Mark Webber, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

FIA confirms Eau Rouge DRS ban at Spa

2011 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010
Drivers can't activate DRS until they've passed through Eau Rouge

The FIA has confirmed drivers will not be allowed to use the Drag Reductions System through Eau Rouge during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

The teams were told on Monday the use of DRS through the corner will not be allowed at any time on safety grounds.

The DRS zone for the race will be positioned beyond the exit of Eau Rouge.

The FIA previously banned the use of DRS through the tunnel at Monaco.

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127 comments on “FIA confirms Eau Rouge DRS ban at Spa”

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  1. Not sure this justifies getting rid of the DRS altogether, as some have said. If the FIA had just stuck to it being an anti aero wake device we wouldn’t be having these discussions. I get the feeling they introduced DRS for qualifying to try and further justify its existence in the face of criticisms that it’s a gimmick. They’ve just created problems for themselves to be honest.

    1. I always understood that allowing DRS in qualifying is so teams will be motivated to do their gearing in a way to actally give a speed benefit from using it. Otherwise they might well end up having a completely useless DRS for the race, nullifying what was the target of DRS in the first place.

      In practice its allowed to test where to use it and to be able to decide on the gear ratios.

  2. I guess this is not bad after all… the drivers would still take Eau rouge flat out… but have the DRS enabled for the Kimmel.

  3. Seems fair enough to me.

    Word of advice…remember there is a lump of very fragile flesh in that car before you jump to wild assertions.

  4. I would love to know what buffon decided on the DRS detection point for this weekend. Blanchimonte to the bustop is where it should be-its a no brainer surely?…F1 has become very frustrating this year in more ways than one.

  5. I would like to see DRS through Eau Rouge which should have made the corner spectacular.

  6. How will this thing be policed? Where is the point where you must shut off your DRS, and where is the point you can reactivate it? I assume that once they’re no longer traction limited on the exit of La Source they’ll want to activate it; and similarly on the exit of Raidillon

  7. Accidental Mick
    23rd August 2011, 8:26

    This aplies equally to Rubens (who I like) and to Charlie Whiting.
    It is a fact of life that you get more cautious as you get older. I am pushing 70 but even at 50 I wouldn’t have done some of the things I did at twenty.
    Perhaps Rubens and Charlie should consider handing their respective roles on to younger hands?

  8. I would have thought the DRS zone would go on Blanchimont on the approach to the Bus Stop.

  9. why are they putting the DRS activation zone after Eau Rouge? That long straight was always an overtaking spot. one of the few places we saw overtaking even before Pirelli, DRS and KERS. So why oh why put the DRS zone there? Why not put it on another place on the track that would otherwise not see that much overtaking?

    sometimes I just dont get the FIA.

  10. I havent read every comment, so i dont know if this has already been said ….

    people who say that the DRS is just like the trottle brakes etc are forgetting a key difference, the trottle is effectivly analouge, as in is has a scale of pressure to torque, but the drs doesnt. its “press button lose X amount of drag at the back end.” My point being that its hard to have a little test, you dont know how close to being able to use it you are, whereas the trottle will give feedback, and you know how far you can currently press it.

    i would love to watch the faster cars take the plunge and go through Eau Rouge with the DRS open, i think mclaren, red bull and ferrari (maybe) could do it, but eventually someone lower down is just going to have a go and lose it in the wall.

    (I apologise for the lack of CAPS of “i” and at the start of sentences etc)

  11. Wow, this sucks.

    Eau Rouge is an absolute joke, honestly, in a modern F1 car on low fuel. You can do it easy-flat coming out of the pits for the very first time in practice, but not too many do simply because there is no need to take a risk (in case their is a grip reduction through the corner).

    Using DRS would make it Eau Rouge a bit like it used to. But I think RBR cars could take it easy flat anyway.

    1. and this is a different case to the tunnel in Monaco because the tunnel is easy-flat, but only on lower fuel. And with DRS I’m not sure an RBR could take it flat out except in Q3.

