Drivers can’t use DRS for full length of Shanghai’s longest straight

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2010

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2010

The FIA has confirmed drivers will not be allowed to use the Drag Reduction System along the full length of Shanghai’s straight during the race.

Drivers will be allowed to deploy their DRS 902m before the turn 14 hairpin.

The stretch between turns 13 and 14 is the longest on the calendar, measuring 1,170m.

Here is an FIA diagram showing where drivers can deploy DRS (click to enlarge):

DRS zone for Shanghai

DRS zone for Shanghai

As usual, drivers will have free use of the DRS in practice and qualifying, including the full length of the straight.

Update: The FIA have shortened the DRS zone to 752 metres ahead of the race.

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105 comments on Drivers can’t use DRS for full length of Shanghai’s longest straight

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  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2011, 9:51

    The stretch between turns 13 and 14 is the longest on the calendar, measuring 1,170m.

    I was under the impression the back straight of Abu Dhabi was the longest on the calendar at 1.2km …

  2. Jacob said on 13th April 2011, 9:56

    I thought the longest straight is now in India or Korea?

  3. Jacob said on 13th April 2011, 9:57

    Oops! My bad!

  4. OEL said on 13th April 2011, 9:59

    Good thing to do by the FIA. Otherwise overtaking would be too easy.

    • Movement (@movement) said on 13th April 2011, 10:05

      I am hoping that there is a heavy dose of sarcasm in here?!

      • Why? It was almost too easy in Malaysia in my opinion, only when the driver behind lacked KERS (Webber) or DRS (Alonso), there were fights rather than overtakings.

        • Movement (@movement) said on 13th April 2011, 10:56

          My point exactly. 900 Meters of DRS is a very long way, thats a whole kilometer on which they will have the equivalent of a 15kph boost for. If they can’t make that stick, they can’t make anything stick. It was more or less too certain in malaysia – so surely 900m is still too far, especially on a straight where overtaking is guaranteed anyway!

          • Ok, now I understand what you ment, you’re right, the problem is I don’t know how long the straight in Sepang is. If it is shorter than 900m, then 900m is probably too much. What I ment is that it’s good they won’t be able to use it for the entire straight of 1170m, that would be even worse.

          • Actually, the pit straight in Sepang is over 1km, so, I don’t think this should be too bad, even if making it a bit shorter would probably be better.

          • RIISE (@riise) said on 13th April 2011, 13:16

            Actually, the pit straight in Sepang is over 1km

            We went through this before on the site, the longest straight in Malaysia is 927m.

          • JustAnF1Fanatic (@justanf1fanatic) said on 14th April 2011, 0:14

            but in the race if they have the same top gear ratio, then it wont matter if DRS is open after the chasing car reaches top speed

          • US _Peter said on 14th April 2011, 6:28

            If the Sepang straight is 927m, then 902m is probably reasonable. Melbourne was 867m. Personally I’d like to see them try about 800m. I think that would be around the right length at most circuits to aid in overtaking, but not make it easy by any stretch.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 13th April 2011, 12:57

      But once the driver has overtaken does he get to use the DRS till the end of the zone or does he have to close it?

    • karan01 (@karan01) said on 13th April 2011, 16:34

      Because of the size of the straight, overtaking by slip streaming should be sufficient

      • Mike said on 13th April 2011, 21:43

        If you ignore the characteristics of the corner before the straight.

      • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 14th April 2011, 6:10

        then how come the renault last year was bouncing on the limiter? the time when i think vettel tried to pass button and then ended up crashing into his side pod? I thought engines had a physical limit beyond which it couldn’t rev any more?

        • graigchq (@graigchq) said on 14th April 2011, 6:37

          they do. You set 18000rpm to be 315kph or whatever you like, then it sits like that in parc ferme after Practice 3. Teams balance this with the whole circuit though… if a driver feels that hitting 18000rpm in 7th right at the end of the main straight leaves him with too much headroom in the other straights (not getting anywhere near 18000 on piut straight for example) then they’ll leave it at say 312kph, giving more power in the other straights. Most teams will play with these options in the first few runs in Practice 1 and 2 and decide for sure over friday night before setting it finalised on Saturday morning. Having one really long straight but lots of tight and twisty corners like here in Shanghai provides the option for several different approaches. A car that maxes out ast 310kph will reach that speed quicker, and may lose less time over the entire lap than a car that maxes out at 320 but only reaches that speed once per lap… go play Gran Turismo or F1 2010 and play with these settings it’s fairly obvioous once you grasp the concept of it. Engine limits are set, but not gear ratios, teams decide themselves.

  5. Movement (@movement) said on 13th April 2011, 10:01

    that is still a huge distance – nearly 1km to have in order to overtake! If you can’t get ahead with that much space then really you are doing something wrong!

