Paul di Resta, Force India, Melbourne, 2011

Two DRS zones for first race of 2012

2012 F1 season

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Paul di Resta, Force India, Melbourne, 2011
Di Resta and Alguersuari fight for position in last year's race

An extra DRS zone has been added for the Australian Grand Prix this year.

A single DRS zone was used during last year’s race, the first in which DRS was used.

This year drivers will have the opportunity to use DRS twice per lap, as Sauber’s head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall?Ara explained:

“Historically overtaking has been difficult in Melbourne, but this time there will be two DRS zones.”

Kamui Kobayashi said the unusual nature of the Melbourne track may not give an accurate impression of how competitive the team is in the first race of the year.

“The Albert Park circuit itself has a very nice layout,” he said. “The fact it isn?t a permanent race track, and therefore very slippery at the beginning of the weekend, doesn?t make the set up work for the first Grand Prix any easier, but to adapt to the improving grip level is a challenge for everyone.”

How should DRS be used in 2012? Have your say here:

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Two DRS zones for first race of 2012”

  1. Ngh, not exactly a fan of having multiple DRS areas on a single track. Kind of defeats the purpose.

  2. I found it amazing how many times Mark Webber overtook on the first DRS zone and then got overtaken on the 2nd. I think it was battling Jenson in one of the GP’s with 2 DRS zones last year.

    I was screaming at the TV, “why is he not learning to just use the 2nd zone!!”

    then laughing when he moaned about DRS after the race..

    1. That was Abu Dhabi. To be fair, he wasn’t the only one doing it. And even if he didn’t learn from it, it’s a bit silly that his engineer wasn’t telling him!

      1. Button would save his KERS for the second zone. Knowing that if Webber passed, he would have a shot with KERS in the second zone to overtake him back. But from memory, I think Webber was finding it difficult to get close enough to pass in the second zone.
        As for two zones in Melbourne, it won’t make much of a difference, unless the car behind is a fair bit faster. The DRS hardly worked last year!

    2. Jack Flash (Aust)
      9th March 2012, 13:00

      The DRS zones were not equivalent battlefields at the Abu Dhabi race.
      Webber’s RB7 was only marginally faster under DRS over Button’s McLaren, in the first DRS Zone/corner combo only. He didn’t NOT TRY to use the second DRS zone – he did try: Webber simply wasn’t in position to get a pass done over Buttons straightline speed advantage in the second zone leading into a broader end corner. The first DRS straight and tight/slow ending corner was Webber’s only DRS-KERS assisted pass option. Button played his advantage in the second DRS zone perfectly.
      …. Of course, if you prefer the superficial Scalectrix Racer assessment, go for it.

      1. Jack, his point was that he did not understand why Webber went for the pass, knowing that there is a second DRS zone after the chicane. A smart driver would have closed up, but not go for the full pass, just focusing on a better exit from the chicane to pass in the next DRS zone. I think that some drivers are better at judging these moments than others.

  3. I hope they’re not back to back, there were some good battles into T3 last year thanks to the DRS zone.
    If the second one is on the run into 3 it will make passing too easy…

  4. What a shame. I think the FIA should use some common sense and completely scrap DRS at certain races. Melbourne and Montreal produce amazing races, yet they both will now have two DRS zones… It just seems insane to me. And what makes it even more unusual is the fact that Melbourne was probably one of the only places the DRS worked perfectly at last year (along with Monaco and perhaps Japan)… Kind of says to me that the FIA want to see more races like the farcical 2011 Turkish Grand Prix… :?

    1. @damonsmedley Agreed. If they want as much passing as possible, then why not have reverse grids as well? The current system seems to get more and more nonsensical.

      1. I think the FIA should use some common sense and completely scrap DRS at certain races

        I fixed your sentence :P

        I agree with, I am worried about the FIAs vision for DRS. What race are they trying to reflect from last year. Melbourne, Catalunya where DRS worked well or Turkey where it was laughable. Hopefully it is closer to the former.

      2. Reverse grid. ha ha .
        Imagine how slow drivers will do their qualifying laps. Imagine 1st guy out and every body is trying to go slower than that snail pace to get pole.

        1. Pick two races at the start of the year..don’t tell anyone until after the Qualifying session ;)

    2. To be honest, Australia hasn’t produced an exciting GP on a dry track for years, now. It’s not a good place for overtaking, so a DRS is appropiate in some way.

