- Canadian Grand Prix
DRS will make passing easy in Canada - Buemi
Sebastien Buemi believes the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will make overtaking easy at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be the first venue to feature two DRS zones this year, with the activation area stretching from the turn 10 hairpin to the final chicane - where the wing will be returned to its full-downforce position - and then along the pit straight. At some circuits this year the DRS has made overtaking relatively straightforward and Buemi is expecting more of the same in Canada.
Asked by Red Bull's official website if drivers would wait until the second part of the DRS zone to overtake, the Toro Rosso driver replied: "No. I think you'll pass more after the hairpin, because the back straight is so long. The DRS is going to work immediately, and with that 10-15kph extra, you're going to be able to pass easily, on the inside or the outside. So far, we've seen that DRS works best on a circuit with a very long straight, like China or Turkey. The back straight in Canada is like that.
He said the same would apply at Valencia, which has been devoid of overtaking in recent years but will also feature a double DRS zone.
"I think so, but it depends on speed," he added. "Up to 200kph, whether you have the DRS on or off, there really isn't much difference. It's only when you get up to 280-300kph and hold that speed for a long time that you get the big advantage. In Monaco, we estimated DRS was worth only two-tenths of a second, which isn't enough to make a pass. It was worth more than one second in China - which is."
He said the DRS would also force the teams to make some difficult decisions on gear ratios and rear wing downforce settings in Canada.
"If you can use DRS, you might go for more wing to help you in the corners, knowing that you'll be fast on the straight regardless because your DRS is powerful," he said. "If you go for a very long seventh gear, that would work in qualifying, but in the race you might not be able to use it at all [except on laps where you have the DRS option], and that's going to cost you lots of time.
"We always used to set up for qualifying, but so far [this year], there has been a tendency for teams to be on the limiter for 300-400m in qualifying [because the car reaches the rev limit in seventh gear], just to make sure the engine will rev all the way up in the race."