Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Zandvoort, demonstration run, 2020

No DRS zone through Zandvoort’s banked final turn

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers will not be allowed to use DRS through Zandvoort’s banked final corner, which will make overtaking more difficult at the circuit.

An 18-degree banking was added to the Arie Luyendijkbocht (previously known as Bos Uit) when the track was overhauled in order to hold its first grand prix since 1985. It was intended to allow the F1 drivers to run from the penultimate corner to the first turn, Tarzan, flat out with DRS activated to aid overtaking around the tight layout.

However the official circuit diagram published by the FIA ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix shows the DRS zone on the start/finish straight will begin after the banked turn. RaceFans understands that as such steeply banked turns are fairly uncommon in Formula 1 the FIA has chosen to gain real-world data of the cars running through the corner before committing to using DRS there.

Zandvoort has a reputation for being difficult to overtake at. Two DRS zones have been added for its return to the circuit this weekend. The first will run from the exit of turn 10 to the Hans Ernst Bocht (turn 11), with a detection point prior to turn 10. The second will have its detection point on the entry to Kumho (turn 13) with activation from the exit of the final corner.

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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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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50 comments on “No DRS zone through Zandvoort’s banked final turn”

  1. I honestly don’t expect a lot of overtaking on Sunday. Going to be like Spain, Hungary or Monaco in terms of racing. However, the tyres could play a role, particularly the left front. So let’s just wait and see.

  2. Coventry Climax
    1st September 2021, 13:30

    I have no doubt whatsoever that this was asked -and granted- by Pirelli, as they must surely doubt the integrity of their tyres through that corner, not having developed anything specifically for it (like a year ago) and what happened at Baku. Not that they’ll ever tell you.

    1. Oskari Kantonen
      1st September 2021, 14:15

      Less downforce when using DRS would mean less load on the tyres.

      1. Coventry Climax
        1st September 2021, 16:50

        Normally yes, but here, the banking was designed specifically so the cars would have a lot more downforce (sideforce actually, when you look at it horizontally), so the banking compensates for the absence of downforce from the rear wing, in other words, it allows for a DRS zone there. The banking generates load on the cars/tyres to a much higher level actually, than what no DRS generates. This is why Pirelli designed tyres specific for Zandvoort last year, but unfortunately the race was cancelled due to Covid19. This year they have not, and the FIA -most likely by word from Pirelli- is afraid of tyre problems.

  3. Coventry Climax
    1st September 2021, 13:37

    Let’s just have another, very safe, unable to overtake safetycar parade there too, with points and podium ceremony of course. And someone like Brawn or Todt will tell us that extensive survey shows it’s exactly what the fans want.

    They’ve had two years to prepare for this, gd. Amateurs.

    1. This is what fans want, apparently. ‘Old School’ circuits that challenge the drivers and machinery…
      No downsides at all…

      1. It’s not the circuit that is the problem here but fia with fear for a possible accident
        The banking was specifically designed for Dr’s.
        Hence the high angle.

        1. I don’t agree that it was specifically designed for anything about F1 – the F1 event is only one of many events that may benefit from it.
          And if they did do it strictly for F1 – then they are fools. F1 changes its mind more than any other sporting series in the world.

          As for fear of safety issues – the chance of it going wrong is pretty high.
          It’s a bit like Eau Rouge/Raidillon – if someone loses it for whatever reason and someone else hits them because there’s no runoff area, it’s not a good look.

    2. If you look on the f1 calendar, there isn’t a single DRS zone on ANY long corner, why are you complaining that this is the case here too?

      Some people shouldn’t be allowed to post

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        1st September 2021, 15:44

        Exactly. Last time we had a DRS zone through a long, fast corner (I believe it was at Silverstone in 2018), it caused two relatively substantial incidents (Grosjean in practice, and Ericsson during the race).

      2. Coventry Climax
        1st September 2021, 16:23

        Because the banking was explicitly designed and built, in full knowledge and cooperation of the FAI, to improve overtaking possibilities on Zandvoort. In other words, the whole idea was to have a DRS zone throughout that corner, the whole idea was that this was going to be spectacular and unique, and now the FIA chickens out.
        Since when is ‘no other circuit has this or that’ become an argument against? Since chickens reign?
        THAT’S why I’m complaining.

      3. Agreed with Coventry Climax, as described in the article, this change was specifically made (at a huge expense) to allow for running with DRS open and thus making the “straight” longer to enable overtaking. The FIA approved this and said this indeed would mean F1 cars could drive with DRS open as it satisfices their limit of 2.5G laterally on the cars..

        The fact that the FIA is chickening out now is embarrassing.

