FIA to assess DRS zones after Chinese GP

The FIA will use the first two Formula 1 races to assess the impact of the 2017 regulations on how DRS operates – and if necessary will adjust the length of the zones at future races.

FIA to assess DRS zones after Chinese GP
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40 leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-17
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

The new higher downforce 2017 cars have prompted fears that overtaking could be much harder – even though there are suggestions slipstreaming will be better and the DRS will be more effective.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting concedes that there’s a limit to what could be learned in Barcelona testing, and that Melbourne isn’t the ideal place to make a call on how the changes to the car will affect DRS behaviour.

Instead he will wait until after the Chinese GP to properly assess the situation.

“It’s a little difficult in testing to fully assess the DRS,” said Whiting, when prompted on the potential impact of overtaking this year.

“We’ve had some information, of course. We don’t see any significant difference at the moment, that’s why we feel that we should assess it over the first two races.

“As it happens here in Melbourne you can’t go any longer – it’s not long enough for our needs. This is why a couple of years ago we introduced a second activation zone based on one detection point – in other words to try and get the cars closer to car in front on the first bit, and then do something better in the second bit.

“It seems to have worked reasonably well, but we can’t actually make it any longer here anyway. We’ll assess it after the second race.”

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