F1 drivers want DRS zone through 130R at Suzuka

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers want to be able to use their Drag Reduction Systems through 130R to aid overtaking at Suzuka.

But FIA race director Charlie Whiting said last week the possibility of putting a DRS zone through Suzuka’s high-speed left-hander had been rejected.

“Unfortunately that’s the only circuit we’ve been unable to change,” he said. “The only way to make another [zone] is to go through 130R with DRS open and I don’t think anyone would be up for that.”

A DRS zone was added at Silverstone through the quick Abbey and Farm corners but Whiting admitted after that race it had not aided overtaking. “After Silverstone I don’t thin they would be very keen on that,” he added.

However Sergio Perez was among the drivers who believes the current cars are capable of using DRS through 130R and said drivers should have the chance to use it there.

“I think in the car it’s up to you how you want to do it. If you want to have a lift and then come back to DRS it’s down to you. There will be drivers who take more risks than others but that’s really down to the drivers. We’re good enough to do that.”

Perez’s team mate Esteban Ocon said it would be “quite a challenge to have DRS there.”

“It would be even harder than Silverstone turn own there. So let’s see what’s going to happen in the future but it could be interesting.

“I think it could only help overtaking into the back chicane. In the race it probably wouldn’t be flat especially following other cars but in qualifying in would be interesting.”

Williams driver Lance Stroll also spoke up in favour of adding a zone at 130R. “I think it could only help overtaking,” he said. “It’s already a track where it’s very difficult to follow with all the high-speed corers. If it’s a way of helping overtaking, helping the show, it’ll be good.”

However Sebastian Vettel compared DRS to a Mario Kart power-up and said the sport should try to get rid of it.

“I’m not a big fan of DRS,” he said. “Now we are in Japan I think [of] Mario Kart, if you remember, it might be more fun to throw bananas out of the cockpi than have DRS.

“I don’t like, I think it’s artificial. I think we should find different ways to make the cars follow each other closer and not have DRS.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 19 comments on “F1 drivers want DRS zone through 130R at Suzuka”

    1. 2019: Drivers want to use DRS through Eau Rouge.

      1. Back when drs was introduced for some reason charlie and co were fine it being used everywhere on every track in qualifying. Was it 2012 when drivers drove through eau rouge drs (called f-duct) open with one hand holding the wheel and another blocking the hole in cockpit that controlled the f-duct. Now it is too dangerous.

      2. That’s Raidillo-

        I’ll stop…

    2. Mario Kart is fun, but I’m more for Wacky Races Dick Dastardly style stunts…
      Contaminating fuel with sugar. Spikes poking out of wheel rims. Flipping signs around so competitors take the wrong direction. Telescopic nose cone to win in photo finishes.

    3. “it might be more fun to throw bananas out of the cockpit than have DRS.”
      Hahahaha, go Seb

      1. Too much that comment is!

      2. Seb should be more careful about possibly giving them ideas.

    4. The one problem with this might be the proximity of the barriers. Unlike in Silverstone where they were acres of runoff beyond Abbey. One driver gets it wrong here, and the damage will be extensive.

      1. Yeah, considering the mess Ericsson made even with all that run off!

      2. @mashiat The extent of the run-off area of 130R is similarly spacious to that of Abbey’s, though.

        1. @jerejj Not at all. The runoff at Abbey is so great, that I vividly remember Alonso going spinning several times for about 10 seconds, and still managing to avoid the barrier. Whereas at 130R, just ask Lucas Di Grassi how much runoff there is.

          1. @mashiat Di Grassi’s crash occurred a bit after the corner where the run-off area is smaller than it is if one were to drive straight through the corner without turning in. By the looks of it, they’re similar space-wise. Not too much of a difference.

    5. May see similar to the DRS zone in Silverstone. It could create though overtaking opportunities. Suzuka isn’t easy to pass on.

    6. Why not try it. That corner is easier than Abbey, and the current cars have significantly more downforce than the 2011 and ’12 cars have.

    7. I forgot to add:
      “The only way to make another [zone] is to go through 130R with DRS open and I don’t think anyone would be up for that.”
      – What’s wrong with the full-throttle section between the hairpin and Spoon? Yes, it’s quite curvy, but not too curvy for driving through it with DRS activated.

    8. If some drivers are ballsy enough to go thru there with DRS open and no lifting, great! Others can keep it pinned and shut DRS for a second and reopen it again. It would be quite exciting.

    9. I don’t think it would be worth it as we saw at Silverstone that only 1 team (Red Bull) were able to even think about trying it & even they had stopped doing it by qualifying.

      And even if more teams could try it in qualifying I still don’t think we would see anyone run it in the race due to running high fuel and worn tyres.

      Additionally if the purpose of DRS is to help with overtaking I again don’t think it would be worth it as you would need to be ahead before you got to 130R (And if DRS is driving them past before 130R then it’s too powerful IMO) & if you close it there would be little point reopening it given how short the run is between 130R & the chicane & how narrow/difficult to pass it is there anyway.

      There are also the safety concerns as thinking you can use DRS through there & actually been able to are 2 different things. In the pressure of qualifying where your desperate to get out of Q1/Q2 somebody is going to try it & the end result if it goes wrong is a lot more severe at 130R than it was at Abbey which has a larger runoff & where there running at slightly slower speed.

      1. @stefmeister There isn’t too much of a difference between the respective run-off areas of Abbey and 130R space-wise, though.

    Comments are closed.