Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2018

F1’s new Silverstone DRS zone not an “unnecessary danger” – FIA

2018 British Grand Prix

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FIA race director Charlie Whiting says it is up to Formula 1 drivers to use DRS safely after Lewis Hamilton called Silverstone’s new zone “an unnecessary danger”.

Hamilton made his comments after Romain Grosjean crashed at high speed in the new zone at Abbey. The Haas driver had failed to close his DRS early enough.

Marcus Ericsson suffered a similar crash in the race after he also failed to close his DRS in time. His impact with the barrier was high enough that the Medical Car was sent to the scene as a precaution.

However Whiting said it is the responsibility of drivers to only use DRS at points on the track where their cars can cope with it.

“I think the incidents where drivers lost control through turn one because they had their DRS open is driver choice,” he told media including RaceFans. “Just like any other choice you make in a car.”

“It’s like any corner that is challenging to drivers, sometimes they try to do it flat when it’s not really flat, it’s the same thing. It’s their choice.”

Drivers did not raise any concerns about the DRS zone during their briefing on Friday, Whiting added.

The FIA has added a new, third DRS zone at Hockenheim for next week’s German Grand Prix. A single activation point covers the new zone, which ends before the high-speed turn one, and the existing zone which follows the corner. The other existing DRS zone on the approach to the Spitzkehre, turn six, retains its own activation point at the exit of turn four.

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30 comments on “F1’s new Silverstone DRS zone not an “unnecessary danger” – FIA”

  1. Oh man, never thought I’d be typing this – I agree with Charlie.

    1. I tend to agree more times with Charlie than I do with the 19 moaners on the grid

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        13th July 2018, 13:06

        Who is the 1 on the grid that isn’t a moaner?

      2. @johnmilk I admit I’m really curious to know why only 19 and not 20.

        1. @peppermint-lemon @dusty – Bottas? I can’t recall any moaning from him.

          Or else, the twentieth driver could be ‘your favourite driver’ :-)

          1. @phylyp it is of course the legendary lastname brothers

      3. it is like that joke about the letting loose 4 pigs with the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5 written on their backs and see everyone going mad looking for that number 4

    2. I also agree. It’s like giving drivers extra engine power and then blaming the rule makers if the driver can’t handle the power.

    3. Damn…. #MeToo

  2. Why single activation point for two DRS zones? I just don’t understand this… It’s a joke. In Canada for example it’s just ruin the other opportunity to overtake.

    1. @andycz – I think it is down to the circuit characteristics that forces a single activation point. I do agree that using the same activation point for two zones isn’t ideal, particularly if someone manages an overtake in the first zone, resulting in them getting DRS in clean air in the second zone.

    2. @andycz When they first started having DRS I recall hearing it was because the system couldn’t respond fast enough if detection was too close to the zone.

      But it’s 2018 and they’ve been using it for over seven years, the detection point should be maybe a second or two before the activation at most. As technology goes this is very simple for 2018, there are no excuses now

  3. T1 of Hockenheim could be flat-out with these cars as well, so, therefore, it could be a similar story with attempting to drive through that corner with DRS activated to Abbey.

    1. @jerejj i know these hybrids are more economical but going from Hockenheim to abbey each lap might end up in a lot of fuelsaving

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        13th July 2018, 15:26

        Less drag is the key!

      2. @mrboerns – you are on a roll!

      3. @mrboerns I assume you’re just joking, but just in case you didn’t get my point: I meant if it’s flat-out then it could be a similar story with DRS activated through that corner in comparison to Abbey with DRS enabled.

        1. Did you get that? Did you check the radio volume?

  4. Michael Brown (@)
    13th July 2018, 15:27

    Personally, I trust the drivers to close DRS for fast corners. We had that in 2011 and 2012.

  5. Pity he doesn’t apply the drivers choice argument when it comes to insisting on the never ending run off areas.

  6. Neil (@neilosjames)
    13th July 2018, 16:19

    Be interesting to see if they decide to have one leading towards 130R at Suzuka. Quicker, off a longer straight and with less run-off than Abbey. I’m thinking too risky, but one never does know…

    1. @neilosjames The size of the run-off area of 130R is approximately the same as Abbey’s equivalent, though. At least it looks more or less as spacious as Abbey’s run-off area.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        13th July 2018, 18:29

        @jerejj it looks a fair bit smaller to me, both straight-on and further round.

  7. I would have said “counter-productive item that made for greater predictability” rather than “unnecessary danger”. It shouldn’t have been there, but it was a sporting problem rather than a safety problem.

  8. Ricky Spanish
    13th July 2018, 22:15

    Why didn’t he(Charlie) think the same when they decided to ban free DRS use for pratice/qualifying in 2013? They said exactly what Lewis is saying to justify removing an element that gave an advantage to more skillfull drivers… And no, i dont think its an unnacessary danger hence why we love F1

    1. We’ve been rumbled! Quick, pull the lever that makes it look like an ordinary restaurant and for goodness sake, hide those foam pies!

      We could have been anything that we wanted to be….

  9. What was Hamultons full sentence and what was the question he was asked. I doubt he randomly came out with just this line randomly. Makes a story but what was the context of the comment.

    This story gives the impression the he wss saying Silverstone is the best and faster it gets the better. The drs in the 1st corner is part of this. He said this on Friday but this story makes him look sore as he lost on Sunday. Doubt this is the case.

  10. Personally I’d like to see them get rid of “zones” altogether and leave It up to the drivers to determine where they can (or believe they can) use DRS ant ant time.

    Then it would be “proper” racing.

  11. I think the DRS system should be permitted in all the track. You can activate it whenever you want, but only when you are at 1s or less of distance of the car that precedes you. And still can’t understand why the lapped cars count in the DRS activation. If the car that precedes you it’s a lapped car, you shouldn’t have the right to use it.

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