Formula 1 will keep its DRS zones unchanged at Bahrain International Circuit as it seeks to understand whether new technical regulations have achieved their goal of making it easier for drivers to overtake.
DRS was introduced in 2011 as a means of aiding overtaking by allowing a chasing driver to reduce drag and increase top speed by opening a slot in the rear wing.
F1 has drastically overhauled its technical regulations for the new season with the goal of making it easier for drivers to follow more closely. While DRS has been retained, several figures within the sport have indicated it may no longer be needed.
However the FIA has confirmed it will use the same three DRS zones as last year for the opening race weekend of the season in Bahrain.
The Sakhir circuit has three zones which are positioned on the start/finish straight, the straight between turns three and four and the straight between turns 10 and 11. The detection and activation points for all three are unchanged from the 2021 race.
AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton said it was not clear from testing exactly how the effect of DRS has changed under the new technical rules. However he believes it offers a similar straight-line speed increase to last year.
“People are running a range of a range of rear wing levels but it’s at least comparable, I think,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “But when you’re following another car with these new regulations there’s more load on the car, it’s a slightly different scenario. It’s a difficult one to answer at the moment.”
Bahrain International Circuit track map
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