McLaren’s drivers expect the addition of a second DRS zone to the Algarve circuit for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix won’t make overtaking too easy during the race.
As in 2020, the first DRS zone is situated on the pit straight, although the activation point has been moved further down the straight to 245 metres after the final corner, making the zone shorter. Last year it began 125m after the long Galp right-hander – turn 15. The detection point has also been moved from shortly after the penultimate corner to the apex of the final corner.
The second DRS zone is on the short straight between the uphill left-hander of turn four and the Torre Vip turn five hairpin. Its detection point is 35m before turn four, and DRS can be deployed 180m after the corner.
Daniel Ricciardo approves of the changes. “I think it’s cool,” he said. “I don’t see it being a negative.
“I think last year, from memory, there was some [times] you were kind of close in to turn five, but maybe not close enough.”
“It’s certainly not going to create the easy DRS overtake,” he added. “I think if anything, it’s just going to maybe put us in striking range, and that’s ultimately what we want. So I think it will be a good thing.”
The addition of the second DRS zone has been made despite last year’s Portuguese Grand Prix featuring 58 overtaking moves, the most of the season.
Lando Norris concurred with his team mate’s assessment. “They shortened the first one to make it a little bit more difficult, but also added that second one. So hopefully you can see some more racing around the track rather than only into turn one.
“We’ll wait and see how much we actually gain into the corner, whether it’s going to be possible. But it’s not going to be a negative in any way.”