Michael predicts more passes with DRS in Sepang

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Melbourne, 2011

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Melbourne, 2011

Williams technical director Sam Michael expects the Drag Reduction System will play a greater role in increasing overtaking in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Michael said: “There are three long straights at Sepang so set-up is geared towards those high speed sections as efficiency is well rewarded. We expect the moveable rear wing to have a greater influence on overtaking here, even more than it did in Australia.”

Williams failed to get either car to the finish in Melbourne and are aiming to score points with both cars in Sepang: “We have some aero upgrades for the front end of the FW33 that we will be bringing to Malaysia, while we will also have some improvements on the KERS together with solutions for the transmission issues we experienced in Melbourne.

“It will be interesting to see how the FW33 performs on this medium to high-speed circuit. Our target for the race is to finish with both cars in the points.”

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38 comments on Michael predicts more passes with DRS in Sepang

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th April 2011, 9:13

    We have some aero upgrades for the front end of the FW33

    How about some driver upgrades first?

  2. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 4th April 2011, 9:15

    I hope they do get some points. I really want to see Williams back at the front. It’s simply not right seeing them in the midfield given their heritage.

    And I’m really looking forward to seeing how the DRS works in Sepang. I think this will be our first true indication of whether it is going to work.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th April 2011, 9:32

      It’s simply not right seeing them in the midfield given their heritage.

      Sorry, but a team’s ability to develop a good car and run competitive drivers is far more important than their heritage since heritage alone won’t save them.

      • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th April 2011, 9:48

        I don’t see your point PM. damonsmedley is making an observation that he’d like to see williams back up the order – as would I – because of their heritage. He’s not assuming, nor would anyone, that heritage alone is why they will get back up to the front.

        The car looks good, the gearbox is extraordinary and the driver lineup is decent (if not a ‘classic’ one). I don’t see why williams might not be on the podium a few times this season with the field as it stands.

        • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 4th April 2011, 11:31

          Williams built most of their ‘heritage’ during the late-80s and early 90s (plus the Saudia years with the FW06 anbd FW08). At the time, Ferrari and McLaren were having lean spells, or at least a sequence of off-years.

          It’s interesting that in the 90s when Ferrari were building dogs and McLaren boats (remember the Peugeot-engined one driven by Magnussen, Brundle and later Mansell?) it was Williams that filled the gap, and now when either of those slip up it’s Red Bull that pounce.

          I’d love to see them back at the front of the grid but they need something new – both a big cash injection *and* a sudden discovery of either a marked technical step forward like the active suspension was in ’92 or the double diffuser was in ’09: and I don’t think a funny gearbox is it.

          • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th April 2011, 11:37

            you may well be right regarding the gearbox. I used the word extraordinary because I personally think its a great innovation – and it makes the rear of the car look completely different to any of the other cars. However, it may not bring much raw pace – that remains to be seen.

            Barrichello was slowly proceeding up the order though, so there is certainly potential.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 4th April 2011, 12:51

            It’s interesting that in the 90s when Ferrari were building dogs and McLaren boats (remember the Peugeot-engined one driven by Magnussen, Brundle and later Mansell?) it was Williams that filled the gap, and now when either of those slip up it’s Red Bull that pounce.

            What about 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004? McLaren and Ferrari were building great cars then! (Except for McLaren in 2004, of course)

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 4th April 2011, 12:45

        Sorry, but a team’s ability to develop a good car and run competitive drivers is far more important than their heritage since heritage alone won’t save them.

        Sorry, but you took that completely the wrong way. I was simply saying that they ought to sort out their problems, as a team with that heritage shouldn’t be battling with Toro Rossos and Force Indias. Put simply, it’s not right seeing them in the midfield given their heritage.

        Sorry, but I fail to understand what you thought I could have meant.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th April 2011, 9:35

    I think the DRS will prove very deciding for Qualli speeds and it might be significant in the race as well.

    And I hope Williams get the KERS working with the gearbox to enable Maldonado to actually show what he can do. Rubens will have calmed down and be a solid driver again after a bit of brain fade in Australia.

  4. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th April 2011, 9:52

    Do we know how long the DRS zone will be for this race?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2011, 9:57

      The FIA haven’t published official details yet.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th April 2011, 10:03

      I’m disappointed that it looks like being on the main straight, so I hope it’s before the final corner to give value to an under-cut manoeuvre.

      • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th April 2011, 11:24

        I agree – and also, it might actually lead to some last lap overtakes!

      • Mike said on 4th April 2011, 11:27

        Why can’t they make it on both the back straight and the main one? Surely that would lead to some tussles?

        • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th April 2011, 11:40

          well I think the idea is that the back straight is long enough to create passing opportunities in itself, without needing the DRS to supplement this. Therefore, the driver being overtaken will then have the advantage for the front straight with the DRS activation.

          However, this will all depend on where the DRS activation zone is. If it’s before the apex of the final corner, we may find that the car behind not only overtakes the car in front, but then also has the benefit of the DRS for the front straight despite being ahead.

          This is why I don’t entirely understand the point of using the main straight – as its going to be exceptionally difficult to govern who can use the DRS and when

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th April 2011, 10:04

    Damn it, once again I assume this is about Mercedes. When will I learn!

  6. eastyuk (@eastyuk) said on 4th April 2011, 17:21

    Longer straights, more potential to use DRS and have the ground to use take advantage of its full potential after it has been deployed through the 800 metre section

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th April 2011, 21:49

    A points finish should go without saying! Testing showed they have the pace and just had a dire weekend in Melbourne.

  8. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 5th April 2011, 2:47

    I too think that the DRS will work better in Malaysia but the question remain where will they be able to use it? Will it be on the back straight or the pit straight?& what will be the distance this time as last time in Australia it was 850 meters.

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