F1 to allow DRS on Zandvoort’s banked corner

F1 to allow DRS on Zandvoort's banked corner

Formula 1 will test using an enlarged main DRS zone that passes through its steeply banked final turn at Zandvoort.

For the inaugural F1 event at the newly renovated site, two DRS zones were added to the circuit last year. The first was placed on the short straight between turns 10 and 11, and the second was placed after the turn 14 departure from the last banked corner.

The first of those will not alter for 2022, but the second has been temporarily increased.  The detection point has been changed from the 13th turn’s entry to turn 12 exit.

The activation point has also been relocated, and it is now positioned 40 meters beyond turn 13, at a place where it is anticipated that F1 cars would be able to accelerate all the way from there until the first braking zone at the Tarzan hairpin on the next lap.

Speeds can be greater owing to the 18-degree banking of Zandvoort’s last corner. The addition of the banking was undertaken as part of the adjustments made in preparation for F1’s delayed comeback in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the factors for first adopting the banks was the potential for F1 to use DRS through the corner. F1 decided not to utilize it there for the 2021 event, though. This year, however, that may change as F1 will determine whether it is possible for cars to run through the turn with the DRS open during Friday practice.

If the outcomes are favorable, the altered layout might be preserved, or F1 might go back to the setup from the previous year. In Australia, a fourth DRS zone was introduced during the Australian Grand Prix in April but was later removed midweekend.

Although drivers lamented the limited chances of overtaking at Zandvoort last year, Fernando Alonso and others pointed out that modifications meant it was no longer the most difficult track on the F1 calendar in terms of overtaking despite its narrowness and short straights.

This weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix will also feature support for F1 from Formula 2 and Formula 3, both of which employ DRS. In order to utilise a slipstream or the DRS during qualifying, drivers must slow down through the final turns. Protocol standards will be covered during the pre-event drivers’ briefings.

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