Start, Canadian Grand Prix, 2010, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal

Two DRS zones per race from Canadian GP

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: The FIA will add an extra DRS zone at each race after the Canadian GP.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Two race DRS zones from Montreal onwards (Adam Cooper)

“The FIA?s Charlie Whiting has confirmed that there will be two DRS zones at each race ?ǣ if the circuit layout allows it ?ǣ starting from Montreal.”

F1 governing body investigating Ferrari rear wing (Reuters)

Charlie Whiting: “It’s a very clever interpretation of the rules and we’ve got to decide whether we think it’s a good interpretation of the rules.”

No more excuses, say Ferrari (BBC)

Stefano Domenicali: “I don’t want to hear from my engineers that they have a problem with the wind tunnel. If you have something to improve you have to do it. The time of excuses is finished. I don’t want to look for excuses – this is not our style, and it’s not mine.”

Sennasational (Kermode Uncut)

Lewis Hamilton is my biggest threat in the long term, says Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (Daily Telegraph)

??With all due respect to the other drivers, normally in the top teams there are the main drivers and the main fights. Lewis, with the commitment he has to McLaren for so many years, I see him as the biggest competition.”

Cosworth worried about 2013 engine costs (Autosport)

“With new regulations, while being welcome from the point of view of innovation, what would never be welcome is creating a financial space race. That is not what we want at a time when we are emerging from the most difficult economic time for many, many teams. We believe there is a responsible discussion to be had in terms of costs involved in 2013.”

Technical Focus: Skirts (Williams)

??Our skirt system was well engineered; it was sprung by a scissor arrangement, which turned out to be one of the FW07?s greatest strengths. If the skirt moved just 25mm off the ground, you lost about 50 percent of your downforce, so it was vital to keep it on the tarmac and we managed to do that pretty effectively.”

DRS: Optical Illusion why some wings appear to open wider (Scarbs F1)

“Looking at DRS rear wing in use between different cars creates an optical illusion. Some wings appear to open far more than others. Red Bull and Mercedes are teams who have raced short flap DRS since the start of the season. When their DRS is activated, the slot gap appears much larger compared to McLaren who continue to race with a larger flap.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Will HRT fall foul of the 107% rule again this weekend? Thoughts from Solo:

I do think they will make it in the end though because the Red Bulls and McLarens might be on hards on Q1.

But if the new hard tyre is so slower than the previous hard that will force even those teams to put the soft, on, then HRT and maybe Virgin could be in trouble.

Ironically the whole thing might depend on Lotus’s pace. If they actually find that one second they might scare a top team that wants to pass just barely with the hard tyre but i doubt the new hard tyre will really make them lose so much time.

From the forum

Discussing Fernando Alonso’s new helmet design in the helmet thread.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to GV27 and Kanyima!

On this day in F1

Rene Arnoux started an F1 race for the first time in the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder in 1978. He finished ninth.

Arnoux went on to win seven Grands Prix driving for Renault and Ferrari.

70 comments on “Two DRS zones per race from Canadian GP”

  1. Hang on. Canada was exciting last year. There was overtaking. It was easy. Why the need for DRS at all? 2 zones? Too much

    1. People were calling for two DRS zones in Malaysia, claiming it would make things better. Now that there are two DRS zones, it’s suddenly too much?

      The race in Canada last year was a result of the unique surface around the city. Because Montreal freezes over in the winter, the circuit uses a tarmac that is not very porous, so as to stop water from seeping in, freezing and expanding, thus breaking the circuit up. There’s no gurantee that just because it was an exciting race last year, it will be an exciting race this year.

      And the front straight in Montreal is significantly shorter than the back stretch. It’s only going to work for counter-passing.

      1. The race in Canada last year was a result of the unique surface around the city.

        Do they suddenly have different surface this year?
        NO, THEY DON’T!

        Btw, there was an exciting race in Montreal not only last year, but pretty much every year.

