Brundle suggests limiting ‘powerful’ DRS usage

Date published: May 5 2021 - Henry Valantine

Martin Brundle

Martin Brundle offered his thoughts on how track limits can be better policed in Formula 1, including the use of limiting DRS use during races.

The issues surrounding what defines the edge of the track and where the limits are being enforced or not around a circuit has been a hot topic of conversation in Formula 1 this season – even more so as the majority of tracks now include asphalt run-off areas rather than defined grass and gravel areas.

Max Verstappen in particular has fallen foul of these limits on a couple of occasions, seeing lap times good enough for pole position deleted in both Imola and Portimao – along with a host of lap times being deleted for other drivers in the season so far.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has since called for consistency to be applied throughout circuits to help iron out the issue, an opinion which is seemingly becoming the consensus among the paddock, as the rules currently change corner by corner and track by track.

Brundle agrees and compared Formula 1’s implementation of track limits with other categories, as well as suggesting potential solutions to ensure drivers are discouraged from falling foul of the regulations.

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“In Le Mans-style sportscar racing, track limit observation is brutal and drivers control their cars accordingly,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports post-race column.

“At my friend Jonathan Palmer’s corporate driving venue in Bedford, if you run wide and cheat the engine power cuts. This would be potentially dangerous at F1 speeds but a driver could, say, lose DRS activation for a couple of laps, although of course, that’s no pain for them near the end of the race.

“I wonder if the DRS rear wing activation shouldn’t anyway have an overall time limit per race for each driver to use as they wish in attack and defence, as once again despite losing 120 metres of zone, it was a little too powerful down the pit straight on Sunday when combined with a slipstream into a headwind.

“It did though generate some bold sweeps around the outside of the high-speed Turn One for position, not least for Hamilton to pass his two main rivals for a 97th victory.

“And well-earned it was too. If he got lucky with second place in Imola at Bottas’s expense after his big shunt with George Russell, then he certainly deserved this one.”

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