DRS or not, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has admitted that he is not expecting overtaking to be any more prevalent when the Monaco Grand Prix gets underway this weekend.
The adjustable rear wings, introduced in a bid to spice up the show in 2011, have controversially been allowed for F1's blue riband event despite the concerns of drivers, who believe that they only serve to increase the danger of racing on the Principality's tight and twisting streets. Although DRS will be disabled for the tunnel section throughout the weekend, and only permitted on the run to Ste Devote in Sunday's race, it will be available around the rest of the circuit during practice and qualifying.
Despite that, however, Brawn insists that he does not expect to see any great rise in overtaking opportunities, even though the Spanish Grand Prix provided more action than usual last weekend and Pirelli will be introducing its previously unused supersoft compound in Monaco.
"The finish straight is too short," the Briton told Auto Motor und Sport
, referring to section containing the DRS zone on the run to turn one, "Even a driver two or three seconds faster struggles to overtake so, with our strategic planning, we do not think overtaking will be much easier than before. Track position is probably the decisive factor, so grid position will be more important than at any other track."
Mercedes drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished fifth and sixth in Spain, best of the rest behind Red Bull and McLaren, and the seven-time world champion still believes that it will be possible to make progress in the race.
"Tyres will certainly be the most important factor, but I think if you have the right tyre and the right situation in place then it will normally help you," he noted, "I have at least good memories when, in one race, I started last and went forward. So overtaking is a chance - yes it's difficult, it is a challenge, but it's not impossible."
Rosberg, who has qualified sixth for the past three races in Monaco, also believes that tyre wear could be a crucial factor in the race.
"I think the tyres could be very interesting this weekend and, if they degrade a lot, that will definitely increase the amount of overtaking that we see," he concluded.