Adrian Sutil, Force India, Monza, 2010

Reduced DRS effect at Monza – Harlow

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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Adrian Sutil, Force India, Monza, 2010
Adrian Sutil, Force India, Monza, 2010

Force India engineering director Dominic Harlow expects the Drag Reduction System to be less powerful at Monza, owing to the high-speed nature of the circuit.

“Yes, the effect will be quite a bit smaller, because the amount of downforce the wing is generating is less,” said Harlow.

“You?ve got 80% of the maximum downforce on the car, but the reduction comes nearly all from the wings. Given that the wings are roughly 30% each of the overall load, with the rest coming from the floor, it cuts quite a lot of their authority.”

The two DRS zones for the race will be positioned on the start/finish straight, and between Lesmo 2 and Ascari.

Harlow said: “It?s interesting that the FIA hasn?t set it before and after the Parabolica, on the basis that you might catch someone, maintain a minimum gap in the Parabolica, and then be able to make a pass on the pit straight.

“I guess they reasoned that was possible already and overtaking into Parabolica would be very difficult, so they?ve tried it in the other area for perhaps a larger laptime advantage for the trailing car. They are very rigorous in the method they apply to determine the zone and it seems to be working well.”

Like most if not all the other teams, Force India will run a different design of rear wing this weekend, says Harlow:

“Monza always requires a new rear wing. You run about 80 – 85% of your maximum downforce and there?s a similar reduction of drag to about 75% of our total.

“The efficiency of the car goes up a little bit at those levels. Coupled with that, this is the first time that we?ve gone there with DRS.”

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Keith Collantine
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43 comments on “Reduced DRS effect at Monza – Harlow”

  1. My feeling is that overtaking will be even too easy…as it was on Kemmel straight.
    Let’s wait and see.

  2. So in other words, the wings are “tiny” anyways and the reduction in drag will be minimal in comparison to other circuits?

    1. lol, pretty much. :D

    2. Guess so. Does make sense to have 2 zones then.

  3. Looking at the top speeds of the Saubers and Mercedes at Spa, we might even see DRS having almost no effect at all in some cases!

    1. those 2 teams went for very low downforce configs in spa. in monza everyone will go for low downforce so i doubt a similar situation will arise.

      1. I have a feeling that because of the drs some cars will opt to run higher downforce like button did last year

        1. Doubt so. Last year, Jenson could give it a go because he had the F-duct at his disposal during the whole lap without restrictions.

          The use of the DRS is limited, and a high-ish downforce configuration would make you vulnerable during the whole race.

  4. Anyone know if it would be possible, (technically & under the reg’s), to alter the DRS wings to increase downforce instead of reduce it?

    Only useful in quali of course but it would be fun to watch.

    1. No, for safety reasons, in the ‘Off’ position there must be more downforce.

      1. No, the rule only says the failsafe is high downforce, springs could be used to insure this is the default if the solenoids failed, but it would be heavy, and completely pointless.

  5. I know what we should get do, just get rid of DRS completely!

      1. Because it ruins the racing aspect of this sport.

  6. why not run a high downforce rear wing like Button did last year? coupled with the f-duct it clearly was a better package than Hamilton’s skinny rear wing.

    the DRS is much more effective than the F-Duct was, so a team like McLaren or Mercedes who have a very efficient DRS could run a high downforce rear wing and give Force India’s Engeneering Director something to think about.

    1. The difference this year is that unlike the f-duct you cannot use the DRS whenever you feel like it.

    2. Because last year they could use the F-duct at all points on the track throughout the race. They can’t do that with DRS this year.

      1. good point.

      2. I think it would make for an upset in qualifying if someone did that. But it would be disastrous for race pace and they would be a sitting duck on the straights.

        1. Yes, but let’s say you’re Hispania/Lotus/Virgin/even Force India/Williams, surely sneaking an awesomely-improbably high grid slot would be a great PR coup? Although highly unlikely I’ll admit…!

          1. not unlikely, the advantage would be massive, but they would be dangerously slow in the race.

          2. Well, HRT might do so, last year they had the same wings on at Monza as they had for Monaco, so going by that, it might be their only option!

      3. They should find a point in between low and high downforce, to go faster in qualifying but not too much to suffer in the race.

  7. Is DRS important in Monza? Maybe not as effective, it’s already a low downforce circuit.
    I didn’t like the DRS at Kemmel, it’s way too easy and overtaking becomes meaningless.

  8. I wish they would just drop DRS altogether.
    I went into the year as a DRS sceptic & I’ve seen nothing this yera which has changed my opinion, In fact watching DRS in action has just made me hate the system more.

    While the Pro-DRS people & teams/drivers all talk about how DRS has increased overtaking figures I think they all miss that while that is true its also done that by making overtaking dull, boring, unexciting & in most cases easy & predictable.

