Formula 1 will trial using an extended main DRS zone at Zandvoort which runs through its steeply-banked final corner.
The first of those remains unchanged for 2022, but the second has provisionally been extended. The detection point has moved from entry of turn 13 to the exit of turn 12. The activation point has also been moved back and is now situated 40 metres after turn 13, at a point where it is expected F1 cars will be able to accelerate all the way from there until the first braking zone at the Tarzan hairpin on the next lap.
The 18-degree banking on Zandvoort’s final corner enables speeds to be higher. The banking was added as part of the changes made for F1’s planned return in 2020, which was delayed due to the pandemic.
The possibility of F1 using DRS through the corner being part of the considerations for introducing the banking in the first place. However F1 chose not to use it there during the 2021 race. That could change this year, as F1 will assess during Friday practice whether it is feasible for cars to run through the corner with the upper plane of the rear wing open.
If its findings are favourable, the revised configuration could be kept, or F1 may revert to the same configuration used last year. At the Australian Grand Prix in April a fourth DRS zone was introduced but then scrapped mid-weekend.
Although drivers rued the lack of overtaking opportunities at Zandvoort last year, the likes of Fernando Alonso pointed out the upgrades meant it was not the hardest venue for overtaking on the F1 calendar despite its narrowness and short straights.
F1 will also be supported at the Dutch GP this weekend by Formula 2 and Formula 3, both of which also use DRS. During the pre-event drivers’ briefings, etiquette expectations will be discussed when it comes to drivers slowing through the final corners when intending to make use of a slipstream or the DRS during qualifying.
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