Safety call prompts DRS rules change for 2013

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: F1 drivers will only be allowed to use DRS in the designated zones at all times as of next season due to safety fears.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Tweaks to DRS regulations for 2013 (BBC)

“Drivers have complained there have been incidents when some have lost control because they are testing the limits of when they can use the DRS.”

Kubica working on return after injury (Reuters)

“Kubica said he had driven some high performance cars recently but the condition of his arm did not allow him to test in single seaters and there was no immediate prospect of a return to the top level.”

Tyres will be key to success in Austin – Webber (ESPN)

“Temperature is very important, the layout isn’t very important. If the black things in the corners aren’t working then you can put the layout up your arse – the car’s not going to work.”

F1: COTA Is Fantastic, Says Ecclestone (Speed)

“I think the circuit itself is absolutely fantastic. Everything they’ve done is unbelievable, everything we asked for they did. I think everything is fantastic. Everybody seems happy. I had a complaint about the weather not being hot as people were expecting! They’ve done a super job. Couldn’t ask for anything better.”

F1 aims to drop ‘force majeure’ rule (Autosport)

Race director Charlie Whiting: “We discussed it last week in the [Technical Working Group] and the consensus of opinion is to remove the term ‘force majeure’ and make it clear what is allowed and is not allowed.”

Button: 2013 car will suit me (Sky)

“The car is quick, we’ve proved that on many occasions. But for consistency for me it’s been a little bit more difficult to get the results. The car next year should suit me a bit more, which I’m very excited about.”

Tracking Shots (The Austin Chronicle)

Article on new F1 documentary “1”: “Take the massive multi-car crash at the 1973 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. On the day, there were six different camera teams at the track, and the research team hunted them all down.”

“Thank God I survived it”: F1 is all safety and money these days says legend Alain Prost (Daily Mirror)

“We used to be little bit more sharp sometimes and saying things and today they are a little bit afraid because they have big sponsors and manufacturers. But that’s because society is different not because Formula 1 is different.”

Formula One hoping to catch American attention with new track (Sports Illustrated)

“Austin seemed an odd choice. A trendy city of about 1.5 million, Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World” and is the capital of Texas. But it hardly fits in with the other cosmopolitan F1 hosts like Melbourne, Shanghai or Singapore. Earlier this month, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell joked that Austin hosting F1 was ‘sort of like Mayberry having the Super Bowl.'”

Tavo Hellmund’s United States Grand Prix joy will be shrouded in pain (The Guardian)

“This is, after all, my baby. And to see Formula One cars tear down the straight-way on Sunday will be the fulfilment of a project I worked on for more than a decade.”

Bid to crack America faces first big test (The Telegraph)

“Eddie Gossage, the president of Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas, said there was ‘no crossover’ between the [F1 and NASCAR], adding that Formula One posed no threat in the long-term. ‘It’s like soccer in this country. It has never succeeded and I don’t think it will ever succeed because it is not our game.'”

A Towering Landmark for Formula One Track (The New York Times)

“Bobby Epstein, co-founder of Circuit of the Americas, said he hoped the tower would become a landmark, making the track instantly recognizable to TV viewers. He declined to give the price of the tower, except to say that the steel alone ‘cost two or three million dollars’ and that he expected it to become a revenue-producing tourist attraction.”

Mark Webber: F1’s elder statesman remains outsider (CNN)

“I like the car a lot more. I really didn’t like the blown floor and it proved a very difficult car for me. I didn’t have a great feel for it and getting the right set-up was hard for me.”

Sauber boss reasurres Kamui Kobayashi over his future (The Independent)

“Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has told Kamui Kobayashi he is under no pressure to bring in sponsors to secure his seat for next season.”

Drivers need to oil the wheels of F1 (FT, registration required)

Williams executive director Toto Wolff: “It is about balancing short-term and long-term views. We have been very keen to have a guaranteed budget at the start of the season. Do we need to change that or not? I believe in [Pastor] Maldonado, Bruno [Senna] has had good performances and scored points. But then we have Valtteri [Bottas], who is…??the new kid on the block.”

I may have to look beyond Formula One, says Narain Karthikeyan (The Times of India)

“If paddock rumours are to be believed, the HRT is getting ready to bench 32 engineers from their staff. It is also heard that talks are on with some Indian and Abu Dhabi-based investors.”

United States GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel on the FIA’s warning to drivers after he and Kimi Raikkonen swore on the podium in Abu Dhabi: “I think if you’re sensitive you should watch – I don’t know – some kids’ programme. You have the remote control in your hand, so you can choose. Surely it wasn’t intentional at the last race. I think it’s a bit unnecessary to create such a big fuss but anyway, if I said some things that weren’t appropriate then I apologise but I think there’s not a lot I have to do differently to succeed in that regard.”

Grand Prix planner faces fraud charges (Cincinatti News)

“[Curtis] Boggs, 54, of Harrison, is accused of orchestrating a scheme to defraud investors after selling them on the idea of a Grand Prix race featuring Formula One race cars.”

Otley man keeps F1 stars in check but witnesses madness on the roads (Ilkley Gazette)

FIA Indian Grand Prix steward Steve Stringwell: “Michael [Schumacher] told us he had seen the [blue] flags but didn’t feel that [Romain] Grosjean was close enough to overtake.”


Comment of the day

Jake (@Jleigh) reckons the BBC are don’t want the drivers’ championship to be decided on Sunday:

I bet every single person at the BBC is rooting for Alonso this weekend. It would be pretty embarrassing for them if they missed the title being won at the inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas.
Jake (@Jleigh)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Craig and cduk_mugello!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Kimi Raikkonen was finally confirmed as the 2007 world champion, almost a month after the last race of the season.

