Shortened DRS zones for Canadian Grand Prix

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

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The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will revert to two DRS zones for this weekend’s race but they will be shorter than those used two years ago.

Two zones were used for the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 but just one was available last year.

Two will be used again this year, as is practice at most other races on the calendar. However the total length of the DRS zones will be shorter than it was in 2011.

This year the first activation point will be 55 metres before the turn 12 kink compared to 168 metres two years ago. The second DRS zone will also be shortened by one metre.

The two zones will be triggered by a single activation point 110 metres after turn nine. It was previously located at turn ten.

2013 Canadian 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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59 comments on “Shortened DRS zones for Canadian Grand Prix”

  1. Very disappointed about positioning of the zones and usage of only one detection point.

    1. One detection point is a joke.

  2. I’d ideally like to have seen them get rid of the DRS zone before the final chicane and keep the one into the first corner. That way you still have to work for passes into the last chicane (the opportunity for which will happen regardless of whether you have DRS or not) and you get an additional overtaking opportunity into turn 1.

    1. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
      4th June 2013, 14:48

      the DRS in the longest straight would be very easy, moreover with the Pirelli

    2. Exactly, it’s a shame the feel the need to place DRS at many of the best overtaking points. It’s best used for places which could be overtaking spots but aren’t quite.

      1. Give the drivers Push-To Pass they can use whenever they want, to attack or to defend.

        1. IndyCar style

          1. I’ve been watching more of the Indy racing this year as NBC Sports is carrying both F1 and Indycar. I’ve noticed that they have MASSIVE passing in Indy cars. I first put this down to them driving some oval circuits, but then I watched a couple of other races including the street circuit in Detroit last weekend and they still had dozens and dozens of passes and many lead changes.
            I believe it comes down to the aero is much better to allow passing. No car is able to get a lead and just take off the way that we have in F1. The aero on their package almost makes it impossible to get away from a pack.
            I’m thinking that F1 could keep all the downforce and aero that makes it the best tech in the world, but they would have to lay off the reliance on giant, complex wings in front and back and do more on the body, especially the underside of the car itself. If the car itself could be more of an inverted “lifting body” without the mandatory flat bottom, then the wings could be down played and you wouldn’t lose your cornering downforce by being too close to the car in front of you.
            I know they have avoided this area so far because of the expense of dealing with the aero of a “non-flat” undertray, but if you traded that off against all the fancy wings, it would probably balance out costs and give us better racing. And we could then get away from the artificial nature of DRS in general.

          2. The racing is closer in Indycar because, unlike F1, it is a “Spec Series”. This means all teams are racing the same chassis.

          3. @Phil,
            I don’t agree with that. I originally thought the same thing, but realized they had a much bigger spread across cars in their qualifying times and top speed, etc due to their race setups.
            Yet they still could not separate themselves on the track during the race due to aero.
            The aero is everything. I’m don’t like NASCAR, but watching the difference in the way their cars could or could not separate from each other. In the 2012 cars, they could literally play bumper cars and push each other around the track like freaky symbiotic parasites. With the change in aero for 2013, they can’t even touch bumpers…it’s almost like the car behind is running into a dead zone and can’t get close enough to push. And they can now space out and get away from each other.
            I think it’s worth investigating.

    3. They should just remove the first zone and, keeping with the two zone trend, place it either from turn 9 down to the hairpin (which would then allow the trailing driver to have a go into turn one later or to get a good slipstream into the chicane) or from turn’s 7-8, perhaps creating a passing opportunity there.

      I do wish the FIA were more imaginative with the DRS zones: they should be placed in areas where overtaking doesn’t usually happen instead of places where it happens anyway so we get more action around the track and it isn’t painfully easy. Placing it in a normal overtaking spot doesn’t enhance the racing at all.

  3. Oooouch.

    Only just noticed the ‘one detection point’ bit.

