Two DRS zones but one detection point in Canada

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil, Montreal, 2010

The FIA has confirmed drivers can activate their Drag Reductions Systems twice per lap during the Canadian Grand Prix.

However there will only be one detection point, situated at the exit of the L’epingle hairpin. Any drivers within one second of the car in front can activate their wings in both of the following points.

The first is further up the straight leading from the hairpin, and the second is at the beginning of the pit straight at the end of the lap.

This should give the drivers a significant opportunity to overtake and pull away, as Fernando Alonso explained:

“On paper, whoever manages to pass in the first zone will then have a big advantage because they will be able to use the movable wing again on the main straight, even though they are ahead of the car they are battling".

Here is a diagram of the DRS zones for the race (click to enlarge):

DRS zones for the Canadian Grand Prix

As usual, drivers may use the DRS freely in practice and qualifying, except in wet conditions.

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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    Images © Williams/LAT, FIA

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    68 comments on “Two DRS zones but one detection point in Canada”

    1. I’ll copy-paste this from the Alonso topic, since it’s still relevant:

      I was kind of expecting them to have the second zone between turns 7 and 8 (with the braking zone under the bridge), that’s a far better overtaking place than the first corner.

      1. I think your onto something there or even down to the hairpin. I would say have either of them as the only DRS zone. Canada doesnt even need DRS but if they do have it then have it somewhere where overtaking doesnt neccasarily occur!

        1. Yes I was thinking about down to the hairpin too, would make them nice and close so even if they didn’t overtake there, they could have a natural sliptream down the following straight.

      2. My guess of what will happen. Not many cars will be in the zone, but the ones that do should get a good chance.

        You effectively have to be able to overtake to get it to register. Nice

        1. What makes you think that? (the not having many cars being within 1 second)

    2. So basically, one entire side of the track is pretty much DRS territory? I’m going to reserve judgement on this one until after the race on Sunday.

    3. Lazy. Same as the DRS ativation not differentiating between lapped cars.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        10th June 2011, 11:05

        Its the FIA’s way of stopping Red Bull dominating the world championship.

        How do you stop Red Bull winning, make the cars behind them faster.

        1. Except that DRS being 1 second means that by the time it’s activatable, the pole-sitter (generally Vettel) has escaped, and the DRS battles make attempting to reel the pole-sitter in impossible.

    4. There should be two,
      I know they haven’t got the technology to do this right now, “apparently” so anyway, but if one car passes into the chicane, then the overtaken car has no chance to retaliate and use his DRS back against the overtaker, and then the overtaker can still use his DRS down to the first corner to defend.

      This may make the racing worse.

      1. And if the passer makes the overtake in the first zone, then he could pull out enough of a gap in the second zone that the driver who was originally leading won’t be within a second on the next lap to have a crack at retaking the position. Seems very dubious and not well thought out. If it rains though we won’t see any DRS zone!

      2. yep. this is ridiculous. I can’t believe how the FIA see this as a good thing… maybe they know something we don’t? probably not.

        1. Spot on, With the second DRS activation point after the chicane it could lead to some mighty tussles as drivers wrestle for position. ”

          But this is just overkill.
          I hope this doesn’t become like Turkey, despite being a huge fan of the flippy flappy wing* (FFW) I really don’t want it to be that easy.

          *Thank you Mr Sushi.

          1. I can’t belive how stupid the FIA have been, putting two, massive DRS zones around an area were overtaking is already very common? What the hell? It’s ridiculous, Canada is one of the tracks we’re we only need a very small zone anyway, this could ruin the race entirley.

            I’m going to pray for rain.

    5. The Last Pope
      9th June 2011, 18:52

      I think we’re going to see some overtaking combos here lol

    6. Mouse_Nightshirt
      9th June 2011, 19:00

      Well that’s just plain stupid.

      That is all.

