FIA to extend DRS zone in Abu Dhabi amid fears that overtaking will be too hard
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, November 12th 2011, 17:29 GMT|
The FIA will extend the first DRS zone at the Yas Marina circuit for Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after fears that the original planned length was too short.
The original zone was supposed to start 470 metres after Turn 7, but the FIA has chosen to extend this by 75 metres.
Despite the extension, several F1 drivers are sceptical that DRS will be very effective - especially because overtaking has always been so difficult at the track in the past.
When asked if the longer zone will make things better, Jenson Button said: "From my experience yesterday, no. I was trying DRS from the exit of Turn 7 all the way down to Turn 8, and I was struggling to overtake cars.
"So lengthening it by 75 metres or whatever is not going to make a big difference because it is only half the straight we will be using - it is going to be tricky.
"Two DRS zones is good, but it is still very difficult to overtake. It has always been tough here for the last two years. We haven't seen too many overtakes on the straight. This should help a little bit, but whether it is enough we have to wait and see."
Fernando Alonso said: "For DRS, we need to wait until tomorrow to have a clear answer. The impressions yesterday for all of us was that it was not enough distance, so the FIA increase it for tomorrow. Hopefully that will work, but it is very difficult to know now – we need to wait and evaluate after the race."
Lewis Hamilton added: "Maybe they should extend it even more. I didn't have the same problems as Jenson. I was with a Toro Rosso, which is quite quick on the straight, and I was DRSing and he wasn't.
"By the time I caught him it was too late and last year I think when I was challenging the car in front, I would catch them right at the end of the straight but it was too late. If DRS starts not early enough we could be in the same position tomorrow, where we haven't seen enough overtaking."