Albert Park, 2018

More F1 tracks could get extra DRS zones

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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More DRS zones could appear at other F1 circuits this year following the addition of an extra zone for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting explained why a third zone has been added at Melbourne and indicated other tracks could follow suit.

“We’re just looking at trying to optimise or maximise what can be done with the DRS,” said Whiting.

Sebastian Vettel, Christian Horner, Albert Park, 2018
2018 Australian Grand Prix build-up in pictures
“This is not an ideal circuit for that as you know. The two DRS zones that we’ve had now are not particularly effective. We just thought there is an opportunity to do something on that stretch between turns 12 and 13. If a driver can get a little closer than he otherwise may have done he may then get detection at turn 14 which would allow him to use it on the two stretches [later]. It’s something just to offer a little something else.

“We will try and do something more effective at other tracks where there’s more opportunity to do that.”

Drivers gave differing views on whether the extra zone will make overtaking easier this weekend. Sergio Perez said it will make “zero difference.”

“Where they put the DRS makes no difference,” he said. “You’re coming out from a high-speed section so I don’t think it’s going to make any difference.”

However Perez’s team mate Esteban Ocon believes the addition could help.

“For sure it won’t be a bad thing,” he said. “It’s hard to overtake here.”

“I think the only overtake last year was Checo and me, so it not a bad thing. It will get us closer after the last corner, it can only make us have more chance to overtake after the long straight.”

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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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  • 27 comments on “More F1 tracks could get extra DRS zones”

    1. I’ve always said – if you’re going to use DRS, please use it on smaller straights to try and keep the cars closer together. We really shouldn’t be having them on the mile long straights such as China!

      1. @ecwdanselby this is sensible. some circuits clearly don’t need it at all (spa, montreal) let alone on the longest straight.

        1. I’m realistic – there’s no way they’ll remove DRS zones. They just won’t. So instead, use the DRS on the s/f straight, and between T2-3. Keep the cars close rather than a slam-dunk overtake.

    2. Here’s a crazy pitch. The biggest complaint with F1 was that overtaking was less as no one could slipstream in the dirty air. What if, DRS was allowed for any car as long as it is less than 1 sec behind another car? Irrespective of where he is on the track? Of course, limits like once you touch the brake you can’t trigger it unless you pass another corner, or something similar is set. Think that will work?

      1. I’d be happy with that. I think that’s almost essentially what they’re going for with adding more DRS zones. If they just have them on every straight, that’ll basically be the same thing.

        I always liked the idea (but I don’t know if they have the technology) that the rear wing should open fully if you’re 1 second behind, then gradually close the closer you get, to stop the ‘highway’ style passing.

        1. Yeah, same here. Adjust it`s efficiency track to track to prevent highway passes in places like China and just keep it free to everyone. All of those gimmick suggestions like “10 per race” or “only allowed when stars align” dont really excite me somehow. Just fix your simple engineering screw-up with a simple band-aid – a bit artificial, yes, but no need to make a show out of it

    3. I’m not going to put a spoiler here, however I would recommend watching the major battle in last week’s Formula e race.
      Now, I know that FE is nothing like F1 in terms of circuits, but what made that exciting was that drivers were able to stay in proximity to one another for multiple laps. That’s what needs to be worked on – doing this artificially by @hatebreeder ‘s method might be one way, however I think what need looking at for future years isn’t straights – rather airflow through corners.

      1. @mildertduck A wheel cover at least half cover like in Formula E and Indy will help a lot. But of course we’ll have people who adamant that F1 should always be open wheel.

    4. Oh please no, have they not learnt anything? Fans don’t want to see ‘easier overtaking’

      1. What I would say is, I always find it annoying when the slower driver is trying to retain his position and keep the faster driver behind him, but is then easily overtaken and the faster driver scampers off (we’ve seen Lewis do it a few times when starting near the back – it’s never an epic fightback anymore, as much as Crofty will try to convince you otherwise!).

        At least if we had plenty of DRS zones, the slower driver might have a chance to try and re-overtake once again. It won’t necessarily be game, set and match.

    5. We’ve basically got DRS until Liberty and FIA absolutely maximise its use and squeeze as many passes out of it as possible as unfortunately, it’s difficult to get new fans with low attention spans into the sport to watch long procession/strategic type pre-DRS era races.

