DRS zone leads to hairpin at Hockenheim

2012 German Grand Prix

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The DRS zone for Sunday’s race at the Hockenheimring will be on the straight leading to the Spitzkehre hairpin, turn six on the circuit.

As Hockenheim was not on the calendar last year this will be the first time DRS is used at the circuit.

The detection point for the zone is at the exit of the preceding turn four. Drivers can activate DRS 260m after exiting that corner.

DRS zone, Hockenheimring, 2012

Should DRS be used at every circuit in 2012? Which venues need DRS zones? Have your say here:

2012 German Grand Prix

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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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    67 comments on “DRS zone leads to hairpin at Hockenheim”

    1. I am quite sure, that DRS is really not needed at Hockenheim, last time they raced there we saw an abundance of moves both successfull and not there.

      1. @BasCB Absolutely. I will never forget the that pass for the lead in 2010. What a move by Alonso.

        1. one of the defining moves of the season

        2. That move reinforced the fact that Alonso is the best driver on the grid! @bascb @magnificent-geoffrey

        3. Jayfreese (@)
          19th July 2012, 11:32

          the move for the lead onto Massa????

        4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          19th July 2012, 15:26

          First I didn’t get it, yeah “pass of the season” hahaha +1

        5. What a season for Massa in 2010 he was much better then, that move at Hockeinheim was the only time Alonso overtook Massa in 3 seasons.

          1. Alonso overtook Massa at the pit-entry in Shanghai, as well as in Suzuka and Spa last year.

      2. also, drs zone is long enough so the hairpin wont create any excitement. the chasing car will be past the leading car well before the braking zone.

        1. Yeah haha I also noticed the sarcasm – but I thought Alonso fought Massa for a few laps before Massa got the call (1 year to the day after his Hungary crash)?

    2. Why are they putting the DRS in a section where there already is plenty of overtaking. Into turn six is the most common overtaking place at Hockenheim. We dont need a DRS activation zone there – this will just turn it into an Turkey-esque easy pass. Why not put it somewhere else on the track so that drivers can have a go twice per lap?

      1. @vjanik
        Because that would actually make sense. But they don’t like that.
        In Canada for one. Loads of passes into the last chicane normally, and to just make every single overtake there easy lets put a DRS there! Because more overtaking is ALWAYS better of cause! Wohooo…
        Here I think it would be better to have the detection just before T1, and then the activation just after.

        1. It would be amazing… DRS would help to catch and then there would be half lap wheel-to-wheel to watch. But it is definitelly too good for F1.

        2. @Mads spot on! That’s how they should have set it up! How can they be so useless!???

      2. and its very long too!

      3. It’s so dissapointing. Everytime they go to a place with good-ish overtaking spots, they put the DRS zone at the most obvious and easy place for overtaking moves.

        Why, FIA, WHY?!

        1. It does somewhat reinforce the idea that they are a bunch of, well, I’m sure we could come up with something here. All they have to do is read one of these comment threads and perhaps they would realise the error of their ways… alas it hasn’t happened yet.

          I have to say I’m not sure what DRS questions came up at the last fans forum, I’m hoping someone asked how the DRS zones are agreed upon.

          Me want more more more overtaking!! Give it to me now… I can’t get enough… I want entertainment!! ME NEED A SHOW!!

          Phew, for a minute there I lost myself. Sorry.

      4. Nice graph Keith! Totally agreed if they wanted to put DRS why not use it after the twisty bits where cars struggle to follow for example after 8, 9, 10 or after the stadium section on the main straight, for sure the small straights are far shorter than the usual DRS places but im also sure that we wouldnt lack overtaking on the DRS zone and that it could be much more exciting to watch the cars fight for positon at the main straight, making use of the huge run offs at turn 1.

    3. No other straight is long enough.

      Always makes me chuckle that they claim to have 17 ‘corners’, in reality its only about 12

      1. DRS should have been after the hairpin I think. Even though there is a kink before turn 6 the cars would handle it fine and it would make for a more dramatic passing maneuver.

        This inevitable news has just killed any hope I had for a decent race. How is anyone meant to defend a pass down into the hairpin, especially when the activation is so early!

    4. Yeah, I don’t think they’ve thought this through.

      I’d have put it on the run to Turn 2, myself.

      1. Not familiar enough with the track, but how does the run to turn 2 compare with the straights in Melbourne & Monaco and what’s the run-off like there?

        Just based on the map I agree, the 234 complex looks like the perfect combination to follow a short DRS zone.

        1. There’s plenty of run-off a Hockenheim. There’s even grass to punish mistakes in some places!

      2. Completely agreed. Unlikely there’d be much overtaking into turn 2, but it would indeed bring the drivers closer together and allow some more fights into the hairpin. Looks set to be one of the worst DRS placements we’ve had…

      3. I would have gone for between turns 1 and 2 as well. The DRS detection point could have been the start/finish line, to make it clear to everyone with access to a timing screen when a trailing car is within range.

