Hamilton expects few DRS passes in Monaco

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011

Lewis Hamilton says the Drag Reduction System will not lead to a huge increase in overtaking in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton said: “I think the DRS zone at Monaco is only around 300 metres, so it’s pretty short, and not really long enough to enable us to really get enough of a launch on the car ahead.

“I think the aerodynamics will only really start working properly once we’ve reached the braking zone for Sainte Devote, so I don’t think we’ll see too many DRS-assisted overtaking moves next weekend.”

He also played down fears that tyre marbles will make for a treacherous racing surface:

“I think the tyres will probably give us the greatest scope for excitement and the best chance of passing.

“While I don’t think the super-soft and soft compounds will be as critical around Monaco as they were at a place like Turkey [where hard and soft tyres were used], I still think the drop-off we encounter as the tyres go off should create opportunities for overtaking.

“And I don’t think the marbles will be as bad as people fear, because they tend to occur at the exits of high-speed corners, and Monaco is generally quite a low-speed track, so I don’t think we’ll see the build-up that we saw at somewhere like Turkey’s turn eight, for example.”

Team mate Jenson Button said the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems would be important at Monaco despite the slower speeds seen at the track:

“There’s been some suggestion that KERS Hybrid might not provide a useful lap time benefit around Monaco, because you might think you couldn’t really exploit it to give you a boost onto a straight.

“But our simulations suggest that it’s worth as much at Monaco as it is pretty much anywhere else, which is another positive because I think that the Mercedes-Benz unit is the best in Formula 1.”

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    18 comments on “Hamilton expects few DRS passes in Monaco”

    1. Agree to an extent but it may help slightly taking into consideration there will be mixed strategies and drivers on new tyres coming up behind drivers on worn tyres. If you can follow closely through the last few corners and get the power down nicely onto the start finish straight while the guy in front is on worn rubber then the DRS may just be enough to create an opputunity?

      Looking forward to Monaco massively!!

      1. Well a smart defending driver just has to cover the inside line and is over no matter how fast the other guy comes from behind.
        You can’t try anything from the outside line in the corner after the finish straight because there is only one line.

        Monaco’s problem isn’t just how small the straights are but the fact that there is no space.
        I expect any little overtaking to be in the usual spot after the exit of the tunnel.

        1. True, the only way it would work is if the driver on the outside is almost passed by the time they get to st devote and hope that the driver on the inside concedes due to being on the dirty side into the braking zone. Unlikely but could happen :)

          DRS can only have a positive effect (bar safetly issues) how ever little it will help at Monaco.

    2. I think Monaco looks like being an absolutely cracking race. DRS or no DRS, I want to see whether Vettel’s got the minerals for the fight that McLaren are going to bring: they’re better out of slow corners and one thing Monaco can offer is slow corners.

      Soft and Super-soft tyres should make the pitlane complete bedlam. Also: am I alone in wishing that Button would stop doing the ‘tyre preservation game’ and just show us how fast he is?

      1. I’m with you there TDTD.. It’s a case where button feels he needs to exploit any advantage possible.
        This also benefits the team, in that they collect different data from their drivers when they run completely different strategies.
        Actually buttons “tortoise versus the hare strategy” seemed to work better at Spain than elsewhere, he would definitely have been further up the road if he had a better start.
        I do think that’s what’s great about F1 at the moment, the variety of strategies and how each driver needs to find the strategy to best suit his driving style. You’ll always get the Hamiltons and the Alonsos who always ring every last drop of pace out of the car and will overtake at every given opertunity.

      2. martin bell
        23rd May 2011, 13:34

        JB seems to have got it into his head that the only way he can beat his team mate is by doing something different on strategy. We’ve already seen how this approach plays out over a season and we could all do with seeing how fast he is. Is he undervaluing his own speed, perhaps not realising how good he his? I really enjoy this aspect of F1, seeing a driver exploit his talent, develop and apply it. In a hugely technical sport, this intensely human contest is one of the things that makes F1 special.

      3. I am a fan of Button, and many other drivers. The game he is playing is seeming to pay off, especially in Barcelona.

        I think it is incredibly smart, as at the moment, Hamilton is quicker by a few tenths on most laps. This is a fact, and one that Button needs to find a way around. He has found a way round this by doing less stops.

        Yes it’s more fun to see a driver pound round the track on the edge, but it is also great to see the varying strategies and how different drivers can get different things out of the cars. Some get pace, and sacrifice tyre wear, some get consistency and less tyre wear. Some get pace and less tyre wear!

        1. They are NOT better in slow corners. Actually they are worse at slow corners that they are in fast ones.
          Mclaren and her huge length will be horrible in Monaco. Expect Renault and maybe Merc to have a strong pace there.

        2. Jenson’s strategy will continue to payoff, if he doesn’t want to take the top step on the podium.

    3. I think the word of the day on Sunday will be “undercut”

      KERS should be valuable because it’s a point-and squirt track. If everyone has it however, it won’t be noticeable.

      Shame I’ll miss it :(

      1. I’ll swap ya whatever it is you have to do this weekend, because I am probably going to miss the Canadian GP and I would much rather see that one.

        I just don’t really think the “glitter and glamour” translates to TV very well. And going by the evidence of the Spanish GP, I don’t think Monaco will be much better for overtaking than it has been in the past.

    4. I think it is great to have DRS not be much of a bother in the race (a bit like spain then).

      KERS will be a very usefull tool out of the corners, certainly. And with the realtively low speeds and short stretches for high speed, I guess McLaren must feel good setting their car up against a Red Bull with an intermittently working system.

      Bring it on.

      PS. let the DRS be used for practice and qualifying. Just let the drivers try out where they can get away with using it and for how long in FP1.

    5. Hamilton expects few DRS passes in Monaco

      I expect few DRS passes in Monaco.

    6. I wouldn’t want to bet on how the race will unfold. We thought that the DRS zone was going to be far too long in Barcelona this weekend, but it didn’t prove to be.

      DRS could be a great benefit with the amount of downforce the teams are going to be running, and it might surprise us all.

      I personally can’t wait to watch it, shame I’m gonna have to iPlayer the whole weekend though! But bodes well for the bank holiday Monday spent watching Qualifying and the Race in one day. It will be like Suzuka 2010 all over again.

    7. Red bull is going to walk away with this one if they dont screw up their pit stop calls.

      The use of DRS in qualifying seems to greatly exaggerate the RB7’s superiority, and once they lock out the front row its hard to imagine anyone catching them at the principality. Fingers crossed that somebody can start to haul in Vettel this weekend, but I think thats a more likely prospect in canada.

    8. even though it will help overtaking.

    9. Herman Tilke takes some slagging for always putting a tight hairpin before a long straight, but I have to admit the lack of DRS passing on Circuit de Catalunya because of the fast final turn suggests he might be onto something! :D

    10. I can’t really see how DRS can make much difference at Monaco but that said I thought Barcelona would be over-taking central. Not the case. So let’s see how it pans out.

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