May 24, 2011
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DRS will be banned in the tunnel in Monaco
After safety complaints from many of the drivers, the FIA has made the decision to ban the Drag Reduction System in the tunnel of the Monaco Grand Prix street circuit this weekend.
To prevent drivers taking risks at the sharp right-hander, race director Charlie Whiting has decided to ban the use of DRS in between two specific points on the circuit.
The distance markers 1350m and 2020m (the area of the tunnel) has been specified as an area that DRS cannot be used in.
Otherwise, the device is free to be used around the track during practice and qualifying, and the start/finish straight will soon be confirmed as the race location for DRS use.
In a letter to the Grand Prix Drivers Association on Monday, Whiting claimed that the FIA’s initial tough stance on DRS in the tunnel (they believed there was no safety concern) has since softened.
While most drivers are pleased with this announcement, Renault team principal Eric Boullier doesn’t see the point:
"Some feel that the incentive to benefit will force drivers to take unnecessary risks.
My own view is that the drivers will build up their confidence gradually during free
practice and by the time qualifying arrives they will know in how much of the tunnel
they can safely use the DRS wing.
Often in the past the tunnel has been very tricky to take flat out at the start of
the race weekend when the track is poor.
"This has not caused the drivers to crash, they have simply built up their pace
gradually until they were confident that it could be taken flat - I think the same
approach will emerge with the DRS."
May 10, 2011
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DRS will be used in Monaco
The FIA has decided that there will be no ban on the Drag Reduction System for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite safety concerns from drivers.
The unlimited use of the adjustable rear wing in the tunnel is the primary concern from some drivers, who feel that it is an unnecessary risk.
However, some teams voiced their support for retaining the system, claiming it would be difficult to create a Monaco-specific rear wing.
Williams technical director Sam Michael has said that Charlie Whiting has told the teams there will be no ban, as only a handful of teams objected to the device:
"Charlie told us this morning. There were some teams that did not think DRS would be
good there, but other teams were saying they did not agree [with the ban] and did not
understand on what basis [it would be banned].
So Charlie was quite straightforward about it. He said that there wasn't a strong
enough argument to not have it, so it is staying. We were neutral on it, we didn't
On the other hand, several drivers are unhappy with using DRS on the street circuit. Rubens Barrichello in particular feels that the sport’s governing body has made the wrong call:
"I just think it is wrong. I would love the people at the top to sit in the car and
try to do the tunnel with the DRS open.
In my opinion, they are waiting for something bad to happen. And when it happens,
they will just say, 'oh, next year we will not have it for Monaco'.
The drivers have not been listened to right now and I think it is the wrong
I can see a race [filled] with safety cars. If they could listen still: I think
Monaco is what it is. It is not overtaking territory.
Do they think they can introduce overtaking through the DRS? They possibly can, but
they might hurt someone. That is a voice from experience."
The DRS zone for the Turkish Grand Prix
The FIA have set the DRS activation zone for the Turkish Grand Prix.
While a specific figure has not yet been announced for the activation point, it appears to be much shorter than in previous races.
The detection zone, where cars must be within 1 second of the car ahead, is in the braking zone of Turn 9. The DRS device can be deployed just before Turn 11, a right-handed kink on the main straight.
April 22, 2011
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The adjustable rear wing may not be in place in Monaco
The banning of the Drag Reduction System at the Monaco Grand Prix is being considered, after complaints from drivers regarding safety were brought up.
It has been said that a number of drivers are concerned about the unlimited use of DRS in practice and qualifying at the tight and twisting street circuit.
Because qualifying is so important in Monte Carlo, there are fears that drivers may take risks with the DRS system – most notably at the right-hander in the tunnel.
While no decision has been made yet, the FIA are considering banning the device for this one Grand Prix. Discussions will be held with the teams and drivers at the Turkish Grand Prix, with a decision from the FIA expected after that race weekend.
So far, the combination of the DRS unit and Pirelli tyres have brought an extra spectacle to F1 racing this year. Strategies are diverse and unpredictable, and DRS allows overtaking without making the passing too easy.
However, safety must be respected at all times, and in the case of a track where two cars simply can’t run side-by-side, I believe the device should be banned.
April 13, 2011
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Availability of the DRS system in China
The FIA have announced that drivers will only be able to use the Drag Reduction System on the back straight for the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.
Being the longest straight of the year at 1170 metres though, they have also taken measures to restrain the system. Therefore, the zone for enabling the DRS system is 902 metres.
The rear wing device can now be activated several hundred metres after the long Turn 13. The detection zone – whether a car is within 1 second of the car ahead – is at the very start of the long right hander, Turn 12.
As usual, the DRS is free to use in practice and qualifying. However, it will be deactivated at any point during the weekend if the car using it is on intermediate or extreme wet tyres.