Silverstone DRS crashes explained

Friday, 13 july 2018, 08:07 , by Matthew Scott

The high-speed crashes of Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean over the British Grand Prix weekend were purely down to driver error, and not caused by the implementation of a new DRS zone at Silverstone, according to FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

Both Ericsson and Grosjean left the track at well over 150 mph at turn one over the course of the weekend and wrecked their cars in the barriers, Ericsson doing so in Sunday's race to bring a double DNF for the Sauber team.

Both drivers blamed an inability to press the DRS button on their steering wheels in time as they went through turn one, a newly designated area to operate the drag reduction system in 2018's race.

Drivers were seen using different tactics through the zone all weekend, although very few had their rear flap open through the whole turn, but Whiting was confident that the change did not put drivers at undue risk.

"I think the incidents where drivers lost control through turn one because they had their DRS open through turn one is a driver choice, just like any other choice you make on a car," Whiting said.

"It's like any car that is challenging to drivers, and sometimes they try to do it flat when it's not really flat, and they spin. 

"It's the same thing, it's their choice. If they thought they could do it, they can try it. It's not a requirement to do it.

"It's like any other choice that teams and drivers make."

With drivers unsure on how to tackle the DRS zone, it failed to create substantial overtaking opportunities and it seems unlikely to return in 2019's race.

"I don't think it actually helped," Whiting admitted.  "The idea was that drivers might get a little bit closer than they would have done otherwise, and therefore be in a better position to attack on the straights between turns five and six."

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Comments (4)

  • Antonis Zao
    At least this time Grosjean didn't say that Ericsson hit him
  • Owain Balling
    Andrew Cook
  • Dan Muldowney
    James Beddow

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