DRS has been in operation since the start of the 2011 season, with drivers permitted free use anywhere on track during practice and qualifying.
That is set to change, with the FIA looking to restrict drivers to using DRS in the designated zone(s) throughout the entire race weekend.
“We are going to prohibit the use of the DRS during practice and qualifying except in the places where it’s going to be used in the race”, technical delegate Charlie Whiting told Autosport.
“It’s something that we told the teams about the other day, that we are doing it for safety reasons. There have been a number of incidents and drivers have told me that it’s becoming increasingly prevalent”.
“One could argue that the early deployment of the DRS is not much different to early deployment of the throttle, but the DRS is an on/off switch whereas the throttle can be modulated”.
Whiting is optimistic that the changes to the DRS rule will not hinder overtaking in 2013.
“The whole point of the DRS was to improve overtaking opportunities in the race. We didn’t really want to have it used in qualifying and practice before but we were worried that we may not have effective DRS systems. Now I believe all the information we have, we should not see any reduction in the power of the DRS”, he added.
“Teams will still use it because even though they’re allowed to use it in perhaps two places on the circuit, the benefit will still be there. I’m sure that it will work just as it does now”.