FIA bans DRS use through Eau Rouge for practice and qualifying

Formula 1 drivers will be banned from using DRS through Eau Rouge at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, after the FIA accepted safety concerns about its use

FIA bans DRS use through Eau Rouge for practice and qualifying

After deliberation over recent weeks about whether or not to outlaw the use of DRS through the 180mph corner, the FIA decided on Monday that the best way forward was to not allow drivers to open their wings there.

Several drivers had expressed concern that it could be dangerous for them to risk trying to run through Eau Rouge with their wings fully open in qualifying in a bid to gain valuable time.

Another issue influencing the decision was the fact that some drivers had confessed to being unsure at times on the entry to corners as to whether or not their DRS remained open - something which could be dangerous at a corner like Eau Rouge.

A failsafe system on the cars, which closes the DRS wing on the cars when the driver hits the brakes, would not work at Eau Rouge because of its high-speed nature.

Having listened to the drivers' concerns, and looked in detail at the safety risks, the FIA wrote to the teams on Monday afternoon to tell them that DRS use will be outlawed through Eau Rouge for both practice and qualifying.

In the race it is not an issue because the single DRS activation zone only starts after Eau Rouge - on the straight from Raidillon to the Les Combes chicane.

The FIA's decision to act on the Eau Rouge concerns comes after a similar request to outlaw DRS in the Monaco tunnel was accepted earlier this year.

Speaking ahead of the FIA's decision, HRT's Vitantonio Liuzzi reckoned that Eau Rouge was not as critical a situation as the Monaco tunnel had been.

"For us it will be on the edge with the DRS, but the tunnel situation was a bit different," he told AUTOSPORT. "The reason I was asking to ban it there was because of a crash, wheel-to-wheel in the tunnel, which could be a really critical situation.

"In Eau Rouge it is different. It is open air there, there is no roof, with no pylons - so it could be a normal racing accident as at any normal place. It is an easier decision for the FIA, because Monaco was a bit more risky. But I will take it as it comes, I like a challenge."

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FIA could ban DRS use at Eau Rouge during Belgian GP weekend amid safety concerns
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