Safety call prompts DRS rules change for 2013

F1 Fanatic round-up

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Buddh International Circuit, 2012In the round-up: F1 drivers will only be allowed to use DRS in the designated zones at all times as of next season due to safety fears.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Tweaks to DRS regulations for 2013 (BBC)

“Drivers have complained there have been incidents when some have lost control because they are testing the limits of when they can use the DRS.”

Kubica working on return after injury (Reuters)

“Kubica said he had driven some high performance cars recently but the condition of his arm did not allow him to test in single seaters and there was no immediate prospect of a return to the top level.”

Tyres will be key to success in Austin – Webber (ESPN)

“Temperature is very important, the layout isn’t very important. If the black things in the corners aren’t working then you can put the layout up your arse – the car’s not going to work.”

F1: COTA Is Fantastic, Says Ecclestone (Speed)

“I think the circuit itself is absolutely fantastic. Everything they?ve done is unbelievable, everything we asked for they did. I think everything is fantastic. Everybody seems happy. I had a complaint about the weather not being hot as people were expecting! They?ve done a super job. Couldn?t ask for anything better.”

F1 aims to drop ‘force majeure’ rule (Autosport)

Race director Charlie Whiting: “We discussed it last week in the [Technical Working Group] and the consensus of opinion is to remove the term ‘force majeure’ and make it clear what is allowed and is not allowed.”

Button: 2013 car will suit me (Sky)

“The car is quick, we’ve proved that on many occasions. But for consistency for me it’s been a little bit more difficult to get the results. The car next year should suit me a bit more, which I’m very excited about.”

Tracking Shots (The Austin Chronicle)

Article on new F1 documentary “1”: “Take the massive multi-car crash at the 1973 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. On the day, there were six different camera teams at the track, and the research team hunted them all down.”

Alain Prost, Williams-Renault FW15C, Imola, 1993“Thank God I survived it”: F1 is all safety and money these days says legend Alain Prost (Daily Mirror)

“We used to be little bit more sharp sometimes and saying things and today they are a little bit afraid because they have big sponsors and manufacturers. But that?s because society is different not because Formula 1 is different.”

Formula One hoping to catch American attention with new track (Sports Illustrated)

“Austin seemed an odd choice. A trendy city of about 1.5 million, Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World” and is the capital of Texas. But it hardly fits in with the other cosmopolitan F1 hosts like Melbourne, Shanghai or Singapore. Earlier this month, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell joked that Austin hosting F1 was ‘sort of like Mayberry having the Super Bowl.'”

Tavo Hellmund’s United States Grand Prix joy will be shrouded in pain (The Guardian)

“This is, after all, my baby. And to see Formula One cars tear down the straight-way on Sunday will be the fulfilment of a project I worked on for more than a decade.”

Bid to crack America faces first big test (The Telegraph)

“Eddie Gossage, the president of Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas, said there was ‘no crossover’ between the [F1 and NASCAR], adding that Formula One posed no threat in the long-term. ‘It?s like soccer in this country. It has never succeeded and I don?t think it will ever succeed because it is not our game.'”

A Towering Landmark for Formula One Track (The New York Times)

“Bobby Epstein, co-founder of Circuit of the Americas, said he hoped the tower would become a landmark, making the track instantly recognizable to TV viewers. He declined to give the price of the tower, except to say that the steel alone ‘cost two or three million dollars’ and that he expected it to become a revenue-producing tourist attraction.”

Mark Webber: F1’s elder statesman remains outsider (CNN)

“I like the car a lot more. I really didn’t like the blown floor and it proved a very difficult car for me. I didn’t have a great feel for it and getting the right set-up was hard for me.”

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Korea International Circuit, 2012Sauber boss reasurres Kamui Kobayashi over his future (The Independent)

“Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has told Kamui Kobayashi he is under no pressure to bring in sponsors to secure his seat for next season.”

Drivers need to oil the wheels of F1 (FT, registration required)

Williams executive director Toto Wolff: “It is about balancing short-term and long-term views. We have been very keen to have a guaranteed budget at the start of the season. Do we need to change that or not? I believe in [Pastor] Maldonado, Bruno [Senna] has had good performances and scored points. But then we have Valtteri [Bottas], who is…??the new kid on the block.”

I may have to look beyond Formula One, says Narain Karthikeyan (The Times of India)

“If paddock rumours are to be believed, the HRT is getting ready to bench 32 engineers from their staff. It is also heard that talks are on with some Indian and Abu Dhabi-based investors.”

