In 2013, the use of the drag reduction system will be limited to the same area as in the race throughout the entire race weekend. Charlie Whiting has today confirmed that the FIA has sent out letter to announce this, based on an increased worry of safety issues because of the extensive DRS use as we see it now in free practice and qualifying.
Following indications from drivers that it more and more becoming difficult and dangerous to open DRS as early as possible out of every corner during the free practice sessions and qualifying, the FIA will limit the use of DRS in 2013, allowing it only in the designated DRS zone throughout the entire weekend.
At the moment, drivers are free to open the rear wing whenever they choose during all free practice session and qualifying, while during the race it is only allowed on one or two straight lines, as defined by the FIA ahead of a race weekend.
Charlie Whiting commented to Autosport: "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," said Whiting. "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 [early deployment problems are] 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."
With the change, the FIA will also make it less interesting for teams to develop complex aerodynamic solutions that attempt to increase the effect of opening the DRS, as its advantage will be far less during qualifying.