Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Silverstone, 2012

DRS use under yellow flags banned

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Silverstone, 2012In the round-up: The FIA told drivers they were no longer allowed to use DRS under yellow flags prior to the British Grand Prix


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

FIA to stop DRS under yellow flags (Autosport)

“The new ban on the use DRS during yellow flag periods was implemented for the first time at the British Grand Prix in the wake of the collision between Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez.”

Silverstone won’t cut capacity (Sky)

“Silverstone chiefs won’t consider cutting the capacity for the British Grand Prix in wake of the problems experienced at this year’s event and have instead vowed to improve the venue’s infrastructure to ensure there is no repeat of the traffic chaos in future.”

Silverstone keep heads above water (The Telegraph)

“While ??40 million has been ploughed into giving Silverstone a facelift, with a spanking new pits and paddock complex and a new section of track, the event is still not weatherproof.”

Montezemolo: “An important result at Silverstone” (Ferrari)

“In this recent phase of the championship, we have shown that we are competitive whatever the conditions and on all types of track.”

Hamilton ‘will stay’ at McLaren despite form (BBC)

“Asked if McLaren’s current form would influence Hamilton, [Martin] Whitmarsh said: ‘No, I think he’s smarter than that.'”

Motor racing-Texas circuit shaping up for big debut (Reuters)

Circuit of the Americas president Steve Sexton: “We’re on schedule to be complete. Charlie Whiting was at our site two or three weeks ago and took a look at it and said we’re doing fantastic. He was very pleased.”

Daly set for second F1 aero test at Duxford (GP Update)

“Conor Daly will get behind the wheel of Force India’s VJM05 at Duxford on Thursday, completing specific data aero mapping work for the Silverstone-based squad. The American, who races in GP3 for Lotus GP, made his F1 testing debut last month.”

McLaren Animation (YouTube)

Comment of the day

A Stats and Facts contribution from Journeyer:

Here?s an interesting one: remember the 2010 season, where the championship leader entering any given race never ended up winning it? It?s happening again in 2012 ?ǣ nine races in, and a race has not yet been won by the incumbent championship leader.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The same three drivers finished on the podium in last year’s British Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso scored his only victory of 2011 at Silverstone.

The Red Bull drivers finished second and third, but after the race Mark Webber revealed he had not heeded an instruction from the pitwall not to challenge Sebastian Vettel for second place:

Image ?? Williams/LAT

53 comments on “DRS use under yellow flags banned”

  1. Yay! CotD!

    No surprise on the DRS clarification – it’s now banned in the sense that it’ll be disabled as needed. But it doesn’t change the rule on slowing down for yellows – they will look at the slowing-down speed. DRS/KERS are just secondary considerations.

    1. Congratulations, nice observation @journeyer

  2. is it true that spa has signed a contract to host the gp for 2013, 2014, and 2015?

    1. @blockwall2 – A French-language radio station in Belgium is reporting as much. But it’s difficult to say for certain until the calendar is released. There’s no word on when that will be; organisers in New Jersey have said that they are expecting it to be published in “early July”, but we’re quickly coming up to mid-July.

      1. Speaking of the 2013 calendar, do you know or have you heard anything about when it might be released, @keithcollantine?

    2. Yep, happy days

      1. What, why isn’t this in the round-up? THIS is awesome news!

        1. @blockwall2 @spinmastermic @randy I’ve heard rumours but not seen anything official nor anything from a credible source.

          A few weeks ago there were similar rumours that The Paul Ricard/Spa race-share deal was done but again there was nothing official forthcoming and it now seems those rumours were wide of the mark.

          Hence my caution.

          1. It is the kind of story that people would pounce on – and then be massive disappointed by when it doesn’t come true.

            For what its worth, I think Spa is a little over-rated myself. I get the appeal of it as a challenge for the drivers, but in this day and age when downforce reigns supreme, a lot of the challenge is gone from it. Drivers can take the likes of Eau Rouge and Pouhon flat out, and there is nothing challenging about that. I was kind of hoping it could reclaim some of its former glory with the ban on off-throttle blown diffusers, but the teams seem to have worked their way around that now.

            Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a good circuit. I just don’t go googly-eyed over it. I generally look forward to Interlagos, Silverstone, Montreal and Suzuka more than I do Spa.

          2. @keithcollantine Maybe rightly so. The Walloon green (Écolo) and liberal (MR) parties are having questions about the government closing a deal for 3 years, without knowing any details about the finances. Some part of the article says that negotiations are still ongoing.

   (en français)

          3. @prisoner-monkeys I agree, Spa is not that fearsome in an F1 car anymore. But on the other hand, all but La Source and Combes (and maybe a little lift at Malmedy) would be flat-out on the old layout of Spa, but I doubt many drivers would say that it’s not challenging.

          4. No track on the F1 calendar is as daunting as they used to be, because they’re not allowed to be.

            But Spa is still very fast and a little lacking in run-off at places – hence the DRS ban at Eau Rouge. I think it’s to say things like ‘Pouhon is not a challenge any more’ when you’re not the one holding the steering wheel.

  3. xeroxpt (@)
    10th July 2012, 1:23

    Also yesterday Mark told BBC that Alonso was the target not the third fourth placeman etc. I guess since it isnt Vettel winning Mark is ok.

    1. Target is always the driver who is in front ;), in this case it is Alonso

  4. Is it bad that I found the McLaren cartoon to be very funny? I know the whole idea of a McLaren cartoon is pretty lame, but I found the exploding golf cart and bouncing tyres race to be very witty.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys I chuckled quite a bit at the reference to Mansell’s ‘tash to be honest.

    2. me and the OH were in stitches when it was aired on sky during the pre-race. it’s just so completely stupid

  5. Perhaps I’m just too sceptical, but wasn’t it fairly clear already that using DRS under yellow flags was a big no-no? I suspect what Schumacher did in Valencia would have lead to a penalty 99% of the time, but with him finishing 3rd it would’ve been a very unpopular decision to penalise him. After all, the FIA got their fingers burnt with the Spa 2008 decision…

    1. I suspect what Schumacher did in Valencia would have lead to a penalty 99% of the time, but with him finishing 3rd it would’ve been a very unpopular decision to penalise him.

      I’m not so sure about the reasoning behind the decision not to penalise Schumacher. The stewards said his on-board telemetry showed that he slowed down, and radio messages between Schumacher and the Mercedes pit wall had his mechanics telling him to back off. I believe Schumacher’s argument was that he had activated DRS before he saw the yellow flags, which makes sense given that it was a local yellow – the flags would have been shown along the straight on the approach to Turn 12, but the DRS zone started in Turn 11 and there may not have been a yellow waved there.

    2. I think Schumacher’s case highlighted how difficult it is to implement the rule, because he clearly opened the DRS before the yellow flag zone and closed it when he saw the yellows… Technically he used DRS through a yellow flag zone, but it was really an accident and I think any form of punishment would have been far too excessive. This is a much better solution because it physically stops people from being able to open the wing, allowing no room for error.

    3. I agree with @damonsmedley . Also, I’d say any rules relating to yellow flags are going to be difficult to implement. Some drivers will get away with it 90% of the time by saying “oh,.. yeah I slowed down” where as they actually did not. Then you will get drivers who are too generous like Button. There is no clear way of policing this. Things happen so fast during the race that there is sometimes not enough time for a driver to react to a yellow flag. There are too many things going on. Implementing DRS “inactive” remotely during a yellow flag is the only way to go.

    4. Mark Webber drove faster through the yellow zone than Schumacher. If Webber wasn’t penalised, then Schumacher obviously can’t be either.

      1. Exactly @slr Webber was going 45kph faster through the same part of the track (I have a picture on my PC at home) yet Red Bull were the ones whining to the stewards just because Schumacher happened to have had DRS open for a few seconds, seemed a little petty and hypocritical of them tbh

  6. Love the cartoon, wish every team would do these!

  7. Does the new rule mean that DRS is disabled by the race control? Or is it upto the driver to not use the DRS?

    1. I would assume the former. But that makes too much sense coming from the FIA so I will assume its the latter until proven otherwise :p

      1. But I just read the article now and it says the FIA (race control) will disable it. And I do remember seeing a thing pop up saying “DRS disabled” when the yellow flags were out for the Perez and Maldonado collision.