    Wow. This race is over before it’s started. No racing this weekend, folks. Just a bunch of free passes. Really becoming turned off by this season’s lack of real action, I have to say.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      4th June 2013, 22:45

      @ecwdanselby That opens up the possibility of an exciting race though see… As with Monaco, they will all set out to conserve tyres but because passing will be incredibly easy, they won’t want to go too slow…. It’s not F1 I know, but hopefully it may at least be an enjoyable watch.

      I really hope that with all the changes next year, we get some form of racing back but I have to say it’s worrying how things are going at the moment.

  4. For me, the start/finish straight DRS here, and at Monaco, is just perfect.

    Ie. trying to create an EXTRA place to pass, not create a free pass out of a place where it was already do-able.

    I can’t believe how wrong the monkeys in charge have got it. Honestly. What data are they reading from?!

  5. The DRS zone down the back straght is shorter than it was in 2011 but I don’t believe its shorter than it was in 2012 & last year it still made passing ridiculously easy.

    This track doesn’t need any DRS zones, The racing was great & there was plenty of overtaking without it.

    In both 2011 & 2012 all DRS did was produce guaranteed, easy & predictable highway passing, It added nothing to either race but took away a lot of the good racing & real overtaking we used to see on this circuit.

    Also only 1 detection point? Considering how easy DRS makes things down the 1st straght all the 2nd is going to do is help the car ahead pull away more thus ending any potential for the battle to continue.

    Also as we saw last year, Having the DRS zone down the long back straght takes away overtaking into the hairpin. As Villeneuve pointed out on sky last season drivers were backing out of overtaking into the hairpin because they didn’t want to be the car ahead in the DRS zone.

    Its a stupid place & just shows everything thats wrong with DRS & especially the unimaginative way there using the silly thing!

    1. Agreed: DRS should be used as an artificial enhancement only where it is needed, like at the Hungaroring or Circuit de Catalunya – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve isn’t a particularly difficult track to pass on anyway and these Pirellis do just fine in providing passing opportunities!

      If we have to though, then the DRS zones should be at places where overtaking doesn’t usually happen, not in the prime overtaking spot on the track!

  6. Come on! What is wrong with the FIA. we should honestly start emailing them about our ideas. Nobody is going to try and pass going into the hairpin because they will just be re-passed on the final straight. It’s killing the action.

    Just leave 1 DRS zone at the start finish straight. As we know, they want 2 zones. So why put a DRS activation point going INTO the hairpin to to help overtaking (not that it is needed at all. It would have to be a VERY short zones, like in Monaco)

    1. @s2g-unit

      we should honestly start emailing them about our ideas

      Absolutely: we should have an F1fanatic FIA suggestion drop-box or something so they actually listen to what the fans want!

  7. Does it really matter? Canada almost always serves up a great race, regardless of DRS zones. I can’t wait!!!!

    1. I think you just answered this yourself.

      Canada always produces, so why spoil it with motorway style passes?

      Can you honestly tell me last year’s epic chase from Hamilton ended in a climatic fashion? I couldn’t wait for a tasty battle, and instead we saw Hamilton make a free pass on the back straight.

      Doesn’t matter how loud Crofty screams, it was a bitter disappointment.

      Plenty more of that this weekend.

  8. I’ve been a huge f1 fan for years and since BBC took over I have only missed a handful of practice sessions but never any races or qualifying sessions. I’m very zoned out by this season as I have just lost all interest in F1. I really miss the drama of the “will he pass or not” I understand it’s not to everyone taste but there’s just no real action anymore. If a “battle” lasts for more than one corner the commentators sound like they are going to explode with excitement, but that used to go on for laps and laps in years gone by. Sure it can be a bit boring when a faster guy can’t pass, but all of the action has gone now and all overtakes are very predictable. If a driver exits the pits 10 or even 20 seconds behind the car in front I know 100% they will be able to catch and overtake them within a few laps, then you see drivers not even bother to defend its just really sad and depressing to watch.

    I’ve never been a huge Moto GP fan but watched the last race at the weekend and my heart was in my mouth several times ! I used to get that buzz from F1 but I just haven’t had that yet this season. It’s quite funny as I now enjoy the practice and qualifying sessions more than the race ! I enjoy trying to work out who’s fast where and see drivers really push the limit in qualifying and watch the times tumble away.