    5. My god are they stupid. How about the start/finish straight or the run down to turn 2

    6. Why on earth? You don’t need it there. It’s been the location of some great overtakes and this will just ruin them. If you’re really bent on having a DRS zone on this track, either do it on the start straight or between 1 and 2, which would help setting up an overtake on the straight after 2 in a more reasonable way. But imho you just don’t need DRS on this track (or any track for that matter).

    7. I think the best idea would be to try a race with no DRS… ready to drop it for the 2014 rules, or go to a 30 presses for the weekend whenever you like system.

      Would be fun to watch the strategy of using it all up in qualifying to get to the front, vs keeping it for the race.

      Definitely not needed.

      1. Drop Valencia!
        19th July 2012, 11:30

        I hate the idea of having 30 pushes (or any other arbitrary number) but over a WEEKEND – that’s a cool idea!

      2. Been lobbying for a no DRS race for some time so that we can see how just these tyres affect things on their own. It just seems so obvious to the point of ridiculous seen as F1 is suppose to be the pinnacle of engineering – they don’t even know what a control experiment is.

        1. Of course, having DRS in the pit-lane would also achieve a similar result… perhaps this has more chance of actually happening if phrased correctly to the FIA :)

    8. *facepalm* Before turn 2, obviously that’s where it should go! Even something different like immediately after the hairpin (and allowing it to close before the bend) might influence some overtaking. I think the FIA are just being consistent with the placements to the end of the season now but hopefully in 2013 we might see some more common sense where DRS is not used at all in certain races.

    9. I would have thought a small DRS zone on the straight between turns 1 and 2 would have been a much better idea. It would have made the run down to the hairpin even more exciting

    10. I can see a place for a double DRS zone, like the one we had in Melbourne, with the detection point after turn 15 maybe, and activation after Turn 17 & Turn 1. Having DRS Zone into a corner that already has passing is just plain silly. This is coming from a bloke who is a DRS fan by the way.

      1. I agree with thespuditron and I too am a fan of DRS, but why have such a long DRS zone into a corner that has always produced overtaking? I would have actually liked to see a double zone after T17 and T1, like Canada last year (not saying it was a good idea there), with the drivers having to close it for T1. That, or just have the activation point a third or half way down the main straight and then all the way to T2 and leave it up to the drivers as to when and for how long they disengage it for T1.

        The only upside that I can see for having DRS on the back straight is it forces more of a compromising choice (which ever way you go) in terms of gear ratios (eg do they go for higher top speed with DRS open, or optimise for no DRS like RBR tend to do), but qualifying with DRS does this anyway.

    11. Why do they insist on putting DRS in the best overtaking spot on the track? It’ll be so incredibly easy there it’ll ruin the race. Looks awfully long too.

      That tactic is fine a tracks like Valencia, where you need just a little helping hand to pull off an overtake, but at Hockenheim the DRS zone is so long and the hairpin so good for overtaking cars will just be breezing past each other. It’s like taking the goalkeeper away from a football match — you’ll get more goal, but they won’t mean anything.

      Until the FIA get it into their skulls that DRS needs to be used carefullyI will continue to campaign for its removal from F1.

      1. It’s like taking the goalkeeper away from a football match — you’ll get more goal, but they won’t mean anything.

        I like this comparison. Just had a argument with my brother about DRS. He says the whole point is to increase overtaking, he doesn’t seem to understand my argument about ‘fake’ overtakes. He says it’s fair because it’s the same for everyone… apart from the driver in front!

        1. Yup…agree with both comments above. I don’t believe in DRS to begin with, and I think the zone is too long here, and I think we will just see more easy passing that has nothing to do with the pinnacle of racing other than they have decided to cater to those who want more passing at any cost. Which I think is wrong. I think the analogy of removing the goal tender in football is spot on.

          @Nick…sounds like your brother has bought into the erroneous concept that more passing is better. It’s not. These passes are not memorable nor honourable and are a terrible addition to F1. While I do appreciate that processional parades have turned some fans off F1 in past years, F1’s intention up until DRS has never been to make passing so mundane that we don’t remember or talk about any of them. And I do appreciate it is a fine balance and not an easy one to achieve for F1/FIA, but DRS is overkill and wrong. There are better ways.

          Imho, and I think many others, F1 may need more passing than in the parade-like processional days of the MS/Ferrari era, but only a little more passing, with the challenge still in place, such that we will talk about certain amazing passes for years to come…DRS is the opposite of that and I would prefer to go back to the processions if I could only choose between them and DRS passes.

          The only good news these days is that at least there still are some great and memorable passes going on this season and last, in spite of DRS, and they have occurred when DRS was not in use.

    12. I think the DRS here could lead to some overtakes even more fake than a certain 2010 ‘overtake’…

      1. (Magnanimous) Driver Reduction System.

    13. I would have gone for the pit straight, to encourage ballsy moves into the high speed turn 1.

      1. Too fast & narrow for that, noone should ever bring out the SC by trying. The suggestion by @magnificent-geoffrey would have been a finer choice.

