Single DRS zone in Brazil and track changes for 2012

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Interlagos, 2010

After double DRS zones in the last two races, a single zone will be used for the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.

The zone will be placed on the Reta Oposta straight between Curva do Sol and Subida do Lago (turns three and four).

Race director Charlie Whiting said: “There will be one DRS zone on the back straight.

“We think this will be enough, as the main straight usually gives a good enough opportunity to overtake anyway, so we don’t want to make it too easy.”

Here’s a diagram of the DRS zone for the race:

DRS zone, 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos

Whiting added that some small changes would be made to the circuit this year but bigger revisions were planned for 2012:

“There are a couple of minor changes to the circuit but next year there could be something much bigger.

“We’re hoping to build a new pit entry and a larger run-off around the last corner, but this is a big job as it will require removing a couple of permanent grandstands. We’ve had assurances from the city of Sao Paulo that they’ll support this project.”

The circuit has seen more than one fatal accident this year, one of which occurred at the final corner, Curva do Cafe, which has limited run-off.

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    67 comments on “Single DRS zone in Brazil and track changes for 2012”

    1. Obviously changes need to take place after the fatalities this year but it’ll be a shame if the final turn and pit entry are sanitized too much, it’s an exciting section of track because it’s so narrow and fast.

      1. I’d go as far as to say it’s the best part of one of the best tracks on the calendar. Safety is, of course, of utmost importance, but I really hope it doesn’t lose that excitement when it is changed.

        I’m glad to see only one DRS zone. I was looking at the potential rear wing activations for 2010 earlier today, which suggest that Interlagos would have given by far the most opportunities to use DRS of all the races, had it been available last year. As it is a track which usually produces a lot of overtaking anyway, I think two DRS zones would have diminished the skill and spectacle considerably, as the drivers would have had no incentive to attempt a pass at any other part of the track.

        1. Yeah, but you know what would be better than having just the one DRS zone? Zero DRS zones.

          Prepare for another superficially ‘exciting’ but artificial and vacuous racing experience!

          1. I would love to see DRS gone as well, but I’ve written it in numerous comments and forum posts already, and I thought I was in danger of starting to sound like a broken record :)

          2. Great comment mhop …made me laugh…0 DRS

          3. When they get rid of it I never want to see you guys complaining about lack of passing. Or Trulli having lots of cars stuck behind him.

            Also, stop calling it artificial, all the cars have them… It would be artificial if Bernie controlled it from the sidelines. But he doesn’t. The rules are consistent…

            1. Just to clarify, I don’t like DRS, as it makes surprise results rather impossible.

              However, without it cars WILL get stuck behind slower cars, just make sure that is the situation you would prefer.

            2. I miss Trulli trains, mainly because its so fun to say…
              Trulli train :)

              Kudos to whoever coined that phrase

            3. I’m glad you clarified your comment, @mike, because it seemed a bit ridiculous otherwise. Of course we can dislike DRS and still wish to see a healthy amount of overtaking in the sport. Personally, I don’t think that the number of overtakes necessarily correlates with excitement, but the main point is I’d rather see drivers rewarded for skill, judgement and taking risks than for being able to press a button at the right time.

          4. +1. DRS is a “must-go” toy.

          5. 1 DRS is OK, but not at a place where they already can overtake !
            Put it between turns 5 and 6 !!!

            1. opttimisticBrazilian
              23rd November 2011, 17:49

              good point, but I think the reason why its not good idea is because turn 6 is very fast, and it may be too dangerous if you try to outbrake someone there with drs open (of course it closes when you brake, but its a light braking zone there, car still has much speed ), the car may just runoff too much due to the fact that is a high speed turn so they would only tilt the break and reduce 2 gears…DRS and high speed turns dont get along…

      2. If someone asked me to design as safe a pitlane entry as i could imagine, bar just putting it half way down a straight on the right side of the track before a right turn i would draw interlagos. The run off area on the corner is something else but the pit in is fine it’s on the racing line but on a plenty wide enough “straight” where everyone is flat anyways.

        It’s not like it’s korea where you come round a blind corner and possibly mate the front of your car with the rear of another.

    2. It makes me a bit uneasy to hear that some sort of safety improvement will be made NEXT year when we are so close to a race weekend. I know it’s a big job that involves moving a permanent grandstand. However, I believe the latest fatal accident happened in April this year, why wasn’t action taken then? I understand F1 has unique safety demands, I just hope we won’t see any incidents at that corner on Sunday.

      1. fresh rum might cure those nerves ;)

      2. opttimisticBrazilian
        23rd November 2011, 17:53

        Yes it happened in April, but Im sure you are aware Interlagos is not there only for F1 races…most brazilian stock and bike series run during all year in Interlagos, so they decided it was not necessary to stop all series to revamp that part, despite fatal incidents…money you know, you cant just stop all championships, means losing money…I know its stupid, but hey, life is stupid most times isnt it?

