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Whiting: Silverstone crashes the result of driver choice, not DRS


Charlie Whiting says the crashes that occurred last weekend at Silverstone's Turn 1 were the consequence of "driver choice" and were not DRS-induced.

The FIA added a third DRS zone at the British Grand Prix venue which included the rapid Abbey and Farm corners, and therefore the possibility to rush through the fast sweeps - for those brave enough to do so - with an open DRS.

Romain Grosjean did just that in Friday's free practice, with an unsatisfactory result as the Haas driver promptly crashed into the barriers.

On Sunday, Sauber's Marcus Ericsson also lost control at Turn 1, although he put the mishap down to his inability to close his car's DRS soon enough. The Swede ended his race in the tyre barriers, fortunately without any consequences for himself.

"I think the incidents where drivers lost control through Turn 1 because they had their DRS open through Turn 1 is a driver choice, just like any other choice you make on a car," explained Whiting.

"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."

Formula 1's race director admitted however that Silverstone's additional DRS zone did not help overtaking in its specific area.

"I don’t think it actually helped," he said.

"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 5 and 6."


On the subject of allowing drivers the freedom to use DRS at their will, Whiting insisted he is against the idea.

"I don’t think there’s any point because all you’re doing is creating faster lap times," he said.

"The whole principle of DRS was to help overtaking and to allow them to use it in the places you can use it in the race seems entirely logical to me. I wouldn’t be in favour of going back."

Next week at Hockenheim, Whiting confirmed that the FIA will once again add an extra DRS zone at the venue, but will also extend the existing one.

"One extra, on the pit straight, with one detection for the pit straight and the run from Turn 1 to 2, and the main one going down into Turn 6 will be a bit longer."

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