It came as the FIA decided McLaren’s appeal against the results of the Brazilian Grand Prix was “inadmissible”:

Image © Caterham/LAT, Williams/LAT, Sauber F1 Team

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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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144 comments on “Safety call prompts DRS rules change for 2013”

  1. Grosjean finally have the helmet he was trying to take (head included) in belgium.

    1. How would be if Grosjean will crash into Vettel, after this pictures. :))

  2. I reckon that the DRS rule tweak is right. I mean, that’s a thing that concerned me since the thing was introducted. It makes a lot of sense, but the sad thing is that it’s going to take away a little of the spectacle in qualifying. However, safety comes first.

    1. I wouldn’t have minded a compromise, where DRS was permitted in practice and qualifying only in the zone where it will be available in the race.

      Having said that, I would rather do away with the system altogether.

      1. I should have read the whole article. That is exactly what is being introduced.

        “We are going to prohibit the use of DRS in practice and qualifying except in the areas where it’s going to be used in the race”


      2. That’s actually a pretty serious change in the rules. Aren’t Red Bull going to suffer most from the new restrictions?

        1. Potentially, but DDRS is banned next year anyway. What the rule change will do is eliminate the incentive for teams to invest in developing ‘incidental’ systems around the DRS like the DDRS was this year.

          I do find it a little bit hypocritical that DRD will remain legal despite it’s inherently unpredictable nature (why Lotus have spent so long in development with it). It would seem to me that DDRS should be legal, thereby allowing the car to remain in relative balance (hence, safer) when DRS is open, allowing teams to continue running it in practice/qualifying whenever they choose. DRD is the system that F1 should really be concerned about, from a safety perspective anyway.

          From a racing perspective, I think KERS/DRS should be given a finite amount of time they can be used over a race distance, the way that IndyCar handles it’s Push to Pass solution. Let drivers use the gizmos when they think it’s best. Turns the racing in to a tactical exercise as well as a strategic one. Either way, I’m glad to see that the same rules will be in effect for all race sessions when it comes to DRS. Even though this is not my preferred solution, one set of rules is better than 2.

          1. Actually what this does, is making a DRD more worthwile, because it can offer drag reduction all over the track during both race and qualifying. Who knows, if they get this right, some teams might not even bother much with DRS, because it will be of very limited use.

            We will know, if/when Newey brings a car with a DRD to winter testing. Although he might just have thought up something completely different!

          2. I’m not in favour of limited usage KERS/DRS as it would disadvantage drivers who are consistently fighting for positions on the track whilst favouring those who simply bide their time or are not involved in on track battles for large segments of the race.

            For example a driver in a front running car who qualified 5th or 6th but was faster than the cars ahead would use KERS/DRS repeatedly against rivals in early phases of the race but would be stumped should he eventually catch up with the race leader from lap 1 who still has his entire allocation at his disposal.

            Alternatively, a driver in a slower car attempting to maintain track position might use his entire allocation defending from a single faster car behind, only for both drivers to be passed by a chain of cars in quick succession which caught up to the battle and had some of their allocation remaining.

            It is highly probable that most drivers involved in battles would use their full allocation well before the end of the race as passing slower cars as quickly as possible is extremely important. Meanwhile the guy who qualified on pole and led from lap 1 maintaining a 3 second gap for most of the race is in prime position to defend in the latter stages with plenty of KERS/DRS at his disposal should he require it.

          3. Also one has to wonder as KERS has proven more unsafe than DRS I believe. A fire at Williams’ garage and two times we have heard the teams advising drivers to jump out of the car instead of touching the ground and car at the same time. Not as safe either

          4. davidnotcoulthard
            16th November 2012, 15:57

            @hwkii I actually think that the 2 should be given an infinite allocaion, so that the racing can be less artificial.

    2. I don’t think it was incredibly dangerous and it will probably just slow the cars further in qualifying. However safety is paramount. Why couldn’t they just ban it on certain parts of the track with close walls for example?

      1. When did you try it and with which car as it seems you know more than the rule makers ?

      2. I personally think that this is ridiculous; the drivers should use it when they think they can.
        Saying that they lose control and they can’t use it at certain parts of the track is a stupid argument; if you can’t use it there, then don’t use it there.
        It’s like (but a little exaggerated) saying they can’t go full throttle everywhere and asking the FiA to make one particular zone the full throttle zone.

        1. @xjr15jaaag That was my first thought too, the tracks are designed to accomodate crashes in places where the DRS is likely to cause one anyway, surely?

          If there are any outstanding places where the DRS is too dangerous, just ban it like they do in the tunnel at Monaco or through Eau Rouge.

    3. @carlitox The only interesting thing about DRS was watching drivers use it in qualifying, and daring to open it earlier and close it later than their rivals.

      Now it’s only going to be used for artificial overtaking I like it even less than I did before. They should just scrap it entirely.

      The original explanation why it was available freely through practice and qualifying was so that teams would set their gear ratios long enough to take full advantage of it in the races. Presumably that has not been happening – given some of the onboard footage we’ve seen recently of drivers bouncing on the rev limiter for seconds on end suggests that is the case.

      1. The strategy on gear ratios was possibly the only other “interesting” thing about the DRS.

        Ban DRS and give Pirelli a little kick again and that’s all the excitement we need.

      2. Agreed. It seems pretty ridiculous to keep it now that that’s gone.

      3. @keithcollantine I do agree with your article on DRS being used at certain races, that is in my view the best use it can have now. It has proved its worth sometimes, but on other occasions it’s just rubbish. Now more than ever, I want it only at selected tracks. But the question is, based on what would we judge which tracks need it?

    4. Yeah. Far too dangerous. maybe they should surround all the cars several times with bubble wrap too, and make sure every barrier has a 5-meter thick wall of pillows and 15 tog duvets attached.

      1. Not sure about the bubble wrap, unless they can still leave the car within 5 seconds.

  3. Aww man, poor Kubica. That really sucks :(, hopefully he’ll continue rallying and win a few WRCs

    1. Kubica still has a chance of getting back into F1. If he’s fully fit in 2 years I see no reason why he couldn’t test for a team, a backmarker even. If he’s fit enough and he’s still quick he can easily get a seat and he’lll quickly move up the grid to a top team if he’s as competitive as before.

  4. “COTA is fantastic” says Ecclestone. In other words, the check cleared!