        1. There was a message that said “DRS Disabled” during the incident.

    2. I believe it means DRS will be disabled by race control – but only when there is an accident in the same sector as the incident that drew out the yellows. It was disabled at Silverstone when Perez and Maldonado clashed, because they clased at the end of the Wellington Straight, which held the DRS zone. I’d be interested to know what race control would do if an accident took place in the same sector as the DRS zone, but before the actual DRS zone. For example, what would have happened if Perez and Maldonado made contact on the main straight, leaving the actual DRS zone clear?

  8. @keithcollantine The British GP overshadowed this… but, any news about Maria’s health?

      1. thanks for the update.

    1. @icemangrins Besides what was mentioned in the race report?

      Webber beats Alonso to British Grand Prix win

  9. I think it’s easy for Whitmarsh to say that Hamilton won’t be swayed by the slump in form, and of course he wouldn’t change his allegiance over two bad races. On the other hand, it’s also possible to take a broader view and see this as confirmation that McLaren are incapable of providing him with a championship challenger. After a promising start to 2012, McLaren find themselves in the familiar position of trailing Red Bull and occasionally Ferrari.

    The problem for Hamilton is that, as yet, he has nowhere to go in terms of finding a more competitive car; Ferrari hardly have a better track record than McLaren, and Mercedes is failing to fulfill its promise yet again, despite its maiden win (and Hamilton doesn’t need another car that’s hard on its tyres). So Hamilton will stay at McLaren, I think, though it wouldn’t surprise me if he wants to ‘stay his hand’ over the contract until Webber re-signs at Red Bull. If Mark were to plumb for a Ferrari drive, and Hamilton gets a call from Red Bull, then Lewis will go to the team whose car he’s been wanting to drive ever since 2010.

    1. I’m trying to give McLaren the benefit of the doubt but since 2009 (and probably much earlier) they should have done so much better. The whole mentality is supposed to be ‘exist to win’ but far too often they talk about ‘closing the gap’, or ‘being competitive’ when they should be winning from the front.

      I have a little sympathy for them – a safety car period robbed them of a 1-2 in Melbourne, the rain in Malaysia arguably cost them the win and a freak temperature change in Bahrain could well have cost them places.

      But it takes nothing away from the fact they’ve cost HAM and BUT a significant points haul because of botched pit stops, pit-lane errors (like HAM’s penatly in Spain) and poor strategy. I’m tired of screaming ‘pit now’ at the TV whenever they keep HAM or BUT out a lap longer while the rain buckets down and everyone else boxes.

      Worse still, they seem either unable or incapable of using one of their biggest assets (their development resources) while at the same time focusing on the wrong things for the subsqeuent season. In 2009, they missed the double diffuser and took an age to introduce it, in 2010 they used an extreme DD only to find it too senesitive to bumps on track and at the same time missed the EBD and then in 2011 they wasted the entire winter on the fan-tail exhaust only to find it unreliable. This year, they’ve bucked the trend with the low nose against the accepted opinion only to later accept the high nose had more development potential – that in itself would not have been too critical were it not for the fact the racing/strategy errors had robbed them of points they badly needed while RBR and Ferrari got their act together. They then do well in Canada (even then, there were startegy errors) at a track which has historically suited both the team and HAM but then seem miles off the pace at others, including high speed tracks where they had excelled just weeks before.

      Sure, you can’t win them all but the whole sorry mess from one season to the next really makes me admire how RBR can start with a blank sheet of paper and ascend to double world champions who seem to execute almost every race with precision and whose car is competitive at almost every track. Ferrari also impress me – in 2010 and now this year they’ve seemed to turn things around and been competitive where and when it matters. Maybe a little less of the sterile hi-tech enivronement and a bit more passion wouldn’t go amiss.

      If I were a stakeholder at McLaren, I’d be wanting answers and expecting results.

  10. Finally Montezemolo puts an end to that “F2012 is undrivable and it’s there because Alonso is a genius”.

    Sure it was not the fastest car in Australia but in rain hit Malaysia they were OK. Since then he was getting better race after race and it’s now a podium car.

    Disclaimer: Do not discount Alonso’s talent, IMHO an important part of F2012’s performance is of his making.