    I didn’t even know the race was this weekend and even since finding out I’ve still planned to go out and will miss the race. I think that makes me a recovering F1 fanatic ? Such a shame. I am looking forward to 2014, but for me this season is already over ! Which is strange as its looking like it could be a close championship fight between a few great drivers.

    1. zoned out


    2. GP2 and IndyCar are the answers, my man! That’s what’s giving me my motor racing ‘buzz’ this season.

  9. If they want two DRS zones, then don’t put it on the back straight before the chicane, have a short one before the first corner, and then the other just after turn 8. That way, it is easier to have two detection zones, and doesn’t necessarily create easy, guaranteed passes.

    Shorter zones or not, people have been using the back straight for overtaking before DRS was introduced, so adding it there is just overkill.

    1. I certainly agree about a shorter DRS zone leading into Turn 10 would be a better idea – if we have to have DRS at all.
      But a serious question; what is the logic behind having two DRS zones, but only one detection point? I really, really want to understand the reasoning, as the logic has escaped me so far.

  10. One detection point? What a joke.

    1. Exactly, there should be zero detection points.

  11. One detection point, but a tiny, tiny glimmer of common sense by shortening them, at least.

  12. I still believe that DRS is not the main factor for these easy overtakes that we have today….the overtakes are easy since 2011, when Pirelli enter the sport….i’m curious to see how these overtakes would be with DRS but with 2010 Bridgestone tires….

    And i’m scared for 2014….new cars + turbo engine + DRS + Pirelli….hope it will not look like PS in easy mode

    1. Exactly! Why can’t we have at least one race without DRS (i enjoyed DRS b4 but it’s too much now). Our race in Montreal is perfect for 0 DRS zones. At least cut the length if half, the driver behind does not need to get past every single time.

      1. They have 2 problems with that:

        1) If they start having no DRS on certain tracks, all the other tracks will not like the bad publicity of ‘needing’ DRS

        2) Teams with a good DRS system will be up in arms, and i’d see their point.

  13. It’s things like this that make me seriously worried for the future of Formula One. Making overtaking as easy as it is seems to be alienating the most loyal of fans (judging by the comment sections on this website, at least).

    But F1 seems to have dug itself into quite an enormous hole. Can it backtrack on DRS? We’re all so used to seeing races with overtaking on nearly every lap. How will we all react if we go back to the racing of pre-2010, when we sometimes saw fewer than 10 on-track passes in a race?

    Seems like the only possible solution would be to resume the war on aerodynamics, but the powers that be have all but given up on that.

    It makes me really sad whenever I watch the famous Villeneuve vs Arnoux moment – we’ll almost certainly never see anything like that again.

    1. Thinking aloud; if they *did* seriously resume the war on aero (so that the ‘dirty air’ problem was greatly eliminated and they could get close enough to pass) would the F1 cars be slower than GP2 cars? And if so, would the FIA have to increase engine power (through relaxing restrictions or increasing engine capacity, or even returniing to V10’s) in order to maintain F1 as the fastest FIA formula?

    2. It’s pretty straight forward.

      You just change the rules on the DRS. Make it so the slot is much, much smaller than it is now, therefore still leaving some drag.

      Then you shorten the DRS zones and put them in places where you create an EXTRA overtaking spot, not allow free passes.

      Best of both worlds.

  14. DRS is like a fake orgasm, it just isn’t good for anyone. Since drivers know an easy passing zone is set up along the back strait, they will NOT dive in or jeopardize their tires on any other part of the circuit. They will just follow close enough until they get to the easy DRS passing zone and then pass. Yes its the smarter thing to do when it comes to tire management as this season is turning out to be, but is it really good for the spectators? What DRS was brought in the sport to do is actually doing the opposite, lack of real “passing”. Drivers know they don’t have to take chances as there is a easy place to pass on the circuit.

    As a spectator, I don’t get to have the excitement of guessing when someone will pass anymore, I now can predict a car going by in a “DRS” zone, what is fun about that?
    I just don’t understand why the people in charge can’t figure this out.