        1. Well, if these are 24 of the most skilled drivers in the sport, they should be able to try passing in places you usually wouldn’t expect.

    14. I would have made it a touch shorter there. Usually i’m for putting it in alternative places to create more overtaking spots but i can’t see it working anywhere else on the track

      At least it’s early in the lap so you’ll see the car under attack with a full allocation of KERS to defend their position. Could be some fun on the run from T6 to T8 as well

    15. Do turns 5 and 11 even justify being called turns?!

      1. And Turn 3!

        1. We must chip in and save the Nurburgring

    16. Might as well watch the race first, then draw my conclusions ;)

      On the face of it, it looks daft, but countless variables make a race, not just one element.

      1. This is a great way to think about it. It might look like the wrong choice, and maybe it is, but as @andrewtanner points out, there’s more than just DRS to deide a race. Maybe it won’t be as much of a factor as we think. Can’t say until Sunday!

        1. @cryptowillem ‘zactly. Look at Valencia, people were writing it off. Turned out to be one of the best races all year!

    17. much prefer the nurburgring to hockenhiem to be honest, agree with majority of the comments that DRS isnt needed

    18. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      19th July 2012, 14:21

      I didn’t get to watch the 2010 race, but if what people are saying is true, that there were a lot of overtakes into T6, then yeah I agree that the DRS was put in the wrong place.

      IMO they should have had the detection point on the start line, and the activation zone a couple of meters after T1.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        19th July 2012, 14:23

        Should be an exciting race none the less (I hope :) )

    19. While I’m not particulary happy with the DRS placement I’m at a loss to see where else it could be put. After the hairpin between turns 6 and 8 is possibly too dangerous due to the ‘turn 7’ kink. But more importantly it runs the risk of cancelling out any overtakes made at the hairpin as the car that was just overtaken could benefit from DRS and repass creating a pointless game of leapfrog (this would depend on where the DRS detection point is placed however).
      Between turn 1 and 2 is too short for DRS to be effective and turn 1 is a relatively fast speed corner which by nature will spread the cars out a tad, further reducing the effectveness of that potential DRS zone.
      Start finish straight is also to short and so is the straight between turns 11 and 12.

      There really isnt anywhere else to put it, but they certainly could have made it a bit shorter (although Hockenheim isn’t a particulary lenghty track so it does look longer on paper). I would prefer if they experimented with no DRS to see what effect that would have on the racing because with the tyres this year I’m of the opinion that DRS isn’t really needed on most, if not, all of the circuts

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        19th July 2012, 15:32

        While I’m not particulary happy with the DRS placement I’m at a loss to see where else it could be put.

        I have an idea to tell Bernie / Charlie Whitting where else it could be put…

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          19th July 2012, 16:03

          In their dreams?

      2. As I mention earlier, put the thing in the pit-lane.

      3. @julian
        While you are right that between T1 and T2 won’t give much overtaking, but crucially it will bunch the cars up closer for the run onto the straight that leads into the hairpin.
        In turn, it wouldn’t be a gift card to a free pass, but it will keep cars closer and hopefully keep duels going for longer and with some more pure overtakes as a result.
        I think the DRS worked at its very best in Melbourne in 2011, because it only lead to passes when the driver behind had a huge speed advantage over the driver in front, but in more evenly matched duels it kept it going for longer and the driver in front would really have to work to break away, yet he wasn’t just a sitting duck against the DRS-sledgehammer.
        And putting it between T1 and T2 here would probably lead to something quite similar.

    20. Make the entire track a DRS zone on raceday.

      Why not ??

      The entire rest of the weekend it is that way. Why have it all weekend and then restrict it on Sunday ?? I know the answer to my question, it just reflects how stupid DRS is in reality….

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        19th July 2012, 16:04

        You should have suggested that in March.

    21. I think whole start/finish straight would be enough. this is gone too far.

    22. i always liked driving this track in games. i wish i had a dollar for every time i went way too hot into turn 2!

    23. if i see any boringly easy DRS passes im going to stop watching because frankly im sick & tired of having to sit through push of a button passing which are boring/unexciting to watch, they really ruin my enjoyment of the racing.

    24. Not seen the translation yet but I heard from someone that was at the FOTA forum that there was a lot of negativity regarding DRS from the fans in attendance & most felt it should be removed from cars.

    25. Something DRS has done that I don’t like which never gets mentioned is that it’s eliminated the old low downforce skinny wings we used to see on the faster tracks.

      I used to love seeing the skinny wings & the effect they would have on the cars with them sliding about a bit more & twitching about under braking etc… Now we don’t see that as they just run high downforce configerations everywhere.

      1. We still see them at Monza and to a lesser extent Canada. To be honest, I don’t recall seeing them anywhere else post the 2009 aero changes. Except perhaps Red Bull at Spa last year (presumably due to generating enough downforce from their ebd).

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