FIA set to extend DRS zone for Malaysian GP

The FIA is set to extend the DRS overtaking zone in time for the Malaysian GP, after analysing the knowledge gained in Australia.

Melbourne was always going to be a tricky debut for the DRS, given the short nature of the pit straight. Nevertheless rather than stick with the 600m and see what happens at Sepang the FIA is likely to allow drivers longer at full throttle. No figure has been confirmed by my FIA source, but 700m appears to be the logical choice, although it’s possible that an interim number could be chosen.

Following the Barcelona tests the zone was initially finalised at 600m at full throttle for Melbourne, a distance that represents a ‘virtual’ zone measured back from the start of the braking area.

The actual zone in which the DRS can be operated starts a lot earlier and allows for acceleration up to full throttle. It was 867m in Australia.

In Sepang the DRS zone will be on the pit straight rather than the approach to the final corner, which the FIA believes is already a clear overtaking opportunity.

For the same reasons it is likely to be on the pit straight again in Shanghai, rather than the back straight, which had been mentioned as the likely spot.

Before the race in Australia the FIA’s Charlie Whiting gave an insight into how the original distance was arrived at: “With all the teams the sort of thing we were looking at was a 600m section of the straight in question. From the simulations we thought that would be enough.

“We didn’t want to do the whole straight, because depending on the length of the straight, it would vary the effect of the wing, and the last thing we want is to have an easy overtaking. We felt 600m was about the right time on full throttle, ie 600m before the braking point.

“We always indicated that this would be varied depending on the circuit and the speed at the beginning of the relevant sector. To that end we did more simulations after Barcelona, and then we came up with what we felt was appropriate for here, and last week we made a map that we sent to the teams.”

Whiting also confirmed that later in the season the FIA might add more than one DRS opportunity at some circuits.

“It’s something we’re certainly going to consider. But it’s quite a complex matter to get a detection point, notification point and activation point for one straight. We want to make sure that all the things are working first, and if that looks promising then there’s no reason that we couldn’t use it in other places.

“We are also looking towards a more GPS-based system, which could give us far more proximity detection opportunities without having to go from one loop to another one to another one. We’re looking at other ways of doing it. But we really ought to see how it goes first – we don’t want to run before we can walk.”


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7 responses to “FIA set to extend DRS zone for Malaysian GP

  1. Casey

    @ Adam Cooper

    Will they use the DRS in Monaco? Seems a bit tricky to me. And where on the track? In the tunnel..?
    Must be interesting!

  2. Woody

    Why must the FIA complicate EVERYTHING? You want gimmick passing, fine, it doesn’t have to be rocket science. The wing is open for use in qually….let it be open during the race. Same bogus rules as now just minus the Zone. If a car is one second behind disable the lead car.

    Still won’t help more…..F1 is not a pass friendly sport right now. Hasn’t hurt the ratings so stop screwing with the rules! Let them race.

    Bernie is right on this one (wow that hurt saying that!)

  3. noahracer

    Its simply idiotic not to make the entire track a DRS zone. What bullshit.

  4. jose arellano

    whole tracj DRS zone but only activated when you are 0.3 secs behind

  5. @noahracer, I completely agree with you. Right now DRS is a joke. It makes overtaking completely artificial and takes any skill out of the racing. It should be absolutely all or nothing. Either all drivers are permitted to use it anywhere on the track at anytime or abandon it altogether.

    One idea I have that I know will never be implemented, is to allow only the “bottom” teams to use it anytime/anywhere. Pick your criteria for “bottom”. Could be bottom half of the teams in the points, could be based on qualifying time or based on position in the track during the race. That would certainly spice things up!

  6. Steve Calvert

    I say let them drive. Use whatever device deemed legal everywhere or get rid of it. It’s like me playing cards (poker) with my kids and they want 10, 2 and 4 as wildcards.

  7. AK

    For those advocating an unrestricted usage of the DRS, remember why movable aero parts were banned in the first place. Safety! We saw what happened to Sutil in qualifying and I fear even more dangerous occurrences should the FIA allow the DRS to be actived at all times in races.

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