First DRS zone extended at Yas Marina

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Yas Marina will continue to offer two DRS zones this year and the first of the two has been extended.

As in India, an extra 80 metres has been added to one of the two zones. Drivers will be able to active DRS for the first time 390m after the first hairpin.

The second DRS zone on the next straight remains unchanged, as do the two detection points.

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

29 comments on “First DRS zone extended at Yas Marina”

  1. It did nothing to improve the racing in India. Redesign the hairpin leading onto the back straight by adding some camber or changing the apex, and then more overtaking might be seen!

  2. This track is fundamentally flawed. However DRS would increase the number of overtake at least. I’m afraid it would not improve racing though.

    1. Agreed. Why turns 5-6 still exist is beyond my comprehension.

      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        1st November 2012, 14:23

        Read somewhere that Turns 5 and 6 are apparently to slow the cars down going into turn 7, due to limited runoff at the hairpin, as mandated by FIA track regulations. However, I do agree with you that they seriously disrupt the flow of the track.

        1. That’s hillarious, considering the size of the runoff at the hairpin at my home GP (Montreal). Gravel traps do wonders, these multi purpose tracks (I’m looking at you Moto GP) are ruining F1.

  3. Just looking at the track map thier, I was just wondering why the FIA dont try a third DRS zone on the start/finish straight.

    Now, that being said, I,m looking forward to some DRS action under lights at Yas Marina this weekend.

  4. Ridiculous! They just don’t get it do they.

  5. Considering how effective DRS was at this track last year why extend either of the zones?

    Were just going to see even more of the DRS passing/Re-passing we saw a year ago & with a longer 1st zone its just going to be even easier & even more boring & artificial.

    1. Maybe for Brazil they’ll copy F1 Stars with boosts and power-ups.
      Maybe even banana skins and turtle shells..?

      1. Maybe even banana skins and turtle shells..?

        A friend of mine who isn’t a hardcore F1 fan but watches the occasional race made a similar remark to me about ‘Mario Kart’ driver aids the other day.

        I think there is a perception that casual fans aren’t bothered about gimmicks like DRS, they just want to see lots of passing, regardless of how artificial it is. I’m not sure that’s true.

        1. just want to see lots of passing, regardless of how artificial it is

          well people obviously do like passing regardless because a good deal of f1 fans seem to love these artificial & often boring to watch ‘passes’.

        2. Isn’t it such a shame that we are heading down that route though?

          For me, there’s nothing more thrilling to see than a passing move from a driver right on the edge of adhesion, ability and track layout. Massa at Singapore instantly springs to mind.

          DRS sure enough mixes things up but I think it goes too far when it almost dominates the way a driver drives a racetrack.

        3. @keithcollantine It’s a pretty poor assumption by those in power. I don’t see why overtaking is such a Holy Grail to be honest. Often there are far more interesting things going on but I guess they’re considerably more subtle. For me the overtake isn’t what’s exciting, it’s the ‘will he won’t he’ dilemna that makes sport real and accessible.

  6. What is a “cheat loop”, in between turns 8 and 9?

    These double DRS zones open the way to strategic overtaking, of which I’m actually surprised we don’t see more with DRS and the endless straights that we have these days. By strategic overtaking I mean it may not be best to overtake on the first straight at all, but rather to come alongside, and make sure you exit turn 9 second but very close behind. If you do overtake in the first DRS zone, you had better make sure you have some KERS left to prevent being overtaken moments later.

    Previous instances of strategic overtaking are of course Massa on Raikkonen in India last week, and Hamilton on Webber in Korea 2011. Hamilton and Button could have tried strategic overtaking on the first lap in India as well. The straight there is so long that, instead of KERS-ing out of turn 3 (as they both did, I think), it would have been better simply to drop back into the other guy’s slipstream and make a pass somewhere nearer the end of the straight (of course you have to be careful not to be boxed in, in case you drop back).

    1. You have a point there. I was sitting at the second DRS zone last season (almost exactly where the marshall station is if you look at the map) and the number of DRS re-passes that took place before or as the cars got to me were incredible. There is definitly going to be a lot more “strategic use” of DRS this year, because with 2 zones it is almost impossible to make a pass you have made into turn 8 stick into turn 11.

