DRS zone along entire start straight at Monaco

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2010

The FIA have confirmed drivers will be allowed to use their Drag Reduction System all the way along the start/finish straight during the race at Monaco.

The detection point will be shortly after they exit the Swimming Pool complex, and drivers may activate their rear wings as they exit Anthony Noghes.

This makes for a much shorter DRS zone than was seen at earlier races, and it remains to be seen whether drivers will be able to overtake into the following corner, Sainte Devote.

Here is the DRS zone plan for this race:

DRS zone for the Monaco Grand Prix

DRS zone for the Monaco Grand Prix

Drivers can use DRS at any point on the track during practice and qualifying, apart from at the turn in the tunnel, where the FIA has banned them from using it.

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44 comments on DRS zone along entire start straight at Monaco

  1. Calum said on 25th May 2011, 10:47

    How will the chicane affect gthe detection zone? The cars will close right up going into the tight chicane cornerns, but the leading car will be able to get on the power and pull a gap before the detection zone. Concertina effect?

    However, if it works as planned it could be quite fun going into Ste Devote with rear wings open, trying to outbreak each other on fresh tarmac!

    • TBone said on 25th May 2011, 10:53

      Shouldn’t affect it – the cars will be closer together in terms of distance but as they’re going slower there will probably still be the same time gap between them in most cases

    • thatscienceguy said on 25th May 2011, 11:49

      The concertina effect is an effect of distance, not time. The time difference between the cars remains constant, only the distance changes.

  2. Torg said on 25th May 2011, 10:55

    I thought the DRS was meant to be the full straight in Catalunya too but during the race it was very apparent it was at the finish line area. Did they change it last minute??

    This DRS at Monaco makes full sense to me, anything less than the full straight would be insufficient imo and having it out the back of the circuit through the tunnel does sound dangerous to me. Good call.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th May 2011, 11:06

      Here’s what was reported here:

      Even longer DRS zone for Spanish Grand Prix

    • Mike said on 25th May 2011, 11:17

      To be honest, I think Monaco’s straight is so short that the DRS probably won’t have much effect.

      • Rob said on 25th May 2011, 11:50

        They wont be going fast enough for it to make a big difference. On top of that, the first corner only has enough space for one car at a time, meaning that the overtaker would need to be ahead by a car length in the breaking zone just to complete the pass, otherwise both cars will end up occupying the same part of the road.

        The track itself is not very down-force intensive because the cars don’t go fast enough to generate it. The cars with the best brakes and traction are the quickest here. That is why Ferrari were strong here last year even though they had a dog of a car in the previous race.

        • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 25th May 2011, 12:29

          They finished 2nd and 6th in the previous race last year(spanish grand prix) which ain’t too bad. Admittedly they were aided by Hamiltons’ retirement

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 25th May 2011, 16:51

            To be honest, I think Monaco’s straight is so short that the DRS probably won’t have much effect.

            I think qualifying is going to be more interesting than the race, as far as the DRS is concerned. But it also has the potential to cause havoc in the race, as Calum said in the first comment!

  3. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 25th May 2011, 10:56

    At not much more than a rough guess, I make the distance between Anthony Noghes and St Devote to be 520 metres. I doubt if that’s long enough for the DRS to have any effect.

    • The real question is if it’s possible to outbrake and overtake at Turn 1 considering how narrow the circuit is.

      • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 25th May 2011, 11:18

        St Devote is slightly wider now. In years gone by, there was normally a first lap clash as two lines of cars tried to negotiate a one-car corner. The corner was ‘opended out’ in 2003 to try and avoid the traditional first-corner-kerfuffle. It is still narrow, but it’s better than it was from ’76 to ’02.

        • Scribe (@scribe) said on 25th May 2011, 11:31

          520 meters might not seem like much, but the cars will be dumping drag from the most draggy wings they put on all year so the boost might be quite significant.

          Still doubt it’ll make an enourmous affect unless someones tyres are knackered.

          • Damon (@damon) said on 25th May 2011, 12:37

            the cars will be dumping drag from the most draggy wings they put on all year

            But the downforce levels at Barcelona are also one of the heighest of the season.
            And the drag in Barca at 320kph would be larger than that at 250kph they are doing at the start/finish straight in Monaco with the small increase in wings used.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 25th May 2011, 14:23

            Barcelona is about striking the balance, the best car overall wins, downforce is compromised by too much drag in Barca to an extent engineers just don’t have to deal with in Monaco.

            In Monaco there are no fast corners or long straights so the teams just wack as much wing flicks and other thingies on as they can as the drag penalty isn’t negative. Almost a bonus under breaking. Shedding the drag from the rear wing, one of the most inefficient parts of a modern F1 car due to the restrictions on it, is going to make more of a difference here then you might think.

          • Michael said on 25th May 2011, 15:33

            520 meters might not seem like much, but the cars will be dumping drag from the most draggy wings they put on all year so the boost might be quite significant.

            This is a good point I think..

            Damon makes the point that drag at 320kph would be greater than drag at 250kph with the steeper wing… This is debatable and dependant on the wing angles.

            Intuitively I think that changing the wing angle from nearly 80 degrees to 0 will create a relative reduction in drag far greater than reducing it from 30 degrees to 0 at higher speed.
            I would have been able to work out the fluid mechanics about 10 years ago… Where’s Scarbs when you need him ?? :)

  4. They should have taken the straight (and turn 3) after turn 2. Barcelona has proven that, due to KERS influence, a DRS point at the start-finish straight is just silly.