        1. Do they suddenly have different surface this year?
          NO, THEY DON’T!

          No, they don’t – but we do have different tyres. For all we know, the nuances of the surface will change the way the Pirellis behave.

    2. The biggest problem is that the DRS zone was too long already. Especially in the last race. Making it even longer is just ridiculous.

      I’d say two short DRS zones would be better though. Just give the chasing driver enough benefit to overcome the loss in downforce from following in the wake. Then a true battle will happen.

      Give them too much DRS and it will just lead to more cars simply driving past. That actually means less (real) overtaking.

      1. Snow Donkey
        21st May 2011, 2:13

        There is a BIG problem with this. There is only one timing zone. This is a little bit unclear, but in the wording, Charlie Whiting stated that there would be one timing sector for the 1 second gap, and that the second strait would be to allow a failed overtake to be retried on the following strait.

        Concerns are two-fold: why only one zone to activate two straits? what about a counter attack? boo-hiss.
        Second, what if the pass DOES come off? is the second DRS area then de-activated or does someone get to go all mario-kart and zoom off again?

        This could have been good. Say one leading into turn 10, back strait DRS free, then pit strait zone with a seperate detection area for each.

    3. They’re going too far in my opinion.

  2. All I’m going to say is, Sauber were punished harshly for having a rear wing millimetres out, but if Ferrari haven’t actually broken any rules then they should be allowed to keep it without any controversy.

    Let’s not get into a big arguement about the Ferrari rear wing, it’s not as if it’s the end of the world or anything.

    1. Couldnt agree more. And I’m disenchanted by charlie whiting’s quote on the matter where he says, “It’s a very clever interpretation of the rules and we’ve got to decide whether we think it’s a good interpretation of the rules.”

      I shouldnt matter whether they think its a “good” interpretation of the rules, all that matters is whether its valid or not. Yes I know that can be vague, but I feel like if charlie whiting and his folks have to deliberate over whether a rule interpretation is clever vs incorrect, then it should be allowed.

      1. Actually he put it quite correctly. They found a way to intemperate the rules that allows them to have that wing. Now the FIA must decide if that interpretation is something they can accept or not.

    2. if Ferrari haven’t actually broken any rules then they should be allowed to keep it without any controversy.

      It’s not a question of whether or not they’ve broken the rules because this is not a clear-cut case. The Ferrari rear wing was obviously designed to slip through a loophole, and thus exists in a fuzzy area that is neither legal nor illegal. The FIA need to decide one way or another whether they allow the wing to continue to be used under the current rules, or close the loophole to ban it.

      It’s a lot like the Schumacher-Alonso situation at Monaco last year. The rules there were unclear, and open to different interpretations. The FIA needed to decide which interpretation was correct, and make it an established part of the rule book. However unpopular the verdict was, these situations don’t arise because the FIA wants to screw everyone over. They exist because we find ourselves in a situation that has never happened before, and clarification is needed. One could make the argument that “the rules should have been clear from the start”, but that’s the rub – for every amendment you add to the rule book, there will always be a loophole to exploit. Close it up, and you open another one. In the case of Ferrari’s new rear wing, it was created by an aerodynamicist who is essentially paid to find these loopholes and exploit them. All aerodynamicists do it. And that’s the real problem here: no doubt that Adrian Newey could write a set of rules that were almost perfect and allowed for no wriggle room, but designers will always be paid more by the teams to find loopholes and exploit them than they will be paid by the FIA to find loopholes and close them.

      1. Good comment, except for the comparison with Schumacher and Alonso last year: If a driver shall not follow the signalling by race control on track, then what should he do? Race with the rule book open on his lap? That ruling was another Blunder from FIA. But if the driver had been someone else than Schu (which has a history of being testing the limits all over) then the ruling might have been different.
        If Ferrari or anyone has found a loophole, then let them – they have invested time and money to make it work. FIA must then improve ruling for next year.