    1. +1

      Not only did his check clear, he hasn’t had to keep the press hush about wild dogs, lack of pluming, or diesel generators powering the whole circuit.

  5. Oh, and Mr. Vettel seems to have an incredibly closed-minded view on the reaction to his foul language. Is he being serious?

    I think if you’re sensitive you should watch – I don’t know – some kids’ programme

    Come on. Millions watch the race and I’m pretty sure there are quite a few children watching as well, Seb..
    I don’t see why a simple “sorry” wouldn’t suffice.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      16th November 2012, 1:23

      my fav driver has just said s silly thing. he should just apologize and that’s all. The problem is that people will continue talking about it for a loooooooooooooooong time. He was offensive, but he didn’t punch anyone so yes I think I will be a lot of overreaction about this for a long time.

      Kimi, my other favorite driver, is cool :P

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        16th November 2012, 1:29

        I think I will be a lot of overreaction

        I think it will be a lot of overreaction

        this keyboard is $#(/(

    2. If those kids don’t live in a box (I assume they don’t :D), they see and hear much more horrible stuff. Daily.
      So maybe it is time to cut the drama?

      1. it’s not about the drama and about being sensitive. vettel should know better, it’s about common sense and manners, it’s not just for the kids, among other things it’s not even polite to swear in front of an audiance. that’s all.

        1. Really does depend on what show the audience is viewing and what you should expect. With a live event, there’s always the chance for a slip-up, especially in sports where emotions run high.

          It really is no big deal. Chill the **** out.

          1. @ajokay i really don’t expect someone to have the same view on matters of cursing in public and on-air, when they end their statement with ‘chill the **** out’

    3. @timi I think we have to remember that Abu Dhabi was 2 weeks ago. It was an over-reaction then and it is really rubbing salt in the wounds now. Who cares? It is a complete waste of time to continually pester the driver on it. He released a statement apologising on the Monday. Why demand another apology? It was one word. I completely understand what you say about children watching the sport but considering the danger involved this is surely debatable. Take Schumacher’s accident with Liuzzi at Abu Dhabi in 2010 or the start of the Belgian GP. One swear word then pales into insignificance. When I was young I would read books on drivers as I do now. Can you imagine I had picked up Shunt?

    4. I was very annoyed by Vettel’s statements. Specially because few days ago there was a PR from “him” saying he was “really sorry” about all.

      Vettel should understand that, even if it’s the heat of the moment, as Webber said, he’s a person speaking to the world. You can’t say whatever comes across your mind. They never do, they always say things they’d say differently if it wasn’t a press conference.

      Besides, if there’s a whole dictionary full of adjectives, why swear? there are million other words you can use.

      He should learn from Webber, who doesn’t need swearing to make his point. Webber speaks in a very strong way, and doesn’t have to come up with **** or **** to make others understand him.

      It is very childish from Vettel. It’s not us that have to change. I didn’t care about what he said, but it’s just wrong…

      1. MW said a few words about Vettel in Fuji, ’07 live on air

        1. I think that was to be expected from Webber: he was in a near race winning position and the press jumped on him as soon as he got back to the pits and they must’ve been expecting a heated reply which is probably why they wanted to talk to him.
          Vettel, on the other hand, had just scored a podium and it felt like he slipped it in for the sake of it. And in a country where it’s illegal to swear in public he should’ve been aware of this. And considering when people are watching the sport live, we can’t predict when the drivers are going to swear.

          1. @nackavich

            Mark Webber also swore about Massa on camera, for holding up the Red Bulls in the 2009 Spanish Grand Prix (when oddly enough, he just scored a podium).

      2. Just goes to show how much you can trust press releases. It’s just a whole load of BS, it always is. My company sometimes gives out press releases, they’re always kind of funny to read because I know for a fact people never said what is quoted. Always just take it with a pinch of salt.

      3. In a world where we constantly complain about PR running the show and not really getting the true feelings of the drivers, it’s a bit ironic that we would condemn a driver for their choice of words. There’s also no reason why SkyF1 or the FIA couldn’t impose a 3-5 second feed delay to allow for bleeps if they were really that concerned. Personally, I think it’s more interesting if the drivers act like themselves.

        I agree that that’s a certain amount of decency that should be observed in public places, but at the same time, if someone violates that code of conduct, as your children are around (a risk you take every single day) I think it becomes the responsibility of the parent to explain those rules to the child and raise them in a way that suggests that what they are hearing is something that does happen, but that they need to make better choices. It shouldn’t really be more complicated than that.

        1. Because live sport is live sport.

          Nearly every problem could be resolved with a 5 second delay, but then you have the potential for (and potential for accusations of) censorship.

        2. Personally, I think it’s more interesting if the drivers act like themselves.

          It didn’t even seem like Vettel was being himself though. I’ve no problem with the swearing at all – but the way he said it seems so forced, almost rehearsed. There was a subtle smugness behind it all that I don’t think a lot of people liked. Now I’m not saying that’s mean it’s fine for Raikkonen – I just felt it was like he said it just because his big brother did.

          1. @electrolite

            There was a subtle smugness behind it all that I don’t think a lot of people liked.


      4. people are only making a fuss over this because its Vettel. Kimi swore on the podium and before on the grid as well and nobody has said anything about it

        1. More than that, people are accepting it, because it’s Kimi Raikkonen, and I hear people almost applaudin g him for that.
          Double standards much…

    5. Vettel has a point, they are all grown ups and they do a very dangerous job for a living. Please spare me the “its about the children” argument.

    6. I think that Vettel has failed massively here. For sure, kids watch F1, too. So Seb’s message is: Avoiding strong language is for sissies, we’re real men.

      I don’t know if he doesn’t get it because he doesn’t have children himself or he’s simply lost touch with reality (I guess that can quite easily happen if you’re an F1 driver). I would never swear while talking to my boss or speaking in front of an audience but some think that it’s OK to use strong language, when millions of people listen to them.

