FIA to study Dutch GP data to judge whether DRS can be used safely at final corner

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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The FIA will consider allowing drivers to use DRS through the final corner at Zandvoort next year after the difficulties many experienced overtaking in today’s Dutch Grand Prix.

The banked final corner at Zandvoort was designed with the intention of allowing drivers to use DRS for longer approaching turn one. However the FIA decided against permitting its use there during this weekend’s event.

Following a race which saw few overtaking moves among the front-runners, some drivers said permitting the use of DRS at turn 14 would have aided passing.

“If we had DRS from the exit of 13 probably that would have helped,” said Esteban Ocon. “I’m not sure it would have been easy flat [out], but probably something to try for next year on simulation and probably get ahead with this to make some more overtakes.”

Lance Stroll said overtaking was “almost impossible” in Sunday’s race “unless you have a big tyre delta.”

The revamped track is “missing a long straight and then a big braking zone, trying to make some opportunities,” he added. “But it’s a great track to drive. Saturday is awesome.”

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But the Aston Martin driver was unsure whether using DRS at turn 14 would be safe. “It might make things better,” he said. “I’m not sure if it’d be really safe to do it at the last corner. It’s still a corner the last corner, even though it’s flat [out].”

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said the data generated during the race weekend would be used to determine whether DRS can be used safely at turn 14 in future.

“As we always do with the DRS, we look to do some simulations and work with what is within the tolerances that we have,” he explained.

“We said here, the banking is completely unknown, let’s go through an event, gather a complete lot of data from practice, qualifying, race and then be in a better position like we do with DRS zones at all events and then review it and see if we need to make changes and how we can make changes for the following year.”

Formula 1’s technical regulations are changing significantly for next year, which may also affect the decision whether to permit DRS at that corner.

“I think it will still give us a pretty good indication,” said Masi. “Yes, it is completely different car, completely different aero package. But I think based on what we’ve got will still give us a pretty good indication of the windows and what we can operate in.”

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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
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    20 comments on “FIA to study Dutch GP data to judge whether DRS can be used safely at final corner”

    1. Study the point for fastest lap too… But in this case, just drop it.

    2. If they can use it there they can use it from T3-T7…🤷🏻‍♂️

    3. What data gathered today will be relevant for the new cars and tires?

    4. FIA should study Dutch GP data to judge whether whether or not widening the track will increase overtaking.

      1. @redpill I’d leave it as it is as I think how narrow the track was in places was a big part of the challenge & spectacle this weekend & helped make the cars look a lot more spectacular than they tend to on some of the larger/wider modern circuits.

        Something i’ve found over the past year is that seeing F1 return to the more old school style circuits like Zandvoort, Imola & Mugello has made me wish we could get rid of many of the more modern circuits because it’s highlighted how so much of the challenge & visual spectacle is missing from them.
        And hearing drivers raving about how great these wonderful classic circuits are also add’s so much for the sport as it makes it feel special again.

        I think the focus only on overtaking over the past 20-ish years has done nothing but produce a series of samey, uninteresting, unspectacular, cookie cutter Tilke-Drones which offer none of the challenge or spectacle great tracks like Zandvoort offer. I’d much rather watch a 20 race calender on tracks like this than have a 23 race calendar filled mostly with the uninteresting, wide, sea of tarmac, DRS-fest modern car parks that offer less challenge & no visual spectacle.

        Make tracks narrower, More challenging & ditch the flat kerbs & sea of tarmac & also end the obsession with only passing figures so we can get back to real motor racing on real race tracks!

        1. @roger-ayles

          And this is where the problem really lies, you prefer to watch a visual spectacle over the quality of the racing/chess game of motorsport racing, classic examples of a visual spectacle is Formula E tracks and Indy racing at Nashville. I’m guessing Monaco is one of your favorites?

          I am all for seeing older historical tracks but I still want the drivers to have a fighting chance to compete and have opportunities to pass each other, otherwise it’s just a parade like what we saw today. There was really no strategies or options to pass that could be played out unless it was an obvious difference in speed between drivers on that lap. Perez passing slower cars on different strategies does not count. Compare the starting grid to the finish results, there was barely any changes between the two and a quite of few the changes were due to mechanical.

          Yes the drivers loved driving the Zand. track and it was super cool to see but the race was not really any different than watching them drive in practice.
          Plus ask the drivers if they loved racing each other on that track to challenge the driver in front of them and score as many points as possible? I could be wrong but I’m thinking not.

          The cars today are twice as big as they use be and they race way differently on the old tracks, you cant compare it to the past. F1 cars are now the same size dimension wise as a Ford F-150 pickup and F1 cars now weigh 400lbs more than 2010 cars as rarely have to slow down like they use to.
          They need more space to race each other, that’s if you prefer motorsport racing more than viewing a spectacle. I would love to see the cars shrink down in size like they were 12 years ago, we would get much better racing on the older tracks, like the F3 cars this weekend at Zand.

