Even longer DRS zone for Spanish Grand Prix

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Nico H???lkenberg, Force India, Barcelona, 2011

The Spanish Grand Prix will have one of the longest zones for the Drag Reduction System seen so far.

The circuit’s official Twitter account said the zone where drivers can use DRS during the race will be 830m long. It is expected to be situated on the start/finish straight.

The FIA reduced the length of the DRS zone at the Chinese Grand Prix from 902m to 752m after concerns were raised that it would make overtaking too easy.

Concerns were also raised at the frequency of overtaking in the DRS zone during the Turkish Grand Prix, and the ease with which drivers could overtaking using their adjustable rear wings.

The Circuit de Catalunya has a reputation for being one of the most difficult F1 circuits to overtake on.

Update: The FIA have produced an image showing where DRS can be used during the race.

Drivers will be able to activate it as they cross the start/finish line, providing they are within one second of another car at the detection point between turns 15 and 16:

DRS zone for the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix
DRS zone for the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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Image ?? Force India F1 Team

123 comments on “Even longer DRS zone for Spanish Grand Prix”

  1. In years past we’ve always complained that cars can get within a certain distance of another car, but cannot overtake and that something needs to be done about this. In my view, with the current aerodynamics, DRS is a good solution for the time being.

    Maybe the activation interval should be less than a second, which would give the following car less of an advantage.

    I definitely agree that it’s artificial and wish F1 didn’t need it, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the races this year!

  2. Doesn’t anyone else think that producing tyres that degrade and are not as high quality as they could be just as gimmicky as the DRS? I find everyone saying that DRS is too gimmicky and not needed with the new tyres, but I don’t see too much difference between them.

    I don’t have a problem with either really as the racing has been better this year in terms of number of battles at least. My stance on DRS is that as long as it just negates the disadvantage of following another car’s dirty air – produced by over-dependance within the sport on aeros – then it is a positive thing. In Turkey however, this was not the case.

    Unless F1 takes a radical approach on limiting aeros, then I can’t see a better solution to the problem. And even if this happened, you would be limiting performance in the aid of overtaking which, in my opinion, is just as gimmicky as the current solutions (seeing as F1 is supposed to be the pinnicle of car development).

  3. So many people on here have a problem with DRS and how its is perceived as “artificial” but you could say that about anything in F1…Thw tyres being made to not last so long…the regulations restricting in some area and not others… for me that argument doesn’t stand up.

    DRS, KERS and tyres have all made overtaking and races alot of fun to watch! China was just a classic race, DRS helps balance out the wake and no chance of overtaking.

    Spain is a BOREFEST pretty much every year so make DRS as long as possible so that we can see some exciting racing!!!

      1. Keith I respect your site and your professional journalism. However I disagree, I think your a purist when it comes to F1 which I love aswell. Ever since I was 4 I have been watching pretty much every race watching Nigel Mansel win…Hill finally beat Schumacher and Hamiltons last corner championship.

        But Chine was the best race I have ever witnessed since Ive been alive. Alot of people here hate DRS but what about the turbo boost button they used to have in the 80’s? it all gets forgotten. DRS works well with the other combination and helps simply remove the turbulence effect.

        You might not like it Kieth but the figures for viewing dont lie…and the races don’t lie…Been the most exciting racing in such a long time!

        1. A lot of people here hate DRS but what about the turbo boost button they used to have in the 80′s? it all gets forgotten.

          No it doesn’t.

          This comparison between DRS and turbos – which a lot of people seem to be making – doesn’t hold water. Turbo boosts were never used in the way DRS is at the moment, in that an attacking driver is allowed to use them but a defending driver isn’t.

          I’m not jumping to the conclusion that DRS is the only cause of increased viewing figures (or, indeed, that the increase will be sustained beyond the short term).

          However I do think that F1 should be able to produce exciting races without resorting gimmicks like DRS.

          We’ve seen excellent racing we’ve outside of the DRS zone thanks to the new tyres and the return of KERS. And two excellent GP2 races also on Pirelli tyres in Istanbul.

          This is all proof that exciting racing, free of unfair gimmicks like DRS, is possible.

          1. The tyres have been more responsible for the good racing this year than DRS. Turkey could have been one of the most epic races ever if those DRS overtakes had been a fair fight.

          2. who says its unfair?! its the same for everyone. The attacker has the defence of turbulence coming from the rear of his car DRS helps to balance that out.

            You dont like it “gimmick” but alot of other people do especially new people to the sport. again figures dont lie! I hope DRS is here to stay.

        2. seriously? the best race ever?? can you explain why?

          the best race i ever saw was 2005 san marino, alonso’s defensive driving against schumacher was pure genius and, for me, much more entertaining than “some race” with 63 passing moves.