United States GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel on the FIA’s warning to drivers after he and Kimi Raikkonen swore on the podium in Abu Dhabi: “I think if you’re sensitive you should watch – I don’t know – some kids’ programme. You have the remote control in your hand, so you can choose. Surely it wasn’t intentional at the last race. I think it’s a bit unnecessary to create such a big fuss but anyway, if I said some things that weren’t appropriate then I apologise but I think there’s not a lot I have to do differently to succeed in that regard.”

Grand Prix planner faces fraud charges (Cincinatti News)

“[Curtis] Boggs, 54, of Harrison, is accused of orchestrating a scheme to defraud investors after selling them on the idea of a Grand Prix race featuring Formula One race cars.”

Otley man keeps F1 stars in check but witnesses madness on the roads (Ilkley Gazette)

FIA Indian Grand Prix steward Steve Stringwell: “Michael [Schumacher] told us he had seen the [blue] flags but didn?t feel that [Romain] Grosjean was close enough to overtake.”


Comment of the day

Jake (@Jleigh) reckons the BBC are don’t want the drivers’ championship to be decided on Sunday:

I bet every single person at the BBC is rooting for Alonso this weekend. It would be pretty embarrassing for them if they missed the title being won at the inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas.
Jake (@Jleigh)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Kimi Raikkonen was finally confirmed as the 2007 world champion, almost a month after the last race of the season.

It came as the FIA decided McLaren’s appeal against the results of the Brazilian Grand Prix was “inadmissible”:

Image ?? Caterham/LAT, Williams/LAT, Sauber F1 Team

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144 comments on Safety call prompts DRS rules change for 2013

  1. Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th November 2012, 5:21

    As expected, Jenson comes up with an excuse for why he isnt fighting for the WDC this year. I’m waiting for the year where he actually mans up and says that the car was great, but he just couldn’t get the job done

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2012, 5:31

      @todfod – Do you deny that the McLaren has a reliability problem?

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th November 2012, 6:02

        @prisoner-monkeys . Lewis’car had the monster’s share of reliablility problems, not Jenson’s. Jenson had a retirement in Monza and a gearbox problem in some other race. His MP4-27 was a reliable as Vettel’s RB8… not to mention as quick… but what does he have to show for it?

    • looseasagoose (@looseasagoose) said on 16th November 2012, 6:43

      @todfod Wouldn’t it be more of a worry if he didn’t have an excuse for why he isn’t for the WDC? At least he has some idea of what’s going wrong, and presumably, how to fix it.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th November 2012, 6:48

        Jenson always has an excuse… that’s probably his greatest talent. I’ve never seen a driver blame his tools more than he does.

        • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 16th November 2012, 8:50

          I wouldn’t completely disagree with what you say mate. JB is known to crib more than any other driver. He is more sensitive to the car’s behaviour than the rest (as we believe) but on his day, he is very fast.

          Probably, he has been cribbing about it more since he was mashed by Lewis in the last couple of races on pure pace. I remember, in 2010, he ran the same story, “I wasn’t involved in the development of MP4 25 being my first year”. Whereas I never saw him complaint too much in the second half of 2011.

          Let’s see what he has to say and deliver in 2013.

        • panache (@panache) said on 16th November 2012, 12:20

          I suppose you’re right.

          Last year when Massa was complaining about tyres for most of the season and Webber was unable to get to grips with the EBD and Hamilton was claiming that personal issues were the cause of his poor form and repeated on track incidents, Button was clearly the biggest complainer…and when Alonso was at Mclaren, throwing his toys out of the pram declaring favouritism towards Hamilton and exposing them with Spygate, Button was clearly the biggest drama queen then too.

          Get a grip.

          All F1 drivers make excuses unrelated to their own individual capacity when things don’t go their way. It is a necessity bourne of their environment. They all need to believe they are the fastest and most talented to have any chance of remaining competitive. Even if they don’t, they must maintain the guise as admitting culpability is more damaging to their reputation and future prospects.

          For the most part, I actually give drivers the benefit of the doubt because there are so many nuances to deal with in F1 whilst fighting over the smallest of margins. The difference between having race winning pace and being out of contention can literally be the equivalent of a blink of an eye per lap.

          Button understandably voiced his frustration in 09 when his initially dominant Brawn car was heavily out developed by rivals approaching midway through the season whilst Brawn struggled along with practically no budget for development. By the end of the year they had at best the 3rd fastest car. Detractors will never buy it though. The Brawn car was a second per lap faster than the rest of the field for the entire season…right?

