Two DRS zones for F1’s return to Austria

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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Formula One’s policy of using two DRS zones per track where possible will continue at the Red Bull Ring, which is hosting Austria’s first round of the world championship since 2003.

While the basic configuration of the circuit has changed little since then, when it was called the A1-Ring, it has been brought up to date by the addition of two DRS zones, each with their own activation point.

Significantly the longest flat-out section of the circuit, which links turns one and two, will not have a DRS zone. It does feature the first of two detection points, and drivers can activate DRS shortly after leaving turn two.

The other activation zone is on the start/finish straight, with the detection point between the last two corners.

2014 Austrian 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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53 comments on “Two DRS zones for F1’s return to Austria”

  1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    18th June 2014, 15:47

    I wish they’d do away with this damn rule already. They move F1 to pay tv which excludes the casual fans but then they persist with awful rules that antagonise the more serious fan who is more inclined to fork out the money for a SKY subscription. It doesn’t make any sense!

    1. There was a few trains of drivers stuck behind each other in Canada.

      It would appear that DRS hasn’t made it that much easier to overtake, esp on evenly matched cars. Imagine how worse things would get if it was taken away.

      1. @jason12 On the contrary – part of the reason why the drivers at the back of those trains found it hard to gain places was because each of the drivers in front of them were using DRS, thus cancelling out its effect.

        1. I thought there always was somebody in front of those trains without DRS…

          1. You are of course correct @mateuss.

            @keithcollantine can you please explain how DRS has a negative impact on the ability for one car to overtake another (relative to a situation where no cars have DRS) when either:
            a) the car at the head of the pack does not have DRS, while cars behind it in a ‘train’ have access to DRS and approx. 15 km/h greater top speed and greater acceleration.
            b) a car with DRS is attempting to overtake a car ahead (which also has DRS).

          2. @mateuss @dworsley As I said, “part of the reason”.

      2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        19th June 2014, 13:44

        You can blame that on engine disparity. If we had less downforce, bigger rear tyres creating more drag and cars with a more equal top speed then we would have had overtaking, no problem.

      3. @jason12. Let’s never forget the days before DRS, when there was very little overtaking. While different tire wear has provided a better show, DRS has helped the problem of not being able to overtake a slower car. has been keeping overtaking statistics for a few years..

    2. Yes, because EVERYONE who watches F1 lives in the UK.

      1. @trido It isn’t just the UK which has gone to the pay TV model recently.

        1. Australia will always have live coverage on FTA regardless of Foxtel just look at MotoGP here in Australia for example. We get every race live and free

          1. Eh, I wouldn’t bet on that. As soon as money is involved what is good for the viewer takes a back seat.

  2. Interesting that they chose to have 2 DRS zones but neither are on the longest straight (well, pretty much a straight). Could it be that they’re actually thinking about using DRS to open up opportunities in non-conventional overtaking spots rather than making already possible overtaking spots a gimme? Well, guess we’ll see after the race how it works out, although a lot will depend on how the running order shapes up.

    1. @keithedin Believe it or not that has always been the case, that’s why we rarely see a DRS zone span an entire straight, specially the very long ones.

      1. @mantresx Not on the entire straight, but i thought the tendency was to put them in the second ‘half’ of the longest straights.

        1. Sometimes if the drs zone is placed on the longest straight, some of the cars tend to almost reach their top speed just before activating the drs, thus limiting the effect of drs.

          1. Mr win or lose
            19th June 2014, 21:29

            That’s only a rev-limited V8-engine problem, and doesn’t apply nowadays.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        18th June 2014, 16:39

        It’s usually just the second half of the longest straight though. I can’t think of many other situations where they’ve left out the longest straight on the track for DRS..

        Potentially with DRS on the home straight, a good passing oppotunity into turn 2 and then another DRS zone going down to turn 3, we’ve effectively got the whole first half of the lap as a good passing opportunity! As a lap is little over a minute long anyway, this race could be crazy!

        1. Jimi (@hendrix666)
          18th June 2014, 22:36

          My thoughts exactly @petebaldwin

          Driver 2 less than 1 sec behind coming out of Turn 8 gets DRS.