      2. I also think this is perfectly fine for the FIA do decide on, thats what they are for.

        If only they would decide like that on the flexi wings and on numerous other things as fast as this.

  3. 2 DRS zones is good news

    get drivers passing in more than just one corner

    1. Who said anything about drivers passing in corners?

  4. Michael Griffin
    21st May 2011, 0:24

    TWO DRS zones, and Pirelli’s that fall apart.

    Canada will be INSANE!

    1. *Pirellis and the track surface!

    2. I can’t wait to see artificial overtaking twice per lap!.

      Why not go the Indy route and have the leading car not be allowed the racing line into a corner as well?.


      1. Sounds like a really good idea to make IndyCar racing get closer to F1 like that ;-)

  5. Won’t 2 DRS zones cancel each other out?

    Lap 4
    The running order is ‘Car A’ followed by ‘Car B.’
    B overtakes in Zone 1, A retakes the lead in Zone 2.

    Lap 5
    The running order is ‘Car A’ followed by ‘Car B.’
    B overtakes in Zone 1, A retakes the lead in Zone 2.

    Lap 6
    The running order is ‘Car A’ followed by ‘Car B.’
    B overtakes in Zone 1, A retakes the lead in Zone 2.

    Lap 7
    The running order is ‘Car A’ followed by ‘Car B.’
    B overtakes in Zone 1, A retakes the lead in Zone 2.

    * * *

    The running order is ‘Car A’ followed by ‘Car B.’
    B overtakes in Zone 1, A retakes the lead in Zone 2.


    1. I thought the same thing. The question is whether there are two DRS ‘detection zones’ or just one.

      Either way, its two DRS zones too many. Canada doesnt need such gimmicks.

      1. Explain to me exactly what it is that made Canada 2010 such a good race. Don’t just say “there was lots of tyre degradation”. Tell me why it happened.

        1. Explain to me exactly what it is that made Canada 2010 such a good race.

          Hamilton won. :P

        2. Don’t just say “there was lots of tyre degradation”. Tell me why it happened.

          The abrasive track surface?

        3. Snow Donkey
          21st May 2011, 2:22

          Simple. It’s cold here. When you get massive temperature swings (freeze-thaw) asphalt cracks because water gets into the pores, freezes (contracts) then thaws (expands). This is why canada was always criticised in the past for having rough track surface. When they resurfaced the track, they went with a very non-porous surface. The side effect is that it doesn’t ruber in. Combine that with a very rarely used track, plus the low downforce configuration, and you get a slippery tire eater!

          1. Exactly. I was kind of hoping hallard would be the one to describe it, though. His post reads like unbridled criticism of the DRS without any substantial knowledge of the nuances of the Montreal circuit to prove his point.

          2. Actually it’s the other way around. Water expands on freezing. That’s why cracks appear during winter, not summer. If liquid water expanded it could flow out of the pores back onto the surface of the road.

            But otherwise you’re right. A surface that was slippery and didn’t rubber in produced the exciting race last year.

        4. First off, I didnt say anything about the 2010 Canada race, and I do also feel that in years other than 2010 canada has had exciting races. Nor did I even mention tire degradation. But in answer to your somewhat patronizing question, there are many aspects of the circuit gilles villeneuve that make it more accomodating to overtaking maneuvers, so to speak. One of which, and perhaps the most significant (certainly the most talked about), is the slippery nature of the non-porous track surface (in regards to last year’s race specifically). Another of which is that canada is a high speed track with long straights that tends to favor lower downforce configurations, thus decreasing the inherent grip handicap for a following car. It is also very hard on brakes, with many opportunities for a driver missing a braking point to be punished severely and overtaken by a following car. Lastly, the final hairpin is banked more than most hairpins on the calendar, meaning that drivers exiting the corner arent quite as ‘aero-grip’ limited, if you will, and can mount an attack down the following straight more easily.

          I’ll be the first to admit that I loathe the DRS concept, and I certainly hope Im not the only one, but I find it amusing that you think my stance on the matter is a result of a lack of “any substantial knowledge of the nuances of the Montreal circuit”, as you put it.

