F1 won’t use DRS on Zandvoort banking
By Mat Coch
Friday 3rd September, 2021 - 7:14pm
This weekend’s Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix will not feature a drag reduction zone on the banking at the final corner of the Zandvoort circuit.
Extensive works were carried out at the historic venue, which first hosted the world championship in 1952 and last played host to Formula 1 in 1985.
Reprofiled since then, the most recent works focused on adding banking at Hugenholz and the Arie Luyendijk Bocht – Turns 3 and 14 respectively.
Other work has been done to widen the circuit in parts, most notably at the Hans Ernst Bocht (Turn 11 chicane).
Key to these works was Arie Luyendijk Bocht, where it was hoped 18 degrees of banking would allow the DRS activation point to be located prior to the corner.
Instead, this weekend sees the second DRS zone activated 30 metres after the corner exit, having been detected on entry to Kumho (Turn 13).
Chatter within the paddock on Thursday suggested that could change over the course of the weekend after officials had seen a day’s running and analysed the data.
However, that is not the case, the FIA has confirmed to Speedcafe.com that no changes will be made during the course of the weekend.
It’s therefore expected that the second DRS zone will be too short to be of any effect.
The other DRS zone runs from the exit of Turn 10, the detection point for which is at corner entry, and feeds onto the short section which feeds into the Hans Ernst Bocht.
Also of note this weekend is that practice starts will take place on the grid following the conclusion of practice, not at pit exit, owing to the narrowness of the lane.
Track limits are also unlikely to play a significant role as the racing surface is largely lined by grass or gravel, with comparatively few tarmac run off areas by modern standards.
FIA race director Michael Masi has therefore not felt the need to warn drivers of specific locations, and has simply ask they use return roads in three locations where tarmac runoffs do exist.
Those include Tarzan, Mastersbocht, and Hans Ernst Bocht – Turns 1, 8 and 11 respectively.
Opening practice for the Dutch Grand Prix gets underway at 19:30 AEST this evening.