    1. Since then he it was getting better race after race and it’s now a podium car.

  11. Sensible move from the FIA.

    Now all they need to do is ban DRS use at all other times as well, and then we’ve really made progress.

    1. What is with hating DRS??? Without it Webber, despite being in a faster car (he hunted Alonso down in that final stint) probably would not have won. Without it Valencia would have been another snore-fest. Without it, Hamilton may not have passed Alonso and Vettel to win in Canada. With it, Alonso may have got past Petrov in Abu Dhabi in 2010 to win the title, but could not despite being in a faster car. There are numerous examples of where DRS has made the racing over the last season and a half more exciting than ever, especially when combined with the Pirellis. There are also numerous examples from the past 15 years where faster cars could not overtake due to the issues with following another car closely – DRS and Pirelli have fixed that and we now have the best racing in F1 – EVER!!!

      So exactly how would removing DRS improve racing? We would end up back in the days of races such as Barcelona having no moves after the first lap or so, or Valencia being as exciting as, i dunno, darts or lawn bowls.

      1. Drop Valencia!
        10th July 2012, 8:50

        Without DRS Silverstone would have been a Schumacher train and Webber following Alonso…. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

        1. @Drop Valencia!

          No it wouldn’t have… Without DRS, the passes would have been earned, rather than gift wrapped with a little bow. There is nothing wrong with [i]some[/i] defensive driving… too much and it hurts the strategy of the car defending so Schumacher wouldn’t have held the trailing cars up indefinitely. The idea that simply because you catch up to a car you should be given the place is alien to most fans of motorsport and the sooner it is ditched as a misguided gimmick the better!

      2. Personally I don’t find one car breezing past another, due to an artificially inflated top speed advantage, to be particularly exciting. The Pirelli tyres do a great job of producing enough performance difference for cars to be able to follow one another closely, but I think the actual overtakes would be much more rewarding to watch if they were down to driver skill alone.

        1. Driver skill alone, Andy? So we need a spec-series then? Or let’s go back to go-karts?

        2. @red-andy I don’t really get this obsession with over-taking. Everything seems to focus around it like it’s the Holy Grail of motorsport. Maybe it’s just ‘cos I’m not a casual fan and I can find pleasure in many elements of racing but I draw a comparison to football here; I’ve watched some thrilling football games that ended 0-0, no goals, but plenty of action.

          Put simply, if you’re watching F1 for over-taking alone, you’re watching the wrong sport.

      3. @clay
        No DRS hasn’t fixed anything.
        Its like fixing a crack in your cars front bumper with duct tape. It won’t look broken at first glance, but when you get closer its still not right.
        DRS tries covers up the real issue. The stupid tracks and the stupid cars.
        FIA can, and should change that so the tracks invite more overtaking, and make the cars less dependent on wing generated downforce so they can run closer in the corners.
        See that would create more racing, and crucially better racing.
        DRS gives us more, but how fun is it when a driver just slips past because he is allowed to push a button that the other driver can’t?
        I don’t like it, thats for sure.
        Right now, I would rather see a broken F1 but at least a real F1, instead of trying to cover up the faults with gimmicks like the DRS. Until they fix the real issues.
        More racing doesn’t equal better racing. I don’t think.

        1. FIA can, and should change that so the tracks invite more overtaking

          What do you think they’ve been doing all this time? Just idly doodling on sheets of paper and turning those random drawings into racing circuits? Hermann Tilke’s entire design approach has been to break racing down into a mathematical equation – for example, a long straight plus a heavy braking zone equals passing – to try and encourage more overtaking.

          Nobody really understands what makes a good circuit a good circuit. A lot of fans say “a good circuit has elevation”, and they point to Spa as an example. But at the same time, Silverstone has virtually no elevation, but is still a good circuit. Conversely, Abu Dhabi has some thirty metres of elevation, but is horrendous. We saw this in action over the past two weeks – Valencia, which is generally regarded as one of the worst circuits on the calendar, gave us one of the most exciting races in recent memory, where as the fan favourite Silverstone was fairly lacklustre.

