FIA extends main DRS zone for Spanish GP

The FIA has extended the main DRS zone at the Circuit de Catalunya in a bid to help overtaking at the Spanish Grand Prix.

FIA extends main DRS zone for Spanish GP

The wider and faster 2017 cars have resulted in a drop in the number of passing moves this season, with cars struggling to follow each other closely and braking zones becoming shorter.

After analysis of the first two races in Australia and China, it was believed that there was no need to change the DRS zones for this year.

But a fortnight on from a Russian Grand Prix that resulted in very few overtaking moves, the idea of extending the DRS zone came up in Friday night's drivers' briefing.

With the Spanish Grand Prix being particularly tricky for passing, because there is a high-speed corner leading on to the main straight, it was agreed that there were grounds for a change to take place.

Following those discussions and support of the idea from the drivers, the FIA approved a plan to lengthen the zone on the main start-finish straight in Spain by 100 metres.

The original activation point had come into play 157 metres after the final corner. On Saturday morning, however, teams were informed that the new zone would begin 57 metres after the last turn.

Real overtaking

Although drivers suggested the change of the DRS zone for Spain, there remains an ongoing debate about whether the overtaking aid is the answer to F1's problems.

World championship leader Sebastian Vettel said ahead of the weekend that he felt overtaking should ultimately remain tricky.

“I don’t think I am in favour of increasing the DRS zones," he said. "A couple of years ago, when we introduced it, it was just way too easy - although it was great when you were behind as you could sail past but that was not the idea of an overtake.”

He added: “Historically here with the last corner, it makes it difficult to get very close for the straightline.

"Personally, of course, I would love to be closer and then try to do something, but again it is also a challenge and you need to not just arrive and drive past or have some tool that puts you side by side. You have to work for it, try different lines and different things.”

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