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Verstappen wants second DRS zone added to Imola

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has called for a second DRS zone to be introduced at Imola to encourage overtaking at the track which is holding the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.

Drivers can only use their Drag Reduction System once per lap along the pit straight. This zone, which has been extended for F1’s return, leads from the high-speed final corner of track down to the first braking zone at the second corner, Tamburello.

But Verstappen, who spent much of last year’s race trying to overtake Valtteri Bottas, expects it will still be “super hard” to overtake even when the longer DRS zone is used.

The activation zone lasts almost a kilometre on a track which is 4.9km long. The detection point is positioned at the end of another straight which leads to the Rivazza left-handers towards the end of the lap, another favoured overtaking place.

Verstappen believes this would be a good spot for another DRS zone. “We can easily have one out of the [Alta] chicane,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“That would help a lot because then you get a bit closer for the last two corners. Because you lose so much time in the last two corners that even when you put the DRS a bit earlier, you will not arrive in time for turn one.

“Turn one is super narrow and it’s a fast corner, so it’s difficult to really out-brake someone. So I don’t think [the longer zone is] going to help a lot.”

Last year Imola made its first appearance on the F1 calendar since 2006 when it was drafted in at late notice. It was a substitute addition to the 2021 calendar too, its place on the schedule only having been announced three months ago.

Just six overtaking moves were recorded during the inaugural Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. The next-lowest of 2020 was the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, with 19 passes.

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Author information

Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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10 comments on “Verstappen wants second DRS zone added to Imola”

  1. I too think the number of DRS zones should be changed by one. However, I’m in favour of subtraction rather than addition.

    1. :-) @red-andy.

      Indeed. To me it was great to see last year how we finally got a battle that lasted for laps, despite Bottas having a damaged car. Doing away with one zone would improve that battle, adding one wouldn’t.

  2. I didn’t hear him say he wants it

  3. I’d really like to see them consider removing the Alta chicane entirely.

    1. @ecwdanselby Me too and the preceding turn kink.

  4. This is the problem with silly gimmicks like this.

    The drivers have become so reliant on it that they have forgotten how to race properly using actual pure racecraft.

    You could put them all in cars that can overtake without gimmicks & I bet most of them couldn’t because they have become too used to/reliant on the flappy wing gimmick.

  5. @Keith, it will be better if you could just put in the track layout if the article is based on it.
    Appreciate your work!

  6. Hmm. If you lose so much time in the dirty air now, would getting slightly closer with the DRS before the Rivazza corners improve anything?

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