          It is also pretty far fetched to believe that Button simply forgot how to drive after the first 3 races this year in which he was at least a match for Hamilton on pace. It is quite obvious that he suffered massively with tyre temperature and setup issues thereafter, which peaked in Canada. There is no way to skirt around an issue as big as that. He was massively off the pace and admitted it. He said that he was “confused and lost” during that phase of the season and even made a point of ruling out the tyres as the reason for his drop in form at a time when other drivers including Schumacher and Webber were highly critical of the tyres. Really, what more do you want? Should he have made an admission of complete responsibility and hung up his helmet in shame?

          Ultimately, Button has not delivered what was expected of him this season and Hamilton has convincingly outperformed him. Following the first 3 races, Button has never been in contention for this championship. Hamilton has totally dominated the qualifying stakes at Mclaren and is in my mind the best qualifier of the season by a considerable margin. He has also had better race pace, better tyre management and more consistency at the majority of races this season. Last season was essentially the opposite with the exception of qualifying where Hamilton was still superior.

          As an ardent Button fan I accept this, but your constant escapade to belittle Button with thinly veiled accusations which could be applied equally to practically any other driver on the grid discredits your opinions.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th November 2012, 14:19

            Do you even know Jenson’s excuse for not being a contender this season???

            Felipe Massa admitted HE couldn’t get to grips with the tyres. Webber admitted that HE cannot take any advantage out of the EBD system. Hamilton admitted HIS personal issues were the reason for his lack lustre performances. They take responsibility

            Jenson on the other hand, cannot admit that it was HIS inability to maximise the car’s performance. He instead says that the car doesn’t suit his driving style and the updates didn’t work for him.

            As a Jenson Button fan, I think you need to come to grips with the fact that the guy isn’t good enough to compete win another WDC.. and he has everyone else but himself to blame for it.

          • Aldoid said on 16th November 2012, 15:16

            I agree with Todfod… & the only way Jenson will have a complaint-free year in the next McLaren (or any other car, for that matter) will be if a “balance tether” is on the list of new upgrades. His most frequent complaint over the years has always been about “losing the balance”. If we’re to take his word for it, the fix should be pretty simple :)

  2. Mark Webber always telling it like it is about the tyres! Haha! I’m trying to imagine his reaction to an F1 official telling him to stop using certain words.

  3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 16th November 2012, 7:18

    Since DRS was introduced to increase the number of passes during a race. Use in FP and Qualifying doesn’t really make sense. You’re not passing anyone–so whats the point? Banning it entirely during Qualifying will put the onus back on to the drivers. Instead of having a car that’s slipperiest with the DRS open, drivers will have to hit their marks more often to be able to get that ultimate lap. Also, for those fans who are tired of RBR dominance, this is probably a good thing. RBR has a tendency to run loads of downforce and rely on DRS to bring some speed back during qualifying. Now they’ll either get blown by on the straights or they’ll have to ‘give’ a little back in the turns to keep up.

  4. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 16th November 2012, 8:19

    I like the words that are being said to Kobayashi, but i don’t see how it can secure his place next year ?
    Aren’t the two Sauber seats already occupied ?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th November 2012, 8:44

      I thought the same @gwenouille! Maybe they will offer him a reserve seat? Not sure what to make of it really.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2012, 8:54


      Aren’t the two Sauber seats already occupied ?

      Nope. Only one of them. A lot of people assumed that Gutierrez would get the second seat, but if Sauber are telling Kobayashi that he is not under any pressure to find sponsors, then clearly the second seat is unresolved.

      • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 16th November 2012, 9:05

        And so did I ! I read it as a clear signal to KK that, unless he brings a huge deal with a sponsor, Gutierrez would be the 2nd pilot.
        Still hope then !
        Thanks !

      • brny66 said on 16th November 2012, 9:52

        Or maybe they’re leading him on so that they finish the end of season on a high, I agree it would be a pretty disgusting move but this is F1 and I have seen stranger things happen, albeit Sauber seem the least likely yeam to do this.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2012, 11:42

          They have already made it pretty clear to him that helping the team secure fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship will go a long way towards securing his seat for next year, sponsor or no sponsor. Between that and the big new sponsor that they have secured (as have their partner, Chelsea FC), the pressure is evidently off Kobayashi.