  12. I went to the F1 Calendar on this site and clicked on Spa and looked at the remarks about this track. For Eau Rouge it says…”following the car in front too closely in the famous Eau Rouge means loss of downforce and can spell trouble.”

    So one thought I had reading that is that the drivers have already been accustomed to excercising caution at Eau Rouge, and obviously some have taken it as a personal challenge to not lift when everything in their being tells them to lift.

    I don’t think Eau Rouge is a normal passing spot and so it was never going to be a DRS zone for Sunday…so this is about practice and quali…

    While I can’t knock F1 for being concerned about safety, to me there was already danger at this section, which is the nature of racing and of F1. So to me, to introduce a gadget that is too dangerous at times flies in the face of the direction F1 keeps going…more safety…more run-off areas…dumbed down tracks that many drivers and fans decry as taking away from the way it used to be.

    I’m not a fan of gadgets, I find DRS provides either danger, like the Monaco tunnel or Eau Rouge, or phoney passes making the car being passed look like it is standing still, and this week’s discussion just solidifies to me that they should get rid of it.

    In fact, I am a fan of reduced aero dependancy and more mechanical grip such that a faster car doesn’t get held up for a ridiculous amount of time in a slower car’s dirty air. So if they had less aero dependancy and more mechanical grip, wouldn’t that make Eau Rouge safe without the big debate about whether a gadget should or shouldn’t be used?

    To me it’s bad enough they have this gadget to begin with, but to have to debate it’s use by the race due to it’s dangerous side tells me they’ve made it way too complicated and it needs to go.

    Simplify, stabilize the rules, reduce aero dependancy, keep up the mechanical grip, and we’ll have the famous Eau Rouge showing us which drivers can drive by the seat of the pants and which drivers cannot. The very fact that DRS exists tells me they acknowlege that loss of downforce when behind a car is a problem, and I refer back to the analysis of this track on this site as I quoted in the first paragraph, following a car too closely in Eau Rouge can spell trouble. So if it can spell trouble why don’t they do something about so much aero dependancy rather than intoduce gadgets that the minority of fans agree with and that can be dangerous and make for phoney passing?

    Get rid of DRS, and get rid of so much aero dependancy and we’ll be back to apples to apples racing amongst drivers.

  13. “You can do it easy-flat coming out of the pits for the very first time in practice, but not too many do simply because there is no need to take a risk (in case their is a grip reduction through the corner).”

    Nice to see so many current F1 drivers on here giving us their views.

    1. I’m sure I know more about driving an F1 car than the great majority of F1 Fanatics.

      1. Why do you see lap times reducing by seconds each time round at the beginning of every practice and qualifying session? The grip is not improving by seconds a lap. It’s the confidence a driver has in the track conditions. Once you’ve had a lap around the track you can assess the conditions and on the next lap push towards the limit much more.

        At Spa, this means you have a slight lift through Eau Rouge as you come out of the pits for the first time, and then on your first timed lap, with the confidence in the track conditions at Eau Rouge, they take it easy-flat, without any second-thoughts whatsoever.

  14. If the drivers can handle the DRS at any other corner on the calender, then i don’t see why they would need to ban it from certain corners. The drivers are not stupid. The teams can even simulate before the weekend whether the car would take the corner with the DRS on, i mean, how dangerous can it be? What is next? Speed limits, auto break systems, so the drivers don’t accidentally forget to break into the corner. F1 drivers know what they are doing, and if they think it isn’t safe to do it then they should just just wait with the DRS until after the corner.
    But surely there is a point in them voicing their concerns. If a team that can’t use the DRS through Eau Rouge can get DRS banned there, then that will give them an advantage, or at least evening out their lower overall downforce package disadvantage compared to teams which would be able to take the corner flat out on the DRS.

  15. Thank you Rubens for making F1 less exciting again.

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