Formula One drivers will be able to use DRS through the high-speed Abbey and Farm corners following the addition of a third zone for this weekend’s race. Charlie Whiting, the FIA Formula One Race Director, Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter and head of the F1 Technical Department, confirmed that Silverstone will be the fourth track this year to get a third DRS zone:
“[There’ll be] one extra zone from the last corner up to the first. It’s not a big zone but the interesting thing is they could use it open through turn one if they wanted to. Because once they activate it after turn 18, Club, the exit of the last corner, it only closes when the either brake or back off. So they could potentially go through one [Abbey] and two [Farm] with it open.” – he explained.
The new DRS zone is in addition to the existing zones at the exit of Aintree (turn five) and Chapel (turn 14). Charlie Whiting said he was pleased with the addition of the third DRS zone at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix: “I think it helped a bit,” he said. “It certainly helped in F2. I believe it gave them a better chance of overtaking. We quite often saw cars getting closer than they would have done into turn three, and then you were often seeing overtakes down into turn four.” – he added.
Charlie Whiting rejected concerns expressed by some drivers that too many DRS zones risked making F1 look like “Mario Kart”: “I thought it worked pretty well. It didn’t make it too easy, which is what some drivers thought it might.” – the FIA Formula One Race Director concluded.