        1. @f1osaurus When Dromo designed the circuit, the idea that was talked about was extending the length of time that the cars would spend on full throttle and by increasing the speed that the drivers could carry through that corner. There isn’t, however, any explicit mention that would include using DRS through that corner – they talk about how the design brief looked at ways of opening DRS earlier on the main straight, but using DRS in the banked corner itself isn’t mentioned.

          Similarly, if you look back to the original interview with Jan Lammers on the proposed changes, he states that the plans were for the corner to be “modified and slightly banked to permit full-throttle through there”. He then drew a comparison with Interlagos and noted that drivers were able to use DRS through the final turn at Interlagos, before commenting that the modifications at Zandvoort could “possibly” allow that.

          The original statements from Dromo and from Lammers would seem to indicate that they weren’t assuming the drivers definitely could use DRS through that corner, especially given that the head of Dromo, Jarno Zaffelli, noted the cars were likely to be grounding out quite heavily in that corner.

          Instead, the primary objective was to extend the period of time that the drivers were on full throttle – the fact that drivers might then be able to use DRS whilst in that corner seems to be a side effect of that design, not the intended reason for the corner to be changed.

          1. Coventry Climax
            2nd September 2021, 1:20

            Wonderful, but explain me this:
            “they weren’t assuming the drivers definitely could use DRS through that corner, especially given that the head of Dromo, Jarno Zaffelli, noted the cars were likely to be grounding out quite heavily in that corner.”
            Using the rear wing -which is NO DRS- and the banking, ‘grounds’ the cars even more than have the banking and not use the rear wing, which is called DRS.

            Point me to the articles, please.

          2. The banking was specifically designed to keep lateral G forces below 2.5G to allow for DRS to be open.

            “How F1 made DRS-open Zandvoort banking idea a reality”

            “The DRS could already open in the corner but the G forces with the system open with a Formula One car can have is the maximum of 2.5 G’s.”


          3. Coventry Climax, the “grounding out” that I am referring to was the term that Zaffelli was using to refer to the underside of the cars hitting the ground – not what you are using it to refer to.

            With regards to the articles, you can start with this very site and the article that Dieter wrote back in May 2019 about the proposed changes, where Lammers talked about “possibly” using DRS. If you can get access to the March 2020 edition of Motorsport Magazine, you can find Zaffelli talking about the circuit design there.

            I still feel that both yourself and F1oSaurus are taking it as an absolute that they would always use DRS, whilst I would say it looks more like it was a case of the corner being designed so it might be possible, but not guaranteeing that they could use it.

            At the time that the upgrades were being designed, it wasn’t even confirmed that DRS was going to form part of the 2022 regulation package, which back then was meant to kick in for 2021, or that, even if it was retained, that it would be retained for the long term.

            Even now, it’s not certain that DRS will still be used for more than a year or two under the new regulations – it would seem rather risky to significantly alter the design of the circuit based around a device where there would have been no guarantee it was going to be used for more than a year at the time you devised that design.

          4. the “grounding out” that I am referring to was the term that Zaffelli was using to refer to the underside of the cars hitting the ground

            The underside of the car is more likely to hit the ground the higher the downward force on it, as that exerts more force on the suspension (and tyres etc). Therefore, Coventry Climax’s comment is correct, that it is more likely to happen with DRS closed than open.

  4. Usually when everyone says it’s going to be a dull non-racey race, it ends up being so. So no problem with me, happy to get rid of DRS at any opportunity – this is no exception.

    1. (as in, it ends up being a racey race!)

  5. How much of the total possible DRS zone does that curtail? Not that I care much for DRS anyway.

    1. None. The beginning of S/F straight was always the earlier possible starting point anyway for an obvious reason.

      1. @jerejj No, the banking was added specifically to allow DRS to be open from turn 13 all the way through that banked corner

        1. @f1osaurus Wrong, no correlation. Using DRS through that corner would be extremely risky, even more so than through Blanchimont or 130R.

          1. He is right the banking was special for using DRS without problems. So FIA screws up again!

          2. @f1osaurus @macleod
            Even a slight steering wheel movement can make a car lose the rear if DRS is active, and definitely would in this turning radius.
            Once again, if corners like 130R and Blanchimont (or Monaco’s tunnel) are unsafe for DRS, so is Arie Luyenduk Bocht. I don’t see how the story would be any different IRL. Even Imola’s back straight hasn’t featured an activation zone despite only having a slight right-hand kink towards Rivazza 1.

          3. @jere, Now i am never on the same level as f1osaurus but i get the feeling your compare the 130R and Blanchimont (which has only little banking) with the NEW arie Luyendijk Bocht which is steeper then the Indianoplis oval.

            While there are sideway forces they calculated they needed only 15 degree BUT they went further with 18-19 degrees. If you stand in the inside of the Arie Luyendijk and look to the outside it’s more then 10 feet above you that steep it’s.

