Allison: DRS will provide a “test of nerve” at Suzuka

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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Vitaly Petrov at speed at Suzuka last year

Renault technical director James Allison says two points on the Suzuka circuit will put drivers’ nerves to the test.

He identified the high-speed turn one and 130R as corner that could be tackled with DRS activated during practice and qualifying.

Allison said: “[Suzuka] is popular with the drivers who relish the test of nerve and skill posed by the ‘s’ curves, Turn 1 and R130.

“These last two will be particularly interesting in 2011 to see whether anyone dares make it through them in qualifying with their DRS activated.”

After the team’s struggles in Singapore Allison expects to see them back in the top ten at Suzuka: “I expect us to be much more in the hunt than we were in Singapore.

“There are just two slow corners at Suzuka, and the R31 is much more at home on flowing, faster tracks. I will be disappointed if we are not in the top ten cars in qualifying to give us an opportunity to exorcise the disappointment of Singapore.

“We ought to be able to get the car back into the points. We need to – Force India is starting to breathe down our neck and we need a few good results to stay ahead.”

Team principal Eric Boullier explained some changes in the team’s structure following the departure of Steve Nielsen: “Part of what were Steve’s responsibilities will be taken over by Alan Permane, who is now track operations director.

“In addition, John Wickham is part of our team and further changes will be announced shortly. I expect this transition to be very smooth.”

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    37 comments on “Allison: DRS will provide a “test of nerve” at Suzuka”

    1. He identified the high-speed turn one and 130R as corner that could be tackled with DRS activated during practice and qualifying.

      They’ll probably just ban the DRS on at least one of those anyway, so what’s the point?

      1. I see we had pretty much the same thought about that David!

      2. The Red Bull might even be capable of doing these curves with DRS open.

        1. I dont think that turn 1 an intelligent choice but im sure someone will try

      3. T1 is mostly braking zone for T2 anyway, so you can’t do it with the DRS open.

        More exciting stuff should come from Dunlop and Spoon curves. Can’t wait for quali laps and drivers trying to activate DRS as soon as possible in these places.

    2. Que drivers coming out now to ask DRS to be banned in the 130R :-(

      1. Sad times. Although… 130R has a pretty nice car park next to it ;)

        1. Lets hope that works out craig-o!

    3. Looking at the picture, I like the yellow livery more.

      1. Without a doubt. The Renault was last year’s best looking car IMO

    4. I highly doubt anyone using it through turn 1. That’s just a death wish. 130R is a difficult one. On f1 2011 it can’t be done with DRS but the Monaco tunnel can. I don’t reckon it is possible to do 130R with it. Also the run up to spoon could be a bit difficult with DRS

      1. From a technical point of view I don’t think there was much argument against DRS in the tunnel at Monaco, but people believed it put the drivers more at risk of crashing and clearing up a mess in there would be a nightmare.

    5. What? Turn 1? Are we talking about the same track here? Last time I checked, turn 1 in Suzuka is a mid-speed turn, just how are you supposed to use DRS there without spinning – unless of course you already have opened it on the main straight in which case you really don’t have to do more but to adjust your breaking point.

      1. They brake after the first bit of the corner, and then turn hard right. He’s saying it’ll be a test to see who gets further in the corner with the DRS on before braking, I guess.

      2. Yeah as Fer said I think they take the first turn flat then brake for 2, I dont really see how having DRS open would be a big advantage though

      3. Last time I checked, turn 1 in Suzuka is a mid-speed turn

        Sixth gear, 260kph, I’d call that high speed:

        Suzuka, Japan – circuit information

    6. Vettel had his hand on the F-Duct through 130R last year ( ), for sure RBR will have the DRS activated through that corner.

      1. RBR’s F-duct didn’t work as effectively as the others, tho, let alone the DRS.

        1. I disagree. What data do you have to that their F-duct didn’t work as good as the other F-ducts?

          1. It certainly didn’t work as good as the Mclaren’s or Renault’s.

            1. There is no proof whatsoever backing up that. We don’t know, for example, how much more angle RBR put on their rear wings.

              Yes, RBR had slower trap speeds than Renault and McLaren, but how much of this is chassis, and how much is “less effective F-duct?”

