FIA confirms DRS zone details for Japan

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

Timo Glock, Sakon Yamamoto, Suzuka, 2010

DRS may create passing opportunities at turn one

Drivers will get to use their Drag Reduction Systems once per lap during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The FIA has set the DRS zone at the exit of the turn 16/17 chicane leading onto the start/finish straight.

The detection point is at the exit of 130R, meaning drivers will have to exit the high-speed corner within a second of a leading car in order to use DRS.

As usual, drivers will have free use of DRS during practice and qualifying.

DRS zone for the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix

DRS zone for the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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35 comments on FIA confirms DRS zone details for Japan

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th October 2011, 11:00

    With the fast corner and the chicane before the DRS zone, I think Vettel will be seen to pull away from the guy behind before they have a chance to get close enough to pass at the front.
    But it might be good enough to help keep the field close and allow more lunges at other parts of the track to boost the action, as I remember the past couple of races here rather for admiring how great a track it is and the weather then seeing a tight race.

  2. Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th October 2011, 11:10

    Err, detection point at the exit of fast corner is not a good idea. Didn’t they usually locate the points before chicane or slow corner?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th October 2011, 11:17

      Yeah, but if they put the detection point on the other side of the Triangle, then there wouldn’t be enough space for a full DRS zone, because the activation point would probably come somewhere after the start line.

      And there isn’t anywhere else that the zone could really go. The run from Denger to the hairpin is too short.

  3. SamS (@sams) said on 6th October 2011, 11:23

    I know it would have been dangerous but what about round R130, watched Alonso’s pass of Schumi from a few years ago this morning and it is seat of your pants watching but would have been good to see some risks.

    • Browny (@browny) said on 6th October 2011, 12:00

      would 130R be possible with the DRS activated? anyone tried it on f1 2011? Surprised they didn’t go for to DRS zones with the addition one being from turn 14 to the chicane

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 6th October 2011, 12:53

        @browny @sams Yea, I would imagine it would be quite dangerous around 130R. I would have expected to hear something about it from the FIA, like banning it during FP and qualifying but clearly they’re not as bothered about it as I am ;)

      • Loving how you’re comparing real life to a game lol. They may say F1 2011 is a simulation but it is far from simulating the G-forces or mechanical grip of an F1 Car.

        and to answer your question – it’ll be far to dangerous to take 130R flat as the imbalance in air outflow from the car would cause far too much turbulence and could through a car into multiple spins at those speeds

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th October 2011, 13:29

        @browny In the Autosport article about the DRS placement here, they quoted Tonio Liuzzi as saying that he would certainly have a try at doing it with DRS opened to get some exitement into it!

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 6th October 2011, 20:11

          @BasCB well I read somewhere (I don’t remember exactly) having no aero-help in fast turns as 130R can provoke an accident like the one Webber had in Monza, I’m sure it can be exciting to try it but we could see problems in minor teams as Team Lotus if they push it too much

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 6th October 2011, 11:35

    if you look closely, it appears that the DRS will automatically deactivate before turn 1. health and safety gone mad!

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 6th October 2011, 11:40

      I didn’t notice that. You’re right!

      I actually think the straight leading in to Spoon Curves may have been better.

      The whole philosophy of the DRS was meant to enable an extra overtaking opportunity, not a ‘free pass’.

      The start-finish straight was the easy option.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 6th October 2011, 12:55

        @ECWDanSelby From memory, DRS seems to work quite well coming out of a slow chicane. I appreciate that there is the nice open turn before the start/finish straight at Suzuka but it may just be enough to ensure that DRS is effective in how you say it should be.

    • It’s very very ambiguous as F1 cars take turn 1 flat at suzuka, hence no breaking – and as we all know breaking de-activates DRS zones, or so it has for all the races this year. I can’t think of any other way they can de-activate the DRS.

      You cannot ask the drivers to de-activate at a certain point – everyone will vary and it’ll just get messy, nor can you put in a system which will flip the rear wing back to its position. The detection point simply allows the driver to activate the button – not the wing – would really like to see how this pans out during the race..

    • Mike (@mike) said on 6th October 2011, 14:35

      Turn one, or the second half of it represents a significant braking zone for turn two. With the DRS open the back end of the cars could step out resulting in a significantly high speed spin.

      All of this comes under the “potentially” banner however I think considering the chance of cars digging in should they go sideways into the gravel is enough of a deterrent for the FIA to want to avoid it.