      I learned all the swear words & gestures when I was a little child and I have no illusion that the kids in other countries did and still do the same. Children swear, smoke weed and do a lot of other things that I don’t want to list here. But does that mean that we should encourage them to do all of that? Maybe teachers should start their lessons with swearing tirades? To hell with sensitiveness, the kids have already heard worse things anyway.

      It’s not about the silly Abu Dhabi laws or being sensitive or being an adult. It’s not about being a corporate robot, too. If you want to stop acting like a corporate robot, tell us what you really think about the human rights situation in Abu Dhabi. Anyone? Complete silence? I wonder why…

      It’s about acknowledging what is right and what is wrong and the world champion has failed to do it this time.

      1. How is a Formula 1 driver saying one swear word in an interview encouraging kids to swear? It is silly that people even pretend to be outraged over it.

        1. The incumbent World Champion is supposed to be a beacon – a paragon for how a driver should be and act at the top of his sport.

          Openly swearing (possibly to one-up another driver) and then pouring champagne over an interviewer are hardly good things to convey to the public, but then Bernie wants this stuff to happen as it keeps F1 in the news – live on-podium interviews was always going to cause ‘heat of the moment’ issues like these.

          1. It’s funny, and DC didn’t seem to mind it either.

          2. Just because something is funny, doesn’t mean it’s right.

            I mean, robbing a petrol station may seem like fun in the heat of the moment…

      2. Girts – human right problems (according to this site) are only in Bahrain – the rest is perfectly fine.

        1. human right problems (according to this site) are only in Bahrain

          I’ve never said anything of the sort. Don’t try to put words into my mouth.

        2. Just so you know, when people write things like that, it looks stupid. Especially accusing Keith of something along the lines of a subject quite that sensitive.

      3. Well said @girts, I fully agree. We all know that hardly any kid does not learn swearwords and tries out all sorts of things their parents would rather not see them doing. But its part of the responsibility of the parents, and ideally of postive rolemodels to show them what is fine and what behaviour is problematic.

        Just compare those words from Vettel with what Webber said about Gambling, or how he was one of the few to actually speak about not being all that happy about the Bahrain situation. Not to mention that while Webber does use strong words, he does not swear apart from some moments on in car radio, in the heat of the battle.

        I take Vettel apologizing to be down to how Prost describes it “Corporate and having to think about sponsors and partners” [paraphrased from that interview in the roundup].

      4. mmm….what word Villeneuve used for Seb…..ah!! Child!

      5. I think that Vettel has failed massively here. For sure, kids watch F1, too. So Seb’s message is: Avoiding strong language is for sissies, we’re real men

        No, his message is: “If you have children, it is [b]your[/b] responsability to teach them what to do or say, not mine. I never said I wanted that responsability, never asked for it, so stop delegating the job of raising your children and start doing it yourself”.

        It is a huge leap to think one random swearing in random live TV will encourage kids to swear, and even if that is the case, it is also pretty clear that if TV is having that much influence on your kids, you are doing it wrong as a parent.

          1. @david-a

            Sorry I can’t reply to one above! Unlike Raikkonen, it was out of character, and his facial expression I read as smug. I’m no Vettel fan, so it probably affects my judgment…

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          16th November 2012, 16:25

          Perhaps you’re right, he’s not even married!There might, though, be some F1 rules about swearing, so I’m not 100% sure. Though please note tht html actually uses &lt and &gt, not [ and ].

          1. davidnotcoulthard
            16th November 2012, 16:26

            Though please note tht html actually uses < and > , not [ and ].

    7. @timi This is a pretty straightforward issue. Restrictions on swearing on publicly broadcast television programmes are commonplace in many countries. So if F1 wishes to be taken up by international broadcasters then it cannot have drivers swearing during live broadcasts. It’s up to the FOM and FIA to ensure that is not a problem. Leaving the drivers to police themselves will not work. They’ve had a reminder after Abu Dhabi, I suspect the next person to transgress will be slapped with a heavy fine.

    8. It has a lot to do with the fact that Formula1 is world event, broadcasted every where. While in some countries it may not sound as much as offensive, in others it is. But Vettel did apologized the next day, so it is the media pushing more on to it. So I understand him say “change the channel”, because I already did apologized. I think the whole society, is becoming a lot more sensitive, media on the other hand exploiting as much as they can this behavior, all of this culminating in a distilled language. And, I don’t like it all, language is what separates and distinguish us all. A lot of auto censure. This is a trend happening every where, in sports, in music, in books, one could not express himself freely, or quote an old book because someone will feel insulted.

      1. I don’t think SV thinks it is ok to swear on TV. I do think he made a careless mistake. I think he himself grew up knowing that you don’t generally hear this language on prime time television. He knows it. Otherwise he would have used swear words far sooner than this and therefore would have already been reminded in the past. He slipped up. Maybe he felt comfortable being interviewed by DC and forgot millions were hearing it too. I don’t know. I actually laughed because it was only a moment after KR swore, and I wondered what must be in the water they’re drinking. Maybe SV thought that since KR did it, maybe he could too.

        I think SV made a simple mistake, and I don’t think he has decided this language is suddenly appropriate for him to use. He apologized. If he is being grilled about it still, even after apologizing, I understand how that could be frustrating, but now it is his job to simply say “I made a mistake and I have already apologized for it. Let’s move on.”

  6. Drivers have complained there have been incidents when some have lost control because they are testing the limits of when they can use the DRS

    These “drivers” should leave and make room for the real drivers in GP2/FR3.5 :D

  7. I think the biggest downside of the DRS tweak is going to be the loss of the change between race pace and qualifying pace for some of the cars. For those who gained more benefit from the DRS than their near competitors, they could place ahead on the grid of their true pace and then you had a game of chasing someone down. That said, that gap seems to have diminished a lot of the last few races (perhaps excepting Red Bull) so it might not alter the grid from free use anyway.