    The smartest thing F1 did was shorten the rear wings, this helped greatly with passing. They should’ve stopped there. The DRS and tire fiasco is just plain nonsense. I have lost faith in the sport.

  15. I’ve attended every f1 race held at this circuit since 1982, However I will not be attending this year’s race.

    Reason been that every year we used to sit at the casino hairpin & we used to see loads of great racing action while sitting down there.

    However the last 2 years there has been virtually no action down at the hairpin as nobody wants to try & overtake there anymore because the DRS zone is just up the road.
    I saw countless times in both 2011 (Once it dried out & DRS came on) & in 2012 where a driver could have gone up the inside into the hairpin yet back out of the move to ensure they got DRS & there were many cases where both drivers looked to be backing off both trying to be behind at the detection line.

    So me, my Family & friends who all used to attend together have decided we won’t be going back to Montreal until DRS is either banned entirely or they see sense & move the DRS zone elsewhere where it doesn’t hurt racing in the places where fans are.

    I’d also argue that this track doesn’t need DRS, As I say I’ve attended a lot of races there & its always been a race where overtaking was possible & the racing was always great. Would be better to have zero DRS on this circuit.

    1. COTD nomination.

      1. agreed. Get rid of DRS

  16. As proud as I am to be English I was not cheering when Button won the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix when he was at one point at the back of the pack because the overtakes were FAR too easy for him and he had Schumi done like a kipper on the back straight when he was running 3rd because he just couldn’t defend himself against the power of the big button on JB’s steering wheel.

    Back in the good ol’ days before KERS, DRS & Pirelli I watched the 1998 race and loved every minute – there was drama, crashes and REAL overtaking.

    I recently read somewhere (may have been on here) one fan mentioning he would not be going this year because of the lack of overtaking in the hairpin where he once sat was down to the DRS anticipation onto the back straight.

    Pirelli and DRS have RUINED this spectacle of a race in recent years and I fear this years race will be exactly the same. I cant imagine our Murray commentating on modern day F1 I fear he would be so bored it wouldn’t be the same.

    Hamilton ftw? yaaawwwn!

  17. DRS really doesn’t need to be used on the Casino Straight. The DRS should only be used where overtaking is a lot harder. I think the straight between turns 7 and 8 should have one. I suppose at least the FIA have shortened the DRS zones.

  18. Now I’m not the biggest DRS fan, but it seems to me that all of this criticism is slightly harsh. DRS is here to stay whether we like it or not, at least the FIA are trying to not make it a slam dunk when it comes to using it to overtake in the race.

    Think back to the start of 2012, when the DRS zones for Melbourne were announced, there was stinging criticism back then, but it turned out to be premature and a good configuration for the track, and what’s to say this will be no different?

    Give it a chance at the very least.

    1. @specialk69

      Give it a chance at the very least.

      I’m getting a bit tired of hearing that after two-and-a-half years. I was prepared to accept the view it could be ‘fine-tuned’ but I’m growing less convinced it can be.

      DRS is here to stay whether we like it or not

      Says who? I remember some people saying the same about refuelling. Thankfully they were proved wrong.

      1. Says who? I remember some people saying the same about refuelling. Thankfully they were proved wrong.

        I’m afraid in a short-term aspect it is, We’ve seen no indication that the FIA are prepared to ditch it in fear of a return to processional races.

        I’m getting a bit tired of hearing that after two-and-a-half years. I was prepared to accept the view it could be ‘fine-tuned’ but I’m growing less convinced it can be.

        The same can be partially said about the tyres to be honest, but people are still sticking with the belief that it has improved the racing aspect – I’m not convinced, but I’m not complaining about the current racing.

  19. They should use World Series by Renault DRS system. They can use it for a fixed time normally between 350 and 400 seconds per race anywhere on the track. Making it available for drivers to defend with aswell.

  20. David (@mansellsmoustache)
    4th June 2013, 21:58

    If I remember correctly, there was a compromose that all tracks possible would have 2 DRS zones to get teams to agree to abandon free use of DRS in qualy.