          Explain to me why you read so much more into my comment than what I actually wrote.

      2. well generally the guy who overtakes is significantly quicker anyway, he needs to be to get within 1 second. So it would be very difficult for the slower guy, probably on more worn tyres, to get back past.

        1. probably on more worn tyres

          Not really. The thrend this year has been for drivers to start the race on the soft compound tyres (the extra-hards introduced for Barcelona are trying to promote diversity in strategy). So if the DRS is available from the third lap onwards and all drivers have the same compound of tyres, then theoretically they should all be experiencing similar levels of wear. If there’s any difference in tyre wear between two cars, the effect would be negligible.

          1. Hi PM.

            Quick Question: do you work in F1, as you seem to have an incredible knowledge of it and indeed many other things? You must be pretty high up in it if you do.

            Just wanted to say that it is an honour even to have the opportunity to write on the same blog as you (not that I am fit to, compared to you).


          2. @FEM cheeky bit of sarcasm never goes amiss…

        2. No, this year we have seen several drivers who in parts of the race have been overtaking each other many times. Koba and Schu as an example has been battling in parts of several races this year.
          But I think it must be much more fun for the drivers to be able to overtake, instead of being locked behind a slower driver much of the race. However the DRS zone shouldn’t be longer than to provide a battle for position in the corner at the end of the zone. When the overtaking is way over before the turn, it is too easy.

      3. No apparantly theres only going to be 1 detection zone. Which means, that cars might be immensely spread out.

    2. Chavagator
      21st May 2011, 8:31

      Hmmm, yes I agree. E=MC2. Fantastic equation you have there.

    3. That wont happen as there is only 1 timing point for the activation. So if….

      Car A has just been passed by Car B using his DRS in Zone 1

      Car B will still have DRS in zone 2 so just pull away further from Car A.

      Nonsense in my opinion. Ill still keep banging on about giving them a number of uses per race and let them choose where and defend with it if they want.

      1. Snow Donkey
        21st May 2011, 16:01

        I’m torn between giving them two timing loops for the two drs zones, or the limited number of uses strategy. Both aim at giving the defending driver something to work with, but in my opinion, a limited number of uses would sort of reduce the action, in the sense that maybe a driver waits to be within half a second before using it to be more certain of the outcome, and that it would in a sense knock it back down to the cat and mouse days of more processional chases. I don’t really know squat though and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out.

        I do get a sense that the FIA are a little bit more open to trying different things with it than was perhaps previously thought. Good for them for trying different options with DRS, here’s hoping they find the right mix. If DRS is really here to stay, we may see more experimentation through to next season as they figure out what works on each circuit. I would not expect the configuration in istanbul to remain unchanged next year (if the track keeps a spot).

    4. Only that article actually states its only 1 zone for deciding on weather a driver is allowed to use it.

      So the driver behind will have it available on the first and second stretches, while the driver in front will not have it at either.

  6. Having 2 DRS zones only seperated by 1 corner makes no sense at all. At Canada it’ll be 2 DRS zones seperated by the last corner, so drivers may be able to close up on the back straight, stay close through through the last corner and then breeze past on the start finish straight.

    Surely it makes more sense, and better racing to have a seperation between the zones to allow a defending or just past driver to pull away before the next zone. For example have a DRS on the straight down to the hairpin and another on the start finish straight in Canada.

    1. I was also thinking that, but let’s assume that the first DRS zone is too short to get too close, but enough to get close enough so the last corner doesn’t seperate the two cars very much, allowing them to slipstream until the DRS zone, which is short enough that breezing past is hardly an option most of the time. It might work, but it will really depend on the right choice of length for the zones.

      1. Yeah, I guess that is the thinking behind this change.

  7. Could it be that due to the low drag setups they will be using that they predict the DRS will have a smaller effect, which they are trying to combat?

