Single DRS zone at Silverstone

2011 British Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil, Silverstone, 2010

Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil, Silverstone, 2010

F1 will revert to using a single DRS zone at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, having used two in the last two races.

The zone will cover the whole of the Wellington Straight, the new stretch used for the first time last year which leads into Brooklands (turn six).

The activation point will give drivers the option of using DRS through the flat-out kink leading onto the straight.

The detection point will be shortly before the zone begins, on the entry to Village (turn three).

Silverstone DRS zone

Silverstone DRS zone

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56 comments on Single DRS zone at Silverstone

  1. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 6th July 2011, 21:49

    A strange choice in my opinion. Given that we saw a lot of overtaking there last year without DRS, it seems that silverstone was begging for it on the hangar straight.

    • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 6th July 2011, 21:54

      The problem with Hangar straight is that there are only fast corners before it. Of course, with Pirellis, it might be easier to follow cars at Copse and Maggotts/Becketts/Chapel.

      How long is the DRS zone now? 800m?

      • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 6th July 2011, 22:41

        I see what you’re saying – my only comment is that maggots/becketts will spread the cars out naturally so having the DRS there would close them back up again. As wellington is already good for overtaking, it would have kept things close without necessarily making the racing artificial – because there would be fewer DRS passes!

        • George (@george) said on 7th July 2011, 0:29

          When I first read the article first I thought it was a shame (because both straights would benefit from the DRS I think, there isn’t much overtaking at Silverstone), then I was happy that it was on Wellington because it is the better overtaking zone.

          However, you do make a good point, the Maggotts/Becketts complex is what spreads the cars out and giving them the opportunity to catch towards Stowe would not only present and interesting passing opportunity there, but the braking zone into Vale is one of the best overtaking places on the track.

          I’m slightly worried about the reprofiled Club and Abbey spreading the cars out too much, although it may make the DRS less overkill if they have a tenth or two more to catch up on the straight.

          Finally I’ve got to say that I didn’t notice the pit lane branched off before Vale, that’s very cleverly done as it should prevent the problem we get in Canada where one car barrels into the braking zone while heading into the pits.

          Oh and if anyone is sitting on the pit straight, make sure you sit high up otherwise you cant see in very well (the pit lane is in quite a dip below track level).

          • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 7th July 2011, 7:43

            I dunno, have seen 2 races sitting at the new complex, ithinj there’s been plenty of overtaking into Village corner. Granted these weren’t F1 races, but still.

          • jake said on 7th July 2011, 14:50

            re the pit lane…whats the betting we will see following another car closely peel into the pits on the last lap. They will probably reach the finish line first!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th July 2011, 21:58

      The good thing is, we might see some exiting use through that kink.

      And the rain might make any DRS use impossible anyhow. At least they did not put in a double DRS zone.

      • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 6th July 2011, 22:42

        Agree with the last comment. Double DRS only works, in my opinion, with separate activation zones.

        And even then, this makes certain areas of the race track designated as ‘areas where you can pass’.

        • Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th July 2011, 2:35

          Agree with the last comment. Double DRS only works, in my opinion, with separate activation zones.

          The FIA has said they’re investigating it. The problem is that when you have two DRS zones, you need two sets of timing beacons at the detection and activation points, and a system that can register the change of position fast enough to send the appropriate signals to each car. This is an issue because there are only a handful of circuits where there are two straights of ideal length for the DRS that are set apart enough that the change can be registered. Most of the time, the straights – like in Montreal – are so close together that the system cannot send a message to both cars in the time it takes them to exit the first zone and enter the second.

          • matt90 said on 7th July 2011, 12:39

            But it doesn’t need to register a ‘change of position.’ It only needs to know if a car is within a second of another, which is what it does already (although it would be better if it was based on position so the leaders couldn’t ridiculously use it when passing backmarkers). Hence I don’t see the difficulty (in one of the most technical industries in the world) of simply adding a completely seperate DRS activation and activation zone.

  2. Enigma (@enigma) said on 6th July 2011, 21:51

    I like the pit entrance, not very typical.

    Regarding DRS, the detection zone should be a bit further. There’s an overtaking opportunity between detection and activation zone, which can’t be good.

    We also saw quite some overtaking last year, so I don’t think DRS is needed, certainly not in this lenght!

    • Bleu said on 6th July 2011, 22:01

      I agree. I was expecting detection point between Village and The Loop (don’t want to talk about corner numbers at Silverstone)

      • Daniel said on 7th July 2011, 7:37

        Pit entrance is a great idea. This shows that the british indeed know racing very very well.

        • Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th July 2011, 10:05

          This shows that the british indeed know racing very very well.

          No, it doesn’t. It just shows that someone at Populous had a bright idea for the pit lane. In fact, it’s largely gone untested, so we have no idea as to what kind of racing – if any – it will produce.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th July 2011, 16:19

            It looks like this will be the Grand Prix where the drivers lose the least amount of time when making a pit stop.