    1. Drop Valencia!
      16th November 2012, 2:48


    2. No more Sauber on the front rows…

  8. hearing about kubica really breaks my heart….such a great talent and his single seater carrer extinguished before he ever really showed what he could do, i have been going back and watching the 2008 season over and he had so much potential a move to mclaren, ferrari, or red bull could have seen him become world champion if only just once….so sad

    1. I actually think its good to hear him say it himself. Look at the guy, he is fully ok with things and makes the most of it, instead of chasing a (probably) unreachable goal of getting back to F1.

      But it was also heart warming to hear Esteban Guttierez state him (next to Senna) as his greatest F1 drivers in the FOTA forum in Austin.

  9. If they are gonna enable DRS only in the DRS zone for practice and qualy why not get rid of it during this sessions and enable it only in race.

    1. They still need to test it and choose the right gearing for ist use @naylamp. Otherwise you would probably have some teams not even bothering with DRS in the first place because they plan on being out at the front in the race instead of having to battle through the field

  10. “Drivers have complained there have been incidents when some have lost control because they are testing the limits of when they can use the DRS.”


    “So I have tried to brake later, and lost control. We have to do something about braking late, this must not happen!!!!!”


  11. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    16th November 2012, 1:30

    F1 drivers will only be allowed to use DRS in the designated zones at all times as of next season due to safety fears

    It’s always seemed peculiar to me that drivers were permitted to use DRS anywhere they wished during practice and qualifying, but not during the race. The main draw back is that drivers will set artificially fast lap times in Q2 and Q3 that can’t be surpassed during the actual race.

    1. The main draw back is that drivers will set artificially fast lap times in Q2 and Q3 that can’t be surpassed during the actual race

      Apart from the time where we had qualifying with full fuel tanks (or a rainy qualifying) qualifying times are hardly ever bettered during the race @tmcs88

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        16th November 2012, 12:12

        qualifying times are hardly ever bettered during the race

        I know, but at least there was a chance that qualifying times could be bettered during the race. Now it’s practically impossible.

        1. at least there was a chance that qualifying times could be bettered during the race

          I think the reverse is true – being able to use DRS more around a qualifying lap meant it was harder to beat times set in qualifying during a race.

          Not that I think it’s important that this is possible, it doesn’t matter to me in the slightest.

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            16th November 2012, 20:04

            being able to use DRS more around a qualifying lap meant it was harder to beat times set in qualifying during a race.

            This is the point that I was trying to make in my original post. Maybe I didn’t articulate myself sufficiently. My Bad :-)

  12. Imo, DRS should remain as it is or ban it. In qualifying the driver should be on maximum attack and given full use of his equipment. In the race it should be limited for obvious reasons. But, to limit it partially on grounds of safety is a nonsense. It is an optional tool to save laptime. If you feel you can not use it then don’t. To say it is dangerous on an empty track means it is unsafe. But, to limit it to a point where opening it is no challenge means that it is purely a push-to-pass system. This concerns me. Far better would be to use it only in races which have problems overtaking. But in reality, every fan sneers at a DRS pass. I had hoped that we had learned from the start of the season, that tyres are the way to go to improve racing, and ditch this concept completely.

    With regard to Robert Kubica. It is tragic that we have lost a potential great, he has been missed.

    1. I’m hoping (against hope) there’ll be no need DRS from 2014, and it’s replaced by some variable boost or push-to-pass system in the turbo engines. At least that would require slightly more skill and timing from the driver.

      But I like this rule change – I always saw DRS as an overtaking aid, not for improving lap times.

      And maybe all these stupid buttons are one of the things keeping Robert Kubica out of F1 – and other great drivers with limited mobility. Zanardi can drive an adapted DTM or Indycar with a hand-throttle, but in an F1 car would it even be possible for the driver to make all the adjustments at the right time?

      By the way, this is the best round-up ever! Really enjoying all the American views of F1. And the Yorkshire one…

      1. @tomsk Thank you :-)

  13. Eddie Gossage puts his foot in his mouth an awful lot. Let’s start with soccer in the US. What is his definition of success? The MLS has grown leaps and bounds since its inception in 1996 by adding new stadiums, new teams, and international stars. If his definition is to rival the NFL, then I guess Eddie is right. But NASCAR doesn’t rival the NFL either, so that would make his business unsuccessful.
    There is no crossover between F1 and NASCAR? I assume Eddie means fans. I am an American and I enjoy NASCAR and F1. Does that punch a hole in that theory? F1 poses no threat in the long term? Threat to what, NASCAR? no, but to Texas Motor Speedway? You bet it does. Attendance has declined at his speedway in recent years in both the IndyCar race and the two Cup races. Two weeks ago you could visibly see empty seats all over the grandstands during what was a thrilling Cup race. COTA is new and is aggressively bringing in all different forms of motorsports. It will have a busier 2013 than Eddie’s place. This leaves him with one option: bad mouth F1 and the track best he can and hope it goes away.

    1. The answer here is simple: This is plain old ‘good ‘ol boy’ nonsense.

    2. I read this piece, and earlier ones, as encouraging to F1. After all to see he even feels the need to put them down – “I know only 10 people going there”? – get to know new people! – means he actually does feel pressure, and rightly so (Because NASCAR for all its dominance is feeling the problems as well, with declining TV audiences lately for the Chase part of the championship).

      And as you say, acutally football (“soccer”) has indeed come a long way from being nowhere (as Cycling did, although that might now get a hit with too much doping scandals being unmasked). And I think that football actually might inspire F1, because the fact its never been a great sport in the USA enabled women football to become something of a big thing (for lack of a male championship competing) with the US female team being amongst the best in the world.

    3. @manik56

      There is no crossover between F1 and NASCAR? I assume Eddie means fans. I am an American and I enjoy NASCAR and F1. Does that punch a hole in that theory?

      Well said. I’m not into NASCAR myself but I know plenty of other people who watch it as well as F1. Gossage is preaching to a narrow-minded choir.

