While many of his peers were actively campaigning against the use of Drag Reduction Systems in Monaco, Rubens Barrichello has bucked the trend by speaking out in favour
of using the technology on the streets of the Principality.
The FIA reached something of a compromise with the Grand Prix Drivers' Association by announcing that DRS would be available this weekend, but not
for the entire circuit. While raceday only features one DRS Zone, the systems are usually freely available throughout practice and qualifying, but the governing body has conceded that allowing them in the stretch of track surrounding the famous Monaco tunnel may be courting danger a little too much.
Barrichello insists that the decision to permit DRS is the right one given Monaco's propensity for processional races,
“I think that Monaco is a non-overtaking territory in a way,” the Brazilian commented, “so I think it was very wise of the FIA to actually introduce some of the DRS - but not in the tunnel.
“We've got to try to overtake, for sure, [but] I'm very happy with the decision that we're not going to be using [DRS] in the tunnel. The rest is fine; we should try and then see what it brings to the event. If we can make overtaking possible here, it means that we [can] overtake anywhere on Earth, so it remains to be seen.
“There are differences in speed that might make it possible, [but] it's very, very narrow. We've seen in the past people trying to overtake and just crash into each other, [so] I think we need to learn.”
Others did not necessarily share Barrichello's point of view, with Renault's Nick Heidfeld particularly opposed. The DRS Zone for Sunday's race has already been set for turn one at Ste Devote, but the German insists that fans should not expect as much as action as the new rules have prompted in Turkey and Spain.
“I think we've seen a lot more overtaking everywhere so far, but I think, in Monaco, it will still stand out in the way that there will not be more overtaking than in the past, even though we will be allowed to use the DRS on the start and finish straight,” the German claimed.
“First of all, [the DRS zone is] very short, like 350 metres or something like that – the whole straight – where, in the past, we've had like 800 metres. And, on top of that, even if you use it, there's nowhere you can go, because the car in front of you is taking what we call a straight line - it takes the corner on the right-hand side, on the inside. You cannot go to the left, on the outside, because there's no way you're going to pass there, so I think it's a bit useless to use the DRS here to be honest.”
Heidfeld did, however, admit that there could be more passing in the race because of another change in the 2011 technical rules.