  8. Ok, I dont get it. Why is it that F1 has made a way to help with passing such a bad thing. I have really enjoyed the last several races. Good passing close battles and the Hamilton has won a race. For me it has been a good year. I think the DRS is a great balance to the KERS system. Forgive me but I really dont want to watch a race were the race is settled in Qual 3.

    1. It is, is it not? Vettel homing in for the win. What’s so exciting bout that?

  9. Mark Hitchcock
    21st May 2011, 2:41

    Hooray for Mark Kermode. The only film critic I bother to listen to (mainly for his rants). Glad he likes Senna.

    1. I’ll second this, love his reviews.

      1. I love how he ripped Pirates of the Caribbean a new one.

  10. 2 DRS zone is absolute madness? I would like to see the Canada race without DRS.

  11. 2 DRS zones? Oh baby, my seat at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in less than a month is looking better and better. Now if it’d just stop raining.

  12. I agree. I don’t think we need DRS zones at all in Canada. I think the FIA should have the ability to cancel DRS here in Montreal if they think there will be no need with massive tyre degradation.

    I think DRS would have been perfect for last year with the ridiculous Bridgestones, but this year there is no need with the Pirelli’s.

    I also think the safety car rules should be changed. I think when they do theire rolling starts they should line up behind the safey car 1st through to 24th. IUnstead of having traffic in the way. It would make for much better restarts.

  13. 2 DRS zones, Super Soft-Soft compount in high degration circuit….it should be chaotic.

  14. Since passing is the only relevant metric for how entertaining the race is, lets not lose our nerve now and stop now at 2. As long as you are two seconds back or less, you get carte blanche to fling open your wing. Until F1 looks like that NASCAR truck race Kimi just basically won tonight (practically, morally), where the race-vehicles are side by side at all times, don’t stop. Because that was riveting.

    1. I take it that is sarcasm. Could of done with a ;-) icon.
      I wish these people that think overtaking is the only thing that matters would go away and watch Touring cars (or something), the sad thing is there are actually a lot of people out there that think that.

  15. box this lap
    21st May 2011, 7:23

    1 DRS was too much for me but I could live with it. 2 zones is just to much, the tyres are enough for overtaking.

  16. Highlights from Kimi Raikkonen’s NASCAR debut.

    1. That makes me sad. What a waste of talent. :(

      1. Really, I thought he looked pretty awesome!! Saving some massive drifts and bouncing off walls, I bet he loved it! Top 15 in first time out in a totally foreign form of motorsport is quite impressive, the field is normally quite big.

        I reckon we will see him in Nascar soon. Thanks for the video PM.

      2. Don’t be so quick to write NASCAR off. It might be stereotyped as being for rednecks only, but just look at some of the stuff Raikkonen was dealing with – sliding about, bashing the wall, competitiors in close quarters. This is a man who is a Formula 1 World Champion and has a season in the WRC under his belt. It really makes you appreciate just how much of a challenge NASCAR poses. It’s certainly a lot harder than it looks.

        1. Being over in the states, I watched the race (first time for the nascar trucks). Kimi drove well, the commentators were impressed with him. It was a day that saw him battling a loose car and saved quite a few spins when some of the top drivers (3 previous champions) could not stop themselves from spinning. It was the first time he had run in traffic, didn’t make a fool of himself, and made a few passes too. He was, however, getting very frustrated with the cautions (10 in all). He came on over the radio at one point and stated that everytime he started to feel comfortable after a restart, another caution came out.

          Oh and Piquet Jr. spun coming out of a left hand turn… wah waah

  17. Cosworth worried about 2013 engine costs (Autosport)

    I hope I’m not the only one that found themselves grinning at that headline! (In case you didn’t know, I can’t stand the thought of losing the distinctive high-pitched scream of Formula 1)

    1. They’re talking about the financial cost of building the new engines, not considering the noise to be the cost of the new green focus of the engine development.

