If DRS is unsafe for Monaco, then Monaco is unsafe for F1

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Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Rubens Barrichello has spoken out after the FIA did not choose to ban the use of the Drag Reduction System in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Speaking to Autosport he said: “I just think it is wrong. I would love the people at the top to sit in the car and try to do the tunnel with the DRS open.

“Do they think they can introduce overtaking through the DRS? They possibly can, but they might hurt someone. That is a voice from experience.”

It’s not the first time Barrichello has warned over the dangers of DRS.

But the logical conclusion of his latest complaint is not that DRS shouldn’t be used at Monaco. It is that Monaco is not safe enough for Grand Prix racing.

Whatever your view on the controversial DRS, it is part of the F1 technical regulations and they are the same whichever circuit the cars visit.

What’s different here is not DRS, it’s the Monte-Carlo circuit. Barrichello is actually making the case that Monaco is not safe enough for Formula 1.

There was a similar debate last year as some drivers lobbied for qualifying to be split on safety grounds. They were concerned the narrow confines of Monaco were too dangerous for 24 cars to run at once in the first part of qualifying.

But the rules stayed as they are and the session passed without incident.

The word of a driver is always compelling when it comes to matters of safety. Barrichello escaped unscathed in a huge accident at Monaco last year when he appeared to hit a drain cover which had been lifted by another car.

Anyone would sympathise with him having reservations about safety at Monte-Carlo after that.

But while exceptions are made for some circuits when it comes to things like pit lane speed limits, going so far as to run the cars in a different specification would be tantamount to an admission that Monaco is not safe enough for modern F1 cars.

The glamour of Monaco and the wealth it attracts will no doubt ensure that never happens.

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114 comments on If DRS is unsafe for Monaco, then Monaco is unsafe for F1

  1. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 17th May 2011, 2:42

    I agree with him as he is right.Monaco is different then Singapore & Valencia the other two have some space but this one don’t.I want to see a race without DRS but on tyres this was a opportunity as I think the FIA should ban DRS there,if something happens in the tunnel at racing speed things will be chaotic.

  2. MacBromb said on 17th May 2011, 3:31

    After the race we will all know ….

    ps.: i go with Barrichelo, its an unnecessary risk, the tireis will do the service for the overtakes

  3. Don M. said on 17th May 2011, 11:01

    Safety at Monaco is marginal to begin with. It doesn’t make it any safer using a device that is distracting to operate, takes away grip and increases top speeds.

    going so far as to run the cars in a different specification would be tantamount to an admission that Monaco is not safe enough for modern F1 cars.

    DRS isn’t used when it’s wet, so using that argument we wouldn’t have wet races either.

  4. fyujj said on 17th May 2011, 15:52

    It’s set to be activated here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psxRWte4iH8

  5. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 24th May 2011, 10:08

    As much as I respect/love Rubens, I think he’s being a bit silly here. If there’s no-where on the circuit safe enough to use the DRS, no-one will use the DRS. You don’t win races when you crash your car. It’s like banning the throttle pedal. No-one’s silly enough to take Loews flat. :P

    • TdM said on 24th May 2011, 11:11

      The point is mate, they don’t know if it’s possible or not until they press the button.

      Racing is a different mentality – when you are looking through that letterbox and you want to find an extra tenth you feel that the car is stable you *will* try the button and that’s when accidents happen. That’s why they are trying to get an official ban, so they aren’t tempted.

  6. taurus said on 24th May 2011, 12:55

    Its a silly place to have the DRS because the tunnel is so much of a curve. The start/finish ‘straight’ makes more sense.

    I dont think the tunnel curve is any more dangerous than any other corner in F1. I’d imagine Loews is dangerous if your throttle sticks open out of Mirabeau.

    Every corner in F1 is dangerous.

  7. Xenon2 (@xenon2) said on 24th May 2011, 13:08

    DRS is performing the same function as the f-duct: reducing drag. Drivers generally argue against a particular technology because they are unable to exploit it fully.

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