            I wonder if there’s ever been a pit lane where it has been quicker to give yourself a drive through every lap! :P

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 6th July 2011, 21:53

    A good choice for once! Brooklands is quite hard to overtake into because it’s a medium-speed corner, so this should add to any overtaking we can expect to see at Stowe or Club. The only thing is that the preceding corners might space the cars out too much, but I think the Wellington Straight should be long enough to counter that.

  4. Huron (@huron) said on 6th July 2011, 21:53

    Who was the genius that put a tight turn in the new pit lane?

    • John H said on 6th July 2011, 23:05

      Someone at Populous no doubt. What’s wrong with it? I don’t get it.

      • Huron (@huron) said on 6th July 2011, 23:12

        Pit lanes should be straight. Monza being the ideal.

        This wacky pit lane nonsense is getting absurd.

        • John H said on 6th July 2011, 23:30

          Indeed, there does seem to be no reason why they can’t head into the pits at the start of the straight. It doesn’t bother me that much in this instance however because its cutting two slow corners anyway. I get your point though.

          • Daniel said on 7th July 2011, 7:39

            The pit entrance will make stops faster and this will allow strategies with more stops. I think it`s a great idea

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th July 2011, 9:01

          But this way the pitlane entrance will be faster than the race track (with the double slow corners).

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th July 2011, 2:28

      Who was the genius that put a tight turn in the new pit lane?

      Um, a lot of pit lanes have tight(er) corners. It’s to slow the drivers down in time. It’s not really a disadvantage here, because any driver who pits will actually be able to keep accelerating down the pit entry for about two hundred metres – the speed limiter is actually after the corner -while cars that stay out on the circuit are forced to slow for Vale and Club Corner. This was a deliberate move by Populous to try and minimise the amount of time spent in the pits relative to the time out on the circuit through the same sequence of corners. In fact, I believe several people (including Christian Horner) have said that the drivers will have to treat the corner in the pit entry as they would a corner on the circuit proper if they want to get the maximum advantage from it.

    • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 7th July 2011, 7:50

      I’m sorry, but there’s nothing wrong with the pitlane. The tight turn at the entrance is fine. The pitlane misses out a tight chicane and the tricky final corner anyway, and so the pit stops will be even more tactical because less time is lost inthe pitlane compared to completing the lap as normal. Pitlanes have been all sorts of shapes and sizes over the years. In the late 80′s and early 90′s they started adding chicanes to the entrances to slow the cars, and there are plenty of pitlanes that are still twisty snakey pieces of track. Interlagos’s is one example, and used to be even twistier when it had a chicane at the entrance too.

  5. DryYoshi said on 6th July 2011, 21:54

    Surprised they didn’t use Hangar Straight, well thats what I would have wanted anyway

  6. Fixy (@fixy) said on 6th July 2011, 22:03

    Is turn 5 taken flat-out? Red Bull will surely be able to do that with the DRS open.
    But can someone close the DRS then re-open it within the zone?

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 6th July 2011, 22:09

      Easily flat-out, since there’s a hairpin before it and they go through it with relatively low speed. The FIA wouldn’t put an activation point right before a corner that’s not easily flat out.

    • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 6th July 2011, 22:34

      I still wonder if some of the tail end teams on high fuel early on will struggle opening it before the corner.
      I’m not sure if they can shut it and then open it though

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th July 2011, 4:55

      Is turn 5 taken flat-out? Red Bull will surely be able to do that with the DRS open.

      Yes, Aintree is taken flat out. All of the teams do it. The Loop – the previous corner – is very low-speed, so the drivers are still accelerating when they reach Aintree.

      But can someone close the DRS then re-open it within the zone?

      No. There is only one way to close the DRS: brake. All of the teams used a system where the DRS trigger remains in the open position once it has been pulled, and can only be returned to the closed position when the driver brakes. The only exeption is Virgin, who use a system were the driver has to press and hold a button to keep the DRS, because the team feel this is safer. But even then, the Virgin’s wing closes when the driver lifts off.

      Besides, why would anyone want to open, close and then open the DRS again?

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th July 2011, 10:01

        Besides, why would anyone want to open, close and then open the DRS again?

        If there is a slow turn after the DRS zone started. But as you explained to me this is not the occasion.

  7. Trix (@) said on 6th July 2011, 22:42

    I just have to share what took place here a couple of minutes ago. We had some friends over tonight and one of them is still in intense conversation with my boyfriend.

    Now, this friend’s latest girlfriend isn’t too bright. Or let’s just say logics aren’t her forte.
    She took me by surprise while I was having a proper look at the Silverstone map of this article and came up from behind me to look at the screen, point and ask what I was looking at. I shushed her and explained it was a racing track. Then she went on to ask what the little colours stood for, etc. Of course, she noticed that “off line grey road”. I replied: “Pit lane.” I explained what a pit lane was, she vaguely remembered seeing “those fast cars” stop and get “stuff changed” (vaguely translated from French but you get the idea).
    Then she went on to ask how they turned to get into the pit lane. I blinked, looked at the screen and wondered what she was on about.
    She pursued: “It’s unfair. They just begun the lap, then they go to have stuff changed and they have to go back at the end of the lap and begin the lap all over again. Because that lap they didn’t really do doesn’t count, right?”

