Two DRS zones for first race of 2012

2012 F1 season

Paul di Resta, Force India, Melbourne, 2011

Di Resta and Alguersuari fight for position in last year's race

An extra DRS zone has been added for the Australian Grand Prix this year.

A single DRS zone was used during last year’s race, the first in which DRS was used.

This year drivers will have the opportunity to use DRS twice per lap, as Sauber’s head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall?Ara explained:

“Historically overtaking has been difficult in Melbourne, but this time there will be two DRS zones.”

Kamui Kobayashi said the unusual nature of the Melbourne track may not give an accurate impression of how competitive the team is in the first race of the year.

“The Albert Park circuit itself has a very nice layout,” he said. “The fact it isn?t a permanent race track, and therefore very slippery at the beginning of the weekend, doesn?t make the set up work for the first Grand Prix any easier, but to adapt to the improving grip level is a challenge for everyone.”

How should DRS be used in 2012? Have your say here:

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48 comments on Two DRS zones for first race of 2012

  1. Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 9th March 2012, 9:48

    Ngh, not exactly a fan of having multiple DRS areas on a single track. Kind of defeats the purpose.

  2. Tom Haxley (@welshtom) said on 9th March 2012, 9:51

    I found it amazing how many times Mark Webber overtook on the first DRS zone and then got overtaken on the 2nd. I think it was battling Jenson in one of the GP’s with 2 DRS zones last year.

    I was screaming at the TV, “why is he not learning to just use the 2nd zone!!”

    then laughing when he moaned about DRS after the race..

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 9th March 2012, 9:56

      That was Abu Dhabi. To be fair, he wasn’t the only one doing it. And even if he didn’t learn from it, it’s a bit silly that his engineer wasn’t telling him!

      • ivz (@ivz) said on 9th March 2012, 10:09

        Button would save his KERS for the second zone. Knowing that if Webber passed, he would have a shot with KERS in the second zone to overtake him back. But from memory, I think Webber was finding it difficult to get close enough to pass in the second zone.
        As for two zones in Melbourne, it won’t make much of a difference, unless the car behind is a fair bit faster. The DRS hardly worked last year!

    • Jack Flash (Aust) said on 9th March 2012, 13:00

      The DRS zones were not equivalent battlefields at the Abu Dhabi race.
      Webber’s RB7 was only marginally faster under DRS over Button’s McLaren, in the first DRS Zone/corner combo only. He didn’t NOT TRY to use the second DRS zone – he did try: Webber simply wasn’t in position to get a pass done over Buttons straightline speed advantage in the second zone leading into a broader end corner. The first DRS straight and tight/slow ending corner was Webber’s only DRS-KERS assisted pass option. Button played his advantage in the second DRS zone perfectly.
      …. Of course, if you prefer the superficial Scalectrix Racer assessment, go for it.

      • vjanik said on 9th March 2012, 14:44

        Jack, his point was that he did not understand why Webber went for the pass, knowing that there is a second DRS zone after the chicane. A smart driver would have closed up, but not go for the full pass, just focusing on a better exit from the chicane to pass in the next DRS zone. I think that some drivers are better at judging these moments than others.

  3. plushpile (@plushpile) said on 9th March 2012, 9:54

    I hope they’re not back to back, there were some good battles into T3 last year thanks to the DRS zone.
    If the second one is on the run into 3 it will make passing too easy…

  4. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 9th March 2012, 9:55

    What a shame. I think the FIA should use some common sense and completely scrap DRS at certain races. Melbourne and Montreal produce amazing races, yet they both will now have two DRS zones… It just seems insane to me. And what makes it even more unusual is the fact that Melbourne was probably one of the only places the DRS worked perfectly at last year (along with Monaco and perhaps Japan)… Kind of says to me that the FIA want to see more races like the farcical 2011 Turkish Grand Prix… :?

    • Girts (@girts) said on 9th March 2012, 10:04

      @damonsmedley Agreed. If they want as much passing as possible, then why not have reverse grids as well? The current system seems to get more and more nonsensical.

      • Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 9th March 2012, 10:36

        I think the FIA should use some common sense and completely scrap DRS at certain races

        I fixed your sentence :P

        I agree with, I am worried about the FIAs vision for DRS. What race are they trying to reflect from last year. Melbourne, Catalunya where DRS worked well or Turkey where it was laughable. Hopefully it is closer to the former.

      • Saiesh said on 9th March 2012, 14:03

        Reverse grid. ha ha .
        Imagine how slow drivers will do their qualifying laps. Imagine 1st guy out and every body is trying to go slower than that snail pace to get pole.

        • MRFS said on 9th March 2012, 16:54

          Pick two races at the start of the year..don’t tell anyone until after the Qualifying session ;)

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 9th March 2012, 12:25

      To be honest, Australia hasn’t produced an exciting GP on a dry track for years, now. It’s not a good place for overtaking, so a DRS is appropiate in some way.

      But I agree, the whole thing is a farse. Even 1 DRS zone at Montreal is just ridiculous. Same goes to Spa… FIA has no common sense!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th March 2012, 13:30

      I pretty much agree with that @damonsmedley, altough I would support the FIA/FOTA to go with what @silverkeg proposes ;-)

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th March 2012, 13:45

      @damonsmedley That’s never an argument I can get behind really. Politically, I don’t think you can get away with scrapping it for certain races. Different circuits suit different cars to some extent and the moment you start dropping DRS altogether for a weekend you could be accused of favouritism. Of course, we all know that the FIA have no favourites, but it won’t stop the media creating a headache for the sport.