      But I agree, the whole thing is a farse. Even 1 DRS zone at Montreal is just ridiculous. Same goes to Spa… FIA has no common sense!

    3. I pretty much agree with that @damonsmedley, altough I would support the FIA/FOTA to go with what @silverkeg proposes ;-)

    4. @damonsmedley That’s never an argument I can get behind really. Politically, I don’t think you can get away with scrapping it for certain races. Different circuits suit different cars to some extent and the moment you start dropping DRS altogether for a weekend you could be accused of favouritism. Of course, we all know that the FIA have no favourites, but it won’t stop the media creating a headache for the sport.

      1. Bigbadderboom
        9th March 2012, 14:32

        Agree AndrewTanner to DRS or Not to DRS that is the question!! I think it’s either in or out. Commercially I think it’s a good initiative attracting new veiwers and although the purist argues that it’s false racing unfortunatley it’s mostly the casual viewer that makes up the numbers and the target of the evil ad-men which makes our sport viable! So for me DRS is a necessary evil, not all bad as it does mix things up, but still a contaminant in the prists pot!!.

  5. For Albert Park there should defiantly be a DRS zone on the straight and maybe the second zone could be after the after to turns 6&7 down to turn 9, because i can’t remember much overtaking there in recent years.

    1. Really? Albert Park is generally regarded as one of the best tracks for producing overtaking and exciting races. I think the FIA should leave DRS out of a few races, and Australia is one of them. Tracks like Valencia and Yas Marina need DRS to produce overtaking, Albert Park doesn’t.

      1. i agree, Albert Park is one of my favourite tracks and if i had it my way, i would have stayed with one DRS zone or not had any altogether. But now that there are 2, i think the following sections would make for some good racing.
        I also stood at turn 9 during last years race and it is probably the most popular vantage point for people with general admission tickets, so it would be great to see more overtaking action there because the majority happens at turn 1,3 and 13.

      2. best tracks for producing overtaking

        Ignoring errors, which admittedly are easy to make in Melbourne, the track doesn’t present many chances to overtake.

      3. @slr ”Albert Park is generally regarded as one of the best tracks for producing overtaking and exciting races.”
        – LOL.

    2. The approach to turn 9 sounds like the best place for it. The cars could easily make it through the preceding corners with no downforce.

  6. Nick.UK (@)
    9th March 2012, 10:24

    How the heck can he say Melbourne is ‘historically difficult’ to overtake at. If there is one circuit that is easier than all the rest to overtake at, it’s Melbourne!

    1. They added a 2nd DRS zone here because the DRS zone here last year turned out to be a total flop. The only noteworthy pass with DRS that I remember was Massa on Button (or was it the other way round?)

      1. Vinicius Matheus (@)
        9th March 2012, 12:19

        The DRS zone didn’t allow the driver behind to instantly overtake but set him on a good position to challenge the car ahead on the next few corners! I think it was one of the best DRS zones of the year because it really promoted racing, not just easy overtaking.

        1. Yep, and that is what DRS, in trying to cancel the dirty air effect, should be doing. It should put the cars on more level ground, giving the second driver a better chance at overtaking, rather than an automatic, easy pass. If it has to exist, this is it’s purpose, and Australia, Monaco and Barcelona last year should be the models.

  7. Good. DRS FTW.

    1. Wallbreaker
      9th March 2012, 12:18

      Hey Tommy, this is, not :p

  8. LOL, I don’t know what AUS GP’s you guys have been watching, but most that I’ve seen since 1996 have been dreadfully boring, but I will admit since 2007 they have been improving. Anyway, this DRS announcement has boosted my excitement leval’s, and hopefully should produce some exciting racing, I think.

  9. Not a fan of DRS, but then again before we had it, most of us were complaining about lack of on-track action, so I guess nothing’s perfect. Anyhoo, under the cirtscumstances this is good news and actually if we are going to live with DRS for another season, I say let’s have two consecutive zones every race. This way drivers have to at least consider how best to exploit both zones

    1. Ha, we can always count on you for a different and thought out look at things @maciek, you might be right, after a while it got interesting to see who would be able to make a move stick through both zones’s in Abu Dhabi.

      1. And we can always rely on you @bascb for a kind word. Cheers : )

  10. These are two DRS zones with one detection zone? That’s how I understood it. If it is so, well I can’t see how this is going to be fair and produce a good race.