          I think you’re over-simplifying the issue, trying to break things down into its components and pointing to one of them as the guilty party, as if by fixing it, you have “fixed” the entire sport. But good racing is more than the sum of its parts – there is something intangible out there, something that cannot be quantified, that truly defines good racing. And until such time as someone can understand that, all we can really do is treat the symptoms rather than the underlying disease.

      4. Wait. So you mean an easy pass over Alonso is better than a big fight between a faster and a slower car that is upfront for the win?
        So we will throw away the awesome finding that some people do with slower cars when they have faster cars on their tails as boring?

        Obviously you have no idea what is fun. Shumacher years wasn’t boring because no one was passing him but because no one could get even close to him. What makes a race fun is fighting not being too slow to fight with a guy or easily passing him.

        1. people say without drs the races would be boring but i personally don’t buy that.

          people go on about montreal been a great race the past 2 years, however i think the 2010 race was far better. in 2010 the tyres acted like the pirelli’s currently do yet without drs cars could still defend & the passing (which was more than possible without drs) we saw was actually exciting.

  12. My nephew and I certainly enjoyed the McLaren cartoon. I do get the feeling that these were the same team behind the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs film.

    1. Thank you!!! – been trying to figure that out! – good humor from McLaren, more please!

  13. Martin Brundle asked on twitter after the British Gp what people thought of DRS & apparently 80% of the responses were people saying they didn’t like DRS.

    Anthony Davidson asked a similar question about DRS on twitter about a year ago & said it was about 75% against.

    I just want to watch good racing, Good fighting over position & some proper overtaking moves. DRS frustrates the hell out of me as all it does is kill the good fights & make overtaking so boring to watch that there’s nothing to really get excited over anymore.

    Where’s the fun in watching the build-up to a good fight for position when you know the car behind is simply going to sail easily past as soon as he gets there. Its unexciting, Predictable & very anti-climactic.

    I remember watching situations like with Hakkinen/Schumacher at Spa in 2000, Mika catching Michael & there was the real excitement/tension about wondering if he’d be able to find a way past & where/How any pass would occur. Mika got there & they had a good fight for a couple laps, It wasn’t clear if Mika would be able to find a way past or not & when he went for it & pulled the pass off it was truly exciting to watch.

    Have the same situation today & he’d probably have driven straght past easily as soon as they got to the DRS zone. No good fight, no tension, No edge of your seat excitement & no exciting pass.

    The DRS fans can go on about the fact there’s about 100 passes every race, However if most of them are stupidly easy then where is the excitement? A whole new generation of F1 fans are been robbed of proper exciting races just because everyone is suddenly so obsessed with statistics.

    I found F1 far, far more exciting in the past & I think the DRS era is the most boring & unexciting era I’ve witnessed having been following F1 for about 45 years.

    1. If you watch closely, you will find that most of decorated drivers on the grid this season have plenty of non-DRS overtakes. Also that DRS overtake usually not followed up by counter overtake as a result of a slower car holding up faster car.

      Another thing, the gap is so close this year that if same applied to Schummi/Hakkinen era, I doubt they would have such easy time breezing by the top10 to get a podium. There is just no such dominant advantage for any team this season.

      I don’t care much for DRS overtakes, as I said, there was plenty of wheel to wheel action this season between top drivers.

  14. Have to say i’ve really started to grow bored of the DRS system.

    When it was introduced at the start of 2011 I was kinda indifferent to it, If it improved overtaking possibilities I figured why not have it. However after a year & a half i’ve shifted my opinion firmly on the aganst side of the debate.

    At first it was kinda cool seeing so much overtaking, However i’ve seen far too many easy DRS passes for my liking. Watching Michael Schumacher drive brilliantly at Canada last year only to have no way to defend his 2nd place & get DRS-ed by Jenson & Mark was plain embarrassing.
    Watching Mark Webber pull off that great pass on Alonso at Spa last season only to have nothing to defend with against another easy DRS pass a lap later was equally embarrassing.
    The DRS passing & re-taking at Abu-Dhabi was simply the most ridiculous, artificial & gimmickey thing I have ever watched & resulted in me changing the channel at half race distance.

    Overtaking should be more possible than it used to be, However it should not be as one sided & easy as DRS has pretty consistently allowed it to be.

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