The FIA has agreed with the views of the majority of F1 drivers and decided not allow DRS to be operable in the Monaco tunnel.
Charlie Whiting wrote to the teams today confirming the decision, and also forwarded a copy to the Grand Prix Drivers Association.
Although the race DRS zone is on the pit straight, drivers would have been able to use it in practice and qualifying through the tunnel and on the run down to the chicane.
The feeling among the drivers was that there were too many risks involved given the high speed and very tight nature of that part of the track, and that the teams would inevitably pressure them to push the limits of DRS usage.
The matter was discussed in Friday’s drivers’ meeting in Barcelona – where they again said that they didn’t want to use it all in Monaco – and Whiting told them that he would give it further consideration.
The FIA was swayed by the fact that there have been instances this season of drivers ‘getting out of synch’ on a busy lap and having the wing open when they thought it was closed. While that hasn’t much of an issue on the traditional tracks we’ve been to up until now, it was thought that the margins in the tunnel were too small to take any risks.
The FIA had originally argued that it would simply be up to the drivers to judge when to use it, as they have done at every other track this year.
That viewpoint was shared by Renault team boss Eric Boullier: “My own view is that the drivers will build up their confidence gradually during free practise 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.”