F1 Drivers Want to Take One of the Most Difficult Corners in Racing with No Rear Wing

David Coulthard running Suzuka in 2003. I believe this is 130R. Look close and you’ll see the dust on this slide film.
Photo: Getty Images

Suzuka is one of the greatest F1 tracks in the world, home to one of the most difficult, committed corners on any circuit: the high-speed 130R. This year, Formula 1 drivers want to take it with DRS on, their rear wings wide open.

130R is marked as 15 on this track map.
Illustration: Wikipedia

One of the marks of a great driver in F1 is if they can take 130R flat out. One of F1's great passes, a career-defining moment, is when young Alonso screamed past elder Schumacher on the outside, something totally unexpected even to the announcers. Oh my word:

In any case, this came up today when current F1 drivers Checo Perez and Charles Leclerc told the media, eh, what the hell, let’s see about allowing people to risk taking 130R with significantly reduced rear downforce but added speed, as Motorsport.com reports:

Stroll said whether or not 130R would be flat is “probably not the reason we should debate if it is a DRS zone or not on the back straight”.

“I think it can only help overtaking,” said Stroll. “It is already a track where due to the nature of the track it is very difficult to follow in the high speed corners.”

Ocon agreed it would be “even harder than Silverstone Turn 1”, and added: “It could only help overtaking into the last chicane.

“In the race it would probably not be flat, especially following other cars, but in qualifying it could be an interesting challenge.”

Sebastian Vettel, by contrast not a fan of DRS, said that “It would be more fun to throw bananas out of the cockpit, so maybe this would be better idea than to have DRS.”


Other drivers pointed out that some of the better-designed cars on the grid, ones that make more downforce than others (like Red Bull), would probably be able to safely take 130R with DRS on while the more low-downforce cars would be taking big chances going for it. Hopefully F1 goes all in on this, but we’ll see.

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Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.