Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen thinks the new DRS zone through Silverstone’s flat-out first and second corners is “too tricky.”
After two ninety-minute practice sessions on Friday, Raikkonen concluded the zone “doesn’t really make a big difference in lap time.”
This new zone has been added to the track for 2018 in an effort to induce more overtaking.
“I don’t know if the new DRS zone is creating overtaking opportunities,” Raikkonen said after the second practice session.
The zone runs from Silverstone’s final corner, Turn 18, right up until Turn 3, which means the flat-out first and second turns can be taken with the DRS open.
DRS allows a driver to temporarily lift up a flap of the rear wing, which increases top speed at the expense of downforce.
This is the first time a DRS zone has been situated with significant corners in it.
The change caught Romain Grosjean out in FP1 as the Frenchman’s car spun and struck barriers after attempting to go through Turn 1 with the DRS open.
“Romain switched his DRS off a little bit too late,” Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner said.
Raikkonen chose to close his wing before Turn 1 on each, he said it too difficult to use.
Sebastian Vettel seemed to be in two minds about the zone, saying, “it may be easier to drop the wing for us than for smaller teams.”
Grosjean’s incident was an example of Vettel’s theory, as the Haas simply didn’t have enough downforce to take Turn 1 with DRS open.
PlanetF1 quoted Vettel describing the section as “tricky.”
Lewis Hamilton told Motorsport.com that he thought the zone was “pointless” and “dangerous.”
Despite that, Hamilton also compared the “insane” speeds of Turn 1 and 2 to driving the circuit in a fighter jet.
“The faster this track gets, the better it gets,” Hamilton said in rather contradictory fashion, later adding that Silverstone is the best track in the world.
Even if Hamilton felt he was circulating quick, it still wasn’t enough to conquer Vettel, who led the afternoon’s practice session by almost two tenths.
“I felt happy with the balance of the car straight away and managed to find a good rhythm from the beginning,” Vettel said.
Ferrari has brought a new floor to Britain this weekend, in an effort to close their gap to Mercedes on high-speed tracks such as Silverstone.
“Everything we put on the car seemed to work,” Vettel said.
It has not be confirmed if Ferrari will run the new floor during qualifying or the Grand Prix.