    In the past when we had less passing the passing which we did see was truly exciting to watch & often was the end result of a great racing fight for position which had gone on for several laps.
    This year while we have seen much more passing proberly 97% of it has been fairly dull to watch. In many cases the car behind has caught & fairly quickly gone by without any real fight as in most cases they have been completely defencess againt the car behind.

    I think were getting quantity rather than quality & that has made things less intresting & lowered the tension & excitement in the build-up to a pass & any eventual pass is less exciting as a result.

    1. even if you ignore all overtakes aided by DRS we still see more overtaking than in previous years (in non-DRS zones). So if you say that 97% of overtakes this year are boring, then there must be another problem causing it.

      I think Pirelli are actually more responsible for the increase in overtaking than the DRS. Some people feel that when a driver overtakes because his tyres are in better condition then that is in some way artificial. I just think its part of motoracing.

      1. I think the reason I think overtaking has been dull this year is because of DRS, KERS & the Tyres.

        The reason I say its been a bit boring is that there is no longer the same sort of unpredictability we’ve had in past years & thats taken a lot of the tension & excitement out of it.

        In the past the build-up to an on track fight was exciting, Then watching the 2 or more cars fighting for position was exciting & any eventual pass was truly exciting.

        Far too often this year we have seen DRS be so effective that you know that the pass will happen & when it does it looks far too easy.
        Also with tyres much of the time a car on newer tyres catching one on older tyres (Or cars on different compounds) is so much faster that you know a pass will happen.

        Take Spa, Webber & Button were so much faster than Alonso because of the tyre differences that as soon as they started to catch him it was obvious Alonso would finish 4th so you spent the last 10 or so laps simply waiting for the ineviteable.
        In past years you would see them catching him but it would never be clear if they would be able to pass him or not & this built up tension & excitement & then any pass which occured was even more fun to watch & usually a very good passing move.

        For me the best races this year have been those few races where passing was a bit more like past years, Possible but not too easy where you really had to work for it.

        My biggest dissapointment has been that all my Pre-Season fears regarding how DRS, KERS & Pirelli would affect the racing have proven to be correct.
        We’ve gained a ton of passing at the expence of good racing.

        1. Stefmeister, you are 100% correct (in my opinion). Quantity and not quality, that’s what DRS stands for. Sky sports will love it.

          Notice at spa how no overtakes took place at la source. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why.

          1. What about Button’s double-pass on Petrov and Perez?

            For me, another example of how all the best passes this year took place outside the DRS zone.

          2. I agree, best passes were Webber on Alonso, Button’s double Keith mentions and Vettel taking Rosberg at Blanchimont (and a pass by Rosberg, I think).
            The rest was just waiting to get into the DRS zone, only Webber’s didn’t wait for his on Alonso

  9. The DRS was too powerful at Montreal and Spa which have similar straights to that of Monza. I think it’ll be just as powerful, but I look forward to being disproved!

  10. For as much as people dislike DRS, myself being one of them at times; I just get a feeling that the 2012 cars with a year’s understanding of Pirelli’s tyres put into practice, might make us glad for some DRS. The tyre enigma won’t last forever.

  11. i think kers and engine power will have a bigger impact. i expect the mercedes engine and kers powered cars to make simple overtakes, and rebull with their renault to struggle. we might see vettel following a mclaren with no chance of overtaking, and then everyone will bash him again that he cant overtake.

  12. does this mean that the DRS activation zones will be very long to compensate for the reduced DRS effect?

  13. Back to the old slipstreaming battles at Monza then? Should be fun!

  14. Doing some very rough drag calculations off the top of my head (drag coefficients etc should be different for each team, I know) but I’m guessing something like 6-8kph max speed differential.

    1. max speed will be the same on the main straight (cars are speed limited) but the DRS enabled car will accelerate to that redline faster.

      1. “speed” limited? Do you mean engine speed, or drag? There is no chance any team will set their cars up to be limited by engine speed with DRS shut. Absolutely no chance at all.

        1. So you’re saying that not one team will want their car to be at it’s fastest when it’s not within a 1 second gap of the car in front and thus able to use DRS for a limited amount of the lap?

          Personally I’d want to be as fast as possible for the whole lap, even if that meant DRS was less effective…

          1. Who said hitting the limiter would be fastest? You’d just be wasting engine power.

          2. Indeed, if you put in a 7th gear tall enough to fully exploit the DRS+KERS effect, it might make you more of a sitting duck to a DRS-using car behind you when your wing is shut, because you won’t have as much torque at a lower RPM to push that closed wing. These engines are very “peaky” and only have as much maximum torque as a powerful road car, meaning they rely on high revs to go fast.

          3. @DaveW – I’m not saying tall enough to hit terminal velocity in DRS+KERS. I’m saying that they’ll be hitting the limiter with DRS open; and they won’t be hitting the limiter with DRS shut.

            Also; I think you’re talking more on power. Torque determines acceleration. Terminal velocity is calculated by power.

  15. Monza is always the exception to the rule but this year could be even more exciting than previous.

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