          That said, I don’t think he deserves the seat. He hasn’t lived up to the hype at all, and the only thing he will really be good for in 2013 is establishing continuity in the team while Nico Hulkenberg settles in, and not much else, unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat and starts putting in performances that live up to fan expectations (at which point, I would have to ask why he hasn’t done it until now).

          • Balu R said on 16th November 2012, 12:56

            – I don’t understand your view. He beat Perez in 2011 and he is only about 10 odd points behind Perez this year. Either perez and kobayashi are pathetic drivers or both are good. It can’t be that Perez is good enough to be promoted to Mclaren(meaning he is probably in top 8 drivers in F1) and kobayashi is not even good for sauber(meaning he is not even in top 14 drivers in f1) when there performances match most of the time.

            He hasn’t lived up to his hype is rather a wrong reason to chuck him out as hype was created by people rather than kobayashi claiming that he is the best in the world.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th November 2012, 9:00


      Aren’t the two Sauber seats already occupied?

      No, see the list of 2013 F1 drivers and teams

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 16th November 2012, 10:01

      I’m guessing the hoo-hah around the Chelsea sponsorship and their link-up with Sauber has meant a guaranteed injection of funds that offset the need for Kamui to bring money.

    • Actually reading the article again, for sake of argument one could say that Sauber have already decided that Kobayashi will not be with them for the next year because they think he doesn’t have the necessary speed above all else.

      “We’re not going to take the last two races and see if he is good or bad, whether it’s a plus or a minus point. That’s not fair to him,”
      – So he has been already evaluated by the team it appears

      “When he came into Formula One we gave him the trust required – without any baggage – to show he is a very talented driver. From that perspective he should know the teams knows him well and trusts him.”
      – i.e. We gave him a chance and our conscious is clear. We trust him to act professionally in the remaining races

      Asked specifically whether Kobayashi required sponsorship to retain his seat, Kaltenborn replied: “No.”
      – it wont make any difference at this point, we have already something else lined up

      Also something that Monisha Kaltenborn says later on contradicts her earlier words, she goes on to say:

      “So I don’t think it’s right to now suddenly make it an issue, and there is no pressure on him. It’s about what he does on the track.”

      However earlier she said the last two races will not be used to evaluate him, so what is it, is he staying or not?

  5. vjanik said on 16th November 2012, 8:42

    why not save everyone the trouble and just ban DRS altogether.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2012, 8:55

      Because then you’ll be complaining about the lack of passing.

      • That’s rubbish, I probably only need to use one hand to count the number of good DRS passes I’ve seen. DRS is not the only reason we’ve seen an increase in passing, the tyres have argubly played a bigger role.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th November 2012, 9:02

      I agree with Vjanik. The ‘designed-to-degrade’ tyres we’ve had since 2011 have done more than enough to improve the quality of racing. Scrap DRS, keep the tyre choice aggressive and we’ll have a good balance between racing that is exciting and unpredictable but not artificial.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th November 2012, 14:02

        @keithcollantine The problem we have is that it’s quite hard to judge exactly what’s needed and what isn’t. DRS, Pirelli and the re-introduction of KERS all came at once so to distinguish exactly what creates ‘good’ racing become squite difficult, in my opinion.

        It’s more than likely a combination of everything, though not necessarily equal measures.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 16th November 2012, 9:19

      I agree with Vjanik and Keith :)

      What is more, tyres are the same for everyone, while the DRS usually helps the cars, who are already fastest anyway.

  6. katederby (@katederby) said on 16th November 2012, 9:08

    Absolutely tragic for the sport to think Robert Kubica won’t be able to fulfil his great potential in F1. I hope he makes the best recovery possible and has success in whatever field he is able to take part in.

    As for the swearing… it’s simply a matter of what’s acceptable for broadcast and not whether you or I are offended or not as individuals. In the UK swearing is not acceptable before 9pm, it’s as simple as that.
    And if Vettel’s solution is for people to switch off, it suggests he has no idea where his salary comes from; that is corporate sponsorship on the back of global tv coverage.
    Less viewers, less sponsorship, less money in F1.

  7. JCost (@jcost) said on 16th November 2012, 9:09

    USA! USA! USA!

    Jenson Button feels at home because his girlfriend is Japanese, so expect Lewis feeling American because his lady is American…

  8. Dave (@dworsley) said on 16th November 2012, 9:12

    Crappy DRS rule change in my view. One of my favourite parts of the weekend is seeing the astounding performance (corning and acceleration) of DRS-enabled top-end F1 cars in qualifying. You knew the cars were a second per lap faster than they could ever otherwise be, with higher top speeds and higher cornering speeds than you’ll see for at least a year. It is the reason the Red Bull set new qualifying records in 2010 and 2011.