      Keeping in mind that when the DRS is active it can often be as a car tries to pass, usually this means the cars is being driven on the edge anyway.

      I’d have rather seen the DRS zone up the back straight towards 130R, but I think this is the second best option in my opinion.

  5. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 6th October 2011, 11:45

    I would have thought it would have been after the hairpin with the detection zone before that. But then they would be carrying so much speed into 130R we could have seen a few shunts. Here’s hoping it works well.

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th October 2011, 13:11

    Wonder how early they’ll be able to activate it, considering the entry to the main straight it’s tighter than it looks (remember Glock’s crash in 2009?).

  7. I think this is the best place to put the DRS zone. I just don’t see how it could work well anywhere else. I can’t wait to see DRS open for 130r during qualifying. I know that corner isn’t the challenge it once was (as it seems with quite a few of the “classic” corners these days) but DRS might make things more exciting :D

  8. Interesting Detection point i think it could be hard for cars to get within a second of the car in front in order to have a go at overtaking.

    • MW (@) said on 6th October 2011, 13:51

      why would it be more difficult after a fast bend?

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th October 2011, 14:40

        Because at the exit of a corner, the distance between the two cars is longer than before the corner. In a fast corner like the 130R, it gets even more difficult to get close to the car ahead…

        Had they determined the detection point near the braking zone before the chicane, it’d have been easier for the car behind to be within a second of the car ahead.

        • MW (@) said on 6th October 2011, 15:11

          Ya that’s what I thought he meant, but distance between the cars makes no difference to the time gap.
          This is a pretty obvious concept so maybe I’m missing something. If the cars are travelling at 200kph a gap of 1 second would be roughly 60m where as if the cars enter the chicane and go to a 20kph crawl a gap of 1 second would mean a distance of 6m between the cars.

          Meaning that if the cars are exactly equal the time gap should remain equal at all parts of the track.

          Definitely cars that are good on high speed bends will have an advantage though.. in that they will be able to stretch the time gap to the car behind to >1s just at the DRS zone. They could also possibly get within the 1s gap of the car infront. the car behind can then close the gap at slower parts of the track but the DRS advantage has done the damage.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th October 2011, 15:36

            @MW but if you put the detection point before the braking zone, the driver behind can brake late, to get closer and be able to use the DRS afterwards.

            After a corner (specially a fast corner), you can’t do much to close the gap…

            Besides, the chasing car would still lose ground to the leading car after a corner like the 130R.

          • MW (@) said on 6th October 2011, 16:06

            @Fer no.65 Ya I see what you’re saying.. Car No.1 can accelerate away while car No.2 is still rounding the bend.

            But, if both cars pass the start/finish line excatly 1s apart and they both take precisely 1 min to reach the DRS activation surely car No.2 will reach the activation point exactly 1m 1s from when car No.1 crossed the start/finish line?

  9. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 6th October 2011, 13:32

    Good decision. Turn 1 will test the drivers’ guts, as it’s possible they can still be side by side before the much tighter Turn 2. I think we’ll actually see a DRS zone that will separate the men from the boys.

  10. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 6th October 2011, 13:32

    It kinda looks like the Melbourne DRS configuration in terms of detection/activation points and straight lenght. And it was not so much helpful there.

    But Suzuka, unlike Melbourne, it’s already overtaking-friendly enough and tyres are set to play a big role with all the high speed corners wear.

    So DRS seems set at least to not be the farce that it was in Canada and Belgium, and that will do for me.

  11. SempreGilles (@sempregilles) said on 6th October 2011, 14:34

    Thank god they didn’t ban it anywhere for qualification. Drivers are (or should be!) skilled enough they know what their car can and can not do.

  12. Tango (@tango) said on 6th October 2011, 15:47

    I believe it should work. If F1 2011 is anything to go by (gesting, of course)

  13. The Ram (@the-ram) said on 6th October 2011, 15:54

    People always “bitch” about the DRS zones! It always amazes me.

  14. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 6th October 2011, 16:11

    I hope the straight is short enough for the driver behind to get alongside, not just sail past. But it’s hard to get excited about DRS passes there, if the memory of Kimi doing it round the outside in 2005 is still fresh in your mind…

  15. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 6th October 2011, 20:07

    I want to see if Schumacher still domains the “S” turns as he used to do, well, this kind of turns normally favour Vettel, so in a couple of laps he can have the time gap which avoid other pilots to chase him using DRS (I’m talking as if he had already got the pole)

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