    3. I always thought the pit entry was dangerous, but it hasn’t been involved in accidents as far as I know. When the cars cross the white line at 300 kph, narrowly missing the wall, it makes me shiver. In F1 Challenge I sometimes used to pull alongside one car, then follow the racing line with him on my left and he hit the wall which divided the pit lane from the track. I have always feared something similar would happen in real life.

      1. :D Nice.

        I once led my brother to hit the wall in Monza while playing an F1 game, he was slip streaming me so I drove towards the wall, then swerved out at the last second.

        Good times.

      2. Not sure about I heard about, but there is thinking on moving pit lanes to the Reta Oposta.

      3. I’m sure all of us F1 gamers at some point have smashed into that divider, considering it’s pretty much on the racing line and all that.

    4. I can tell you right now there’s no such corner called “curva do cafe” in interlagos. If it is the last corner before the uphill climb to the home straight, I think it is one of the areas where run off is actually good. If you refer to the kink between the climb and the home straight I don’t think you can even call it a corner, it is a tiny left kink, and would be an absolute nightmare to remove those grandstands from there, for the sake of a little kink! The only danger there is a bit of a bump on the left but that’s fixable by resurfacing the area.

      1. The name is used to refer to the penultimate corner, I saw many references to it after the Gustavo Sondermann crash.

        @Cacarella has pointed out some examples, here’s another:

        I believe the corner has also been called Arquibancadas although I think this word just means “grandstands”, so it’s not hard to see why some might think it not sufficiently descriptive.

        1. It does mean “grandstands” indeed. I’ve also seen that corner called “Subida”, which simply means ‘ascencion’, ‘raise’, ‘climb’, etc.

          As for that “for the sake of a little kink”, three deaths in four years should be more than enough reason to build more run-off.

          1. Come on guys you are being overly dramatic, there were deaths there because the stock cars they were driving were death traps. As for calling it a corner I stand by what I said, it’s easily flat in sixth gear and hardly a corner, as anyone who has been to interlagos, and I have watched several races from that very grandstand, will confirm. It is a bit bumpy on entry, but so is the breaking point area to the senna esses you dont see anybody crying foul for it.

            1. I think if you go in a straight line you hit the outside wall. pretty much means its a corner no matter how slight it is

            2. Your logic is flawed since it is impossible to travel in a straight line any accidents that have ever or do ever happen at that corner or any corner on any track are a result of traveling in anything but a straight line.

            3. @ratboy – exactly!

              And sadly a lot of guys hit the wall there already (in racing, track days, or just privateers from what I have seen just from following links in the comments here) , so it should be dealth with.

            4. My friend, I think when someone dies, it’s never overly dramatic…

    5. Great news that they aren’t using DRS on the main straight. That would have ruined a great section. It is ‘needed’ slightly more on the back straight, and I’m relieved they didn’t fall into the trap of a double DRS zone here.

      Also I’m glad that it sounds like the layout won’t actually change next year.

      1. @matt90 There were rumours the pits were going to be relocated to Reta Oposta but it looks like that’s not happening.

        1. @keithcollantine I’m glad they aren’t. I normally wouldn’t care about simply moving the pits as long as the layout stays the same, but something about Brazil is just so right that making a change like that would be disappointing.

    6. Shocking.. The next thing Charlie will wanna do is put run off areas at Monaco.

      1. F1 isn’t the series with the concerns. Apart from the pit entry F1 cars would probably be safe in the case of all impacts. It’s the fatalities in other series that have raised the concerns. Wouldn’t describe changing a circuit thats killiing people as shocking.

        1. Circuit isnt killing anybody, stop it already!

          1. Well, ok, the circuit isn’t actually hitting people over the head with a baseball bat.

            However, people have died racing on it. Does this not concern you?

      2. Why? It’s not like they are adding a chicane at Junção. The corner is unsafe, and they are trying to fix that without changing the layout.

        What will you think if, God forbid, someone dies there this weekend?

        1. Jeez @guilherme you are like the messenger of doom. All you can think of is people dying. Are you mad, how is juncao dangerous, it’s got the second largest run off area of the track, only descida do lago has got more! Shall we run all races in tracks with miles of run off in every corner. Bahrain anyone???

          1. Wow, and you’re saying we’re overeacting? I didn’t mean Junção was dangerous, I was just trying to make a point that if they really wanted to sanitise the track, there was a lot worse they could do.

            Second, I’ve only stated that people died (which is a fact) and that there was the possibility it could happen again. Maybe not in F1, but safety is never enough. And it can hardly be that all I “think of is people dying” when you’ve only read two comments from me.

            You talked about bumps in another comment. Do you seriously believe what caused Sonderman’s and Sperafico’s deaths were nothing but bumps and unsafe cars? They took the (limited) run-off there and were thrown back into the track. If there was more run-off there, there’s a very high probability they wouldn’t have been sent straight into the track again. No one is crying foul for the Senna S because there is plenty of run-off there, and no one died there.

            As for your definition of a corner, I don’t think it really matters, but Curva Grande is flat out in 7th gear too. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a corner.

