Alonso faces investigation over DRS breach

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso is under investigation following the Hungarian Grand Prix after it was found his car’s DRS had been activated when it was supposed to be disabled.

A post-race inspection of his Ferrari found the DRS had been used on three occasions when he was not within one second of another car.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer said in a statement: “After the race DRS activation data from car number three were analysed. It was found that the driver has activated the adjustable bodywork in threeoccasions when he was more than one second behind another car.”

“As this is not in conformity with Article 27.5 (b) of the 2013 Formula One Sporting Regulations I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

Update: No penalty for Alonso for DRS misuse

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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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35 comments on “Alonso faces investigation over DRS breach”

  1. Interesting. I didnt know all the cars went through such a post race test.

  2. How is this possible though? I know they get a beep in their ears when they can use it, but that’s it? That’s the only limitation for a driver? So potentially they could use it for a whole lap?

    1. As far as I know, it is controlled by a system provided by FIA. So it shouldn’t be possible to open DRS when not within 1s of the next car. It’s quite weird, but it has happen before – I wouldn’t expect a penalty from this, unless Ferrari is found to be manipulating with the system.

    2. I’m suprized by this as well.

      I’ve seen messages like ‘DRS Disabled’, and thought there was some kind of automated control.

  3. How’s that possible if not for a telemetry fault?

    1. Yes, three times should not be a mistake.

  4. Hold on. Wasn’t the automatic system, which wasn’t working at the beginning of the season, supposed to be activated by now? With that, a driver should only be able to activate his DRS when race control (or their computers calculating the time gap) allows it.

  5. What penalize him for their faulty equipment which they had problems with earlier in the year?

  6. He’s lucky Grosjean got a 20 second (**) penalty, because if he is found to have made this DRS mistake, I suspect 20 seconds will be the penalty.

    1. How about 10s per offence? ;-)

  7. Great news. They’ve been handing penalties like candy so far, how about one more?

    1. Give give Alonso a 20 second penalty… It’ll do SO, SO much to his race result /sarcasm

  8. Well that’s surely a certain penalty if there wasn’t deemed to be a fault with the system. A 20 second penalty would be irrelevant now though with Grosjean’s 20 second time penalty.

    1. Three times is a lot of repetition of the same offense. One time is understandable but three in the same race is a lot.

      I will said I don´t know everything about the technical part, but the drs didn´t open by himself, Alonso should have pushed the button, even if it shouldn´t have openned because of the detection zone, or I´m wrong?

      1. Frankly, I can’t see how the driver could be culpable for the system not working. No drivers is in a position to judge the distance to the car ahead, so they have to rely on the proper function of the FIA’s system.

        1. @proesterchen I don’t know why everybody is immediately jumping to the conclusion there was a fault with the FIA system: nobody else seems to have had issues with DRS deployment.

        2. Well someone need to push the button ;)… the button didn´t push himself,…

          1. Indeed. I don’t get what “faulty system” is being referred to.

            I guess a system could be implemented that would stop my car automatically if I try to run a red light or slow it down when I try to speed, not having such a system doesn’t warrant me free form prosecution of these offences though.

  9. I don’t think you can say ALO is at fault here when it appears there is a glitch in the system.

    1. Watching the BBC highlights – it seems Button’s DRS was also active when he was more than a second behind (about 10 actually). If Alonso gets a penalty, Button should too. Though as others have said, it’s an FIA system, and glitches should not mean driver penalties.

      1. If I’m not mistaken (which I probably am) Button got his from the lapped car that just pitted?

        1. Highlights didn’t show that :-P

          1. Yes, they did, a couple of corners before.

      2. The highlights with Button only showed him using it, they never showed the situation he was in at the activation line. For all we know he could have been behind a car who popped into the pits.

    2. Note that the way DRS is configured at the Hungaroring means that a driver could cross the detection line within one second of another car, go into the pits, come out nowhere near another car, and be able to use DRS in the zone after turn one.

  10. It’s weird, I thought I saw various cars opening the DRS in the main staight when no one was ahead but when anybody said anything I assumed they had just overtaken a backmaker or something.

    1. This usually happened when the car ahead pitted.

  11. Speaking of, race finished AGES AGO, littel late to be handing penalties, aren´t they?

    1. Quicker than usual though :-)

    2. scrutineering is done after the race.

  12. I thought I saw one car use DRS after turn 1 in the second zone when it had just exited the pits. Unfortunately I’m 3000 miles away from my DVR.

    1. If he was within the 1s mark on his way into the pits, then DRS would still have been available in DRS zone 2 because they only used 1 detection point for both zones.

      1. I was wondering about that. But the pit lane entrance avoids the activation point on the main strait so the algorithm for activation is potentially a little more complex in such cases. Could also have been Alonso in his pre-race setting.

  13. 10 place grid penalty for the next race would be fair…..

    1. That’s wishful thinking…. Vettel fan, haha?

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