Ban on DRS in Monaco tunnel to remain for 2012

Formula 1 drivers will once again be banned from using DRS in the tunnel at the Monaco Grand Prix on safety grounds, AUTOSPORT can reveal

Ban on DRS in Monaco tunnel to remain for 2012

Last season, drivers campaigned in the build-up to the race for DRS to be disabled through the Monaco tunnel because of concerns that it could put them in a dangerous situation if they were forced to use it there throughout practice and qualifying.

The right hand kink inside the tunnel is flat-out, and if anything did go wrong and a driver lost control after activating DRS, then there is very little run-off at the exit.

The decision to outlaw DRS in the tunnel was welcomed by drivers ahead of last year's race, and there was even more relief afterwards in the wake of Sergio Perez's horrifying qualifying crash.

The Mexican suffered concussion in his accident in Q3, after losing control of his Sauber under braking for the chicane on the exit of the tunnel. Had DRS been allowed then it is likely that Perez would have been travelling up to 10km/h faster when he crashed - which could have meant the consequences of his accident being more severe.

With the Perez accident highlighting the dangers of that section of track, sources have revealed that the FIA has again agreed to restrict use of DRS in the area that encompasses the exit of the Portier corner and all the way through to the chicane.

Last season, Jenson Button was one of many drivers backing the FIA decision to ban DRS use through there.

"It was necessary," said Button of the decision. "The tunnel is a very slippery place with a lot less grip than the rest of the track and marbles bouncing off the barriers and coming back onto the racing line.

"The first person that tried to use DRS in the tunnel was going to put it in the wall. It's a very good idea. It's not going to help overtaking through the tunnel and it's pointless having it. It's an unnecessary danger."

The FIA has also made no changes to the location of the DRS activation for this year - which will once again run along the start-finish straight.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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