F1 to trial using DRS through Zandvoort’s banked final corner

2022 Dutch GP

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 will trial using an extended main DRS zone at Zandvoort which runs through its steeply-banked final corner.

Two DRS zones were incorporated into the circuit last year for F1’s first race at the overhauled venue. The first was situated on the short straight between turns ten and eleven and the second after the exit of the banked final corner turn 14.

The first of those remains unchanged for 2022, but the second has provisionally been extended. The detection point has moved from entry of turn 13 to the exit of turn 12. The activation point has also been moved back and is now situated 40 metres after turn 13, at a point where it is expected F1 cars will be able to accelerate all the way from there until the first braking zone at the Tarzan hairpin on the next lap.

The 18-degree banking on Zandvoort’s final corner enables speeds to be higher. The banking was added as part of the changes made for F1’s planned return in 2020, which was delayed due to the pandemic.

The possibility of F1 using DRS through the corner being part of the considerations for introducing the banking in the first place. However F1 chose not to use it there during the 2021 race. That could change this year, as F1 will assess during Friday practice whether it is feasible for cars to run through the corner with the upper plane of the rear wing open.

If its findings are favourable, the revised configuration could be kept, or F1 may revert to the same configuration used last year. At the Australian Grand Prix in April a fourth DRS zone was introduced but then scrapped mid-weekend.

Although drivers rued the lack of overtaking opportunities at Zandvoort last year, the likes of Fernando Alonso pointed out the upgrades meant it was not the hardest venue for overtaking on the F1 calendar despite its narrowness and short straights.

F1 will also be supported at the Dutch GP this weekend by Formula 2 and Formula 3, both of which also use DRS. During the pre-event drivers’ briefings, etiquette expectations will be discussed when it comes to drivers slowing through the final corners when intending to make use of a slipstream or the DRS during qualifying.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

21 comments on “F1 to trial using DRS through Zandvoort’s banked final corner”

  1. I wonder will they ever decide to run a race/sprint race with no DRS to see what happens with these new regs?

    1. They can’t because of the decision to put cars into parc ferme after qualifying which on sprint gimmick weekends is obviously on Friday. After that point teams can’t make any changes to the car unless there is a change in climactic condition.

      And I don’t think simply not letting them turn DRS on during a sprint race would get the best results since they will have all set the cars up for the GP when DRS will be used.

      Without DRS they would run different downforce levels & gear ratios.

      1. someone or something
        31st August 2022, 12:34

        @roger-ayles

        Without DRS they would run different downforce levels & gear ratios.

        Downforce levels, maybe. Gear ratios, definitely not. Ever since the introduction of the new engine formula in 2014, the same gear ratios have to be used throughout the entire season. Okay, maybe not the entire season: Every entry used to be allowed to change the gear ratios once per season, maybe that rule is still around. But in essence, the gear ratios you use in the first qualifying are the same you use in Monaco and in Monza, in the wet and in the dry, with or without DRS.

  2. There were 24 on track overtakes at Zandvoort last year.

    I honestly think that there needs to be a wider discussion on overtaking to find out exactly what it is people want now.

    Do people just want more overtaking regardless of the quality of them?
    Would they be happy with fewer overtakes if that led to more battling & more quality overtakes?
    Is it just that they want a certain number because an amount over that number somehow gives the perception that it was amazing?
    Are people happy when DRS is super powerful leading to loads of easy highway passes?
    Do we want better racing, More battling & more truly exciting overtakes or just quantity with DRS been too easy?

    The FIA, Liberty etc.. seem to be working on the basis that more automatically means better but is that really how fans feel?

    In my mind it shouldn’t be about quantity it should be about quality.

    I think overtaking should be hard, Not impossibly so obviously but difficult enough that it’s still a challenge so that both the overtake and defending is down to racecraft rather than gimmicks. I’d therefore be fine with fewer overtakes occurring if that led to more battling & more exciting & memorable overtaking because for me that is what makes for better racing. Simply having more passing regardless of the quality doesn’t make for better racing & isn’t especially memorable.

    1. I think people care less abot the number of overtakes than the eventual “blocking” of a faster car, and thus preventing racing for a better places or trying different strategies.
      By faster car I do not mean a 2sec faster car – like VER-RBR, which can go from 14th to 1st in 10 laps – but to 0.5-1sec faster car not being able to pass a car, sometimes even if the car behind on new tyres.
      I sincerely think F1 audiences do not want 1000s of overtakes, but they are interested on drivers/teams trying to gain an advantage on the track. If fighting for a position might result in nothing but getting exposed to losing the current position, the GP is doomed to be a 1st corner lottery followed for some tentative over/undercut on pits and no real dispute on the track.
      I agree with you that “overtaking should be hard, Not impossibly so obviously but difficult enough that it’s still a challenge”, but this couldnt mean that a car on new tyres, maybe .5sec faster than the car in front wasted 10% of the laps, and much more in terms of PU/tyres lifetime, to make 1 overtake. If this is the reality on the track no sensible driver/team director will venture into trying to overtake.