    Plus, I believe the teams will gear the cars up purely for running in clean air, with no respect for DRS, and it will have even less of an impact than it does now. When DRS first came into practice, I remember comments by Brundle saying that F1 engineers he talked to noted they basically forced the FIA into allowing DRS at all times in practice and qualifying, otherwise they would purely gear the cars up for no DRS. Well, here we are.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 16th November 2012, 10:08

      Well, for many years now, FIA try to slow the cars down. I can only dream of what we could see on the grid now, if cars speed was not an issue :)

      Don’t start me on the limiter, watching Formula 1 car bounce on a limiter is worse than any artificial DRS or gravel free tracks.

  9. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 16th November 2012, 10:55

    I think this is one of the best round-ups of the year, @keithcollantine, it is just strikingly visible how much extra energy you put in this one – even when the standard of the others is already stunningly high. So much valuable information and so much shading comments. Thank you.

    I don’t even know what to react, a lot of things has been already mentioned. I think the highlights are Webber’s ESPN comment and Bernie’s unexpectedly full satisfaction – as far as the organisers are concerned, that is, but after all, even the organisers are unable to organise higher temps. I think if there would be some forest nearby with their usual wild pattern of colours of leaves, it would resemble even more to the traditional end-of-the-season gathering in the slightly chilly fresh air and colourful settling of Watkins Glen in upstate new York. I like this fall date for the new event.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 16th November 2012, 11:09

      Also, I really want to see ‘1’. Based on the linked article a tremendous amount of attention, soul and energy was put into that film as well – something which is this far from being half-***** simply can’t be bad.

      And finally – so it might be that this track layout is actually good because the most of it was not designed by Hermann Tilke, but by Tavo Hellmund!? Gee. I bet the last-gasp modifications we talked about in the forums are from Tilke – though, this time, I like them all with the exception of the T8-T9 tighening.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 16th November 2012, 11:13

      It’s a good point about the weather – it was admittedly surprising to hear Bernie *not* slate Silverstone for their parking/weather issues, but their reasons were perfectly valid and for he who is typically incredibly vocal with his dissatisfaction to be the voice of reason was a sign that he does sometimes live on planet Earth.

  10. goofy (@goofy) said on 16th November 2012, 11:54

    Onboard lap with Hermann Tilke at COTA

  11. They have changed DRS the wrong way.

    They should have done what every poll shows fans want & made DRS available everywhere, For everyone for a limited number of uses during the races rather than moving it where practice/quali imitates race useage.

    By doing it that way you get some strategy in its use as if everyone had 20 uses through a race to both attack & defend it will be down to the drivers to decide when/where to use it & this at least makes DRS half interesting & brings in some skill surrounding its use during races.

    Many other series do this with various push-2-pass systems & it works well & most importantly provides better racing than DRS ever has!

    I’d still rather see this ludicrously artificial gimmick banned completely though!!!!!

  12. snowman.john (@snowman-john) said on 16th November 2012, 12:55

    Whats next?… banning the use of the throttle mid corner because it isn’t safe. F1 cars aren’t safe thats why its takes skilled people to drive them. The real reason is the FIA want to reduce DRS development.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 16th November 2012, 15:08

      I think the point is DRS is inherently unsafe in corners. The effect on the car when the downforce is removed and reattached cannot really be predicted, thus when its released on the allotted straight, at least they know its a control condition.

      It’s like the F-duct – a measure of reason why it was banned was less down to the system itself and more how drivers were driving one-handed through Eau Rouge to activate it.

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th November 2012, 14:00

    I feel a little mean criticising the drivers over what they believe to be a safety issue, but if the drivers don’t feel safe testing the limits of the track and the car then surely there’s a whole raft of things that would need reviewing? You would need to review some of the kerb heights (or how the drivers attack them), the use of tyre blankets, the different tyre compounds, KERS etc… Call me pedantic but testing the limits is just that, testing.

    The cynic in me is saying that it’s just a way for some of the less downforce-orientated teams to take away some of the qualifying advantage from the likes of Red Bull…

  14. Personally I think the use of DRS in qualifying is one of it’s few benefits. It is a great test of driver skill to see who can open the DRS earliest and hence gain the most benefit so will qualify higher. It is after all up to the drivers when they open it, so if they spin then that’s their problem – not a safety issue.

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