    6. Only way to justify DRS for me, is to let drivers use it all the time everywhere.

      All drivers except P1. Then let the field catch up to the leader.

      1. Definitely …. if you can justify two and three zones, just let the driver have full control of the button.
        What the heck, just let the teams design and use “Driver adjustable aero”. Would be a jump back to early movable aero.
        Irony is that the driver who will use it the most, is P1 as he is lapping traffic. Now tell me how that helps bunch up the pack.?

    7. why not reduce it’s effectiveness a little, then go back to it being driver operated at any time, a pure mechanical device
      THis is how it was introduced, F-duct or whatever they called it, when McLaren worked out how to stall the rear wing easily, and managed to run a massive rear wing in Monza, and effectively turn it into a smaller one by stalling it on the straights.

      Until, if ever, we have cars that can actually follow each other without overheating or losing downforce/grip, we’ll always need devices like this. This one came as an engineering solution to the main problem of downforce/drag, perhaps the Adrian Neweys of the F1 world should be free to think up newer solutions to this problem on their own?

      1. “then go back to it being driver operated at any time” – this was stopped due to safety concerns, so I can’t see them going back on it.

        1. @ecwdanselby Thanks to Ferrari implementation that needs to let go the hand from the steering wheel and Alonso got caught in camera adjusting dials while covering the hole so it became look, no hands on steering wheel situation. McLaren solution has the hole covered by knee, while Sauber and Wiliams iirc are experimenting with passive system.

      2. Couldn’t that make the problem worse? I’m no aerodynamicist, but my understanding is that high downforce in corners is what prevents a car from following another closely. If we allow teams to use DRS at-will, they will likely be incentivized to have higher downforce for corners, which can then be decreased on the straights.
        I would think that a more effective solution is the one proposed above by @hatebreeder, which is that DRS can only be used if you’re within one second of the car in front, anywhere. This way, cars will still need to be set up to run w/o DRS, but drivers can use it any time they feel they don’t need the downforce.

        Of course, the optimal solution is to change the aero profile of the cars such that the wake is not disturbing to another car following. How that’s done, let’s leave it to the aerodynamicists to recommend solutions that Liberty ought to consider.

    8. Here are a couple of short straights as an example on which to put a 3rd activation zone: S/F straight in Abu Dhabi and the straight between turns 13 and 14 in Singapore.

    9. Make DRS available for limited times regards to driver position/scored points at last race.
      Winner gets 1 DRS use attempt
      Second – 2 attempts
      Third – 4
      Fourth – 6
      Fifth – 8
      Sixth – 10
      Seventh – 12
      Eighth – 15
      Ninth – 18
      Tenth – 25 attempts
      Yes, another complication, another artificial unbalance (advantage/disadvantage) but maybe it could work. But personally I’d like to get rid of DRS completely of course.

      1. Sorry, but that’s far, far too complicated! There’s already more than enough to keep on top of during the race. Liberty are trying to make it more accessible.

    10. Sigh….. :(

    11. DHL DRS Deployment.

      Maybe thats the real reason they want to add more zones, It’s use is sponsored this year. Just like replays, Pit stops & all this other US Broadcast style nonsense.

      1. I like the way DHL has sponsored the part of the car that looks like a letterbox…
        (that’s probably wasted on US racefans who have a curbside mailbox on a post)

    12. Add DRS to the tunnel in Monaco. Now that could be fun!!!

      1. @flyinglapct Sorry for the late response, but it wouldn’t be worth it as it’d just bring unnecessary danger to the game.

    13. I’m not convinced.

      Ross Brawn: “hmm, I’d quite like to get rid of the DRS”
      Charlie, “sure, but in the meantime here’s EVEN MOOOAAAAR DRS” (I’m obviously paraphrasing, here).

      It doesn’t scream joined-up thinking to me, it screams the sticking plaster is leaking blood everywhere and we need to fully mummify the patient in bandages to keep it alive a bit longer. Or something.

      I do tend to support the GP3 concept of if you have it, then just give everyone X number of goes on it and that’s yer lot, that was at least something tactical.

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