    7. Okay…
      I am not a rocket scientist.
      Nor am I a Biologist or Nuclear Physicist but…

      I’m guessing that if you have a computer which can manage a single detection point and a single activation zone, the most efficient way to add a second detection point followed by a second activation zone would be to buy a second computer.

      Surely someone at the FIA has considered this ‘witchcraft’ as a solution to the problem.

      1. You are right! Why don’t they just ask Tilke? He is the master in F1 of using the button combination of Ctrl + V & Ctrl C.

        1. Ah you see? That’s what the FIA did, but what you want to do is Ctrl C and only then use Ctrl V after that.

          For Tilke, it is the little things.

          1. bazzinga!

    8. Wonder if anyone’s brave enough to try a high downforce set-up in the race? A bit like Button at Monza last year – bit of extra wing to help in the corners, hope they’re close behind someone else at the hairpin enough times to open the wing down the straights, and if they’re passed between 7 & 8, they can still get him back.

      1. The difference is that Button was able to employ the F-duct at will in Monza, while here drivers will only be able to use DRS if trailing another driver. The rest of the time that extra bit of wing is just going to be slowing them down on all the long straights…

    9. So, there will be no Re-overtake. What a advantage to follower.

      1. First zone – Overtake
        Second zone – Run away

        1. That’s about the sum of it.

          1. Hopefully we are just overestimating the effect of the DRS in Canada.

            Personally though I think it’s going to be a Turkey.

            1. One massive DRS zone following a very slow corner, then a smaller one following another, I really don’t know what there playing at with this one.

            2. I think it could be overestimated. Remember that the teams will be running a fairly low downforce level already, therefore with DRS activated the advantage will not be as effective.

    10. The Last Pope
      9th June 2011, 19:37

      I don’t know why people are saying there should be two activation points. If you have a second activation before the second zone a slower driver that has just been passed in the first zone gets an advantage. He could be a second a lap or more slower than the other driver but still be able to finish each lap ahead of the faster car just because he was overtaken momentarily and then gifted a speed boost to bet back infront.

      To have a faster car overtaking a slower car because of DRS is wrong in some peoples minds
      To have a slower car overtaking a faster car because of DRS would be laughable to everybody.

      1. The Last Pope
        9th June 2011, 19:54

        Just realised i’m using the wrong word. Were I say activation I mean DETECTION.

      2. Mark Hitchcock
        9th June 2011, 20:02

        That illustrates the other problem with the DRS zones. They’re too close together.

        If they want two zones they shouldn’t be right after each other, and they should have two detection zones.
        Faster car passes slower car in to the last chicane using DRS. Faster car gets away because he’s faster, then the next zone is after turn 7 for example. So if Fast Car is actually fast enough to be ahead of Slow Car then he won’t be re-passed in the 2nd DRS zone.

        That made sense in my head. Not sure how much sense it makes when it’s written down though!

        1. The Last Pope
          9th June 2011, 20:26

          It makes sense and I agree. Basicaly the car that has been overtaken in the first zone needs at least half a lap to prove he is fast enough to stay with the car ahead and to deserve a chance to overtake him again in the 2nd zone.

        2. Agreed. I’d eliminate the zone on the pit straight and put a second short zone between turns 7 & 8.

      3. I don’t think there should be two detection points just for the sake of it. If there is to be two activation zones then there should be two detection points.

        The entire purpose of the DRS is two increase overtaking by canceling out the advantage that the leading driver has. If the lead driver is passed, why should the new lead driver have two advantages in their favor?
        1. Undisturbed airflow over the car.
        2. No rear wing drag.

        He could be a second a lap or more slower than the other driver but still be able to finish each lap ahead of the faster car just because he was overtaken momentarily and then gifted a speed boost to bet back infront.

        I don’t think it’s possible for a car that is a second or more slower to suddenly be able to overtake because of the DRS.
        If that was the case Vettel and Hamilton would have been re-passed by several cars they lapped in Spain, especially if they lapped them just before the detection point.