    I was lost, generally lost, at first. Then I understood where Miss Congeniality was heading to with her supreme explanations of these technical and fairgame issues.
    Uh-uh, she was pretty certain you had to take the pit lane backwards because, after all, as she carried on to explain, there was an arrow next to the car at the start meaning you had to follow that arrow to go pit.

    Huh? Why, yes, of course, what was I thinking?… *facepalm*
    She must have some magic tricks up her bag when the night falls because she’s clearly not the brightest bulb in the box.

    • Trix (@) said on 6th July 2011, 22:44

      I just have to share what took place here a couple of minutes ago. We had some friends over tonight and one of them is still in intense conversation with my boyfriend.

      Now, this friend’s latest girlfriend isn’t too mentally acute. Or let’s just say logics aren’t her forte.
      She took me by surprise while I was having a proper look at the Silverstone map of this article and came up from behind me to look at the screen, point and ask what I was looking at. I shushed her and explained it was a racing track. Then she went on to ask what the little colours stood for, etc. Of course, she noticed that “off line grey road”. I replied: “Pit lane.” I explained what a pit lane was, she vaguely remembered seeing “those fast cars” stop and get “stuff changed” (vaguely translated from French but you get the idea).
      Then she went on to ask how they turned to get into the pit lane. I blinked, looked at the screen and wondered what she was on about.
      She pursued: “It’s unfair. They just begun the lap, then they go to have stuff changed and they have to go back at the end of the lap and begin the lap all over again. Because that lap they didn’t really do doesn’t count, right?”

      I was lost, generally lost, at first. Then I understood where Miss Congeniality was heading to with her supreme explanations of these technical and fairgame issues.
      Uh-uh, she was pretty certain you had to take the pit lane backwards because, after all, as she carried on to explain, there was an arrow next to the car at the start meaning you had to follow that arrow to go pit.

      Huh? Why, yes, of course, what was I thinking?… *facepalm*
      She must have some magic tricks up her bag when the night falls because she’s clearly not the brightest bulb in the box.

  8. Trix (@) said on 6th July 2011, 22:44

    Woops, I double-posted trying to edit à la forum way.

    My excuses. Not too bright myself either tonight!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th July 2011, 9:02

      At least the poor thing showed an interest and did not just look away in horror at the tought of motorsport :-D

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th July 2011, 10:11

        did not just look away in horror at the tought of motorsport

        I’m not sure she knew it was motorsport ;)

        • Trix (@) said on 7th July 2011, 10:40

          She thought all kinds of “things” raced on tracks. A same track could have all sorts of cars, motorcycles and… hold it… prepare yourself for it… horses!

          Yes, horses.

          She’s funny as bombay duck in a sense, but I feel bad about inviting her just because of these innocent giggles she could provide. It would be mean-ish, wouldn’t it? So tempting though.

          Imagine if there was a double DRS zone, I cannot come up with how she’d interpret simple explanations about that.

  9. Electrolite said on 6th July 2011, 22:55

    Ooh, I like, I like. Having a corner like Brooklands at the end of a DRS zone rather than a hairpin or chicane is a nice change, plus the option of going flat with DRS through the preceding corner.

    I love the new Silverstone and where they’ve put the pit straight. It makes the layout suddenly even more unusual and unique than it already is in my opinion. My dad actually put the Air Asia sponsor on the pit straight for the Moto GP :) He obviously saw the new wing and he said it looked amazing.

  10. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th July 2011, 22:59

    I have to admit, that’s a good choice.

    Plus there’s a little corner after the activation point, so it’s going to be interesting!

    • John H said on 6th July 2011, 23:06

      But we ha overtaking there last year anyway, and that was without Pirellis.

      Can’t we have DRS in the pitlane instead?

  11. Bill said on 6th July 2011, 23:07

    Hmmm.. Looking at that pitlane I wonder if it could be possible to set a fastest lap whilst pitting ala Ayrton Senna Donington 1993?

  12. Leftie (@leftie) said on 7th July 2011, 0:33

    Silverstone needed two detection points and two zones.
    I’m a bit dissapointed about the fact that they are still unable to develop the technology.

  13. Herman said on 7th July 2011, 0:38

    So does this mean they are scrapping double DRS zones or is this just the one off for Silverstone?

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 7th July 2011, 2:59

    I think that Hangar straight would have been a better option,very strange to see that.Let see what happens.Good thing the FIA only had one DRS as two don’t look or sound good.

  15. Lee said on 7th July 2011, 8:39

    at least the prawn sandwich brigade in the brdc stands will get to see some overtaking

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