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

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123 comments on Even longer DRS zone for Spanish Grand Prix

  1. NickTheGeek said on 11th May 2011, 12:55

    an obvious fix would be to reduce the slot size, from 500mm down to say… 300mm to reduce the impact opening the wing up has. Thats what I would do, should be an easy fix for the teams I would of thought?

  2. infy (@infy) said on 11th May 2011, 12:58

    Even with that large zone, overtaking here will be very hard.

  3. King Six said on 11th May 2011, 13:05

    The amount of testing that goes on here, there’s enough data to know exactly what’s needed. This might be the most balanced DRS so far.

    Also it’s traditionally one of the worst races of the season, so that might have also been factored in.

  4. HounslowBusGarage said on 11th May 2011, 13:08

    Does anyone know where the ‘One Second Measurement Point’ is going to be? Before, during or after the final chicane?

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th May 2011, 13:12

      I would hazard a guess that it will be on the way in, as the yo-yo effect is at its greatest (in terms of closeness) going into a slow zone.

      • Snow Donkey said on 11th May 2011, 20:18

        The yo-yo effect does not affect time split. A car with a better braking performance could gain time under braking or one with better traction on exit, but all things being equal they are closer because of slower speeds, thus less distance covered over 1 second.

  5. Don M. said on 11th May 2011, 13:21

    The processions of the past were a bad situation but with DRS we could end up with something that is different but no improvement, ie. processions with orchestrated overtaking.

    People are defending DRS because, quite rightly, they don’t want to go back to the previous situation.

    Those of us that criticise DRS don’t want to go back to that either, we just want a better solution than DRS.

    Defend DRS all you want but realise that if enough people support it we will be stuck with it for good.

    I think we should keep DRS for now, but each driver should be allowed to activate it, up to 20 times, at any point on the circuit. But, we should also make changes for the future, to the aero rules for example, that will allow DRS to be ditched as soon as possible.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th May 2011, 15:58

      DRS has enabled something F1 was sorely lacking for many seasons: the ability to gain places by making an extra stop.

      Before, you would cruise up to the back and get stuck. Now, you breeze past.

      The Pirellis have had just as big an influence because their fast-degrading nature means the difference in tyre performance will be bigger than between the Bridgestones in the past.

      The tyres have been the bigger influence on the new F1 as they have allowed multiple stops to be a viable option, as well create large differences between the tyres depending on age. But for drivers on the same strategy, as we saw with Massa and Button in Australia and Massa and Rosberg in Turkey, the DRS is still sorely needed. Unfortunately adding a “only if having made the same amount of tyre stops” would be a ridiculous complication to the rule, so it’s up to the viewers to recognise the context of an overtake. Sadly the commentators saying “that’s too easy” when tyre wear was key but not saying “he had to work for that” when it wasn’t doesn’t help much.

      (Yes, there were some examples, like Webber on Rosberg when they were on the same strategy and it was too easy, but again, context – the Red Bull was simply superior. We can’t legislate for every eventuality and have to look at things on balance, instead of using one situation as proof the whole thing is flawed).

      • Don M. said on 11th May 2011, 22:24

        @ Icthyes

        Quote: “Before, you would cruise up to the back and get stuck. Now, you breeze past”

        Surely we can do better than that.

        Quote: “look at things on balance, instead of using one situation as proof the whole thing is flawed”

        DRS, in its current implementation, on balance and in all situations, is not only flawed but totally misconceived.

  6. paolo (@paolo) said on 11th May 2011, 13:47

    Would there be any merit in the FIA running a couple of independent cars on the Thursday to gauge the DRS effect and help them set the length and positioning?

  7. leroy (@leroy) said on 11th May 2011, 13:56

    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!

  8. BarnstableD (@barnstabled) said on 11th May 2011, 16:53

    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).

  9. Mattfd said on 11th May 2011, 17:39

    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!!!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th May 2011, 17:42

      I disagree for the reasons explained in the articles I just posted in response to the previous comment.

      • Mattfd said on 11th May 2011, 18:34

        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!

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th May 2011, 19:34

          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.

          • Don M. said on 11th May 2011, 22:38

            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.

          • Mattfd said on 12th May 2011, 18:31

            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.

        • tjs said on 11th May 2011, 20:04

          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.

          • 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.

          • Mattfd said on 12th May 2011, 18:34

            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.

    • dlaird said on 12th May 2011, 0:36

      Agreed 8) Barcelona is normally a uneventful race. With the pirelli tires and DRS it should be interesting.

    • BBT said on 12th May 2011, 8:35

      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.

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th May 2011, 18:14

    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…

  11. Shery said on 12th May 2011, 0:30

    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 …..

  12. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 12th May 2011, 2:46

    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?

  13. InfiniFC (@) said on 12th May 2011, 5:51

    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.

  14. Njack said on 12th May 2011, 8:15

    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.

    • InfiniFC (@) said on 12th May 2011, 10:12

      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.

  15. Scuba_Maldives said on 12th May 2011, 8:39

    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.



    • Torg said on 12th May 2011, 10:15

      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.

    • Don M. said on 12th May 2011, 11:00

      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.

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