Two detection points for DRS zones at Sepang

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock, Sepang, 2012The Sepang circuit will feature two DRS zones for the first time this year and each will have its own detection point, the FIA has confirmed.

A single DRS zone on the start/finish straight has been used for the last two Malaysian Grands Prix. For this year a second DRS zone has been added on the straight which leads to the last corner.

Each DRS zone will have its own detection point, unlike in Melbourne last week where a single detection point served as the trigger for both zones.

The new DRS zone will have its detection point in the middle of the high-speed turns 12 and 13. Drivers will be able to activate DRS 104 metres after the penultimate corner.

The configuration of the other DRS zone has been changed. The detection point was previously 207 metres before the final corner, but for this year it is in the corner itself, positioned 16 metres after the apex. The activation point has been moved back 23 metres from where it was last year.

The new configuration raises the possibility of one driver passing another using DRS on the back straight, then coming under attack from DRS themselves on the pit straight.

Sepang DRS zones, 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Every track on the calendar bar Monaco and Suzuka will have two DRS zones this year, as drivers are no longer have free use of DRS in practice and qualifying.

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97 comments on Two detection points for DRS zones at Sepang

  1. Nomore (@nomore) said on 20th March 2013, 12:42

    So the driver that will overtake in the first straight, will get overtaken in the second…nice

  2. S2G-Unit (@s2g-unit) said on 20th March 2013, 12:54

    This is such a terrible idea. Why don’t the leave the DRS zones in the places where there isn’t already overtaking? Or reduce the zone so I can be less effective like in Australia 2011. It gave the car a change pull up close but didn’t allow it ti fly by.

  3. hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 13:41

    If you’re going to have two DRS zones, having two detection points is a must. Given they’ve decided to slather DRS everywhere this year, it’s the best of a bad situation.

    But as others are saying this track shows the problems of DRS and having two zones. A driver with an equal or only slightly better car will do well to use DRS to get right up behind someone but not pass and use the second DRS to get clear of the leading driver so the pass won’t be undone next lap. Whereas a driver in a better car will fly by whenever. In both cases DRS is unnecessarily changing the race.

    If you are going to have any system like this at all, and the need/want of such a system is obviously debatable, it needs to be a system that opens up more passing opportunities on other parts of the track rather than putting the one or two spots where passes already occur on steroids. Driving close on a straight has never been an issue (minus some cooling loss). Give a car more downforce through a twisty area so the driver can carry more speed. Let teams use unlimited KERS/ERS—which would allow development of better energy recovery systems that could flow down. Or, I don’t know, fix the *********** aero issues that are causing so much trouble in the first place. DRS is the worst.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 20th March 2013, 14:06

      In both cases DRS is unnecessarily changing the race

      Don’t agree with this.
      DRS cancels out the loss of performance caused by the car less than 1 sec ahead. History tells us that drivers have struggled to make a pass even on long straights such as Sepang’s.
      Just don’t see point of delaying a faster driver for 22 LAPS, and he finally passes ANYWAY. So the obstructor hasn’t gained anything except destroy the other’s race (and perhaps both of their tyres).

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th March 2013, 14:25

      There was nothing more frustrating pre DRS than watching a someone catch the car in front at 2 seconds a lap and then suddenly, just as they got close, they seemed to get stuck around a second behind and followed the car in front until the chequered flag. So anti-climatic!

      What would you prefer? DRS where drivers have a chance to overtake when they are faster (often too easilly) or Alonso vs Petrov 2010 Abu Dhabi?

      • hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 14:54

        @petebaldwin (and @jason) – Of the options given, pete, I prefer Alonso v Petrov. If you can’t get around you are either not a good enough driver (probably not the case here as Alonso is right at the top of the class), or there is an inherent problem with F1 cars. And not to toot my own conclusion, but, ding ding ding! we have a winner.

        The beauty of the non-DRS Trulli-trains is that it shows the problem. Hiding the problem behind an artificial system that changes the game just prolongs the problem. Address aero problems, allow innovation by teams, but giving only one driver in a two-driver situation the upper hand is artificial and unfair. And given how much “the show” is deemed the be-all end-all, it makes the show more boring as well, in my opinion.

        If a driver makes a better strategy call, works the tires better, and comes out ahead of a driver (either on a pass or a pit exchange), he is then in peril because the other driver can flip a switch and drive by. That leads to processions.

        The only reason the racing is any good of late is the tires/tyres. Bring back the everlasting gobstoppers/Bridgestones and watch how dull races become. DRS reduces the need to risk passing anywhere else and makes passing in the DRS zones a joke.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th March 2013, 15:21

          @hobo, I agree with your argument but totally disagree with your conclusion, if the following driver had tyres that maintained their performance no matter how hard they were pushed, with skill , luck and a fast car they could find a way past, now all they can do is back off and hope that they get really lucky or the leading drivers tyres fail before theirs do.

          • hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 15:49

            @hohum – I see where you’re coming from but at the very least, the tyres are within the control of the team/driver. If the car is heavy on the tyres, that is a variable the team has to work around or redesign towards. Meanwhile, DRS is completely artificial and not something that the other drivers/teams can defend.

            If teams were allowed to innovate, tyres could be more durable, as the differences in the cars would (and should) be the focus. But the closer you get to a spec series, the more you need variables. My contention is that I’d rather see tyres influence races than DRS. Others may differ.

          • Nomore (@nomore) said on 20th March 2013, 16:28

            +1 Well said agree

        • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th March 2013, 16:59

          @hobo – ok so I agree that DRS masks the inherent problem with F1 cars – that you lose a huge amount of downforce following another car closely. It’s something that should be addressed and in an ideal world, you wouldn’t need DRS but we’re not there yet. I’d like to think that next year’s cars (with more power coming out of the corner than grip) will promote overtaking without the need for DRS so fingers crossed but as things stand, I personally think races are better for DRS at the moment.

          • hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 17:02

            @petebaldwin – Fair points all. I, too, hope the 2014 specs help create better racing conditions generally and specifically for those following. We’ll agree to disagree on DRS, but if we agreed on everything, it’d be boring. Cheers.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th March 2013, 20:00

            @hobo, Ah yes, if only the teams were allowed to innovate, I think we both want the same thing only your view is a practical compromise while mine is wishful thinking.

          • hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 20:03

            @hohum – Wanting teams to be allowed to innovate is indeed wishful thinking. Sadly. Fingers crossed they head in a beneficial direction.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th March 2013, 20:19

            Well if we could give the teams a bigger share of revenue it might be possible.@hobo

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 21st March 2013, 11:32

            @hobo – fair enough! :) I think in general, we’re thinking the same – the future of F1 needs to be full of overtaking without the need for DRS!

          • hobo (@hobo) said on 21st March 2013, 14:21

            @hohum – getting the teams more money may be the biggest pipe dream of all (see: Mr. B.E.).

            @petebaldwin – I fully support this petebaldwin idea.

      • James_G said on 20th March 2013, 17:08

        Alonso vs Petrov 2010 Abu Dhabi?

        DRS would likely not have helped Alonso pass Petrov at Abu-Dhabi 2010.

        Reason been why Petrov was able to stay ahead in the 1st place, A car running less downforce with a better F-Duct system & higher gear ratio’s giving him about 20kph more top speed than Alonso.

        Also even if DRS worked in that situation why should Alonso be gifted a pass on Petrov who had a better car setup (To maximise top speed), Was driving a great race free of mistakes (Alonso had made a few little errors & run off track) & who’s team had run a better pit strategy?

        IN the past drivers/teams doing what Petrov/Renault did that day in having a better strategy & been able to hold off a faster car would be applauded (See Jarama 1981), Now it seems to be considered an appalling injustice because modern fans don’t know what racing is all about, There only interested in constant action because there attention spans are so small they get bored after 2mins of watching proper, real racing!

    • J Dubya (@j-dubya) said on 20th March 2013, 15:26

      DRS is an artificial device with no real world application and is for entertainment purposes, i.e the show. While, in principle, I see DRS as wrongheaded, from and entertainment point of view, it is broadly effective. Tire compounds are almost interesting as it forces teams optimize setup compromises and and carry out different strategies.

      As far as the two DRS zones back to back, I think it will be interesting to watch and see, as there are several different scenarios that will drive different strategies and approaches. In some instances the driver will be wise to hold drafting position for the first zone, while at other times the sandbagging driver will risk losing position to a following driver… The notion of drivers working together like a breakaway cycling group is interesting…

      Would more mechanical grip, i/e bigger tires, and less aero allow the cars to race closer, and make it more about the fastest most skilled driver of the day?

      • hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 15:52

        @j-dubya – I’ve stated my opinion on DRS and my (lack of) interest in it. To answer your question, I don’t think anyone can prophetically say that more mechanical grip and less aero would make things better and more about driver skill, but I’d much prefer that approach to the one that currently exists.

      • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 20th March 2013, 15:55

        Newsflash: Formula 1 cars are artificial devices with no real world application and are for entertainment purposes. This is because you don’t make road cars that are designed to need an overhaul after driving 305 km. Real-world development happens in endurance racing.

        • J Dubya (@j-dubya) said on 20th March 2013, 18:58

          True true, I like that; entertaining for sure. Perhaps endurance racing is the most applicable to real world development. Never-the-less, I believe that F1 would do well to stick to and build from a core philosophy based on core principles. I do not hate DRS, while it serves it’s intended purpose fairly effectively, the basis for DRS is more akin to arcade game gimmick, and clearly not based on any purist principles. I would worry a slippery slope, that the more F1 employs gimmicks for show, the further astray and afield it will go. My question is can the accomplish the same using regulations faithful to more of a purist ethos and fewer gimmicks. But I am not in the mainstream, so who cares what I think. For example, I think it is wrongheaded for NASCAR cars not to be based on real cars, but they sell a lot of tickets and merchandise to Bubba’s all over.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th March 2013, 20:28

            @j-dubya, back when there was less aero and bigger tyres the car on car battles were much closer and longer in duration, another aspect of those times was engines with different characteristics, typically V12’s had a higher top speed at the end of the straight but V8’s were quicker to accellerate out of a corner.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th March 2013, 20:06

          @ilanin, the shorter the life span the quicker the learning, that’s why the flu virus evolves faster than tortoises.

