Published On: Fri, Jun 8th, 2018

Formula 1 ends practice of disabling DRS for yellow flags

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The FIA has changed its Formula 1 procedures and will no longer globally disabled DRS across all cars in yellow flag situations in practice, qualifying and grands prix.

Until now at each event race director Charlie Whiting’s pre-weekend notes have explained how yellows at particular places on the track will automatically cut DRS to slow speeds while incidents are cleared.

In Canada for example Whiting’s original notes read: “DRS will be globally disabled if panels 1, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 or 15 are displaying yellow,” and “detection will be automatically disabled if the light panels below are displaying yellow: zone 1: panels 5 or 6. Zones 2 and 3: panels 10 or 11.”

One drawback of the system was that sometimes a driver could be robbed of DRS at a vital time in qualifying because of an incident that happened behind them.

In the light of the trend towards the addition of extra DRS zones – three are in use in Montreal this weekend – teams had asked the FIA if DRS could only be disabled only in zones directly affected by yellows, rather than on the whole track.

While this was technically possible, it would have been a very complex task to modify the software.

The FIA has instead decided to henceforth leave DRS in operation under yellows. The above references have duly been deleted in an updated version of Whiting’s notes issued on Friday morning.

In explaining the change at Thursday’s team managers’ meeting, Whiting made it clear that drivers are still obliged to slow sufficiently for yellows and the onus is on them to comply.

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