Formula 1 will test the extended DRS zone through the banked final corner at Zandvoort.
Last year two DRS zones were added to the circuit for F1’s first race at the renovated venue. The first is on the short straight between turns ten and eleven and the second after exiting the banked final corner at turn 14.
The first of these remains unchanged for 2022, while the second is temporarily extended. The checkpoint has moved from the Turn 13 entrance to the Turn 12 exit. The activation point has also been moved back and is now 40 meters after lap 13, when F1 cars are expected to be able to accelerate all the way. From there it’s all the way to the first braking zone at the Tarzan hairpin on the next lap.
The 18-degree bank at Zandvoort’s final corner allows for higher speeds. The bank was added as part of changes to F1’s planned return in 2020, which has been delayed due to the pandemic.
The possibility of F1 using DRS through corners is part of what was originally intended to promote banking. However, F1 chose not to use it there during the 2021 race. That could change this year, as F1 assesses whether cars can run in corners with the rear wing top plane open during Friday’s practice.
If the results are good, the modified configuration could be kept, or F1 could go back to the configuration it used last year. A fourth DRS zone was introduced at the Australian Grand Prix in April but was canceled midway through the weekend.
Although drivers bemoaned the lack of overtaking opportunities at Zandvoort last year, the likes of Fernando Alonso pointed to improvements, which meant it wasn’t the toughest place to beat on the F1 calendar despite the tighter and shorter straights.
F1 will also be supported by Formula 2 and Formula 3 at the Dutch GP this weekend, both of which use DRS. During the pre-event driver briefings, ethical considerations are discussed when drivers are considering using slipstream or DRS while slowing down the final corners.
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