Formula 1
British Grand Prix

New British GP DRS zone adds corners challenge

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02/07/2018 at 10:22 | Updated 02/07/2018 at 10:22

Formula 1 drivers will face the challenge of taking Silverstone's first corners with their DRS open this year after an extra zone was added for the British Grand Prix.

A third DRS zone has been placed on the circuit's start/finish straight as part of the FIA's continued push to attempt to improve overtaking opportunities in grands prix.

Its location is unique because, with the first Abbey right hander and the following Farm left hander both being flat out on low fuel, it means drivers will have the option of keeping their DRS open through the turns.

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That will mean drivers have less downforce at the rear of their cars and therefore face a greater risk of having the back end getting out of shape.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: "It's not a big zone, but the interesting thing is that they could use it open through Turn 1 if they wanted to.

"Once they activate it after Turn 18, on the exit of the last corner, it only closes when they either brake or back off.

"They could potentially go through Turns 1 and 2 with it open. Let's see."

It is the first time such an option has been available since DRS was implemented at the start of 2011.

That year, the FIA banned the use of DRS through the Monaco tunnel because of the risk associated with the lack of downforce at the rear if the wings were kept open.

Reflecting on the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, Whiting believed the addition of a third DRS zone between Turns 1 and 3 at the Red Bull Ring was a success.

Before the weekend, a number of drivers voiced fears a 'Mario Kart' scenario, where overtaking was too easy, might play out.

"I think it helped a bit actually," said Whiting. "It certainly helped in F2.

"But I believe it gave them [F1 drivers] a better chance of overtaking. You quite often saw cars were getting closer than they would have done into Turn 3.

"Then we would often see overtakes into Turn 4, wouldn't you? So I thought it worked quite well. It didn't make it too easy which some drivers thought it might."

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