    Otherwise teams would have run shorter gearing for qualy and made DRS useless in the race.

    If I recall correctly we are paying the price for that compromise now.

  21. this to me highlights a part of why i dislike the drs system, the fact they use it on every track & that its always placed on the longest straght.

    some tracks don’t need drs & why always place it on the longest straght where there was often a lot of good racing to begin with.

    drs was supposed to help make overtaking more possible in places where before it wasn’t. putting the drs zones in places where we already saw a lot of overtaking & using it on tracks where we already saw good racing without drs just means were going to end up with yet another drs-fest where passing is so easy it makes the race a complete farce.

    the poll done on here not long ago shows that majority of fans dislike drs now, if they keep using it like they do it will only continue to lose fan support.

  22. I have an idea!
    Why should the DRS be activated if the car behind is less then a second
    so I thought like this: keep the DRS and allow normal, old-school slipstreaming highspeed overtakes. How? Well, make DRS available to the car behind if he`s 1.0 to 2.0 seconds behind :)

    1. Thats one good idea! :)

  23. If it rains there won’t be any DRS anyway.

    Packing rain gear and expecting sunshine!

  24. Aside from the fact I hate DRS with whole my heart, I do think there is one positives: the DRS activation point now lies before the hairpin’s braking zone, which should stimulate overtaking into the hairpin. But I’m afraid the first DRS zone will be used to sail past the leading car, after which the overtaker can use the second zone to pull away.

  25. If I had a buck for every time the commentators say; “That was a pretty straight forward pass.” Then I’d be very rich.
    We never used to think of passes as straight forward. There’s no longer any skill or finesse required. Just push a button and fly right past.
    If the Canadian Gp is boring this year, as it was last year, I won’t be at all surprised. (Unless it rains of course)

  26. I wonder if flipping the way DRS is used on its head would make it more useful or competitive. I’m thinking by placing the activation point far earlier, (eg Montreal – have the activation point mid corner/corner exit on the hairpin) allowing the driver to determine the earliest point at which they & the car can handle the reduced down-force without the rear of the car breaking away (allowing greater acceleration due to reduced down-force) & then having a DRS DE-activation point along the back straight (possibly where the current activation point is) to then negate all of the advantages DRS gave ready for both cars to compete for the next corner. I think the main problem is the overspeed which DRS allows, at times 10-15 kph, even if two cars are side by side & brake at the same point there is going to be only one winner; the car with the overspeed. I can’t say I’m completely against DRS, just it needs to be harnessed in the right way to find the balance of competitive overtaking & breezing past another car. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about for a little & thought I’d put it out there.

    1. I always thought there should be a deactivation poiint along the straight. DRS is supposed to help bring the car closer, not allow it to fly past.

      They need to either:
      -cut DRS zones in half?
      -create DRS de-activation point

      Put DRS in places where there is NO overtaking normally.

      I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand or fix.
      I wish the FIA would tell us something.

  27. I’d have thought, if they really have to have two zones, then maybe two activation points, each for a DRS zone into turn 8 an another zone into turn 1.

    That DRS zone into the “Wall Of Champions” chicane, is just plain silly.

  28. There may be a misunderstanding here: ‘As in 2011 the two zones will be triggered by a single activation point at the exit of turn ten. It will be positioned 110 metres after the corner which is later than it was at Canada’s first Grand Prix with DRS.’
    According to the circuit map on the FIA website, the detection point is just after turn nine, long before the turn ten hairpin, not at the exit.

    1. They must have changed the map at some point, thanks for that, have updated the article.

  29. I’m puzzled why Vettel used DRS on his final lap after overtaking a Caterham on the hairpin. While he was enabled to use DRS going thru the DRS detection point, there was no car ahead of him when driving at the 2 DRS zones on his way to the checkered flag. Can somebody explain me if this is allowed by the rules ? In other words, I understand DRS is used for overtaking, not for gaining an unfair advantage when racing alone.

    1. He was behind it at the activation line which was at the exit of turn nine, so he was still able to use it in the two zones even though he had already passed the Caterham at turn ten.

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