          Driver 2 overtakes on S/F.

          Battle down T1 to T2 straight and keep within DRS and out of T2, DRS again!

          Then loopy bit before it starts again!

          Keeping out of DRS range will be huge, as well as driver’s ability in T4-T7.

          It has interesting potential if the field is tight. Might see a nice little race! Hope so!

      3. @keithedin are you kidding? Every race this year it’s been on the longest straight, and at places like China and Canada it’s really annoying since they’re places where there’s non-DRS overtaking, so there’s no need for that section of track to be ‘spiced up’.

        I’m glad they seem to have put a bit more thought into this one.

  3. This plan seems likely to eliminate any competitive passes going into T2—after the longest straight on the track. Drivers will wait until the next straight. If you have to have two zones, I guess you have to put the second detection between T1 and T2. But why do you actually need two DRS zones, especially if it distorts the “natural” passing strategy of the track?

  4. At least they had the sense to put the detection point in such a place that it won’t put people off attacking into turn 2. What it will do is prevent anybody who loses out at turn 2 from having any realistic shot at regaining the place though.

    1. More it’ll prevent any overtaking in turn 2 because everyone will just wait until the DRS zone to pass because it’s easier….

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        18th June 2014, 16:41

        The zone after turn 2 isn’t long enough to guarantee a passing oppotunity though. It should be fairly easy to defend into turn 3 in theory so I don’t think anyone will decide against making a move in Turn 2 if they get the chance.

      2. @celicadion23 No, it won’t. Turn 2 in Austria is one of the best overtaking spots anywhere on the F1 calendar. Turn 3, on the other hand, is off-camber, very slippery and won’t be easy to overtake on, even with DRS. As shown here in this fight of Hakkinen VS Schumacher

        1. Could we see the driver behind getting in the tow through the first activation point, passing into Turn 2 & then activating the DRS to pull away on the run to Turn 3?

          1. @skylab I believe you could. But, to pass into turn 2 your line on the exit will necessarily be compromised and as the traction off the ideal line is quite poor there (note:it’s based on 2003, no one knows how are the grip levels there now), so they guy who overtakes there might need that. Multiple crashes have resulted there from the guy on the inside trying to both have the cake(overtake) and eat it(get the racing line). Here’s an example:Fisichella brainless move on cold tires:

            I know this might seem to contradict somewhat my previous claim that this is one of the best overtaking spots in F1. But really it’s a 65mph corner after a huge straight, you have to go for it there if you can and hope you carry enough speed on the exit to stay ahead. We’ll have to see how it pans out but I’m optimistic that we won’t be too bored :)

    2. Heres a rule change idea !!!
      Why dont they just activate DRS on thursday morning and turn it off Sunday night

  5. At least it’s not on the longest straight but for a circuit like this two DRS zones is too much. DRS itself is just too much of a convenience for the drivers. Why haven’t the FIA paid attention to the other series that have push-to-pass-aids and simply limit the number of uses for every race?

  6. It’s gonna be hard to pick a favorite DRS zone between the one after T2 here, or the one after the hairpin at Canada.


    1. Exactly. If they needed a second, after turn 6 would be best.

    2. I think my favourite DRS zone is the one on the Kemmel Straight, because it was definitely not the scene of one of the greatest overtakes in history, and hardly ever sees overtaking there at all ever, ever.

      /yet more sarcasm

      1. Jere Jyrala
        22nd June 2014, 16:14

        I disagree, Kemmel Straigh is exactly one of the most unneedable places to have it, 95 % of the DRS-assisted overtakes there in 3 previous Belgian GP’s have been more or less motorway-style passes! but with the new regulations, we don’t know really until then, that will it be the same, but definitely Spa should have only S/F straight as DRS zone as this year’s cars are already faster on the straights than 2013 cars, so even without DRS they can reach like over 320-325 kph at the end of Kemmel straight, which was not possible last year with the rev-limits/different gear ratios

  7. Why is there not a DRS zone heading into an actual overtaking spot?!

    In my – admittedly limited – experience of Austria, neither turn one or turn three have ever been known as corners where overtaking is in abundance.