        1. The Last Pope
          9th June 2011, 20:39

          A car being lapped is rather more than a second a lap slower than the fast car doing the lapping.

          That situation with 2 detection zones is very posible with 2 cars racing each other.

          1. I can only see that as a good thing though…
            I drool at the thought of a battle like Rene-Gilles.

            1. The Last Pope
              10th June 2011, 0:42

              That was two guys racing together because they were the same speed.

              This would be two guys racing each other because of an artifical “rubber band” rule. No one would want that.

    11. Part of me is curious, since there is one detection zone couldn’t the driver behind pass the driver ahead and then still have the DRS available in the second zone to pull further ahead while the driver who was originally ahead is now a sitting duck even more?

      1. The Last Pope
        9th June 2011, 19:50

        Thats what I ment by overtake combos the attactin driver could posibly use the activation of a first car to overtake a 2nd car in the 2nd zone even though that car was more than a second away at the activation. I don’t really see a problem with this though. The overtaking car would have to be very fast to do this.

        remember there is nothing stopping the overtaken driver from catching up again in the twisty bits and then having his go to reovertake on the next lap or two.

        1. The Last Pope
          9th June 2011, 19:55

          Again sorry. DETECTION not activation.

    12. Just have one DRS straight if your going to have only one detection point.

      Silly idea. To easy for the following car.

    13. Here’s an idea Jean, how about no DRS, therefore no dectection or activation zones?

      Race is increasingly looking like it’ll be a wet race anyhow, so no DRS. With KERS and the degrading nature of the tyres this year, there is frankly no need for DRS.

    14. In Canada we don’t even need DRS at all. With the tyres on their last bit of life, there will be plenty of overtaking. I’m afraid DRS will kill all the great passes this weekend.

      On top of that, the DRS activation point is so early on the straight away. They trailing car will blow past the the car that cannot use DRS & then gain an even bigger advantage again on the pit straight.

      Why would they do all this is doesnt make sense. Maybe on a boring track like in Valencia.

    15. “we listen to the fans”

      Really?!?!….find me one fan who genuinely believes this is a good idea and i will swim to canada and buy every member of the FIA and FOTA a pint!

      1. To be fair, they haven’t actually done it yet. Criticise after the event.

        1. You say that but sometimes things are just obviously stupid, I mean, it’s not like we don’t have experaince with the DRS, if it’s dry we all know whats going to happen.

          1. I wish the FIA would give us a little insight into WHY they do things like this. If there is a reason, what is it?

          2. really? We know whats going to happen? Because every time the DRS has been used it’s been the same?

            Australia, Turkey, Barcelona, China, 4 races and 4 very different effects of the DRS. Australia was a minimal effect, Barcelona had effectively no effect, Turkey was too far, and China was just about right.

            But the fact is, you can’t really predict just how effective the DRS will be. The first zone may be like Barcelona, letting the guy get close but still not seal the deal, the second zone like China allowing him to get alongside.

            Lets just wait and see what happens. Yes it may very well be what people expect (and I’m one of them), but lets wait and see if it actually pans out that way. It may well be a masterstroke.

            1. Look, we don’t set in stone, 100% know whats going to happen. But we do know this: the first DRS is in a highly effective overtaking zone already. The second DRS zone is in a position to be used after the horse has bolted. The whole thing is completley massive, provides a ridiculous advantage to the follower.

              It’s not like Barca, cars can follow here and the preceeding corners very different. We have a very good idea of whats going to happen, and it’s stupid and potentially race ruining. We only get one Canadian Grand Prix a year, I don’t want to wait and see if the FIA have gotten lucky and not ruined my favourite GP. I want them to use their heads, of course I know thats not going to happen.

      2. Er, i think drs has perked the sport up no end! Two activation points sounds like fun. Also, anything that slightly decreases vettels chances of walking away with the title has gotta be a good thing. Make mine a pint of bitter. Cheers.