            1. Eau Rouge is a flat out left-right-left kink too pretty sure thats a corner ;)

            2. Carlito's way
              23rd November 2011, 0:02

              Not enough to justify moving the whole grandstand back. That “corner” (your words not mine) at interlagos is nothing like curva grande or eau rouge for that matter. In reality the cars start turning left almost at the bottom of the hill, it’s quite gradual. Don’t think it warrants a run off area at all. Of course of the car hits the wall and bounces back to the track it can be dangerous, but that’s true in lots of other tracks. I guess what im getting at is that particular kink doesn’t warrant a run off area. And you know what more, it became quite clear to me you have never been to interlagos when you said there is a lot of run off area at the senna esses. There are grandstands there and little run off.

            3. I agree with @Guilherme and @Ratboy – F1 can never be too safe.

              We’ve come a long way, but there’s still the possibility of a fatality in the worst case scenario. I never want to see someone seriously injured or killed, so I’m all for this change if it doesn’t damage the circuit too much.

              And you don’t even know what it’s going to be like yet, so don’t get too upset!

            4. I guess we will never agree then, as I believe that corner needs more run-off. Not anything oversized like at Pouhon, but enough so that cars don’t bounce back into the track if they happen to hit the wall.

              And yes, I’ve never been to Interlagos. What’s your point?

              But as Damon said, they are not going to modify the layout, they are just trying to make it safer because something bad happened there.

        2. Oh Junção! I guess Lewis Hamilton loves that corner…

      3. The last corner does bother me bit as when a car crashes it bounces back to the circuit as in the case was before & in recent times there has been some loss of life on this track so nothing wrong with a little bit of change but not too much to kill the soul of the race.

        1. come on Guilherme,ratboy and rodney it’s time to put on your cotton wool wrappings so you can safely go on the bouncy castle. Now we do have a petting zoo as well, but unfortunately none of your parents gave permission for you to pet the rabbits or lambs because they can bite. :(

          1. lol +1

          2. I don’t think I should reply to this, but anyway…

            I think it is just sad that sometimes the level of debate gets this low so quickly. I’ve known this community for having debates of the highest level, but unfortunately we get childish comments like this sometimes.

      4. The final section through Juncoa is brilliant, unique to any other section on any other track on the calender. I hope it remains the same.

        However, if fatalities in races at the circuit are reduced, how can anyone complain? As has been mentioned above, it is not just F1 that race here. So long as the layout remains the same I’ll be happy.

        If they do a ‘Hockenhiem’ to it, however, I will not be impressed!

    7. As for calling it curva do cafe now that’s news to me.

    8. Looking at the fatal accidents it’s not the track that needs changing it’s the safety standards of those cars.

    9. F1 cars are doing about 190 by this point arent they? Look out for another car park run off area ruining the spectacular run up the hill past the pits. Getting very bored of circuits doing this, its really turning me off of watching F1.

    10. We don’t need to make passing artificialy difficult either.

    11. I am a bit surprise about the DRS zone but I think it’s a good one as even if the cars can’t overtake on turn one they will get close enough to attack between turn 3 & 4.

      1. Good that Senna’s S remains a tight breaking zone up to passing, with no DRS. Bad that those positioning could bring a double DRS zone effect, as the overtook on the Senna’s S uses the DRS in the reta oposta. I hope detection point to be set before Senna’s S – otherwise someone out of a pit spot could gain advantage with the DRS.

    12. Good news about the track changes, they really needed to change that.

    13. Hopefully this will make for an exciting, tight DRS zone. It’s so narrow round this place!

    14. If they do put additional run-off areas in then i hope they are gravel as I hate the fact that drivers can make mistakes and effectively go unpunished by tarmac run-offs

      1. Given how quick they go there I expect it will be tarmac.

    15. it would be interesting if DRS could be more similar to KERS next year, not used in zones like now but for example 10sec open for every lap where the driver wants!

      1. +1, that would be a much better idea! Adds a tactical eliment and avoids situations where ‘DRS zones are too long/short’.

      2. It’s certainly a more interesting approach.

    16. petebaldwin (@)
      23rd November 2011, 13:31

      It’s a real shame that they feel the need to use DRS on all tracks. When passing is possible without DRS, don’t use it. When passing is difficult, have 1 zone and when it’s virtually impossible, have 2.

      We usually see great passes into turn one but I think it will be greatly reduced this year. If you pass into turn one, you’ll lose the place in the DRS zone just afterwards. You’re better off getting as close as possible in turn one and driving around the car in front in the DRS zone.

      Potentially if the detection zone is before turn one, it might work but I doubt the FIA will go for that.

      I’d argue that DRS has improved the show in some circumstances this year however at times it hasn’t and I think we may see one of the most boring races we’ve seen at Brazil in recent years due to DRS.

      1. When passing is possible without DRS, don’t use it. When passing is difficult, have 1 zone and when it’s virtually impossible, have 2.

        As the data published here yesterday showed, if they did that it would probably end up as an indictment of modern F1 track design, as those circuits have generally needed the most assistance from DRS this year.

    17. I hope they don’t change the track. The deaths there were a result of the poor safety standards of the Brazilian series, not the circuit design.

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