Whiting: Lapped drivers can use DRS to pass leader

2011 F1 rules

Lewis Hamilton, Rubens Barrichello, Jerez, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, Rubens Barrichello, Jerez, 2011

Backmarkers who are overtaken by the race leader will be allowed to use the Drag Reduction System (adjustable rear wing) to un-lap themselves, Charlie Whiting has confirmed.

Whiting told F1 Fanatic: “Any lapped car within one second of a car which is a lap in front will still have the opportunity to use the DRS in the relevant part of the track, the proximity detection system will take no account of the number of laps each car has done.

“There are two reasons for this: a) the lapped car could in fact be a faster car which had an earlier problem; and b) if a car is ??genuinely?? one lap down it is very unlikely to be able to actually overtake anyway. Because of the first reason we have to live with the second.”

Although some cars will likely be too slow to overtake others even with the DRS, it raises the potential for more ‘un-lapping’ to take place in 2011.

And lapped cars which are closer to the leader’s pace may be able to use DRS to move ahead again, creating a fresh obstacle for the leaders.

2011 F1 rules


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101 comments on Whiting: Lapped drivers can use DRS to pass leader

  1. Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th March 2011, 12:57

    Question…they have talked about getting rid of blue flags…now that they have DRS and Whiting is giving these scenarios, are we sure there are still blue flags in F1 for 2011?

  2. Cranberry said on 17th March 2011, 15:13

    It’s ridiculous to think that a lapped car is only a second behind the cars that lap them, this is merely FIA refusing to acknowledge the inadequate technology they use to measure the distance between cars.

    I think it’s up to FOTA to make up for FIA’s silly decisions in this case…and even if FOTA does not make a “gentleman’s agreement” the unlapped car will soon be lapped again after the pair exit the pre-determined passing zone where DRS activation is allowed during the GP.

    All this DRS thing is really going to do is allow the #22 Hispania to follow on the tails #1 RedBull (a faster car) for a lap or two and hopefully they can use the RedBull to help them catch the #21 Virgin (the next car to be lapped).

    Yey, or ney?

    • Melty said on 17th March 2011, 15:23

      It is very simple, they have no way of telling the system that monitors the time between cars (timing loop), what lap the each of the drivers now less than 1 second apart, are actually on. Hence the supposed ‘well thought out’ benefit being added. I agree with Cranberry, in that a canny back-marker can use this loophole to draft up behind the next car which is to be lapped by the leader. I like the new element that adds.

  3. Marco said on 17th March 2011, 16:38

    Question: will the DRS be active in the early laps of a race? I can see a karting style melee where the pack arrives on top of the leader at the breaking zone on lap 1 and with the higher closing speeds and a few egos chaos ensues! In karts it is fair game to smash your way through (‘I missed my breaking point, he was on the breaks too early, someone behind my hit me first!’) but in F1 it could be more serious… I assume that it won’t be available until the pack has been strung out and who decides when that is?

  4. Melty said on 17th March 2011, 16:42

    @Marco. As far as I am aware, DRS will not be enabled for the first 2 laps of the race. I am not too sure if that is also for 2 laps after a safety car as well though…

  5. What about DRS for the lead cars lapping the back markers???

    on Sunday Vettel come out of the pits behind a Virgin car (lap 48) and used his DRS to over take the back marker…is that not a little unfair? DRS was brought in to create more overtaking but this use of it is only giving the leader an extra boost he doesn’t need?

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