Turn 14, Zandvoort, 2021

F1 may extend Zandvoort DRS zone to include banking on Saturday – Sainz

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Formula 1 may increase the length of the DRS zone at Zandvoort after Friday practice if they are satisfied they can do so safely, Carlos Sainz Jnr has suggested.

The DRS zone on the pit straight at the Dutch track begins after the banked final corner. The reprofiled Arie Luyendykbocht was designed with the intention of allowing drivers to use DRS through it.

However Sainz indicated the DRS zone could be extended if data from Friday practice shows it can be done without compromising safety. “If we see it is okay then we might actually have it on Saturday I heard,” he said.

Regardless of whether or not the zone is extended, Sainz predicted overtaking will be difficult around the revamped Zandvoort circuit.

“I don’t think that the DRS position is going to make the overtaking that much better because the corners that precede this straight are all corners that, for us, it’s going to be particularly difficult to follow around.

“For more overtaking we would actually need a lot of degradation, tyres to to fall apart and maybe some people do a big tyre delta on others to have any chance of overtaking but it’s quite a hard compound tyre. The straight is not very long and I don’t expect that the DRS would have made a huge difference.”

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Max Verstappen, who did a demonstration run at the circuit last year following its renovation, also expects overtaking will be very difficult.

Turn three is also banked
“I don’t think it will matter a lot if [DRS] would have been open in the banking or not. I think you lose too much time in the two corners before that to really place an attack anyway into turn one. I guess some people are maybe a bit disappointed about that but for me, it doesn’t really change a lot.

“Also we don’t really know how the car is going to react to it because it’s a banked corner so naturally the car wants to pull itself down. So when you open the DRS there with, of course, the front flap you have in the car, you don’t know how it’s going to respond. So I can understand that they first want to see just opening it after the banking.”

The final corner is one of two banked turns on the track. The other is a turn three, Hugenholtzbocht, which is a considerably slower corner. However its increasingly steep banking may aid drivers in following each other closely, said Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be super exciting and should be exciting also for us,” he said. “Drivers will try probably lines that we don’t get to see anywhere else because the banking is getting more and more on the outside of the corner. So we might see some outside lines in turn three, by example, which is something that you don’t get to see very often.”

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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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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12 comments on “F1 may extend Zandvoort DRS zone to include banking on Saturday – Sainz”

  1. Be prepared for things going wrong if the activation zone gets extended later on the weekend.
    Overtaking-wise, definitely zero difference between activating at corner exit versus pre-corner.

    1. Maybe you don’t realize, but the cars still have plenty downforce even with DRS open.

      At Silverstone they were taking turn 1 and 2 with DRS open. Granted that didn’t always go well, but they would have learned from that and adjusted the requirements and calculated that the Zandvoort banking suffices for safe open DRS.

  2. If they want to go with opened DRS through the banked corner, why not to allow opening it a bit before the banked corner (and of course then leave it open until the end of the main straight). Opening before the corner would not have surprising effects on the balance compared to opening it while driving in the corner :)

    1. @Jockey Ewing The effect would kick in when eventually turning right, risking a spin.

  3. I’m not a fan of changing the rules mid weekend. Teams could set up for more top speed on Friday only to have the DRS zone extended on Saturday. It’ll also open questions up about if it’s been done to aid Verstappen at this home race.

  4. Wouldn’t it make more sense to start off the weekend with DRS enabled (and remove it after a crash) than doing the opposite?

  5. But why would they as, as i KEEP saying, there are no DRS zones on long corners in any F1 track, so why the big deal here?

    1. @jeff Indeed. DRS zones tend to begin at corner exits at the earliest anyway, so an unnecessary fuss.

    2. That’s because there are no other corners specifically designed to work with DRS open. This one is and it’s odd that even though the FIA okayed it before they now retract this.

  6. It’s the Hugenholtz corner where things will happen.
    Big balls and different lines are needed. But there is a overtake very possible.

  7. Turn 3 is going to be very interesting!! In the past it seemed too tight for much to happen here – correct me if I am wrong

  8. I suspect teams will focus their setups exclusively on qualifying since it’s probably going to end up being a near Monaco like procession. So everything about the DRS zones is largely irrelevant.

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