Two DRS zones for F1’s return to Austria

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, A1-Ring, 2002Formula One’s policy of using two DRS zones per track where possible will continue at the Red Bull Ring, which is hosting Austria’s first round of the world championship since 2003.

While the basic configuration of the circuit has changed little since then, when it was called the A1-Ring, it has been brought up to date by the addition of two DRS zones, each with their own activation point.

Significantly the longest flat-out section of the circuit, which links turns one and two, will not have a DRS zone. It does feature the first of two detection points, and drivers can activate DRS shortly after leaving turn two.

The other activation zone is on the start/finish straight, with the detection point between the last two corners.

Red Bull Ring DRS zones, 2014

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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53 comments on Two DRS zones for F1’s return to Austria

  1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 18th June 2014, 15:47

    I wish they’d do away with this damn rule already. They move F1 to pay tv which excludes the casual fans but then they persist with awful rules that antagonise the more serious fan who is more inclined to fork out the money for a SKY subscription. It doesn’t make any sense!

  2. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 18th June 2014, 16:00

    Interesting that they chose to have 2 DRS zones but neither are on the longest straight (well, pretty much a straight). Could it be that they’re actually thinking about using DRS to open up opportunities in non-conventional overtaking spots rather than making already possible overtaking spots a gimme? Well, guess we’ll see after the race how it works out, although a lot will depend on how the running order shapes up.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 18th June 2014, 16:10

      @keithedin Believe it or not that has always been the case, that’s why we rarely see a DRS zone span an entire straight, specially the very long ones.

      • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 18th June 2014, 16:13

        @mantresx Not on the entire straight, but i thought the tendency was to put them in the second ‘half’ of the longest straights.

        • hzh (@hzh00) said on 18th June 2014, 16:42

          Sometimes if the drs zone is placed on the longest straight, some of the cars tend to almost reach their top speed just before activating the drs, thus limiting the effect of drs.

          • Mr win or lose said on 19th June 2014, 21:29

            That’s only a rev-limited V8-engine problem, and doesn’t apply nowadays.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 18th June 2014, 16:39

        It’s usually just the second half of the longest straight though. I can’t think of many other situations where they’ve left out the longest straight on the track for DRS..

        Potentially with DRS on the home straight, a good passing oppotunity into turn 2 and then another DRS zone going down to turn 3, we’ve effectively got the whole first half of the lap as a good passing opportunity! As a lap is little over a minute long anyway, this race could be crazy!

        • Vic (@hendrix666) said on 18th June 2014, 22:36

          My thoughts exactly @petebaldwin

          Driver 2 less than 1 sec behind coming out of Turn 8 gets DRS.

          Driver 2 overtakes on S/F.

          Battle down T1 to T2 straight and keep within DRS and out of T2, DRS again!

          Then loopy bit before it starts again!

          Keeping out of DRS range will be huge, as well as driver’s ability in T4-T7.

          It has interesting potential if the field is tight. Might see a nice little race! Hope so!

      • marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 19th June 2014, 0:25

        @keithedin are you kidding? Every race this year it’s been on the longest straight, and at places like China and Canada it’s really annoying since they’re places where there’s non-DRS overtaking, so there’s no need for that section of track to be ‘spiced up’.

        I’m glad they seem to have put a bit more thought into this one.

  3. DaveW (@dmw) said on 18th June 2014, 16:27

    This plan seems likely to eliminate any competitive passes going into T2—after the longest straight on the track. Drivers will wait until the next straight. If you have to have two zones, I guess you have to put the second detection between T1 and T2. But why do you actually need two DRS zones, especially if it distorts the “natural” passing strategy of the track?

  4. matt90 (@matt90) said on 18th June 2014, 16:27

    At least they had the sense to put the detection point in such a place that it won’t put people off attacking into turn 2. What it will do is prevent anybody who loses out at turn 2 from having any realistic shot at regaining the place though.

    • Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 18th June 2014, 16:36

      More it’ll prevent any overtaking in turn 2 because everyone will just wait until the DRS zone to pass because it’s easier….

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 18th June 2014, 16:41

        The zone after turn 2 isn’t long enough to guarantee a passing oppotunity though. It should be fairly easy to defend into turn 3 in theory so I don’t think anyone will decide against making a move in Turn 2 if they get the chance.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 18th June 2014, 20:03

        @celicadion23 No, it won’t. Turn 2 in Austria is one of the best overtaking spots anywhere on the F1 calendar. Turn 3, on the other hand, is off-camber, very slippery and won’t be easy to overtake on, even with DRS. As shown here in this fight of Hakkinen VS Schumacher

        • skylab (@skylab) said on 19th June 2014, 1:03

          Could we see the driver behind getting in the tow through the first activation point, passing into Turn 2 & then activating the DRS to pull away on the run to Turn 3?

