A second DRS zone has been added to Autodromo do Algarve for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
At last year’s Portuguese Grand Prix, F1’s first race at the venue near Portimao, a single DRS zone was used. The detection point was placed 65 metres after turn 14 and drivers could open DRS 125 metres after turn 15, the final corner, as they headed up the pit straight.
That zone has been reconfigured for this year’s race. The detection now lies 65 metres after the start of turn 15, as cars accelerate onto the straight, and the length of the zone has been cut by 120 metres.
A second DRS zone has been added at the other end of the circuit, going onto the shorter back straight. The detection point is 35 metres before turn four and drivers can activate DRS 180 metres after the same corner.
The DRS zone had a significant effect on overtaking at last year’s event. Adding a second zone could therefore make overtaking easier, while also leading to a quicker lap times in qualifying when drivers have free use of DRS.
F1’s visit to the track last year came shortly after it had been resurfaced. Six months on, uncertainty about grip and tyre durability should be less of a concern this weekend.
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