There are 3 DRS zones on the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit for the Formula 1, helping make the racing closer give the drivers more opportunities to overtake.
Below is a map, location and details of each of the DRS points.
Bahrain Grand Prix DRS zones
The Bahrain F1 race is held on the Bahrain International circuit Grand Prix layout, and is the first race on the championship calendar line-up.
See the Bahrain GP schedule for dates and times of this year’s event.
There are three DRS zones at the Bahrain Grand Prix:
- The first zone has a detection point 50m before Turn 1 and an activation point 23m after Turn 3
- The second zone has a detection point 10m before Turn 9 and an activation point 50m after Turn 10
- The third zone has a detection point 110m before Turn 14 and an activation point 250m after Turn 15
The circuit map below shows the location of the DRS zones at Bahrain.
The first DRS zone has a detection before 50m before T1 and an activation point 23m after T3.
Unusually, the detection point for this zone is in the braking area for the first corner, which is also one of the best overtaking spots thanks to DRS zone 3.
That means that if a driver manages to overtake at the end of the straight before the activation point is reached, the person they just overtook will have the chance to come back at them when they get DRS.
It also means that a very late move on the brakes in to Turn 1, like we saw Sergio Perez do to Charles Leclerc in 2023, results in the overtaking car being behind at the detection point. Yet if they make the late move stick, they’ll then have DRS in this zone to pull away, which isn’t so good for close racing.
It’s the shortest DRS zone at the Bahrain track, but still just long enough to give the drivers a small speed advantage.
The second DRS zone has a detection point 10m before T9 and an activation point 50m after T10.
At the 2023 race, Fernando Alonso was locked in a multi-lap battle with Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes. Alonso was behind Hamilton when they crossed the DRS detection line but slung his car up the inside on the way in to Turn 10.
That meant that even though he’d already passed Hamilton, he had DRS to pull away.
Later in the session Alonso was battling with Sainz for the final spot on the podium. He was behind at the detection point and the activation point, but the speed different from the DRS meant his fast Aston Martin breezed past Sainz on the straight.
The third DRS zone has a detection point 110m before T14 and an activation point 250m after T15.
This is the longest DRS zone at the track and the one that often promotes the most overtaking.
However, for the 2023 Bahrain GP, the zone was shortened by 80 metres. Previously the activation point was only 170 metres after T15 and now it’s 250 metres after.
It was agreed that the longer zone prior to 2023 made overtaking a little too easy as the speed differential at the end of the straight was too big.
The shorter zone worked, making passing in to T1 much more closely contested between the drivers in the 2023 race.
Are the Bahrain GP zones in the right place for the Formula 1?
The changes that the FIA made to the length of the third DRS point made a big difference. A few years ago, before the change, overtaking was too easy on the main straight.
Now with it being shortened, drivers will rarely be able to get their overtake done and dusted before Turn 1. Instead they’ll be right behind or alongside their competitor, making for some very close wheel-to-wheel action which is exactly what us fans want to see.