              Let’s go and say they used a similar setup philosophy the whole year. So that engine doesn’t play a part let’s take Renault vs RBR. Start of the year, both didn’t have F-ducts, and at the end of the year both did. The higher placed RBR was Vettel, the higher placed Renault was Robert.

              In Bahrain (which has proper straights) Kubica had 308.8kph on the speed trap, and Sebastian Vettel had 304.2 That means that Kubica had 101.512% of Vettel’s top end speed.

              In Abu Dhabi, (which also has proper straights) Kubica was clocking in 312.4kph; and Vettel had 309.7kph. This means Kubica had 100.872% of Vettel’s top speed.

              The gap had (in terms of percentages) gone from 1.512% faster to 0.872% faster. Engine doesn’t play a role into this as they’re both using Renault engines.

            2. I’m sorry if I sounded snooty or anything. It’s just that as an engineer I hate it when people say things without empirical evidence

            3. no disrespect raymondu99 but you cant compare 2 different cars in different time periods in such dynamic environment. the only way to prove is to check speed of each car with f-duct open & close position, then we can talk. all your calculations are just assumptions, and there is too few data at out disposal to discuss that matter. if guys in paddock were saying even oponents of renault, that they got probably most efficent f-duct, i would believe them, as they have more experience and more data to prove it.
              renault now can feel how much they lost with kubicas absence
              but i cant wait to c who will dare to open drs in 130r :)))

            4. I understand your points steco; but as you say, you can’t compare 2 different cars in 2 different time periods. Engineers say “oh I think their f-duct is good” but they don’t really know. Nobody does.

              Why do you think those engineers came to those conclusions? Again, because of assumptions as well. In terms of f-duct alone, nobody knows who had the better system. But as far as the data does say; towards the end of the season the RBR was probably a lot quicker in a straight line; relative to the opposition, than it was at the start of the year.

              And as for your comment on trusting the paddock engineers, I wouldn’t trust even those frankly. It could very well be just a ploy to get the other teams copying the Renault system, for instance, while they themselves have the system to beat.

            5. i’m no expert but i don’t think F-duct was as effective as DRS…

            6. You’re correct celsium; the f-duct effect gives you less downforce reduction, and less drag reduction

    7. I hope they don’t ban DRS at either corners. I understand why they say it, but if they’re concerned by it, then don’t use it through there, simple.

    8. i wonder where the DRS zone will be? possibly main straight? or even between 130R and casino hairpin?

      1. After 130R would be better for over-taking into the hairpin but I can just see them plonking it on the main straight.

    9. A Red Bull RB6 with f-duct arguably still has more downforce than an RB7 without DRS activation (wing down); And Vettel’s pole lap didn’t even use the F-duct in Turn 1

    10. I want on raceday the DRS zone can be on the run up to 130R but I think FIA may put it on the start finish straight which also won’t be bad.

    11. I’m surprised he didn’t mention the Dunlop curve. I thought that would have been more of a hotspot

      1. The entry speed to Dunlop is considerably slower than that of the first corner and 130R.

        1. I’m not sure at what point “Esses” become “Dunlop” specifically; but in my comment I’m more referring to the point where you begin to turn the car left. (you exit the last “ess” on the left side of the track, then move to the middle of the track before then beginning the left turn if you catch my drift; no pun intended)

          I would think that the rapid direction change would be a bit dicey under DRS.

          And I did check some data from 2010; you’ll be pulling about 4.6G into Turn 1; and about 3.2G into 130 based on last year’s data. I’d say it’s a very safe bet even a Red Bull can’t take T1 flat + DRS

    12. Will Dunlop be flat with DRS too?
      I think Vettel was flat in T1 last year, whereas Webber had a slight lift, which explained the 0.06 second difference in their qualy laps.

      1. Vettel was flat in T1 and Dunlop; but in T1 he didn’t have his hand on the f-duct activation hole. I honestly wouldn’t know about Webber’s lap as I’ve never seen it

    13. I’d imagine the long right hander before Spoon could be critical as to when drivers can open the DRS too.

      That said, I have no idea where the activation zone for the race is going to be. There’s nowhere ideal on the circuit for it to be. Having it on the run up to 130R is asking for trouble, and the distance between 130R and the Casio Triangle is too short for it to have much effect.

      I guess it’ll end up on the start/finish straight, but turns one and two aren’t exactly conducive to overtaking either…

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