      1. I’m an American who got started on racing with Nascar and i graduated to F1 when i was 8 watching senna and prost take each other out. They are both entertaining in their own ways, the extreme technical aspect is what drew me into F1. The engineering challenge is just as exciting as the driving imo. What always amazed me most about F1 was the fans knowledge about the sport. its incredible how many of you can instantly really great moments in history, pay drivers being terrible, incidents everything. I’m looking forward to seeing my first race live either 2013 in Austin or 2014 in Jersey. Oh and for you viewers from across the pond, we aren’t all crazy gun toting hillbillys lol but you’ll see A LOT of that in Texas. Although southern hospitality is real, they are very nice. Backwards, but very nice

        1. I think this is a great opportunity to point out that many Nascar drivers are huge F1 fans too. They go out of their way to watch F1. Wonder what they will do this weekend with the F1 race preceding so closely their final Nascar race.

          1. The smart ones will dvr the NASCAR race then fast forward through the boring parts and commercials after the F1 race and minimal podium/pist race coverage we get in America has concluded.

          2. @robbie, I missed that you were talking specifically about the NASCAR drivers not the average fan NASCAR fan that watches F1 also. Duh, dumb response on my part.

  14. Interesting, I always saw DRS as another skill drivers must learn in order to be fast in qualy, yes there’s the risk of loosing the car at high speed but it’s in complete control of the driver and some take that risk more than others that’s how it’s always been.

  15. I think the DRS ban is the right move, if only because it will stop teams building a super-fast qualifying car that wins the race on the first lap because no-one can get close to it. It’s what Red Bull did last year.

    1. That’s not what Red Bull did.

      1. Well, yes, it is.

        Red Bull built a supreme one-lapper that meant Vettel was always clear of DRS by lap 2-3.

        In cases where he couldn’t build this lead (safety car, accidents, weather), he was either mugged on tracks with long straights or the team had to compromise his/their strategy.

    2. Nothing stops other teams doing so. If their simulations suggest that’s the fastest way around the track, is nothing wrong with that.
      The problem was the other teams couldn’t match them, to be able to fight around the course.
      We’ve seen recently in Abu Dhabi how Red Bull tweaked the gear ratios on Seb’s car to make it more overtaking prone.
      Basically any team could opt for the best compromise through the whole weekend (quali included).
      Even if that means being slower at times.

      1. What stops other teams from doing it is their ability. (to figure it out) According to Gary Anderson’s article on the BBC sight he thinks that’s (drs in qualy use) what’s holding back the Ferrari in qualifying vs race pace. Guess that won’t be a problem for them next year… Ferrari International Assistance at work again? ;)

  16. As expected, Jenson comes up with an excuse for why he isnt fighting for the WDC this year. I’m waiting for the year where he actually mans up and says that the car was great, but he just couldn’t get the job done

    1. @todfod – Do you deny that the McLaren has a reliability problem?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys . Lewis’car had the monster’s share of reliablility problems, not Jenson’s. Jenson had a retirement in Monza and a gearbox problem in some other race. His MP4-27 was a reliable as Vettel’s RB8… not to mention as quick… but what does he have to show for it?

        1. That doesn’t mean that he hasn’t had smaller problems that haven’t been widely-publicised.

          The MP4-27 is a pretty unreliable car.

          1. If there were many more problems with the car.. Jenson would be the first to let us all know. Heck, he would have mentioned it in the sky interview he did yesterday

    2. @todfod Wouldn’t it be more of a worry if he didn’t have an excuse for why he isn’t for the WDC? At least he has some idea of what’s going wrong, and presumably, how to fix it.

      1. Jenson always has an excuse… that’s probably his greatest talent. I’ve never seen a driver blame his tools more than he does.

        1. I wouldn’t completely disagree with what you say mate. JB is known to crib more than any other driver. He is more sensitive to the car’s behaviour than the rest (as we believe) but on his day, he is very fast.

          Probably, he has been cribbing about it more since he was mashed by Lewis in the last couple of races on pure pace. I remember, in 2010, he ran the same story, “I wasn’t involved in the development of MP4 25 being my first year”. Whereas I never saw him complaint too much in the second half of 2011.

          Let’s see what he has to say and deliver in 2013.

        2. I suppose you’re right.

          Last year when Massa was complaining about tyres for most of the season and Webber was unable to get to grips with the EBD and Hamilton was claiming that personal issues were the cause of his poor form and repeated on track incidents, Button was clearly the biggest complainer…and when Alonso was at Mclaren, throwing his toys out of the pram declaring favouritism towards Hamilton and exposing them with Spygate, Button was clearly the biggest drama queen then too.

          Get a grip.

          All F1 drivers make excuses unrelated to their own individual capacity when things don’t go their way. It is a necessity bourne of their environment. They all need to believe they are the fastest and most talented to have any chance of remaining competitive. Even if they don’t, they must maintain the guise as admitting culpability is more damaging to their reputation and future prospects.

          For the most part, I actually give drivers the benefit of the doubt because there are so many nuances to deal with in F1 whilst fighting over the smallest of margins. The difference between having race winning pace and being out of contention can literally be the equivalent of a blink of an eye per lap.

          Button understandably voiced his frustration in 09 when his initially dominant Brawn car was heavily out developed by rivals approaching midway through the season whilst Brawn struggled along with practically no budget for development. By the end of the year they had at best the 3rd fastest car. Detractors will never buy it though. The Brawn car was a second per lap faster than the rest of the field for the entire season…right?

          It is also pretty far fetched to believe that Button simply forgot how to drive after the first 3 races this year in which he was at least a match for Hamilton on pace. It is quite obvious that he suffered massively with tyre temperature and setup issues thereafter, which peaked in Canada. There is no way to skirt around an issue as big as that. He was massively off the pace and admitted it. He said that he was “confused and lost” during that phase of the season and even made a point of ruling out the tyres as the reason for his drop in form at a time when other drivers including Schumacher and Webber were highly critical of the tyres. Really, what more do you want? Should he have made an admission of complete responsibility and hung up his helmet in shame?