            But we can tell you it’s enough but they restrict only FP1 and will move the DRS for the rest …. People were getting vocal about having made that banking and not using them. (In the Netherlands)

          4. @jerejj The banking is specifically designed to allow DRS to be open. Period.

          5. Here more proof that the banking was designed for open DRS (this time from the regulatory side of things):

            “A comment came back and said: ‘could we do banking?,” added Wilson. “I thought about it, and it was: ‘okay well leave it with me, let me work out what level of banking would be required on the concept of could we, rather than have DRS open after the last turn, could we open DRS through the last turn?

            “We went through it, we used our simulation and then we came back and said ‘okay well you’d need at least this level of banking to be able to do it. I had assessed it with two different methods, in terms of car stability and the aerodynamic loss, and it looks like it can work.

            It’s truly mind boggling how this is even a discussion as this has always been made clear from the start.

          6. @f1osaurus The risk still exists.

          7. @macleod An unnecessary fuss, given people don’t fuss about this type of thing anywhere else.

          8. @jerejj Ah there comes the goal post moving to try and save face. There is always risk. The point is that there a limit was given by the FIA and the banking is designed and checked to make sure cars can go through with open DRS.

            The argument that in orther places this is not an issue is even more asinine. First of all it there are other tracks where they go through turns with open DRS, but obviously in this case it’s an issue since it was designed and approved by the FIA for open DRS. The “fuss” people have is with flip flopping decisions like that.

  6. I thought the whole point of the banking was to reduce lateral load to 2.5G so we could have drs there? In the end I’m not sure it matters because the straight is short and you can go so deep into 1 getting by will be tough.

  7. Zero impact on overtaking, though, but did anyone ever realistically expect a DRS zone would start earlier, given fast turns+DRS don’t mix well? The zone was always going to begin past the corner exit anyway, no sooner.
    The final corner curves considerably more than 130R or Blanchimont, for instance. If these corners are out of the question for DRS in race trim, so is Zandvoort’s final corner.

    1. Coventry Climax
      1st September 2021, 16:28

      That is NOT true. The banking was conceived exactly to have DRS throughout that corner, in order to -effectively- prolonge the straight and make overtaking a better possibility.
      I hate DRS, but this is not because the FIA wants to get rid of DRS, it’s because they’re afraid of tyre problems yet again.

      1. @Coventry Climax Wrong, using DRS through that corner would be extremely risky as it curves too much.

        1. Coventry Climax
          1st September 2021, 17:41

          Your answer is like the brown stuff that comes out of the male part of cattle. Do your homework.

          1. @Coventry Climax, Even a slight steering wheel movement can make a car lose the rear if DRS is active, and definitely would in this turning radius.

          2. I’m no farmer, but I was unaware that either semen or urine from a Bull was brown….

  8. One advantage could be that the 3rd car in a row would have no -DRS but the 2nd wouldn’t have one either…. That would make it easier to stick to the back of the 2nd car as the 3rd runs full downforce.. so maybe the banked turn will help a bit nonetheless.

  9. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    1st September 2021, 15:30

    Less DRS impact on a race is always good news, no matter the reason.

  10. There isn’t a single drs zone on a long corner throughout the whole calendar, so why were people expecting one here?

    This isn’t news

    1. The circuit was specifically altered in 2020 for this exact purpose, so people are understandably confused. I read somewhere that idea was initially put forward by someone from F1. Strange that they don’t try it out on Friday free practice.

      1. Coventry Climax
        1st September 2021, 16:54

        I’m not confused, I’m p.o.. It was a done and dusted deal, and now they back out.
        I thought mr. Todt said he wanted less controversy? Well, the FIA is doing an absolutely outstanding top quality job lately. In doing the exact opposite, that is.

      2. @janno The FIA demanded that the straight should be made longer since it’s too short for F1 standards. That was impossible due to surroundings not being available to the track. Banking the Arie Luyendijk corner to reduce lateral G forces on the cars to 2.5G max so the DRS could stay open through this turn was suggested by Circuit Zandvoort and approved by the FIA.

        Hopefully the FIA will adjust this later once the chicken poop has dried.

    2. Check out the builders they designed it to have DRS

      1. Coventry Climax
        2nd September 2021, 1:30

        Thank you so much for pointing everyone to this.

        1. You’re welcome. It’s a good documentary as a whole actually.

  11. Shorter DRS zones are fine by me. One of the things that made Hungary entertaining was that DRS had relatively little impact, so defensive driving was possible for once.

    Ideally we’d shorten them all to 0m, but this is fine for now.

  12. DRS or not, overtaking will be more difficult than spelling correctly all the corners of Zandvoort. (except for T-A-R-Z-A-N)

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