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 19th June 2014, 12:51

            @skylab I believe you could. But, to pass into turn 2 your line on the exit will necessarily be compromised and as the traction off the ideal line is quite poor there (note:it’s based on 2003, no one knows how are the grip levels there now), so they guy who overtakes there might need that. Multiple crashes have resulted there from the guy on the inside trying to both have the cake(overtake) and eat it(get the racing line). Here’s an example:Fisichella brainless move on cold tires:

            I know this might seem to contradict somewhat my previous claim that this is one of the best overtaking spots in F1. But really it’s a 65mph corner after a huge straight, you have to go for it there if you can and hope you carry enough speed on the exit to stay ahead. We’ll have to see how it pans out but I’m optimistic that we won’t be too bored :)

    • greg-c said on 19th June 2014, 15:51

      Heres a rule change idea !!!
      Why dont they just activate DRS on thursday morning and turn it off Sunday night

  5. Royal-Spark (@royal-spark) said on 18th June 2014, 16:35

    At least it’s not on the longest straight but for a circuit like this two DRS zones is too much. DRS itself is just too much of a convenience for the drivers. Why haven’t the FIA paid attention to the other series that have push-to-pass-aids and simply limit the number of uses for every race?

  6. Nick (@npf1) said on 18th June 2014, 16:43

    It’s gonna be hard to pick a favorite DRS zone between the one after T2 here, or the one after the hairpin at Canada.


    • minnis (@minnis) said on 18th June 2014, 16:59

      Exactly. If they needed a second, after turn 6 would be best.

    • Spud (@the-spuditron) said on 18th June 2014, 23:10

      I think my favourite DRS zone is the one on the Kemmel Straight, because it was definitely not the scene of one of the greatest overtakes in history, and hardly ever sees overtaking there at all ever, ever.

      /yet more sarcasm

      • Jere Jyrala said on 22nd June 2014, 16:14

        I disagree, Kemmel Straigh is exactly one of the most unneedable places to have it, 95 % of the DRS-assisted overtakes there in 3 previous Belgian GP’s have been more or less motorway-style passes! but with the new regulations, we don’t know really until then, that will it be the same, but definitely Spa should have only S/F straight as DRS zone as this year’s cars are already faster on the straights than 2013 cars, so even without DRS they can reach like over 320-325 kph at the end of Kemmel straight, which was not possible last year with the rev-limits/different gear ratios

  7. Bradley Downton (@bradley13) said on 18th June 2014, 17:01

    Why is there not a DRS zone heading into an actual overtaking spot?!

    In my – admittedly limited – experience of Austria, neither turn one or turn three have ever been known as corners where overtaking is in abundance.

    I’m all for DRS, providing it’s used properly to give people the chance to overtake into the corner, not to just drive past someone on a straight, as was I believe the initial plan. The DRS zones here seem to go completely against that…

  8. Calum (@edwardcj95f1) said on 18th June 2014, 17:11

    so sick of this useless DRS. the racing has been epic without the need of any overtaking aid – in some cases it actually spoils it. i’d rather watch a driver successfully hold off another by merit than have him breeze by and that be an end of it. Especially true when a good driver in a slower car has managed to get himself up amongst the top positions but the DRS just makes the fast cars faster in comparison and takes away the underdogs hard work.

  9. JustCurious said on 18th June 2014, 18:11

    Would it be possible to keep the DRS open at turn one by not pushing the brake pedal (maybe using lift&coast) and hence have it opened till the second turn?

  10. Roald (@roald) said on 18th June 2014, 19:31

    Just look at how beautiful that Ferrari in the picture is. Sigh…

  11. SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 18th June 2014, 19:55

    Why is everyone complaining. This is the type of thing we wanted… DRS will only give a small benefit this way. What @petebaldwin said is completely true.

  12. Sujeeth (@sjct83) said on 18th June 2014, 20:03

    Force India for a podium??

  13. Zedd (@zedd) said on 18th June 2014, 20:10

    Really excited for the return of this track, hopefully DRS wont affect it too much.

  14. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 18th June 2014, 20:18

    I’m glad to see they’re using the old classic DRS zones of the Österreichring! Should make for great vintage style racing! :-)

  15. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 18th June 2014, 21:33

    I think these DRS zones might be Ok. The first zone, after turn 2, is probably not powerful enough to produce any overtaking (it won’t be that effective when cars are accelerating from low speed), though if there is a side-by-side battle coming out of 2, then it’s a pity if DRS interferes with it.

    As for the DRS on the start-finish straight, it looks pretty similar to the one in Barhain, and we had a good grand prix there too.

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