    I’m all for DRS, providing it’s used properly to give people the chance to overtake into the corner, not to just drive past someone on a straight, as was I believe the initial plan. The DRS zones here seem to go completely against that…

    1. @bradley13 Because turn 2 does not need DRS, it’s a great overtaking spot anyway. Turn 1 and 3 were more difficult to pass on, but might be possible with DRS. For once, they got it spot on IMO. We’ll see in the race if I’m right

      1. But thanks to detection zone, will they want to overtake into turn 2 @montreal95?

        1. @bosyber The overtaking zone is after the detection point, I believe. It’s an extra incentive if anything. See my reply to @skylab a few posts above for more detail

  8. Calum (@edwardcj95f1)
    18th June 2014, 17:11

    so sick of this useless DRS. the racing has been epic without the need of any overtaking aid – in some cases it actually spoils it. i’d rather watch a driver successfully hold off another by merit than have him breeze by and that be an end of it. Especially true when a good driver in a slower car has managed to get himself up amongst the top positions but the DRS just makes the fast cars faster in comparison and takes away the underdogs hard work.

  9. JustCurious
    18th June 2014, 18:11

    Would it be possible to keep the DRS open at turn one by not pushing the brake pedal (maybe using lift&coast) and hence have it opened till the second turn?

    1. It’s possible in the games (: but you would have to lift&coast for a very long time in order to make that 90° turn so you would probably loose time rather than gain it.

    2. Crazy idea anyway ^^

  10. Just look at how beautiful that Ferrari in the picture is. Sigh…

  11. Why is everyone complaining. This is the type of thing we wanted… DRS will only give a small benefit this way. What @petebaldwin said is completely true.

  12. Force India for a podium??

  13. Really excited for the return of this track, hopefully DRS wont affect it too much.

  14. I’m glad to see they’re using the old classic DRS zones of the Österreichring! Should make for great vintage style racing! :-)

  15. I think these DRS zones might be Ok. The first zone, after turn 2, is probably not powerful enough to produce any overtaking (it won’t be that effective when cars are accelerating from low speed), though if there is a side-by-side battle coming out of 2, then it’s a pity if DRS interferes with it.

    As for the DRS on the start-finish straight, it looks pretty similar to the one in Barhain, and we had a good grand prix there too.

  16. I think I must be missing the point.
    Can someone please explain to me why it is a good idea to have the DRS Detection 1 so far in front of Turn 2.
    Isn’t it going to stop anyone overtaking into T2 when they can overtake DRS assisted between T2 and T3?

    1. The contrary no? The detection point is way before turn 2, so it’s possible to overtake someone into turn 2 while still being behind the other driver at the detection point. If the driver get’s the move done, he will be in front of the other driver and will be able to deploy DRS: double advantage. Ironically, the fact that there’s no DRS zone before turn 2 could increase the number of overtakes in turn 2.

      1. Oh, thanks I think I see.
        No, I don’t.
        If car A is within 1 sec of car B (in front) at the DRS detection point 1 and then overtakes car B into Turn 2, car A will be able to use DRS on the straight toward Turn 3. How does that increase the possibility of overtaking?

  17. I don’t get why they put the detection point so far away from the start of the actual DRS zone.

    Surely were going to see drivers try & stay behind at the detection line, Outbrake the car ahead into T2 & then use DRS to pull away down to T3 completely eliminating any prospect of the battle continuing down to T3.

    If there was ever a track on the schedule where DRS was completely unnecisary its this one. We always saw lots of good racing/overtaking into turns 1, 2 & 3 in the past so none of those straights needed any DRS at all.

    I was quite open to DRS initially but seeing it in action has really put me off the last couple seasons & im at the point now where I’d rather it just go away as I feel its done far more harm than good.
    Just watching the various classic races that SkyF1 has been showing makes me miss the days when overtaking was actually a skillfull art that was truly exciting to watch the build-up to & eventual overtake. Many of the DRS one’s are frankly devoid of any excitement at all :(

    1. To be honest, this track will be all about engine power anyway and DRS won’t affect it too much.

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