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FIA set to double DRS fun from Montreal

NEWS STORY
20/05/2011

While the Turkish Grand Prix came in for some fan criticism for the ease of DRS-powered overtaking manoeuvres on display, FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting has revealed there could have been twice as much action on track.

Speaking to the assembled media at a special press conference in Barcelona, Whiting revealed that the FIA now has the ability to activate the drag reduction system twice per lap, and that future races could see two DRS zones as a matter of course.

Thanks to the new software that gives race control more power over the drivers' DRS systems, the FIA will implement two DRS zones at suitable circuits, although there will only be one activation zone.

"We only had the software available to us in Turkey," Whiting explained. "I thought it was too new [to use in Istanbul] - I wanted to make sure there were no bugs in it."

While the ability to activate the wing twice per lap is now at the FIA's disposal, some races will still see a single DRS zone.

"We don't think there's anywhere suitable [at the Circuit de Catalunya] because they have to be consecutive straights," the FIA technical delegate said. "It becomes more complicated the further apart they are because there's more likelihood of a change in position of the drivers. So the first realistic opportunity we felt was Montreal. In Valencia, currently, it will be between Turns 10 and 12 and between 14 and 17."

Montreal will be the proving ground of the two-for-one offer on the adjustable rear wing. The Canadian circuit is almost tailor-made for the DRS, as its configuration is essentially a string of straights linked by a few corners.

The European Grand Prix at Valencia is unpopular among fans and in the paddock, and - if successfully applied - two DRS-powered overtaking opportunities per lap could be the shot in the arm the Spanish street circuit desperately needs.

In other DRS news, Whiting confirmed that the FIA has no safety concerns about using the adjustable rear wing on the twisty streets of Monaco. A growing chorus of drivers had expressed their fear that the DRS could prove to be dangerous on the narrow street circuit, but the FIA's technical delegate disagrees.

"I've spoken to the drivers a few times about it and it was quite clear that the majority of them did not want to use it in Monaco," Whiting said. "However, there is no evidence to support the theory that it is unsafe. Obviously we are not waiting for an accident to happen, but there is simply no evidence to support the theory that it is going to be dangerous.

"As it has been introduced as an overtaking aid, it would be somewhat perverse not to allow it in the place where you need overtaking the most. There is no reason not to use it in Monaco as far as we can see," he concluded.

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