F1 drivers say third DRS zone will improve Australian Grand Prix

The addition of a third DRS zone to Melbourne's Australian Grand Prix circuit will improve the 2018 Formula 1 season opener "a lot" say drivers who have widely welcomed it

F1 drivers say third DRS zone will improve Australian Grand Prix

Sunday's race will be the first time a grand prix has featured three opportunities to use the drag reduction system since it was introduced in 2011.

The third zone will begin on the exit of the fast Turn 11-12 left-right complex, making the Turn 13 right-hander more of an overtaking opportunity but primarily acting as a means of keeping the cars close through the final sector before the next two DRS zones.

Haas's Kevin Magnussen said: "It's still not going to be easy to pass, but it's going to help a lot - it's going to improve the race a lot.

"Some tracks they don't need to put another zone, maybe they could just extend the zone.

"I think it's good what they've done here."

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said it would be useful on a "particularly difficult" circuit to overtake on.

"It will definitely get you closer to the car in front before [the end of] sector three," said Bottas.

"I think all the issues still stand in sector three, to keep close enough to attack on the main straight or into Turn 3.

"For sure it's going to be a help, how big we are going to find out."

FIA race director Charlie Whiting explained it was part of "trying to optimise or maximise what can be done with the DRS".

"The two DRS zones that we have now are not particularly effective, and we just thought there is an opportunity to do something on that stretch between Turns 12 and 13," he said.

"If a driver can get a little closer than he otherwise may have done, he may then get detection at Turn 14, which will allow him to use on the two stretches [that follow].

"It was just to offer something else. We will try and do something more effective at other tracks where there's more opportunity to do that."

Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr said the organisers had picked the right spot.

"Turn 12 and 13, behind another car, you lose a lot of lap time just from not being able to get clear air into your front wing," he said.

"You just have to follow the line of the car in front and you lose a lot of lap time.

"So, DRS to recover that lap time after Turn 12 is going to help."

Max Verstappen expressed some doubt over its effectiveness but said he also hoped it would recover time lost during the Turn 11-12 complex.

"Because of the two fast corners before, it is very difficult to follow with the cars we have now.

"Maybe with the DRS zone there, at least you can come closer there again and maybe that sets you up in a better position on the main straight."

shares
comments
Can Red Bull be F1's saviour?

Previous article

Can Red Bull be F1's saviour?

Next article

Red Bull believes its RB14 F1 chassis is 'absolutely ahead' of rivals

Red Bull believes its RB14 F1 chassis is 'absolutely ahead' of rivals
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Scott Mitchell
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021