Suzuka’s single DRS zone extended for 2013

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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For only the second time this year there will be just one DRS zone for this weekend’s race. Most tracks have two DRS zones this year.

No second DRS zone has been added to the Suzuka circuit and a single activation point remains on the start/finish straight.

However the zone has been extended by 100 metres compared to last year’s configuration. The detection point is unchanged.

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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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29 comments on “Suzuka’s single DRS zone extended for 2013”

  1. I really don’t understand the lack of a DRS zone up to 130R, given the FIA’s insistence on 2 zones per track this year.

    1. thought so, but it would be extremely dangerous

      1. Hardly, weren’t cars able to do Eau Rouge with DRS open in 2011?

        1. Nope, it was banned before the race weekend.

          1. @david-a Ahhh, I think I was thinking about the 2010 F-duct systems when they were one handed.

    2. @jh1806

      I guess the reasoning behind not putting a DRS zone there is that 130R is basically taken flat out. So DRS would have to be deactivated manually which isn’t something you want to have if someone is about to try and pass or go wheel to wheel through 130R.

      Also I’d say it’s a proper overtaking zone already whereas the pit straight isn’t exactly. Which I think is exactly what DRS’s function should be if anything at all.

      1. Hahaha as if that’s stopped them putting DRS-zones before

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      9th October 2013, 16:09

      I’m not sure how easily the 2011 & 2012 cars took 130R with DRS activated, but I remember one of the drivers last year specifically pointing out 130R as a massive danger for the (then) current DRS rules. Just because of the sheer speed.

      I would’ve thought Blanchimont would be even worse, but yeah. Those couple of corners were I think the one of the larger factors in determining this years DRS rules.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        9th October 2013, 16:20

        Vettel’s 2011 and 2012 pole laps had him take 130R with DRS open. Not all drivers could do it even in qualy

      2. @tophercheese21 as @lite992 said, Vettel was taking it with the DRS open in qualifying. I remember not many other drivers being able to manage that, though: Maldonado I recall was flicking it shut to turn in and opening it again immediately after.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          10th October 2013, 1:21

          Sorry, I probably should have worded it better lol, but I know that most of the top guys were taking it flat out with DRS active, but they must have thought that there was a substantial enough of a risk in doing so that caused them to bring up the argument for restricted DRS use.

  2. MB (@muralibhats)
    9th October 2013, 13:57

    Absolutely lovely layout.

    1. +1 what a track, can’t wait to watch the race

  3. Not surprising really as there isn’t anywhere on the circuit where you could put the second zone.

  4. Shall i say it again?

    Jesus Christ.

    1. Looooooooooool

  5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    9th October 2013, 16:10

    My favourite track of the year!

  6. Good god do I hate DRS.

    So as with other tracks, they don’t have to worry about doing a daring overtake into the final chicane, they can just stay close through 130R, press the button after the chicane and fly past on the start/finish straight.

    DRS and Pirelli are doing their best to destroy this sport.

    1. @joshgeake Luckily, I don’t it’ll have much of an effect. DRS passes were rare in 2011 as well. As they should be.

      1. *doubt it’ll

  7. Hang on. Last year the drs activation was on the chequered flag line. In the pic above, the new point sure doesnt look 100 earlier. Rather 50m?

    1. a single activation point remains on the start/finish straight.
      However the zone has been extended by 100 metres

      1. Yes i ‘m sure he understood that. He meant that it doesn’t seem to be extended by 100M. He meant it looks more like only 50M.

  8. FIA, Please stop ruining actual racing in this sport. Spa, Suzuka, Shanghai, Interlagos, Nurburgring, Melbourne, Malaysia, Montreal, Turkey — none of these tracks need DRS, the passes at these locations were definitely possible in the past and were spectacular when pulled off.

    If you want to keep DRS, put it on street tracks and others where passing is REALLY hard (Silverstone, Barcelona, Monza, Bahrian come to mind), but limit it to just help get a driver alongside instead of letting them complete the pass before they even arrive at the braking zone.

    1. @reg – The FIA do try and place the DRS zones in such a way that they aid overtaking rather than replace it. But the problem is that as the cars evolve from year to year, the optimal placement of the zone changes. It’s been a problem in the past when the zones have been largely unchanged from year to year, only for the two races to produce wildly different levels of overtaking.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      9th October 2013, 22:11

      What if the DRS could only be opened for about one or two seconds at a time? It would give the speed boost to the car behind but it would reduce cars passing easily so there could be more battles in the braking zone.

  9. DRS isn’t bad at Suzuka: the effect of it is minimal anyway, and overtaking is still difficult so it doesn’t really affect the racing too much unlike in Spa, for example.

    I did really like the spectacle of drivers playing dare with DRS in qualifying last year, but sadly we’re being denied that privilege this year. Which is slightly frustrating, since I thought that was one of DRS’ few benefits.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      9th October 2013, 22:08

      Indeed. I don’t like the rule that DRS must be used only in the zone(s) in all sessions. I thought it was better for drivers to be allowed to use it all of the time in practice and qualifying, and let the drivers determine when they want to open it. In addition to making qualifying laps faster, it also gives an advantage to some teams with a better DRS than others (as Mercedes did last year), making them qualify out of position which will create overtaking in the race.

      I personally don’t understand the safety concerns over free DRS use. The tracks are much safer for high speed crashes, there were hardly any DRS failures since its introduction, and since it’s the only movable aero device allowed by the FIA, they can regulate it so it can be as safe as they want it. If there really is an issue with DRS in certain parts of the track, then disallow its use there (ex. Monaco tunnel, Eau Rouge).

  10. A second DRS zone could be between turns 9 and 10. Still would make more sense than the second DRS zone in Hungary…

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