          Ultimately, Button has not delivered what was expected of him this season and Hamilton has convincingly outperformed him. Following the first 3 races, Button has never been in contention for this championship. Hamilton has totally dominated the qualifying stakes at Mclaren and is in my mind the best qualifier of the season by a considerable margin. He has also had better race pace, better tyre management and more consistency at the majority of races this season. Last season was essentially the opposite with the exception of qualifying where Hamilton was still superior.

          As an ardent Button fan I accept this, but your constant escapade to belittle Button with thinly veiled accusations which could be applied equally to practically any other driver on the grid discredits your opinions.

          1. Do you even know Jenson’s excuse for not being a contender this season???

            Felipe Massa admitted HE couldn’t get to grips with the tyres. Webber admitted that HE cannot take any advantage out of the EBD system. Hamilton admitted HIS personal issues were the reason for his lack lustre performances. They take responsibility

            Jenson on the other hand, cannot admit that it was HIS inability to maximise the car’s performance. He instead says that the car doesn’t suit his driving style and the updates didn’t work for him.

            As a Jenson Button fan, I think you need to come to grips with the fact that the guy isn’t good enough to compete win another WDC.. and he has everyone else but himself to blame for it.

          2. I agree with Todfod… & the only way Jenson will have a complaint-free year in the next McLaren (or any other car, for that matter) will be if a “balance tether” is on the list of new upgrades. His most frequent complaint over the years has always been about “losing the balance”. If we’re to take his word for it, the fix should be pretty simple :)

  17. Mark Webber always telling it like it is about the tyres! Haha! I’m trying to imagine his reaction to an F1 official telling him to stop using certain words.

  18. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    16th November 2012, 7:18

    Since DRS was introduced to increase the number of passes during a race. Use in FP and Qualifying doesn’t really make sense. You’re not passing anyone–so whats the point? Banning it entirely during Qualifying will put the onus back on to the drivers. Instead of having a car that’s slipperiest with the DRS open, drivers will have to hit their marks more often to be able to get that ultimate lap. Also, for those fans who are tired of RBR dominance, this is probably a good thing. RBR has a tendency to run loads of downforce and rely on DRS to bring some speed back during qualifying. Now they’ll either get blown by on the straights or they’ll have to ‘give’ a little back in the turns to keep up.

    1. *high* on downforce :)

  19. I like the words that are being said to Kobayashi, but i don’t see how it can secure his place next year ?
    Aren’t the two Sauber seats already occupied ?

    1. I thought the same @gwenouille! Maybe they will offer him a reserve seat? Not sure what to make of it really.

    2. @gwenouille

      Aren’t the two Sauber seats already occupied ?

      Nope. Only one of them. A lot of people assumed that Gutierrez would get the second seat, but if Sauber are telling Kobayashi that he is not under any pressure to find sponsors, then clearly the second seat is unresolved.

      1. And so did I ! I read it as a clear signal to KK that, unless he brings a huge deal with a sponsor, Gutierrez would be the 2nd pilot.
        Still hope then !
        Thanks !

      2. Or maybe they’re leading him on so that they finish the end of season on a high, I agree it would be a pretty disgusting move but this is F1 and I have seen stranger things happen, albeit Sauber seem the least likely yeam to do this.

        1. They have already made it pretty clear to him that helping the team secure fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship will go a long way towards securing his seat for next year, sponsor or no sponsor. Between that and the big new sponsor that they have secured (as have their partner, Chelsea FC), the pressure is evidently off Kobayashi.

          That said, I don’t think he deserves the seat. He hasn’t lived up to the hype at all, and the only thing he will really be good for in 2013 is establishing continuity in the team while Nico Hulkenberg settles in, and not much else, unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat and starts putting in performances that live up to fan expectations (at which point, I would have to ask why he hasn’t done it until now).

          1. @prisoner-monkeys
            – I don’t understand your view. He beat Perez in 2011 and he is only about 10 odd points behind Perez this year. Either perez and kobayashi are pathetic drivers or both are good. It can’t be that Perez is good enough to be promoted to Mclaren(meaning he is probably in top 8 drivers in F1) and kobayashi is not even good for sauber(meaning he is not even in top 14 drivers in f1) when there performances match most of the time.

            He hasn’t lived up to his hype is rather a wrong reason to chuck him out as hype was created by people rather than kobayashi claiming that he is the best in the world.

    3. @gwenouille

      Aren’t the two Sauber seats already occupied?

      No, see the list of 2013 F1 drivers and teams

    4. I’m guessing the hoo-hah around the Chelsea sponsorship and their link-up with Sauber has meant a guaranteed injection of funds that offset the need for Kamui to bring money.

      1. @optimaximal – Which means they can judge him based on merit … and in their position, I probably wouldn’t offer him a new contract.

        1. On what grounds, compared to the alternatives on offer?

    5. Actually reading the article again, for sake of argument one could say that Sauber have already decided that Kobayashi will not be with them for the next year because they think he doesn’t have the necessary speed above all else.

      “We’re not going to take the last two races and see if he is good or bad, whether it’s a plus or a minus point. That’s not fair to him,”
      – So he has been already evaluated by the team it appears

      “When he came into Formula One we gave him the trust required – without any baggage – to show he is a very talented driver. From that perspective he should know the teams knows him well and trusts him.”
      – i.e. We gave him a chance and our conscious is clear. We trust him to act professionally in the remaining races

      Asked specifically whether Kobayashi required sponsorship to retain his seat, Kaltenborn replied: “No.”
      – it wont make any difference at this point, we have already something else lined up

      Also something that Monisha Kaltenborn says later on contradicts her earlier words, she goes on to say:

      “So I don’t think it’s right to now suddenly make it an issue, and there is no pressure on him. It’s about what he does on the track.”

      However earlier she said the last two races will not be used to evaluate him, so what is it, is he staying or not?

  20. why not save everyone the trouble and just ban DRS altogether.

    1. Because then you’ll be complaining about the lack of passing.

      1. That’s rubbish, I probably only need to use one hand to count the number of good DRS passes I’ve seen. DRS is not the only reason we’ve seen an increase in passing, the tyres have argubly played a bigger role.

