Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Alonso says DRS a “big advantage” in Canada

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Fernando Alonso expects the double DRS zone at Montreal will give a “big advantage” to drivers trying to overtake during the race.

Alonso said: “For the first time this year we will have two places where it will be possible to use the DRS on Sunday: the first is after the apex of turn ten [L’epingle hairpin], the second on the pit straight.

“I?m interested to see what will happen: on paper whoever manages to pass in the first zone will then have a big advantage because they will be able to use the movable wing again on the main straight, even though they are ahead of the car they are battling”.

He expects Ferrari can be competitive this weekend: “Even though it has some very fast stretches, the Canadian track suits cars which can jump over the kerbs without losing too much balance and cars that have good traction on the exits of the slow corners.

“Those are both characteristics that are among the strong points of the 150??? Italia.

“Here aerodynamic efficiency, which is our achilles heel at the moment, is less important and so we think we can have more chance to fight for the top places.

“Brakes are another fundamental factor on this circuit: we will need to work hard during free practice to understand the correct level of cooling in order to avoid the risk of problems in the race”.

He added he expects drivers will have to make at least two pit stops during the race: “In Montreal we will again have the two soft tyre compounds prepared by Pirelli: the soft and the super-soft.

“Last year this was one of the few races in which we saw more pit stops than the traditional one-stop because the degradation of the tyres is quite high.

“Even though the Pirellis are different to the Bridgestones, I don?t think we will see anyone manage to get to the end of the race with only one tyre change, as we saw in Monaco”.

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Keith Collantine
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31 comments on “Alonso says DRS a “big advantage” in Canada”

  1. I just really don’t see the point of two consecutive DRS Zones at all. If you can’t pass with one at Montreal, then something’s very wrong.

    1. The only point of it I can see, is even further weakening the defensive options. Use KERS on the first, be defenseless on the second like.

    2. I dont see the point in it either… if there were 2 detection zones it would make sense, as the driver who has just been overtaken can fight back on the pit straight. Its hard to question the logic behind some of their reasoning, I guess we will just have to wait and see.

      1. I can understand the two longest straights are back-to-back, but two detection points would be required, even though the following car will be close to the one ahead after teh first DRS zone, so will surely be enabled to use the rear wing in the second zone.

    3. well, i just really don’t see the point of such an artificial device at all, for a start. Not to mention TWO zones. Sorry, guys, but for me that is just plain ridiculous.

  2. two DRS zones will help poor qualifying cars to catch up with the leaders and fight at the front much quicker, say if Webber or Button get it wrong on Saturday, they can use DRS to be much quicker while overtaking cars in the midfield and fight for wins. this is my theory but let’s see how it works out on the track.

    also since the drag levels will be low i’m not sure by how much percentage top speed would increase in these low drag spec cars at Canada compared to say normal track where the cars carry much downforce & hence more drag reduction is achieved while implementing DRS.

    1. i think we could have carnage on lap 3

    2. I think, because of the low downforce nature of the track, the teams that run a bigger flap, i.e. mclaren, ferrari, are going to gain more from the DRS than the teams that run smaller flap, i.e. red bull, sauber.

      My thinking is that with the teams that run a smaller flap you can already see that on higher downforce tracks the flap opens to near horizontal with the DRS active, however, for teams that use a larger flap it’s still at quite an angle. On the lower downforce tracks I expect we’ll see all teams opening to near horizontal.

      See the article Scarbs wrote about the optical illusion between some teams wings seeming to open further than others.

        1. Clever. But I think the positioning of the other flap does make a difference. In the first case (in real life this is the arrangement of McLaren or Sauber) the lower flap certainly disturbs the airflow which arrives to the 50 mm gap. In the case of the ‘short flap” version it doesn’t.

          Even if this point is valid it doesn’t make much difference in reality: McLaren has been just as potent at overtaking with DRS as Red Bull or other short flap cars.

  3. So is it confirmed there will be two DRS zones and only one activation point?

    1. I’m pretty sure there will be a DRS activation point for each DRS zone… Alfonso’s point was if you’re in the 1 second margin for the first, you’ll definitely be in the 1 second margin for the second… unless you crash or pit.

      1. No there will be only one detection point for both activation zones.

        FIA has made that clear from the first notices on having 2 activation zones, that they are (currently?) not able to have more for technical reasons.

        1. So where is the detection point? It’ll have to be before the hairpin won’t it?

          1. yeah, not sure I saw any pictures yet of where exactly though.

        2. Oh… fair enough then.

      2. No he is saying, once you’ve passed in the first zone, you can then continue using the second zone. So from that theres only one activation point. If there was two, you wouldn’t be able to use it in the second if you made a pass in the first.

