The FIA is set to completely ban the use of DRS under yellow-flag conditions, in a bid to clear up the confusion that has surrounded its use during the Spanish and European Grands Prix.
The former saw penalties issues to Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa, who both had their DRS devices activated along the start/finish straight while yellow flags were out to clear up a collision between Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna. The pair were penalised for ‘failing to respect the waved yellow flags’.
At the European Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher was seen to have used the device through the DRS zone as he approached the accident scene for the Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado collision, but he was given no penalty.
Schumacher had successfully argued that he had sufficiently acknowledged the waved yellow flags and reduced his speed as he approached the accident scene.
Following on from the race in Valencia, the FIA Race Director, Charlie Whiting, clarified that no such rule governing the use of the DRS in yellow flag zones actually existed. This in turn created much wailing from the Red Bull Racing and Ferrari camps, which had seen their drivers penalised.
Whiting has now seen fit to clarify the ruling, and instructed the drivers that thy will need to demonstrate that they have slowed down sufficiently through the yellow flag area.
That would still theoretically allow a driver to use DRS and KERS – if we were to take the Schumacher example into account – so Whiting will move one step further and have the FIA disable DRS entirely.
This ruling came into effect at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, although the only time it could be enforced was for the collision between Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Pérez.