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The DRS trick behind Tsunoda’s standout F1 Bahrain test lap times
Some eagle-eyed TV viewers and users on Reddit's F1 subsection spotted that Tsunoda appeared to be opening DRS far, far earlier than normal during his final qualifying simulations.
The final DRS zone in Bahrain on the main straight started 170m from the exit of Turn 15 last year. In the image from the above tweet, that is in line with the blue Aramco sign, showing just how much earlier Tsunoda had DRS activated.
It was not limited to a single lap, either, with the onboards showing that Tsunoda was regularly activating the DRS flap on the left-hand side of his steering wheel as soon as he got the car straightened up at the exit of the Turn 14/15 final complex.
The data also points to a much earlier DRS usage than typically permitted. Tsunoda comfortably topped the speed trap on the final day of pre-season testing with a top speed of 322 km/h, finishing 3 km/h clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in second place.
McLaren’s Lando Norris also made a cheeky comment on Instagram at the end of the day after Tsunoda posted that he had a “very smooth day with both race sims and short runs”. Norris commented: “How’s the DRS” along with the laughing face emoji.