        1. F1: Gasoline, oil, rubber, heat, sweat, noise, speed, danger, flash, umbrella girls, sex, money and excitement.

          “Activation point” is not sitting well with me at this moment.

  4. I just think its a shame that the following car can use DRS again on the Start Finish Straight to defend even if they pass on the back straight. Would be nice to see the car thats been passed be given back the advantage of using DRS without the car in front being allowed it too.

    Using 2 consecutive straights for DRS had the makings to create good dog fights between drivers by counteracting. But seems this isnt going to be the case, just a guarenteed pass by the car behind and a choice of 2 places to pull off the maneuver. Why not just take it easy oon teh first straight and pull the driver in front in, the come the second straight they will be nicely teed up for the inevitable pass!!! Too easy in my opinion. Its been proven that passing can take place in Montreal anyway so why give the following cars such an advantage!!

    1. I just think its a shame that the following car can use DRS again on the Start Finish Straight to defend even if they pass on the back straight. Would be nice to see the car thats been passed be given back the advantage of using DRS without the car in front being allowed it too.

      I think the objective is to address the amount of overtaking. A lot of people claim that there is simply too much overtaking. One activation point for two overtaking zones means that Driver A will be able to pass Driver B, and then open up a lead down the pit straight, making it a little harder for Driver B to catch up with them – and making it easier for Driver A to catch the next driver down the road.

      1. How is that improving the racing in anyway though. Wouldn’t it just be better for the driver who has just been overtaken to have an opportunity to fight back?

        With all the talk about false overtaking.. this 2 DRS zone concept seems to be making the situation only worse.

    2. I thought about that too, but in the end, if two different, but consecutive DRS zones lead to a pass, and a repass, isn’t that just two pointless moves artificially enabled by DRS? In other words, it might look like something happened, but really it didn’t matter for the race at all.

      1. Yeh fair enough, it would be a little artificial but then DRS is already an artificial device to enable passing and create excitment.

        It just sounds like its going to be to easy. Just tee the car up in front and then force the issue on the second straight if you fail on the first.

        The back straight sees overtaking anyway, i dont see why they dont just have it on the start finish straight and be done with it.

        @ P Monkeys. I see your point but Driver A will only get to gain on the car in front which is down the road (say driver C) by a single second maximum for the 1 time he passes Car B. 1 second in the grand scheme of things isnt that much. If that makes sense lol.

  5. all this talk about there being an advantage for the guy behind as they enter the activatuion point is tosh…. as surely once overtaken, the lead driver, still being in the 1 second activation zone prsumably, will then still be able to use his DRS to slip stream and then fight back?


    1. Only a lap later if he is in within a second. The guy in front wont be able to use DRS at any point on straight 1 + 2 if he is being attacked and this is even if he gets passed. Thats how i read it anyway.

  6. The ‘zone’ element of DRS is ludicrous. DRS should be available to all drivers, for 20 uses, whenever they want to use it. It is fairer as all drivers can take advantage of DRS and can use it defensively if required.

    Many people suggest unlimited use but that would not create any extra passing opportunities. The limit will force strategic deployment which will create opportunities but, unlike the ‘zone’ system, will not directly give an unfair advantage to one car over another.

    Clearly something is needed to help overtaking but I hope that DRS is only a stopgap until changes to the cars and circuits make it unnecessary. I fear this won’t be the case, so my only hope is that the ‘zone’ system will be replaced by the fairer, and more strategically interesting, ‘limited use’ system.

  7. Fractured Life
    9th June 2011, 13:27

    It makes sense I feel to allow the driver behind to use this to catch the guy in front so that he can pass on back straight, or at least get close enough on the pit straight to pass and make it stick.

    When this will be really interesting is if we are at a point where maybe in the middle of the pack we could have 3, 4, maybe even 5 cars that are within 3 or 4 seconds getting unbelieveable amounts of tow and DRS, its possible someone could pass more than one car if the timings right. Hopefully we’re in for some EPIC racing.

  8. I like Fernando’s pre-GP comments. He always seems really positive.

  9. Hmmmm. Who to believe…..

    Paddy Lowe?-Yesterday-Two DRS Zones won’t help overtaking.
    Alonso?-Today-Two DRS Zones a ‘big advantage’.

    I don’t think anyone really knows. They’re all just expressing an opinion and talking out of their hoo-has

  10. i still think drs is a complete joke & my feeling on that is just getting stronger as each race goes by.

    the fact we have to have discussions like this before every race, about detection points, where it can be used, who’s in the zone, who’s using it etc… just takes focus off the actual racing.

  11. I was kind of expecting them to have the second zone between turns 7 and 8 (with the braking zone under the bridge), that’s a far better overtaking zone than the first corner.

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