• Drag Reduction System

DRS 'nearly impossible' to defend against at Spa - Alonso

ESPNF1 Staff
August 31, 2011 « Newey feared for drivers' safety | »
Fernando Alonso: "It was not too difficult to overtake and nearly impossible to defend your position" © Getty Images
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Fernando Alonso believes defending against a driver using the DRS overtaking aid was "nearly impossible" at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend.

Sunday's race at Spa-Francorchamps was arguably one of the most exciting on the season with the lead changing hands nine times over the 44 laps. One of the contributing factors to overtaking up and down the field was the use of the DRS - or moveable rear wing - which allows drivers within a second of the car in front to significantly reduce their car's level of drag and therefore increase top speed.

Combined with the KERS power boost system and a slipstream through Eau Rouge, the DRS allowed some drivers to breeze past their opponents and comfortably take position before the Les Combes chicane. Alonso said at times there was no answer to a car trying to overtake with DRS.

"Looking now, after the race, it was not too difficult to overtake and nearly impossible to defend your position because they arrived much quicker," he said. "It's something for sure we will try to discuss and improve for the future."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes the ease of overtaking was down to the positioning of the zone after Eau Rouge, which meant drivers often arrived at the activation point with the overtaking manoeuvre close to complete.

"I think what we have seen with the DRS was not expected to be honest," he said. "I saw a lot of people behind who were able to catch already the tow of the front car in Eau Rouge and arrive at the DRS line very, very close to that. So I think it was not expected to get such a tow into Eau Rouge, but for sure today it seemed to be quite easy to use the DRS, while some of the time it has been too difficult."

But FOTA chairman and McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh reckons the DRS gave the fans what they wanted at Spa.

"I think that if you could [use] DRS you could get by," Whitmarsh said. "I think overall, people want that. FOTA did the most extensive fans survey - whether I believe it or want it - the fans want more overtakes. Jenson [Button] did some mighty overtaking round the outside and from a long way back, and I suspect for the fans it was fairly spectacular."