams could incorporate that information into their design. but having it outlined individually before each event is completely artificial and means that through sheer luck (or fia manipulation) one team will benefit over another.

            2. You have got a point there, but the teams can always change the gear ratio. But if the distance is standardized on all tracks it might be more fair, but then it would sometimes prove way too hard to overtake and sometimes be too easy. When FIA can adjust the rules accordingly they are able to create better racing, instead of ruining it. All the teams know how the DRS is used so they need to design a car that works with it. The distance or where it is can’t change much.
              I don’t think FIA uses it to favor some team over the other, i just think they are trying to make it easier to overtake.

      2. Maybe because every circuit is different. Actually it ads to the experience to see just how different these tracks are for DRS zone determination.

      3. Here is my question. Why do the regulators not block KERS from being used as a defensive measure in the DRS zone? If the point of the DRS is to create passing, it’s stupid to permit KERS to thwart it. People who will watch only because of more passing will not give a rat’s behind about whether a wily driver saved up his KERS to create a non-pass in the DRS zone, where spectators will have been conditioned to salivate on cue when the wing pops open.

        1. Why do the regulators not block KERS from being used as a defensive measure in the DRS zone? If the point of the DRS is to create passing, it’s stupid to permit KERS to thwart it.

          I hope Charlie Whiting doesn’t read that one…

          DRS has already made overtaking too easy in a lot of cases. The last thing we need is another gimmick making it even easier.

          They should go in the exact opposite direction to what you’re suggesting, and remove the restriction on drivers using DRS defensively during races.

          1. They should go in the exact opposite direction to what you’re suggesting, and remove the restriction on drivers using DRS defensively during races.

            but then surely we’re back to square one…?

            1. No, because we have the Pirelli tyres:

              Teams now pursue different, conflicting strategies that produce great racing.

              They no longer have the luxury of being able to time a pit stop to bring their drivers out away from other cars – solving one of the major obstacles to better racing of recent years.

              Inevitably the controversial Drag Reduction System has attracted a lot of attention. But Sepang and Shanghai showed us that while DRS helps drivers make straightforward passes on straights, it’s the tyres that allow them to get close enough to race each other in the corners. All the best passes so far this year happened outside the DRS zone.

              Why Pirelli deserve credit for F1′s terrific start to the 2011 season

            2. I think what sato means is then there’s no point in having it at all. I’d rather no DRS than unrestricted DRS.

            3. yeah i definately agree that we’d have great racing without DRS at all. As you say, the Pirelli tyres are doing the job!

    14. i think its perfect. u can either pass b4 turn 12 or we’ll see who can brake later. more excitement. no driver has won there more than Felipe, he will win if the car is fast enough.

    15. the choice for the detection point is a bit weird; what if there is an overtake at turn 9, after the detection line, does the car who will have gotten in front get to use the DRS and scamper away?

      1. Yes, but if you can pass into Turn 9 then you’ve already got a big advantage anyway, not like the questions over the Malaysian set-up.

        1. That’l be for the Red Bulls only, as they are bound to have massive advantage through turn 8 again.

          1. Hmmm perhaps but they don’t like running in the dirty air. The cars have moved on but remember how Vettel got stuck behind Button in 2009 even on less fuel? Even last race Vettel suffered in the dirty air of the McLarens.

            1. So then it would not be used at all?

              You are righ about the RB not being great when running in dirty air. It was part of Webbers success in China that he did long runs in clean air and then passed cars.

            2. I think we might see it if we have massive tyre differences again.

    16. Anyone know what the actual length of the activation zone will be? I’m curious to see how it compares to the first three races in distance.

    17. it would have been better to put the DRS activation after turn 11 even if in normal conditions is a full throttle corner.

    18. Exactly where I thought it would be. Going to be a brilliant device at such high speed. We’ve not had that yet. DRS so far this season has been off relatively slow corners.

      1. yeh exactly, really dont get why people are debating it.

    19. It’s a bit of a joke that they put the DRS zone in the area where they will have an empty grandstand. You can’t buy tickets for the stand overlooking the prime overtaking spot. I really wanted to go, but that put me off. Still fancy going next year, but last week’s news has maybe stymied that – wish they’d warned us about the shaky future a bit earlier…

      On a separate note, the FIA need some imagination in placing the DRS zone, rather than just making what was already a good spot for overtaking far too easy, instead place it on the trickier pit straight, so that they can battle to and fro all the way from turn 10 to turn 1, like the Mclarens last year. Or hell, put a little DRS zone on both straights. I find it so patronising when they say that more than 1 zone will be too confusing for spectators. If the spectators care about the technicalities, they will quickly grasp such an apparently unfathomable rocket science, and for those who just want to see overtaking, they will carry on not caring (and enjoying the racing)… Where is this ‘confusion’ problem?

      1. Cant you even get there with GA tickets? That would really be a shame.

        Or maybe a signal, they expect the DRS to work only for keeping the cars close for overtaking moves in the first sector of the lap.

    20. Did they not see Vettel and Webber crash just there last year? If anything, this will promote the same thing happening again.

    21. The DRS zone in China was perfect, it wasn’t too short and it also meant the drivers had to actually finish the pass in the hairpin.

      1. It also challenged the teams on their gear ratios, we saw the Red Bulls struggling a bit at times, needing to get back into the slipstream (funnily enough against the Renaults, no problem with the engine there then!).

    22. Eh?? This is the most obvious place to have the DRS and i wasnt expect it anywhere else, why would they select anywhere else? I also think its deceptive and not actaully that short. Im expecting to see quite a bit more overtaking into the last complex of corners. Thats still quite a bit of a run they have when the DRS gets activated.

      @ Mike, im sorry but thats a silly comment. The Webber Vettel incident could happen anywhere. Its the drivers that caused it not the straight. You might as well ban overtaking if you think like that.

    23. Looking at the current weather forecast for Turkey, I would imagine that the DRS will be disabled for most of the weekend anyway!

    24. It’s all relative. All the drivers are subject to that.

    25. Favoritism towards Vettel right here! With DRS last year he would have just flown by!

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