  5. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 25th May 2011, 11:12

    This is a very, very strange arrangement. The DRS Detection point is on the exit of a medium-slow-speed corner, and then there are 2 or 3 corners (is Rascasse one or two these days?) before they can activate the DRS.

    So we will see lots of instances where a driver closes up behind another in the swimming pool complex, and then either completes the pass before the straight (if lapping a slow car, or flying past a driver on old tyres) or the car that they catch dives into the pits. In both cases, the ‘catching’ car will be able to use the DRS along the length of the straight even though he’s not following anyone!

    I can’t see there being very much overtaking at Ste Devote at all even when two competing cars are line astern. The start/finish straight being curved, it will be very easy to defend and there really is only one route through the corner. I predict that the crane at Ste Devote will be very busy this weekend…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th May 2011, 11:22

      Well, if we see it lots of times, then that will be a major change for a Monaco where all but 2 off the passes last year were courtesy of Alonso passing the backmarkers after starting from the back (4 of them?)

      Sure, DRS will not be a fly by device here, but it might help to keep cars together like it did in Barcelona.

    • Torg said on 25th May 2011, 11:30

      Doesnt appear to be strange to me, seems like the obvious decision. Your thinking to much :)

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 25th May 2011, 11:34

      Well actually we saw what a pass into Rascasse looks like last year. It looks like a Lotus balancing on top of a HRT.

      Anthony Nouge is far to narrow for a pass as well so I wouldn’t expect much before the flap opens.

      THen we just have to see.

    • sam3110 (@sam3110) said on 25th May 2011, 11:41


      Do you seriously think that cars will pass between the DRS Detection and Activation? The only pass you may see here is due to a car diving into the pits! Monaco will be incredibly hard to pass on even with the DRS, it will be interesting to see if one team (I’m looking at Ferrari here, they’re desperate right now) goes gun-ho and tries to put a car close to or on pole and try to keep everyone behind them for the race

      • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 25th May 2011, 12:05

        With the extra traction differential between old and new tyres this year, I actually do think we’ll see quite a few passes at Rascasse. Brake a bit earlier, undercut the driver you’re following because you’re on the throttle earlier up the little hill and get the inside line for Anthony Noghes; if doesn’t matter if you’re slow through there because it’s really tight and then you can open the DRS and run away.

      • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 25th May 2011, 15:09

        Do you seriously think that cars will pass between the DRS Detection and Activation?

        Michael Schumacher passed Alonso there :)

  6. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th May 2011, 11:52

    The ironic things is the DRS was never going to have any place at Monaco.

    St. Devote is not an overtaking zone. The only hope of overtaking is a driver on much fresher tyres getting a better run out of Anthony Noghes and stream past them on the straight, a bit like what we saw in Turkey.

    The straight after St. Devote is the most logical place but since the drivers swerve to the right before Mirabeau, any overtaking move into it will be easily blocked.

    Into the Nouvelle Chicane seems the most effective place but since DRS has been banned in the tunnel completely and the remainder of the straight isn’t very long, all a driver would have to do is sit on the inside line and keep the position.

    All in all, it should be a good weekend for the DRS as a device that keeps cars together. But as a device to enable overtaking, it probably won’t be very effective except in extreme situations.

  7. Circuit zolder said on 25th May 2011, 12:13

    It could actually work better than in catalunya, because of the low corner speed cars can drive closer to each other without losing too much grip.

  8. Paulo said on 25th May 2011, 13:51

    DRS is attracting all the attention here but it will pale into insignificance compared to the effect the tyres will have.

    • Torg said on 25th May 2011, 14:45

      I think your dead right in all honesty. If a car on brand spanking new tyres comes up against a car on worn rubber the time differetial a lap will be massive. Perhaps it will force drivers to have to make a pass or else ruin their race.

      Seriously looking forward to how the Monaco GP pans out!

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th May 2011, 13:54

    Seems reasonable enough. I have no idea how DRS is going to pan out this weekend. What I thought was too long a zone in Barcelona proved to be pretty ineffective. I guess that’s half the fun of it though ;)

  10. I cant see it being effective as the straight isnt long enough. The irony with Monaco is as you come down the hill and turn right under the tunnel, if they extended the track off to the left there is a long straight both ways (I think its l’avenue de grace kelly or something like that) that would make a great addition to the track (i.e two straights, the latter going back into the tunnel).

    • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 25th May 2011, 17:08

      You know, that works REALLY well. Takes the track length up to 2.667 miles, which is nice too.


    • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 25th May 2011, 19:29

      I have to disagree with you, Andy C.
      If they were to increase the circuit by doing up and back the Avenue (700 m approx each way) it would mean that cars were approaching the entrance to the tunnel at something like 180 mph, which becomes inherently dangerous.
      In addition to that, the pressure wave caused by one or two cars at that speed in close proximity could cause eardrum damage to any marshalls and other personnel in the tunnel.
      The only solution is to pepper the circuit extension with chicanes, which sort of defeats the object.

  11. antonyob said on 25th May 2011, 15:25

    i never bother with monaco bar the start. completely tedious. but this year i have a sneaking suspicion it will be better this year. i think the drs is a red herring but the tyre differentials will be massive

  12. cswilly (@cswilly) said on 25th May 2011, 19:46

    Monaco has a straight? Really?

  13. Gridlock said on 26th May 2011, 1:23

    I think KERS reliability will be key here, if you’re in a car with French electrics out of Rascasse and you’ve got a mirror full of Jenson as the DRS line approaches…

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 26th May 2011, 3:02

    Can anyone tell me the length of the DRS zone?

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