  7. ridiculous decision, there was 64 drs passes last year at abu dhabi so there was zero need to extend either of the zones!!!!!!!

    also with the 2 zones together the 2nd zone simply acted to undo passing done in zone 1 & that was stupidly artificial & not something i wanted to ever see again. with the extended 1st zone & the 2nd zone still been there i can only see this happening more this year, not looking forward to it :(

  8. It looks like the FIA have found their magic card to “improve the show”. If a GP is boring, it becomes much more easy for them to extend a DRS zone. You don’t have to analyse why a race was boring, you don’t have to think about major redesign of a track (even if the layout provides absolutly nothing for great racing). At least, the public will see some passes. Who cares if they are artificial, easy and absolutly not challenging for the drivers? At least there will be lots of overtakings, and the people complaining about the lack of show will have more difficulties explaining why.

    1. @dan_the_mclaren_fan

      you don’t have to think about major redesign of a track (even if the layout provides absolutly nothing for great racing)

      Can you really fault anyone for not being willing to fritter away a few hundred million dollars on changing a circuit in order to improve overtaking – especially when that circuit was originally intended to facilitate overtaking in the first place?

  9. Genuinely amazed, After last years race I was fully expecting & hoping that 1 DRS zone would be dropped & the other shortened.

    Looking back at last year, The DRS passing was stupidly easy most the time & the passing-repassing was the most gimmickey & artificially crap racing i’ve ever seen.

    Also looking back at last year’s race, Every post race poll I saw showed that a vast majority of fans felt the DRS zones had made passing too easy & that the passing-repassing was too artificial. F1 says its listening to its fans, Yet it quite clearly isn’t, If it was we certainly wouldn’t have a longer drs zone here & the 2nd zone would certainly have been removed!

  10. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    1st November 2012, 10:56

    I don’t think there was any need to change the DRS zones in the first place. Didn’t they produce sufficient overtaking last year? I can’t help but feel that lengthening the DRS zone will only make for more of the dreaded “motorway” passes, that is, easy passes completed well before the braking zone without much in the way of driver-to-driver sparring. That certainly isn’t “improving the show”.

    1. @bobthevulcan – Or maybe they want to make the best of a bad situation, figuring that the series is forced to race at Abu Dhabi, and between the tendnecy for the race to be won by whoever is first through the first corner and a championship in the balance – a win for Vettel will make it almost impossible for Alonso to be champion short of divine intervention – they might as well extend the DRS zone and give both contenders a fighting chance.

      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        1st November 2012, 12:04

        @prisoner-monkeys – It’s Alonso who stands to benefit most from the “fighting chance” rather than Vettel.

        Adapting the track just to benefit the title contenders also holds ramifications for the other drivers. With long DRS zones, there is a tendency for passing to become as simplistic as highway overtaking – pull to the side, breeze past your opponent with your clear speed advantage, without difficulty. Lengthening such a DRS zone would only exacerbate the problem, and make the race more unentertaining than it already is.

        1. And if the DRS zones were shortened or kept the same as last year, you would be just as unhappy with that.

          1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
            2nd November 2012, 2:01

            There really isn’t an easy solution. As you have so often pointed out, Yas Marina is a track in need of rethinking. Until they can make more extensive changes, I’d rather they stick with a method that they already know the effect of, rather than gambling on a measure that has a good chance of backfiring.

  11. maybe Lotus need to rethink there gearing for this race, DRS or not with the wrong top gear you will hit the limiter and never pass the guy in front.
    i like DRS, while we have a rev limits for all cars we need some way for cars to overtake.
    listening to screaming engines like yesterday 21,000revs and watching them pass certainly was great but now they are also close when it comes to straight line speed when setup right,
    too many restrictions have reduced the differences so we dont have the excitement of one car way faster on this part of the track and slower on another part hence to chance to overtake like before.

  12. I need overtakes overtakes…. More more more!!

    I simply can’t wait.

  13. I think they should’ve reduced the first zone, so you (under normal circumstances) couldn’t pass into the chicane, rather close up the first straight and then pass on the second DRS zone.

    Or just destroy the track altogether…

  14. I second @adrianmorse by asking what is ‘cheat loop’?

    1. Presume it’s like the system they have used in the V8 Supercars to great effect in Adelaide, but to terrible effect on the Gold Coast.

      The way it works in V8 is there’s a transponder located in a specific position along the cars axle. There is a sensor line in the ground along the inside of a chicane in line with the apex. The idea being, if you take too much kerb, or cut the corner, the transponder will activate, and you’ll get a strike or lose your quali time. Too many strikes, you serve a penalty. To give you an idea of its effectiveness, in Adelaide this year, Alex Premat trigged the system about 25 times, in a 78 lap race. 4 penalties…

      Didnt think it was in play for F1 though.

Comments are closed.