F1 British Grand Prix: Vettel Feels New DRS Zone at Silverstone is Tricky
Sebastian Vettel is of the opinion that the new DRS zone at the first corner of Silverstone will further increase the gap between the teams competing.
Silverstone is the fourth circuit to get a new DRS zone this year after Australia’s Albert Park, Canada’s Gilles Villeneuve and Austria’s Red Bull Ring. It will be added from the start-finish straight and will end at the Abbey Farm sequence.
When asked about it by Autosport, Vettel said, “It’s a bit tricky. I don’t know if we can do it with DRS open or not. We have to try, with the asphalt, tyres and so on.”
The reason why Vettel is perplexed may be because the corner in question is tough to start with cars losing downforce, and added DRS could make them even more unstable. He went on to explain who could actually counter it.
“If anybody is likely to do it then it’s us, as in the big teams with most of the downforce. So, I don’t know if that was the intention to split the grid even more. I’m sure other people have less downforce than us, so they will probably struggle more.”
Nico Hulkenberg backed his countryman’s opinion as he too felt that his Renault will not be able to go flat out in that corner with DRS. “I doubt it to be honest. It depends on the car, depends on how much grip that new surface has, on the wing level you run.”
Red Bull’s Verstappen is known to be a combative driver and he said he was willing to try to take the corner flat out with his DRS open. His teammate, Ricciardo was a bit more skeptical because of the extreme pressure it will apply on the rear tyres.
Hulkenberg’s teammate at Renault, Carlos Sainz Jr. believed that the DRS would aid in qualifying but race day would be a different matter altogether.
“It’s a lot of lap time if you do it. I don’t really expect anyone taking that corner flat out with DRS behind another car, that’s why I don’t really understand if it’s been done as an aid to overtaking”, said Sainz.
“Everyone will close the DRS in race trim before that corner. It will not help much in overtaking. I expect it has just become a bit of a challenge for qualifying more than a race trim”, the Spaniard added.