FIA confirms DRS zone restrictions for Spa

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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Expect lots of passing on the approach to Les Combes

The FIA has confirmed a single DRS zone will be used for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The detection point will be prior to Eau Rouge and the activation point will be shortly after the exit of Raidillon on the Kemmel straight:

2011 Belgian Grand Prix DRS zone

Race director Charlie Whiting gave further insight into why the use of DRS has been banned through Eau Rouge during all sessions:

“We’re not going to allow DRS to be used through Eau Rouge during practice. We want to avoid drivers going through thinking that their wing is in the right position, when it might not be.

“We think this is the correct safety measure to have taken at such a fast, demanding corner.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    27 comments on “FIA confirms DRS zone restrictions for Spa”

    1. Looking at the map, it’s amazing how long the flat out run from La Source to Les Combes is. With all the kinks and curves in the straight, it never seems to take that long to me.

      If only Hermann Tilke could take note and stop drawing all his straights with a ruler (and yes, I know that’s a bit of a paradox!)

      1. (Of course, you could say exactly the same thing for the Blanchimont ‘straight’ too)

        1. but that is what makes the Valencia “straights” quite unusable for passing, they are too curved.

          1. Yeah, fair point

            1. But there is enough of a straight after the curves to launch a move on someone at Spa. Plus, Valencia isn’t a race track. I don’t know how to describe it without getting myself angry, in fact!

      2. The whole first sector is 93% full throttle with just La Source the braking point. Quite amazing really.

    2. Out of Bus Stop and into La Source would have been better, close them up for the long run to Les Combes and maybe reward a good run out of the Bus Stop. I fear we’re going to get Canada-style DRS overtaking with this one; cars apart and then zooooom straight up.

      1. They put the DRS activation a bit after Eau Rouge to prevent this, I hope it will have success.

      2. Completely agree with you. It could even be as bad as Turkey was, but let’s hope not.

      3. Let’s wait and see. At worst, this year can be a test and next year the FIA will (hopefully) have enough data to perfect the zones.

    3. Totally agree, Icthyes.

    4. I still think that this is something for the teams to decide: if they can’t get a system operation that guarantees a safe performance to the driver, fine, then don’t use it, similar to when they have an issue with their KERS.

      Sure, Whiting might want to keep a close eye on it, to make sure teams take their responsibility, but in principle, it is weird to change the rules just this once only because some didn’t do a good job.

      1. Agree with that.

    5. Bad place for DRS – as this will decrease the likelihood of battles into the Bus Stop and La Source – drivers would just wait for an easy pass using the DRS into Les Combes, it would have been better to use it before the Bus Stop (just after Blanchimont) or, as Icthyes says, out of the Bus Stop and into La Source.

      1. Yeah I’m quite surprised they didn’t add another zone from before t16 to the Bus Stop, I wouldn’t have thought they’d struggle with Blanchimont with DRS active.

        If they get the length right it’ll be good, overtaking into Les Combes is always tricky if you’re not fully ahead. I dont think there will be slam dunk overtakes unless the overtake would have been on without the DRS, judging by the length of the zone.

    6. I completely agree. The DRS zones are too damn long & in places where there will already be overtaking especially with the tire degradation.

    7. i think the soultion is a bit more simple-
      leave the DRS zone where it is but make it shorter. maybe the activation should be half way down the kemmel straight.

    8. What happened to the DRS enabling overtaking in places where it traditionally doesn’t happen that much? Kemmel/Les Combes is THE place is Spa to overtake already, so I’m guessing we’ll be seeing even more overtaking than in Turkey, where it was ridiculously easy.

      1. see Spa 2009. hardly any overtakes, quite a boring race apart from Fisi chasing Kimi lap after lap.

    9. I’m confused. Isn’t the whole straight after Eau Rouge already a good spot for overtaking??

      I think at this particular race, they should’ve kept the DRS out of the equation a bit or maybe put the DRS-zone at an unusual place, like from the Bus Stop to the Harpin.

      I fear they will ruin the race if the zone ends up being too long, allowing every single overtake to take place.

      1. I see what you’re getting at, but you can’t not have DRS without trying it. In order to really assess the system you need to spread it over a season as much as possible.

        Hopefully it won’t be like Turkey though! That said, DRS probably worked best in China and that has the longest straight in F1…albeit off a much tighter corner than Eau Rouge.

        1. but why put it in a section where we already had overtaking even before Pirelli and DRS and KERS? why not chose a section where we do not see that much overtaking to test out the system? i dont get it

      2. To be honest, Spa doesn’t need DRS in any case. I guess its at second half of the biggest full throttle piece of track, so at least it will upset the balance between cars less than having it somewhere else

    10. What is the length of the DRS zone?

      1. It’s something between 800 and 950 metres.

    11. [quote]“We’re not going to allow DRS to be used through Eau Rouge during practice. We want to avoid drivers going through thinking that their wing is in the right position, when it might not be.[/quote]

      If this is the case then DRS needs to be re-evaluated. It makes it appear like the gimmick it is.

      Surely the brains in F1 should be able to come with a system that doesn’t look like a gimmick and is reliable. Perhaps an F-duct based DRS.

    12. Too short, drivers are going slipstreaming eachother in eau rouge, so when it’s done, it should’ve been IMMIDIATLY at the end of eau rouge! This way it doesn’t make sense at all, drivers will overtake eachother before the DRS even started…

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