17 September 2014
GP2: Series to introduce DRS in 2015
The GP2 Series is to introduce its own implementation of DRS to the championship for the 2015 season, organisers announced on Wednesday.
GP2 drivers will get a chance to use drag reduction systems (DRS) on their cars in next year's championship, series organisers confirmed on Wednesday.
The new system will be tested on the GP2 Series development car for the first time in late October in Europe and then again in December in the Middle East. The teams will receive the finalised kit in January in time for pre-season testing sessions for 2015.
"We've always said that GP2 was able to produce some amazing races without the addition of DRS or any other devices, and once again the 2014 season has proved that with some close racing and exciting on-track battles," explained GP2 CEO Bruno Michel. "However, we also have to make sure that we keep in line with our mission statement: preparing the drivers for the next step, F1."
With that aim in mind, Michel said that the system would be exactly the same sort used in F1 which features adjustable flaps in the car's rear wing assembly, which when opened down a long straight reduce downforce and provide a temporary boost in speed until the flap closes again.
"It will not be a push-to-pass button or a way to be quicker on a lap," Michel insisted. "Our DRS will be the exact copy of the one used in F1, with the same DRS zones since we're racing on the same tracks.
"The drivers will be able to activate it within one second of the car in front at the DRS detection point, with the same level of safety, and with the same suppliers," he confirmed. "It will have a hydraulic activation to ensure there's a very fast movement of the flap with a capacity to open at high speed."
Michel said that although the series had decided to stick with the current design of GP2 car on cost grounds for six years rather than go through a costly redevelopment of the chassis according to the originally planned three-year cycle, it was still important to keep adding modifications to the car where possible to keep GP2 within touching distance of modern F1.
"F1 is constantly evolving," Michel pointed out. "It is impossible for GP2 to remain with the same car over a long period of time when its philosophy is to prepare the drivers for F1.
"Bearing this in mind, we thought that DRS was the best technical development to introduce and we discussed it with the teams over a year ago," he said. "They were all in favour of it as they felt it would make GP2 even more attractive to the drivers, but only if it was an identical system to the one used in F1.
"We took the time to investigate ways to introduce it for a minimal cost, as our goal remains to keep on supporting our teams," he continued. "The cost-cutting plan put in place this year will continue for next season in order to make sure that the introduction of DRS will not affect the teams."
Michel added that DRS would be a particular boon at circuits renowned to be difficult in terms of overtaking opportunities, and that DRS would ensure GP2 delivers added value to fans and spectators at those tracks.
Overtaking has also been a problem in the GP3 Series this season, but Michel did not announce any technical changes or the introduction of DRS in that championship at this time.
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