          1. Here’s the thing: how each of us defines “the perfect race” will always be different. It will vary from person to person depending on what they’re looking for. Some want to be entertained with lots of overtaking, others want to see a pure competition of offense and defense. F1 will never please all the fans all the time.

          2. tjs i the interpretation of best race ever will go from person to person depending on what you like to see. For me it had everything and kept me on the edge of my seat! how many races do you get where the leader gets overtaken in the final few laps? not many it was just good from start to finish, but of course the best race you will have to decide for yourself. one thing is for certain China race was brilliant no doubt.

    1. I think a lot of people are moving away from the “artificial” argue (which I don’t think I’ve personally ever made BTW) and are now saying overtaking in the DRS zone is too easy with little skill involved, it certain was Turkey. OZ was about right.

  4. Just thinking about all this DRS lark, would it not be acceptable for the defending driver to make one defensive move in the zone? While they certainly couldn’t react in a sensible manner for such a fast paced chasing car coming up behind them this may be negated by the fact you can almost guarantee an over-take move in the zone and prepare accordingly. I’m thinking specifically Istanbul Park here and potentially Circuit de Catalunya?

    I guess alot of this boils down to whether or not you have tried to defend your position to the attacking driver already thus being wary of weaving.
    I appreciate this could be seen as bad spirting practise but just a thought…

  5. i feel kers is better because it doesnt allow to pass the non-kers car straight away…one more thing…a driver who is getting past can defend by using kers..kers can also be used anywhere on the circuit which makes racing exciting.

    Iam not happy with the tyres either.Pirelli looks good on the caps and the golden and silver lining doesnt look bad either but im not happy with the tyre performances at all.ill be happy to see durable bridgestones back.Add refuelling and keep Kers…dont publish the fuel before the race and bring in Mid-season testing..

    Bring Back = Re-fuelling , Dont publish amount of fuel, Mid-Season Testing Remove= DRS, Pirelli Keep=kers …..

  6. So far the FIA has got the Chinese GP DRS zone length perfect.I think the one in Turkey was too long.This will again produce some artificial racing.

    Can anyone update on the DRS zone length so far in the first 4 round of the F1 season?

  7. I’ve spent the whole morning watching races from 1991, of which I have quite fond memories. I have to say that there are a lot of terrible aspects to these seasons, not least the usual outcome being only four or so cars finishing on the lead lap, such is the performance disparity. It has however inspired me to think about what I’d like for the 2013 regs, given that I am an vociferous opponent of DRS. I like the other regulation changes made for this year, but I think DRS is a step over the line.
    It is stating the obvious to say that there have been massive technical changes in the last 20 years, but despite that, last year’s fastest lap was 2 seconds slower than Patrese’s 1991 fastest. Admittedly, active suspension and computer aids make a large part of that difference, but what strikes most when watching those videos is how close the cars are able to follow (something remarked upon regularly).
    Consequently I would propose for 2013 a return to 2000mm wide track, greater restriction on wings i.e. no front wing cascades, and an increse in the height of the diffuser (still mandating flat floors between the axle lines).
    I like the new regs, and I think that the best way to make overtaking easier is further minor tweaks to the Aero/Mechanical grip balance without adjusting total grip level. Clearly the cars are not too fast, since the lap times are no faster today. Of course the qualifying lap in Spain is going to be mental because of the unrestricted DRS, but arguably the changes I’ve proposed would increase safety by reducing the top speeds in Quali.
    Finally, if anyone saw Craig Scarborough’s tweet of the Renault steering wheel, perhaps they’d also be inclined to vote for a return to mechanical gear linkages too…
    Perhaps this is a tad too unrelated to this article, but think of it as my anti-DRS manifesto.

  8. Comparing last year’s fastest lap time with 1991 is pointless as the chicane at the end of the lap wasn’t there.

    Before the chicane was added in 2007, the 2006 fastest lap time was over 6 seconds faster than 1991. In 2005 it was 7 seconds faster.

    1. Well played. I had COMPLETELY forgotten that. I was trying to use the example of a track that was unchanged since ’91, you can’t use most of them because they either aren’t on the calendar anymore, or have been altered – Montreal, Monaco, Spa, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Budapest, etc.
      I’ll try that comparison again for Interlagos (although I feel that’s slightly revised too – can’t be bothered to check, sorry), 1’20.436 (1991) vs. 1:13.851 (2010). Ouch.
      Still, I feel like the basic one-sidedness of the DRS is an anomaly in F1. Would like to see other ways around the problem introduced.
      Deregulating floor development somewhat (a long way short of allowing sliding skirts) is the answer in my view.
      I have to say that I think the regs this year wouldn’t be far off perfect without it anyway, just wouldn’t mind a little more restriction on aero from the top surfaces of the car.
      Instead of DRS, one could always mandate that giant flaps pop out of the top of the sidepods on straights to induce a huge slipstream behind all the cars. That’s just stupid though.