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 20th March 2013, 14:01

    why not two drs zones in practice and qualy but just the one in the race?

  5. Useless..

    It will rain anyway

  6. My fav track with 2 DRS zones, I’m recording this race in HD. :D

  7. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 20th March 2013, 15:06

    This will favour the Bulls massively – or any other car with loads of downforce. The ability to stay close to the car in front in any of the corners will put you well within 1sec for DRS activation. Subsequently, you will also be ahead come the next DRS activation zone and be able to break away from the 1sec activation.

    • hobo (@hobo) said on 20th March 2013, 15:55

      As long as they gear their cars long enough to take advantage, this could be true. Also depends on how they are on tyres in heat/rain. ROS looked good in the rain last weekend.

  8. Peter_GH said on 20th March 2013, 17:11

    So i’ll be getting a good nights sleep Sunday morning because Im not getting up to watch a boring DRS fest.

    DRS is a joke & im no longer interested in watching it kill f1, kill real overtaking & totally butcher the racing I once used to love.

    With 2 zones at most tracks & in locations such as here, Were just going to see more boring DRS passes & less real & exciting overtaking!!!!!

  9. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 20th March 2013, 17:27

    Never been & never will be a fan of DRS, I personally loathe the stupid thing & hate what its done to the racing & its really starting to harm my enjoyment of F1.

    Regarding the 2 zones, I think its a really bad move for the simple reason that its going to end up reducing the number of Non-DRS overtakes which are always more exciting to watch than what DRS produces.

    Also the placement of the zones, People keep saying that they should be used strategically, Don’t pass in the 1st if you know your going to get re-passed in the 2nd.
    So do we really want to see drivers backing out of overtakes in the final corner (As we see at the Montreal hairpin now)?
    Is that really the sort of racing thats fun or exciting to watch?
    From my point of view the answer to both is a profound NO!

    “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, Your no longer A Racing Driver” – Ayrton Senna!

  10. The new configuration raises the possibility of one driver passing another using DRS on the back straight, then coming under attack from DRS themselves on the pit straight.

    Canada all over again…. Ridiculous decision to have 2 detection zones.

  11. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17) said on 20th March 2013, 20:32

    @keithcollantine Where do you find these track maps with Marshall sectors?

  12. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 20th March 2013, 21:01

    Well, this is better than if they’d only had one detection point for both straights.

    At the very least it means a defending driver will have his chance to repass the car in front immediately…

    I appreciate nobody seems to approve of 2 DRS zones, but I’d still rather see too much overtaking than too little.

    • Roger2012 said on 20th March 2013, 21:39

      At the very least it means a defending driver will have his chance to repass the car in front immediately…

      which would be ridiculously artificial & a complete joke just as it was at Abu Dhabi in 2011.

      but I’d still rather see too much overtaking than too little.

      even if the passing is way too easy & therefore totally devoid of any excitement (as most drs passes are)?

      i would much rather a race with fewer overtakes which are actually exciting to watch than a race with tons of passing thats all boring to watch!

  13. Shiki said on 20th March 2013, 21:52

    you know what the biggest crime of the drs system is? the fact that its taken away the art of overtaking.

    in the past drivers like senna, hamilton, montoya & kobayashi stood out because they could overtake, they would throw a late braking move at someone & manage to pull off some truly brilliant overtakes that made you sit back & think ‘wow’.

    now with the drs everyone can overtake & you see those drivers like hamilton who once stood out for there great overtaking stand out less because overtaking is much easier than it should be now as you just have to get into the zone, push a button & your past with little trouble.

    were also losing the art of defending, yes it can be frustrating watching a car stuck behind another with no way past, however been able to place your car to prevent the one behind from passing you is a skill & something all the great drivers did well & often & it helped win them races & championships.

    with 2 drs zones most places this year i fear that passing is only going to get easier & defending harder & this will only strip away the art od overtaking & defending even further & we may no longer get to see the greats show exactly why there great.

  14. Car A goes after car B just within the second so goes on DRS zone 1 and overtakes it… then car B is behind and just within the second of car A, takes the DRS zone 2,
    This scenario is possible and the 2 DRS zones can be worthless

  15. mead said on 24th March 2013, 9:26

    I’ll tell ya what you do. You let the guy behind you pass just before the turn to the DRS zone. Then pass him back. You will lead him every lap. Or better yet, just get rid of it.

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