          Shanghai, SPA, Interlagos, Silverstone and others hold much better racing and substantially more chances for drivers to challenge the driver ahead of him, as opposed to the spectacle (parade) we watched today.
          Verstappen & RB did a great job, they showed up best prepared and got it done properly but really there wasn’t any real chances of challenging the (any) leader one on one in the racing today after the start & turn 1 even of they were equal in performance and I’m betting next year will be the same as well.

          1. @redpill

            you prefer to watch a visual spectacle over the quality of the racing/chess game of motorsport racing

            I do enjoy the visual spectacle on tracks like Zandvoort & Monaco along with other more classic circuits because I think that helps add to the excitement of the sport. But it’s wrong to say that I dislike the quality of racing/chess game of the sport.

            I enjoy good racing & want to see more quality racing without silly gimmicks like DRS & cheese tires. I want to see proper overtaking that drivers have to work for rather than the push of a button meaningless & boring low quality DRS highway passes we get with the boringly long straights on the flat modern circuits that all look/feel very similar.

            The thing with many more modern circuits is that yes you see more passing but a lot of it is quite dull to watch because of DRS or because the width of the circuit & length of the straights make the passing too easy & straightforward. And then the visual spectacle also tends to not be there so you are watching a race featuring a lot of boring passes where watching the cars is also lacking.

            Overtaking should be difficult (But possible) & drivers should have to work for it because that is not only what creates the exciting & memorable overtakes but it also highlights driver skill. I want to see drivers really have to work to overtake, I want to see drivers able to defend & drivers trying to overtake have to work different lines & try different things rather than just push a button on a straight.

            Oh & as to Formula E…. Don’t like it because it’s a bit too gimmicky with fan boost, attacks zones & such with too much bumper cars. And many of the tracks are quite dull & similar to one another. I do enjoy watching those helmet camera onboard shots though.

            1. @roger-ayles

              I agree about DRS, you’ll notice I never mentioned it and creates artificial & false racing and was a band aid attempt to fix a problem they couldn’t resolve.
              With tracks that make it very hard to pass like Monaco, Hun. and Zand., the drivers will typically just go into other types of racing modes like saving their tires/tire deg. and fuel consumption modes (autopilot); they’ll hang further back and wont press to keep their clean air and not lose traction, why risk it for low percentage moves that can hurt them in the long run. They’ll fight some but not really fight and just hope something comes up and if not, then off to the next rack where they may have a better chance at playing the chess game. I hate seeing that when it happens. The track on Sunday should not be the drivers biggest competitor.

              This why I really enjoy Kart racing and why you see so many F1 drivers quietly pursue it in their off season. It’s a much purer form of motorsport racing. F1 cars on a low percentage conversions track cant compare to it.

              I would much rather see the best F1 drivers racing in Superkarts or F3 cars at Zandvoort and Monaco.

      2. Why would you study something that is not going to happen? There is no room.
        And to be fair, turn 4 at Austria is quite narrow, but plenty of overtaking there. It’s not the width that matters most, but the lay-out.

        1. I was half-joking, there really is no room but also boring to watch after a while like Monaco.

    5. Permanently changes the track, then decides if it’ll work. Typical

    6. I thought DRS was done for, starting next season?

      1. @spafrancorchamps Not initially, but eventually will get axed in the long-term.

    7. So much for finally been rid of the Dumb Racing System.

      It shouldn’t be on the 2022 cars and the fact it is just tells me they aren’t serious about getting rid of the silly gimmick.

      They will never get rid of it because so many newer fans have never seen a race without it & therefore think that 100 boringly easy, unexciting & devoid of any talent push of a button highway passes is what racing is & they will therefore never accept racing without it.

      Many newer fans just want quantity over quality & that is why all you hear about in terms of overtaking now is stats, Nobody ever really digs into how exciting (Or not) the pass was & that is therefore training fans to look only at the stats. A race with 50 highway passes is to many better than a race with 15 hard fought for genuine overtakes because quantity over quality & that is what is killing the racing, the excitement & the sport!

      Quality should come before & be viewed as more important than quantity because it’s the quality that creates the excitement & memorable moments.

    8. The fact they are talking about DRS zones for next year is….. Disappointing.

    9. Coventry Climax
      6th September 2021, 0:01

      I had decided to stop watching F1, after some 40+ years.
      But I’ve come to realise it’s all a matter of perspective, and I’m super excited again watching it.
      It’s by far the best comedy show I’ve seen, ever.

    10. I don’t think there’s any need for this. The balance was about right yesterday – passing was difficult but not impossible. It feels like this is being pushed just for the “spectacle” of cars running through the last corner with DRS open. But it will tip the balance too far in favour of motorway passes.

    11. Once again, no difference in overtaking. Additionally, I still think trying would be unnecessarily risky, not to mention an unnecessary fuss since people don’t complain about not using DRS through corners anywhere else.

    12. No DRS for Zandvoort if it stays.

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