    2. I agree with Vjanik. The ‘designed-to-degrade’ tyres we’ve had since 2011 have done more than enough to improve the quality of racing. Scrap DRS, keep the tyre choice aggressive and we’ll have a good balance between racing that is exciting and unpredictable but not artificial.

      1. @keithcollantine The problem we have is that it’s quite hard to judge exactly what’s needed and what isn’t. DRS, Pirelli and the re-introduction of KERS all came at once so to distinguish exactly what creates ‘good’ racing become squite difficult, in my opinion.

        It’s more than likely a combination of everything, though not necessarily equal measures.

    3. I agree with Vjanik and Keith :)

      What is more, tyres are the same for everyone, while the DRS usually helps the cars, who are already fastest anyway.

  21. Absolutely tragic for the sport to think Robert Kubica won’t be able to fulfil his great potential in F1. I hope he makes the best recovery possible and has success in whatever field he is able to take part in.

    As for the swearing… it’s simply a matter of what’s acceptable for broadcast and not whether you or I are offended or not as individuals. In the UK swearing is not acceptable before 9pm, it’s as simple as that.
    And if Vettel’s solution is for people to switch off, it suggests he has no idea where his salary comes from; that is corporate sponsorship on the back of global tv coverage.
    Less viewers, less sponsorship, less money in F1.

  22. USA! USA! USA!

    Jenson Button feels at home because his girlfriend is Japanese, so expect Lewis feeling American because his lady is American…

    1. [Where’s the edit button?]

      USA! USA! USA!

      Jenson Button feels at in home in Japan because his girlfriend is Japanese, so expect Lewis feeling American because his lady is American…

      1. did this means that Alosno feels Russian??..:)

  23. Crappy DRS rule change in my view. One of my favourite parts of the weekend is seeing the astounding performance (corning and acceleration) of DRS-enabled top-end F1 cars in qualifying. You knew the cars were a second per lap faster than they could ever otherwise be, with higher top speeds and higher cornering speeds than you’ll see for at least a year. It is the reason the Red Bull set new qualifying records in 2010 and 2011.

    Plus, I believe the teams will gear the cars up purely for running in clean air, with no respect for DRS, and it will have even less of an impact than it does now. When DRS first came into practice, I remember comments by Brundle saying that F1 engineers he talked to noted they basically forced the FIA into allowing DRS at all times in practice and qualifying, otherwise they would purely gear the cars up for no DRS. Well, here we are.

    1. Well, for many years now, FIA try to slow the cars down. I can only dream of what we could see on the grid now, if cars speed was not an issue :)

      Don’t start me on the limiter, watching Formula 1 car bounce on a limiter is worse than any artificial DRS or gravel free tracks.

  24. I think this is one of the best round-ups of the year, @keithcollantine, it is just strikingly visible how much extra energy you put in this one – even when the standard of the others is already stunningly high. So much valuable information and so much shading comments. Thank you.

    I don’t even know what to react, a lot of things has been already mentioned. I think the highlights are Webber’s ESPN comment and Bernie’s unexpectedly full satisfaction – as far as the organisers are concerned, that is, but after all, even the organisers are unable to organise higher temps. I think if there would be some forest nearby with their usual wild pattern of colours of leaves, it would resemble even more to the traditional end-of-the-season gathering in the slightly chilly fresh air and colourful settling of Watkins Glen in upstate new York. I like this fall date for the new event.

    1. Also, I really want to see ‘1’. Based on the linked article a tremendous amount of attention, soul and energy was put into that film as well – something which is this far from being half-***** simply can’t be bad.

      And finally – so it might be that this track layout is actually good because the most of it was not designed by Hermann Tilke, but by Tavo Hellmund!? Gee. I bet the last-gasp modifications we talked about in the forums are from Tilke – though, this time, I like them all with the exception of the T8-T9 tighening.

    2. It’s a good point about the weather – it was admittedly surprising to hear Bernie *not* slate Silverstone for their parking/weather issues, but their reasons were perfectly valid and for he who is typically incredibly vocal with his dissatisfaction to be the voice of reason was a sign that he does sometimes live on planet Earth.

  25. Onboard lap with Hermann Tilke at COTA

  26. They have changed DRS the wrong way.

    They should have done what every poll shows fans want & made DRS available everywhere, For everyone for a limited number of uses during the races rather than moving it where practice/quali imitates race useage.

    By doing it that way you get some strategy in its use as if everyone had 20 uses through a race to both attack & defend it will be down to the drivers to decide when/where to use it & this at least makes DRS half interesting & brings in some skill surrounding its use during races.

    Many other series do this with various push-2-pass systems & it works well & most importantly provides better racing than DRS ever has!

    I’d still rather see this ludicrously artificial gimmick banned completely though!!!!!

  27. Whats next?… banning the use of the throttle mid corner because it isn’t safe. F1 cars aren’t safe thats why its takes skilled people to drive them. The real reason is the FIA want to reduce DRS development.

    1. I think the point is DRS is inherently unsafe in corners. The effect on the car when the downforce is removed and reattached cannot really be predicted, thus when its released on the allotted straight, at least they know its a control condition.

      It’s like the F-duct – a measure of reason why it was banned was less down to the system itself and more how drivers were driving one-handed through Eau Rouge to activate it.

  28. I feel a little mean criticising the drivers over what they believe to be a safety issue, but if the drivers don’t feel safe testing the limits of the track and the car then surely there’s a whole raft of things that would need reviewing? You would need to review some of the kerb heights (or how the drivers attack them), the use of tyre blankets, the different tyre compounds, KERS etc… Call me pedantic but testing the limits is just that, testing.

    The cynic in me is saying that it’s just a way for some of the less downforce-orientated teams to take away some of the qualifying advantage from the likes of Red Bull…

  29. Personally I think the use of DRS in qualifying is one of it’s few benefits. It is a great test of driver skill to see who can open the DRS earliest and hence gain the most benefit so will qualify higher. It is after all up to the drivers when they open it, so if they spin then that’s their problem – not a safety issue.

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