FIA adds third DRS zone for 2018 F1 season opener

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FIA adds third DRS zone for 2018 F1 season opener
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Mar 21, 2018, 6:38 AM

The FIA has added a third DRS zone to the Albert Park track in an effort to boost overtaking in Sunday's opening race of the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Melbourne Grand Prix circuit map
Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM10
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Melbourne skyline
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

The track previously featured a single DRS detection zone, 13 metres before Turn 14, three corners from the end of the lap. This triggered DRS activation points at the exit of Turn 16 onto the pit straight, and again at the exit of Turn 2.

A second detection point has now been added on the fast left hand sweep that follows Turn 10, some 170 metres before Turn 11.

This triggers a new activation point 104 metres after Turn 12, potentially allowing drivers to drag past rivals on the run through the unnumbered right hand kink that leads into the tight right at Turn 13.

However the main reason for this extra zone is not so much to aid passing at Turn 13 but to help drivers to get closer to the car ahead heading to the original DRS detection point that follows before Turn 14, thus encouraging more use of the activation points that follow.

The change comes after Australian GP chiefs made a bold bid to re-design the back part of the Albert Park circuit to promote overtaking.

As first revealed by Motorsport.com, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation investigated replacing the fast Turn 11/12 complex with a longer straight and a tight left hander. However it was ultimately decided that the changes wouldn't yield a big enough benefit to make them worthwhile.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Location Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Author Adam Cooper
Article type Breaking news