    16. If the point of DRS is keep faster cars from being “stuck” behind slower ones, why the complaints that the second zone will allow a passing car to run away? Now people want “re-passing”, i.e, the faster car getting stuck behind once more, for entertainment.

      1. If you’re fast enough to get past, then you’re not really a slower car.

        1. The Last Pope
          10th June 2011, 1:09

          Example for you if there was two detection zones. Webber has a bad start and is behind Sutil. Sutil is a second slower than Webber in is holding him up. DRS becomes active and Webber is finaly able to pass Sutil into chicane after using his DRS in the 1st zone and now would like to catch back up with the leaders…. but wait here comes Sutil coming back past with his DRS active purely because Webber overtook him. Webber is once again stuck behind a car that is alot slower than him until the next lap when it all happens again. Webber would have to make a move elsewhere on the track or purposely not overtake on the 1st zone so he could use the 2nd zone instead of Sutil. Obviously this is all totaly artificial racing.

          You might as well not have any DRS zone because the 2 being so close to each other would cancel each other out. Thus the only choise is to have only one detection zone with this DRS zone setup.

    17. I’m not being so quick to jump to conclusions. DRS seems to throw up a few surprises, both positive and negative. I want to see how it pans out over the race.

    18. Prisoner Monkeys
      10th June 2011, 1:54

      This looks to me to be an attempt to address the criticisms of the DRS producing too much overtaking. At lot of the time, we’ve seen drivers pull off a pass, only to have their quarry take the position back a lap or three later. So despite the sheer amount of overtaking, very little actually changes.

      With two DRS zones and one detection point, I suspect this is a plan to try and stretch the field out a little. Driver A will use the DRS to pass Driver B in the first zone. He will then use the DRS to pull away in the second. This will make it harder for Driver B to re-take the position, and hopefully allow Driver A the chance to catch up with the next car down the road.

      1. The Last Pope
        10th June 2011, 2:53

        Huh? That makes no sense. So the FIA want more permanant changes in position to happen during a race but with less actual racing? The fIA want to make the race less exciting? lol @ PM

        1. Huh? That makes no sense.

          Then read it again.

          1. Well, what you describe sounds sensible as an explanation of what is attempted.

            But, if that is the reason, I have to agree with The Last Pope that it doesn’t make sense to do it: we would like to see (more) fights for position, not an easy(er) way to zoom past.

    19. Still no point of having two DRS,it’s just rubbish.

      1. Sums it up nicely!

    20. Could lead to some interesting tatics. Suppose the battle fo victory goes to the wire and the lead car has less than a second gap on the final lap. If he allows himself to be overtaken before the activation zone, then as long as he keeps within the gap needed to activate, he can activate on the final lap, easily overtaking down the long straight after the hairpin.

      1. Or maybe – and this is a radical notion – he could simply hold position and drive defensively. Especially since the pit straight is relatively short.

    21. Isn’t Canada quite a low downforce circuit? If it is then a longer DRS zone or maybe 2 may make some sense as if the cars already have low downforce the speed advantage of opening the wing will be reduced so the cars will need a longer distance to catch up and attempt a pass.

      However I would still much prefer to see two DRS zones with individual detection points. One on the back straight or start straight and another down to turn 8 or the hairpin. This would create 2 seperate points to overtake and stop a car passing in the 1st zone if it gets a good drive out of the hairpin and using the DRS to pull away on the start straight.

    22. Im not sure what the thought process was that went into this for them to come to the conclusion that 2 DRS straights is needed anyway?

      I mean Canada is known to provide good races and plenty of overtaking so why have the 2nd zone? Shouldnt the 2nd zone be held back until you get to some of the other circuits where overtaking is hard to achieve?

    23. I think they are just experimentating with DRS. To see what can DRS bring in new situation.

    24. “L’épingle hairpin” means “The hairpin hairpin”. That hairpin is called “L’épingle Casino”, or the Casino hairpin in English.

      1. Well I never knew that! Thanks very much, I’ll change how I refer to that in future.

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