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GP Week : Issue 142
30 PRe-race fears that the Yas Marina Circuit’s double DRS zone was too short to promote overtaking were proven inaccurate on Sunday night as fans were finally delivered an action-packed race with race-long wheel-to- wheel action. Although the length of the DRS zones was more than adequate after the FIA extended the first zone on Friday night, their locations prompted much criticism. With the second zone following soon after the first, any chasing driver that made a move stick in the first zone was invariably passed by the overtaken driver in the second zone, when he inherited use of the DRS. This phenomenon was highlighted in the early- race scrap between Paul di Resta and Sebastien Buemi. The pair swapped positions in the DRS zones for a number of laps before a mistake by di Resta finally allowed Buemi through and open a sufficient gap. Webber and Button similarly swapped places in the DRS zones in the first half of the race. “ The two DRS zones are tricky here; in the first one it was easy to get the move done, but in the second one you couldn’t, so if I passed Jenson there, he could just get you back again,” explained Webber on Sunday night. “I think it was a bit of a gimmick today the DRS, it was difficult to make the move stick and harder to get the move done, as I say in Turn 11.” So powerful was the DRS set-up that race winner Lewis Hamilton was overtaken by Williams backmarker Rubens Barrichello . “Rubens overtook me with the DRS; there was nothing I could do about that,” said Hamilton. “I came up back alongside him thinking ‘dude, I’m in the lead, we’re not racing’. He came and congratulated me afterwards so that’s fine.” Although it’s clear that the double DRS zone set-up needs refining ahead of next season, on the evidence of this weekend fans can look forward to many more exciting races at the Yas Marina Circuit. DRS brings Yas Marina racing to life Double zone ‘gimmicky’however