Overtaking zones already confusing drivers
14 March, 2011
Mar.14 (GMM) Drivers will be allowed to activate their adjustable rear wings on the pit straight during next weekend’s Australian grand prix.
The overtaking zone for the Albert Park track was formally decided during a recent F1 team meeting with the FIA’s Charlie Whiting at the Barcelona test.
Because the Melbourne straight is quite short, the chasing car’s requisite 1 second gap will be measured at the circuit’s third to last corner, according to a report in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
The rear wing adjust button may then be pressed at the exit of the final corner, with the wing needing to be back in place for braking for Turn 1. The overtaking zone is slightly more than the previously announced 600 metres.
Sebastian Vettel is staunchly opposed to the system, arguing that the Melbourne solution is confusing.
“Let’s say I’m further away than 1 second from the car in the (designated) corner, but I get closer in the last three corners and I’m not allowed to press the button.
“How do you try to explain that?” said the Red Bull driver.
The report also said the FIA has declared the location of the overtaking zone in Malaysia to be the long pit straight, with the 1 second interval timed in the final corner.
In China the zone is the long straight between turns 13 and 14, with the decisive zone before Turn 13.
Meanwhile, also during the meeting with Whiting, some teams proposed that the wings not be allowed to be triggered in practice and qualifying in a bid to reduce the drivers’ workload.
Reportedly, Red Bull wanted the limitation to be imposed, while the likes of Ferrari and McLaren did not agree.
“Presumably, McLaren and Ferrari have developed techniques that make it easier for the drivers to operate the systems,” said Whiting.
Indeed, close inspection of the McLaren and Ferrari steering wheels reveals extra paddles on the back, reportedly simplifying the use of KERS and the rear wing.