    1. No, during last year they first did that, and then got to having 2 detection points and 2 DRS zones @caci99

  11. Official. F1 joins the Mickey Mouse Club.

    1. This isn’t anything new. DRS was around last year, remember.

      Not that I agree with your comment on F1 joining the Mickey Mouse Club but just saying that if you’re that way inclined, F1 joined last year!

  12. Noooo. I thought DRS was put to good effect last year and with the softer compounds this year and less traction out of slow speed corners due to the ban on EBD’s DRS will be over used I feel come the first race :(

  13. I wonder if they’ll be stricter on cars overtaking on the outside of turn 4 now that the rules regarding the track boundary have been firmed up?

  14. I wonder where it will be? I’m going to say just before the chicane on that long left-hander, leading towards Sector 3. Question is, is it ‘straight’ enough for DRS to be safe?

    What’s the name of that chicane anyway? Does it have one?

  15. Yet again this proves my point!!! WHY would you need 2 DRS zones?? 1 is enough…. Sorry to the rest of you guys but I have to bring out the CONSPIRACY theory!!! This is yet another way of influencing or “covering up” any deficiencies a team may have and infllluence in the outcome of it….

    I´m willing to bet my left testicle that there will be AT LEAST 2 rear wing failures(in the top 5 teams) during this race!!!

    1. DRS doesn’t cause rear wing failures, when did we see a rear wing failure due to DRS last year? The only issue DRS might cause that I can think of, is that the wing may stay open.

      1. I know DRS zones don´t cause rear wing failure dude… I´m just saying that there will be at least 2 failures…. It´s just my way of thinking…. I don´t trust DRS because in my eyes, it can be manipulated…. but hey… that´s just me!

        Don´t ask me to prove how it´s manipulated… that is just one theory I have about DRS and the reason why I hate it so much!

    2. I don’t want your left testicle. Can you wager something else?

  16. For those who think the single DRS zone at Melbourne last year was ineffective:

    Many other similar examples from the in-car feed from last year.

    DRS is a joke which should not be tollerated, Its killing F1, There is no longer any real racing its all boring with stupidly boring passes.

    i hate DRS, it killed my intrest in last season & for racing 2011 was the worse i’ve seen of the 30+ years ive followed F1.

    DRS is a stupid, ridiculous, artificial gimmick that has no place in F1 & should be banned before it turns F1 into an even bigger joke!

  17. Why do we still have this stupid device in F1?

    So we will have 1 DRS zone destrying races down the start straght & presumably & 2nd DRS zone completely killing the racing down the straght down to turn 3 (Since thats where Charlie Whiting spoke of a 2nd DRS zone been at Melbourne last year).

    Some here may consider DRS a good thing but I certainly don’t I think its a terrible thing, Did nothing but harm the racing through 2011 & will do the same through 2012.
    Im expecting DRS tro be even worse this year as teams now better understand DRS & will have come up with more effective DRS wings thats drop more drag.

    I used to love F1 & look eagerly forward to every new season, This year i’ve got very little excitement about the start of the season & my love of F1 has been severely harmed all because of my dislike for DRS. That trend continued then I’ll simply walk away from F1 & not come back untill the DRS abomonation is gone.

  18. Was hoping they would just stick to the one as I think the 1 zone at Melbourne a year ago kinda worked better than what we had most other places.

    Having said that however I’d much rather there be no DRS zones at all, Either ban it or if there gunna keep it just let them use it everywhere a certain number of times per race like the p2p systems you see used in other categories.

    Looking at the poll’s from the link in the article it seems that majority of fans don’t necisarily have a problem with DRS but do have a problem with the way its used.
    Other polls & stuff I have seen in other places show similar things although in several of them the majority of fans don’t want DRS at all.

    1. Excellent observation and suggestion. It would be much more interesting limiting how many times the DRS could be used during a race rather then where. Almost like the KERS. Maybe not how many times, but for how long (in seconds) throughout the race and that varies according to the circuit. Another thing that could make a difference is that there’s no 1 second window limiting the use of it. The driver can use whenever he feels it is necessary, keeping it off of course when he’s using the brakes. That’s it! Let’s FIA hear this idea?! Is there a way?

  19. Last yr DRS made F1 look like the wrestling. find it hard to get interested in races when that gimmick is still around

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