      • Bigbadderboom said on 9th March 2012, 14:32

        Agree AndrewTanner to DRS or Not to DRS that is the question!! I think it’s either in or out. Commercially I think it’s a good initiative attracting new veiwers and although the purist argues that it’s false racing unfortunatley it’s mostly the casual viewer that makes up the numbers and the target of the evil ad-men which makes our sport viable! So for me DRS is a necessary evil, not all bad as it does mix things up, but still a contaminant in the prists pot!!.

  5. tandrews (@tomand95) said on 9th March 2012, 9:55

    For Albert Park there should defiantly be a DRS zone on the straight and maybe the second zone could be after the after to turns 6&7 down to turn 9, because i can’t remember much overtaking there in recent years.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 9th March 2012, 9:59

      Really? Albert Park is generally regarded as one of the best tracks for producing overtaking and exciting races. I think the FIA should leave DRS out of a few races, and Australia is one of them. Tracks like Valencia and Yas Marina need DRS to produce overtaking, Albert Park doesn’t.

      • tandrews (@tomand95) said on 9th March 2012, 10:14

        i agree, Albert Park is one of my favourite tracks and if i had it my way, i would have stayed with one DRS zone or not had any altogether. But now that there are 2, i think the following sections would make for some good racing.
        I also stood at turn 9 during last years race and it is probably the most popular vantage point for people with general admission tickets, so it would be great to see more overtaking action there because the majority happens at turn 1,3 and 13.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 9th March 2012, 12:01

        best tracks for producing overtaking

        Ignoring errors, which admittedly are easy to make in Melbourne, the track doesn’t present many chances to overtake.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th March 2012, 11:52

      The approach to turn 9 sounds like the best place for it. The cars could easily make it through the preceding corners with no downforce.

  6. Nick.UK (@) said on 9th March 2012, 10:24

    How the heck can he say Melbourne is ‘historically difficult’ to overtake at. If there is one circuit that is easier than all the rest to overtake at, it’s Melbourne!

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 9th March 2012, 11:56

      They added a 2nd DRS zone here because the DRS zone here last year turned out to be a total flop. The only noteworthy pass with DRS that I remember was Massa on Button (or was it the other way round?)

      • The DRS zone didn’t allow the driver behind to instantly overtake but set him on a good position to challenge the car ahead on the next few corners! I think it was one of the best DRS zones of the year because it really promoted racing, not just easy overtaking.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th March 2012, 12:37

          Yep, and that is what DRS, in trying to cancel the dirty air effect, should be doing. It should put the cars on more level ground, giving the second driver a better chance at overtaking, rather than an automatic, easy pass. If it has to exist, this is it’s purpose, and Australia, Monaco and Barcelona last year should be the models.

  7. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 9th March 2012, 10:33

    Good. DRS FTW.

  8. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 9th March 2012, 10:37

    LOL, I don’t know what AUS GP’s you guys have been watching, but most that I’ve seen since 1996 have been dreadfully boring, but I will admit since 2007 they have been improving. Anyway, this DRS announcement has boosted my excitement leval’s, and hopefully should produce some exciting racing, I think.

  9. Maciek (@maciek) said on 9th March 2012, 12:04

    Not a fan of DRS, but then again before we had it, most of us were complaining about lack of on-track action, so I guess nothing’s perfect. Anyhoo, under the cirtscumstances this is good news and actually if we are going to live with DRS for another season, I say let’s have two consecutive zones every race. This way drivers have to at least consider how best to exploit both zones

  10. caci99 (@caci99) said on 9th March 2012, 12:38

    These are two DRS zones with one detection zone? That’s how I understood it. If it is so, well I can’t see how this is going to be fair and produce a good race.

  11. Katz, Tim said on 9th March 2012, 12:40

    Official. F1 joins the Mickey Mouse Club.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th March 2012, 13:41

      This isn’t anything new. DRS was around last year, remember.

      Not that I agree with your comment on F1 joining the Mickey Mouse Club but just saying that if you’re that way inclined, F1 joined last year!

  12. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 9th March 2012, 13:06

    Noooo. I thought DRS was put to good effect last year and with the softer compounds this year and less traction out of slow speed corners due to the ban on EBD’s DRS will be over used I feel come the first race :(

  13. paolo (@paolo) said on 9th March 2012, 13:07

    I wonder if they’ll be stricter on cars overtaking on the outside of turn 4 now that the rules regarding the track boundary have been firmed up?

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th March 2012, 13:47

    I wonder where it will be? I’m going to say just before the chicane on that long left-hander, leading towards Sector 3. Question is, is it ‘straight’ enough for DRS to be safe?

    What’s the name of that chicane anyway? Does it have one?

  15. Jack (@) said on 9th March 2012, 14:25

    Yet again this proves my point!!! WHY would you need 2 DRS zones?? 1 is enough…. Sorry to the rest of you guys but I have to bring out the CONSPIRACY theory!!! This is yet another way of influencing or “covering up” any deficiencies a team may have and infllluence in the outcome of it….

    I´m willing to bet my left testicle that there will be AT LEAST 2 rear wing failures(in the top 5 teams) during this race!!!

    • Slr (@slr) said on 9th March 2012, 14:35

      DRS doesn’t cause rear wing failures, when did we see a rear wing failure due to DRS last year? The only issue DRS might cause that I can think of, is that the wing may stay open.

      • Jack (@) said on 9th March 2012, 14:55

        I know DRS zones don´t cause rear wing failure dude… I´m just saying that there will be at least 2 failures…. It´s just my way of thinking…. I don´t trust DRS because in my eyes, it can be manipulated…. but hey… that´s just me!

        Don´t ask me to prove how it´s manipulated… that is just one theory I have about DRS and the reason why I hate it so much!

    • Katz, Tim said on 10th March 2012, 20:33

      I don’t want your left testicle. Can you wager something else?

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