      1. Using a football image: if every goal you suffer in a counterattack means that the opposite team scores a “2-points goal”, every team would play for a draw and would not go over the center line.
        News regulations improve the close following but DRS seems still necessary as it prevents this “2-points goal”. By this I mean, not being able to complete the overtake and also getting vulnerable to the car behind. Without DRS most teams would race for a draw – so they would try to survive the 1st corner, attempt something on the 1st lap and choose for the most conservative tyre strategy because the pace on new tyres would not be fast enough as one should have to spend 5-10 laps racing – but not overtaking – the “slower” car. F1 during the 2000-10s was essentally that.

    2. You are overthinking it, @roger-ayles.
      There isn’t some magic number of passes that is just right, nor is it the more the merrier.
      Quantity and quality aren’t mutually exclusive.

      All it comes down to is that there needs to be sufficient opportunity for overtaking to allow for more interesting races.
      While unopposed DRS passes are not desirable, race-long trains with no genuine overtaking opportunities aren’t either.

      They err on the side of DRS overtakes because too many easy ones are better than none.
      Subjectively, of course.

    3. The FIA, Liberty etc.. seem to be working on the basis that more automatically means better but is that really how fans feel?

      Yes. Or rather, many don’t know better and others tolerate it. I’m sure some genuinely believe it’s a good system, too.

      Ultimately, to have battles for position you need faster cars behind slower cars. One of the problems F1 has is that it has steadily reduced opportunities for those differences and changes in pace to come about. One gear ratio setup. One engine mode. One tyre supplier. No testing. Limited development time. More standardised components. No fuel strategies. No qualifying setup.

      No doubt Verstappen had a good race at Spa, but it was also completely forgetable because not one overtake was noteworthy. Aside from him pushing Leclerc off, but that is unfortunately standard in F1 these days.

  3. With ground effects? This will seperate the men from the boys; both in terms of drivers and designers.

    Personally, I dont think it is a good idea since I doubt the teams designed or prepared for this.

    1. That corner was designed for it i was surprised it was not used last year. We will see who has a race heart and who doesn’t…

  4. They’ll all do it at the first opportunity and nobody will have any problems. It’s a non-issue.
    These cars are more than stable enough at that speed on that radius of corner – especially so with such high banking.

  5. So in a season when originally we had regs that was meant to be the end of DRS and the ‘non-racing’ racing in produces we are instead extending DRS zones???

    None of this makes sense. The spectacle of seeing the fastest car and driver combination cut through the field in spa was a none event because of DRS (despite what all the publications tried to tell you)

    1. I would agree with reducing DRS but.
      Latest aero regs allow cars to follow closer which in turn give back the art of slip streaming.

      DRS zones to stay but limited to how many times you can deploy DRS per race.
      70 laps = 70 DRS per race etc. Could be used in every DRS zone per lap if required.
      DRS driver created strategies, DRS train and the sitting duck problem solved.

    2. It does make sense in a way. F1 is addicted to DRS and can no longer conceive of a race without it. They can’t even bring themselves to trial the far superior way Indycar handles it’s magic button; a limited number of seconds per race.

      And judging by how eager drivers were at Spa to run each other off, including champions, both under braking and in corners, maybe it’s for the best that this generation of drivers doesn’t have to come up with the clever moves that were necessary before DRS.

  6. Something just struck me.

    Since new DRS zones are constantly being added to tracks, and existing zones are constantly being expanded, how about this: make all tracks one big DRS zone from start to finish. From 1st lap until the checquered flag. And scrap the 1 second rule.

    That way everyone wins: the powers that be get to keep DRS, and never admit that it was a mistake, and since everyone will drive DRS open all the time, it will in effect have disappeared.

    Now, why didn’t I think of that before?

  7. DRS rule that makes sense: 4 minutes of open DRS for quali+race. Drivers can open it any time they want to.
    It would be driver’s decision use half of it on qualifying or to spare it for 10 last laps…
    It would also eliminate braking for the DRS detection point.

  8. I’m saying this a 100th time but so are they with the extended DRS sectors and added DRS points. Let the drivers use them whenever they like in FP/Q. Yes there might be an increased chance to crashes but brakes can also fail or pirelli can also pop.

    1. From the safety point of view it was the right call back when they changed the regulations that you could only use DRS on the straights but as I said drivers are in control of that. They cannot press a button to blow up the tyre or drop the brakes.

      1. Unless we are talking about Baku and Lewis with his magic brake button

  9. Just get rid of DRS and avoid getting people hurt…

  10. Now that the cars can follow very closely maybe just maybe it’s time to trial a race without DRS at all.

    All DRS currently does is reward less skilled drivers to make cheap passes, it punishes drivers who know how to defend for 95% of the lap only to be overtaken by a gimmick.

Comments are closed.