New F1 DRS zone will make Zandvoort banking a “white knuckle” ride

New F1 DRS zone will make Zandvoort banking a “white knuckle” ride

In a bid to try to improve overtaking at this weekend’s race, the FIA is to trial allowing drivers to use DRS through the last corner.

This should help extend the DRS zone by around 300 metres and boost the chances of passing taking place into the opening Tarzan Bend.

Last year, the FIA only allowed DRS after the final banked corner, because it was not sure how safe it would be to allow cars to run with their rear wings open at the newly designed curve.

However, with increased confidence about the nature of the circuit, plus the characteristics of the 2022 generation of cars, DRS will be trialled through FP1, with the FIA then set to decide if it will remain in place for the rest of the weekend.

Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers thinks that while drivers will have no problem running with their wing open through the main part of the banking, he thinks they will need to pay particular care as the elevation drops away at the exit.

Speaking at a preview event for race title sponsor Heineken on Wednesday, Lammers told Motorsport.com that drivers were not going have an easy time – but he predicted more overtaking.

“This year the corner is going to have your attention,” he said. “Arriving with your DRS open and with 20km/h plus extra speed, it makes for a lot of outbraking chances into Tarzan corner.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Essay Produkties – Chris Schotanus

Speaking about how the cars would behave through the banked corner, Lammers said: “When you come out of the banking it is 18-degrees, so when you go through the banking it is relatively easy.

“But when you come back to the straight and also go down the hill with a bit of a bump, whereas last year it was easily flat, it will now certainly have your attention. I think we will see a few more white knuckles than before.”

Lammers said he was confident that the Dutch GP would produce some decent racing, based on the evidence of last year’s race.

“Last year, and I am particularly talking about the support events, there was a lot of overtaking,” he said. “And in F1, there was more overtaking than people predicted – particularly on the first lap, with [Fernando] Alonso and [Antonio] Giovinazzi on the grass and all that.

“So Turn 3 introduces a lot of spectacle because people go side-by-side on top of the hill on the run towards Turn 7. So that creates a lot of man and boy battles.

“I think overtaking these days comes from a lot of different factors: it comes from DRS, it comes from tyre offset. So for sure there is going to be quite a bit of overtaking – but not in the ways we saw in the 1970s and 1980s.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris reckons that the scope was there for some better racing with the new DRS zone, allied to the boost provided by the banked corners.

“Of course with the DRS, the earlier we can have it the better,” he said.

“But the speed you can carry [in the banked corners], and the speed you can accelerate around those corners, it is a lot more than you think.

“On the first few laps, you think this is the limit, but then every lap you go quicker and quicker – so it’s a lot of fun.”

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