DRS suffers system failure on Macau F3 debut
The Drag Reduction System being used for the first time in the Macau Grand Prix was switched off during Saturday’s qualification race after a sensor failure impeded its usage, Motorsport.com understands.
The new F3 car is being driven at the Guia circuit for the first time this weekend, and unlike its predecessor it features the DRS overtaking aid pioneered in Formula 1.
A select number of drivers were able to use the device, but when it became apparent that a sensor had failed, it was deactivated. It is not clear if the problem will be rectified in time for the Grand Prix on Sunday.
Motorsport.com has contacted the FIA for comment.
The way DRS is being used this weekend is slightly different than on F1 grand prix weekends, when it is set up by championship organisers.
Cars reached 185mph during qualifying, 13mph quicker than last year.
After using DRS for the first time on the Guia circuit, double Macau winner Dan Ticktum said that he believes the effect of the device will be significant in the race.
“In the races if you’re anywhere near the second, you’re getting passed or you are passing,” he said. “If someone is catching you, you’ll have to be absolutely balls-out through the mountain to make sure they aren’t within a second.
“Because as soon as they are within a second, they will be coming past. Simple as that. It’s going to be difficult to defend.”
The DRS issues on Saturday are not believed to be related to a technical bulletin issued by the FIA on Thursday.
The update confirmed that the shim – which looks like a small washer – in the rear wing assembly should not be thicker than 0.5mm for “safety reasons”. The shim affects how wide the DRS can open.
Qualification race polesitter and winner Juri Vips experienced a problem with DRS on Thursday when his device stuck open in free practice one.
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