      The concerns about the noise are unfounded until such time as we actually hear one of the engines. It’s mostly just people opposing rule changes

      1. That’s not what I meant. I was just saying that if the engine suppliers complain about the costs, the FIA might ditch the change. And no, I don’t like change at all.

  18. I’m probably one of the most passionate defenders of the DRS on here, but this past week has been too much even for me. First of all it was said it might be retained for good (thanks, aero brigade) and now this?

    It’s not the principle of two zones that gets me. It’s the inevitability of how it’s going to be implemented. Every race weekend I’ve been making suggestions on alternative places for the DRS zones to be: out of Turn 2 in Malaysia, or out of Turn 8 in Turkey for example. For me, the DRS is there to negate the problem of dirty air and when you’re shortening zones to the lengths of small straights, you might as well put them on the short straights. That way you protect against the ‘motorway overtakes’ (nice term, Keith) that have unfortunately become a by-product of the system’s implementation – the DRS is that little bit extra that’s needed when two cars are on similar pace but you can’t tell a driver that’s massively faster it can’t be used.

    The fundamental flaw is in how the system works. The dirty air effect contributes to the yo-yo effect, getting close in the corners and then the leading car pulling away as it can get on the power earlier. Aero makes this worse because robbing a car of downforce stops them from getting close in the corner in the first place. Ideally, the DRS would work the opposite way to how it works now: drivers should be able to open it out of the corner to make up the time lost due to the dirty air and then at a certain point down the straight it de-activates and the driver’s on his own.

    Even better, they should get rid of the DRS and implement a DAS – Downforce Addition System, by which I mean something akin to a mini-air-brake. That way drivers won’t breeze past on the straight, it will keep the overtaking in the corners (and so give a chance for a driver to defend properly) and best of all by its nature will put a premium on driver skill and daring.

    There are many here who say the DRS produces artificial racing. I would dispute that. But the fact of the matter is that the DRS itself is artificial and having a second zone strategically placed for re-passing is blatantly artificial. The point of the DRS was to make sure no-one got stuck behind a slower car, not to bring in slipstreaming battles which are pleasing to the eye.

    After the shelving of the 2012 rules and now this, I’m not very proud to be a F1 fan at the moment. I’m just glad that the casual fans don’t really pay enough attention to this to get ashamed about it.

    1. DRS is far from the best solution for its intended purpose, as you admit here. So why say you will keep disputing that it’s artificial and that you will passionately defend it?

      A system to combat overtaking issues is required and I think that is what you are fighting for. But DRS isn’t right for F1 and it would help matters if people like yourself, who are aware of that, stop promoting it.

  19. Then whats the point in that? If the 1st DRS zone isnt long enough to create an overtaking opportunity then why have it? Its not as if we’re short of straights to have a full length zone at most circuits. At least a 2nd zone on the other side of the circuit woud give another overtaking place and more interest.

  20. 2 DRS zones is a GREAT idea. I would add that if overtaking has been completed after the 2 zones, the leading car should get a drive-thru penalty. We must have overtaking at any cost and it doesn’t matter how artificial.

    It’s also GREAT that the 2013 changes that might have allowed closer racing will not be needed because we have DRS. And it’s GREAT that circuits such as Abu Dhabi will not be improved for racing because we have DRS.

    Who would have thought that one simple artificial gimmick could solve all of these problems. We don’t need cars that drivers are able to race with, or circuits that are suitable for racing on, because we have DRS. GENIUS.

    NOTE: This comment may contain sarcasm.

    1. “has” in top line should be “hasn’t”.

  21. having 1 drs zone was bad enough but having 2 means twice the artificialness (is that even a word?) & just makes it twice as much a gimmick.

  22. Good COTD. Generally I think most things are relative in F1 but this may be an exception to the rule.

    2 DRS zones could be very interesting. I remember the issue being brought up on here a while ago and at the time I wasn’t too keen on it. I think that may be excessive. But it’s not fair to properly judge it until it’s been tried.

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