  9. The DRS is a move forward, however the attacker has no suprise element on the attacked.

    I would like to see a system/scheme where the drivers have a set number of activations to use where and when they like. But a limited number in the race.

    When they use it and where is up to them. This will force drivers to be on their guard around the track not just in one area.



    1. Yes, fully agree. I always thought the same with KERS when it was initially brought in. ie.. 40sec’s of KERS per race to be used whenever you want.

      I wouldnt be suprised if your way of thinking is made reality if we are to see DRS being used in seasons going forward.

    2. If we have to have DRS then that is how it should be done. Totally agree. It would create some interesting strategic decisions also, because you could use it to put in fast laps, around pit-stops for example, at the risk of being vulnerable to overtakes later on.

  10. They should use FP1 to get the DRS right. If the car behind passes the car in front before the corner, then they should make it shorter so they are wheel-to-wheel by the corner.

  11. The only way to solve it is let the drivers have a limited usage allowance per lap where they can choose to use it anywhere on the track. That way say if there is two straights like at barcelona the defending will not know when the attacker is using it

  12. What about this idea lol? Teams have got two options, option 1.to have use of drs or option 2.allowed a new set of tyres for the grand prix. We would see some interesting choices. Who thinks this is a good idea? Lol

  13. They should issue the drivers with ten banana skins to throw at the cars trying to overtake then. Mario Brother’s race isn’t it? Mickey Mouse Tilke circuits, boost button (KERS), another boost button (DRS), so why not let them throw things at each other? Perhaps they could catch golden rings by the side of the track too. Formula one used to be like fine wine, you had to learn how to appreciate it and the pleasure was on the subtleties. But the typical fan nowadays seems to prefer grape juice with loads of sugar so that’s what we get…sigh…

  14. i feel that all the silly gimmicks this year have all devalued overtaking.

    In the past, Sure we had less overtaking but when we did see an overtaking move it was exciting to watch.

    I can run off a real long list of overtaking moves from the past decade & I can remember them because they were special & because they were truly exciting to watch.

    This year I’ve not seen that, passing because of DRS isn’t exciting & passing because the car your racing against has tyres offering so little grip he can’t do anything to defend also isn’t exciting to watch.

    Its like Nascar now, Passing is expected & there’s so much of it that it doesn’t mean anything when you see a pass.

    Too much passing makes passing so common-place that its no longer exciting when you see a pass happen.

  15. I think with the Pirellis we would get overtaking on the main straight without DRS if they would leave out the chicane as the performance of the tyres would allow drivers on fresher tyres to take more speed out of the final corner.

  16. Lately in F1 it is notoriously difficult to follow an F1 car once you get into the “dirty air”. You are immediately disadvantaged and even if you have better pace it is extremely hard to pass. In the last 10 years (despite the rule changes) the level of downforce went through the roof adding to the above problem.

    Think of DRS as a cheap way of countering this disadvantage that chasing cars have, by giving them an advantage. In other forms of motorsport where you can follow someone through the corners and slipstream on the straights, there is more overtaking. In Moto GP sometimes it is a disadvantage for you to be leading into the last corner if there is a long start/finish straight, because you will almost surely be passed.

    A better solution than the DRS would be to overhaul the “formula” and put more emphasis on mechanical grip rather than on aerodynamics. But this is very costly and takes time. Hopefuly the 2013 regs will address that. But in the meantime I would not be so negative about DRS as a temporary solution to a problem that F1 has had for years.

    As for the tyres. The problem is having just one tyre supplier. If there is no competitition, nobody is pushing Pirelli to improve the tyre. If we had 4 tyre suppliers we would see even more possibilities for race strategies. Tyre companies would constantly have to provide more grip AND durability at the same time (hard to do – compromise needed) We could see tyres designed especialy for qualifying etc.

    This is of course dream territory as there is a reason for stopping the tyre war and that is cost. Same goes for engine development freeze, banning testing etc. of course in a perfect world we would have all these things but in todays economic climate its impossible.

    So given that, i prefer what Pirelli have done to what Brdgestone was doing. A tyre that lasts the whole race andf a rule telling you you must use both compounds was worse that what we have now. teams made a pitstop only because there was a rule telling them to. Now the racing is more pure in my oppinion in terms of tyres. (given no tyre war)

    At the end of the day it all comes down to money.

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