    • i think this is an attempt to handicap red bull slightly. if a team with superior straight line speed starts winning, the FIA will react with shorter DRS activation zones on secondary straights… that’s my guess. they want this championship to go down to the wire, even if it takes a little manipulation.

  6. This annoys me – there will be plenty of overtaking on this straight anyway… why not use it for the entirity of, say, the straight after turn 10, or failing that, the pit straight?

    I’m a big fan of DRS – as I don’t think it makes the pass for you, they seem to have the balance just right, it just gives a boost rather than being an “overtaking button” as it has been described.

    I hope we have more races like Malaysia – really enjoyed it.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th April 2011, 10:10

      I agree with you and said something similar about Malaysia, but I don’t think that place would produce any overtaking. Like in Malaysia, I think the best alternative place would be after Turn 2.

    • jake said on 13th April 2011, 10:13

      I claimed it should be on the pit straight yesterday. For me, it would be much better to create a new overtaking oppurtunity rather than make what is one of the most common overtaking spots in F1 a lot easier.

      Other than that, would it not be better to 5/6 hundred metres or so of the straight, putting the following car firmly in the slip-stream and leaving them to make the move from there.

      Both these solutions would make the balance a bit more like Aus, which for me was better.

      • jake said on 13th April 2011, 10:17

        *better to be 5/6 hundred metres or so at the beginning of the straight…

      • Burnout said on 13th April 2011, 16:18

        Also, if DRS was enabled on the pit straight it would give the leading car a better chance of defending (if it had KERS).

  7. I don’t understand how to FIA make up some of the number they publish…

    Why 902m? Why not 900m or 1,000m? Why the stupid extra 2m?

    Rant over,
    Good Day!

    • I’m sure it’s calculated and not “made up” – but I do agree with you in sentiment. Like driving tests starting at 11.03… why? Madness… but i’m sure there’s a reason for it.

      • Chippie said on 13th April 2011, 18:10

        The first man to measure the height of Mt Everest calculated it at precisely 29,000ft, but he was scared that if he said that then everyone would assume he just made it up, so he said he had calculated it at 29,002ft. Maybe the FIA want everyone to think that they’re genuinely placing effort into working out cornering speeds, aerodynamics and acceleration in order to identify a perfect distance for the track. As opposed to them just using common sense to say ‘here’ and ‘here’.

        ps: I concur with other statements which say that this should have been on the pit-straight.

      • The 902 m will be down to where exactly the timing loops are placed (the DRS activation zone has to be on a timing loop for accuracy reasons).

        The driving test is at x:03 because putting appointments at times other than the whole hour, half-hour or quarter-hour points increases the proportion of people who turn up on time – possibly because x:03 is more memorable.

  8. Mr Juggie said on 13th April 2011, 10:05

    Why is it on the backstraight at all? Surely its long enough to get a tow and make a pass without it? Maybe the pit straight would be a better choice?

  9. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th April 2011, 10:11

    I think they’ve done the right thing about not letting them use the whole straight. It would be far too easy to breeze around otherwise.

  10. Mr Juggie said on 13th April 2011, 10:20

    Isn’t the drs activation line somewhere around where the slipstream usually starts to come into affect anyway?… Does anyone see a potential “webber at valencia” situation when drivers push the magic button?

  11. Mads said on 13th April 2011, 10:27

    I am afraid that will make it too easy to overtake. A short burst of DRS from turn 4 to 6 or 10 to 11 could maybe create some new overtaking opportunities, instead of making the established overtaking spots easier. There is plenty of overtakes down that back straight anyway. But the FIA is the experts, i think they know what they are doing. At least i think it worked fine the last two races.

  12. Untitled258 (@untitled258) said on 13th April 2011, 10:30

    Maybe the only logic behind using the back straight is that if the DRS was on the pit straight, one driver could overtake at the hairpin/turn 15, then the overtaken driver will be in the 1 second zone for DRS detection, presumably place before turn 16, and then just immediately take the place back down the pit straight into turn 1.

    I doubt that makes sense, but it works in my head.

  13. Oliver said on 13th April 2011, 10:38

    This is as exciting as the tyre supplier press conference. Racing is almost taking a secondary role to KERS, DRS, stage managed tyes and interfering Stewards.

  14. BBT (@bbt) said on 13th April 2011, 11:11

    The people above make an excellent point.
    DRS should be used in a place that makes a point on the track not normally an overtaking point into a possible overtaking point or a very difficult one a bit easier.
    Not an easy one a certainty.

  15. Mr Juggie said on 13th April 2011, 11:11

    Agreed… With any luck the drivers will be able to make some good moves at the other overtaking areas around the track (namely turn 6 & 11) that we’ll all be talking about come monday morning.

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