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The FIA, Formula 1's governing body, has ratified the restriction of DRS to designated zones for all sessions from the 2013 season onwards. According to Race Director Charlie Whiting, the regulation changes have been made 'for safety reasons'.
Since its introduction in 2011, drivers could use the device freely in practice and qualifying before being limited to one or two designated zones in races, where its deployment would only be permitted if they were within one second of the car ahead. For 2013, this restriction will be in place for an entire Grand Prix weekend.
"We are going to prohibit the use of DRS in practice and qualifying except in the areas where it's going to be used in the race," Whiting confirmed in November. "We're doing that for safety reasons. We believe there have been a number of incidents and drivers have told me it is becoming increasingly prevalent.
"We didn't want to have it in practice and qualifying before but we were worried we would not have effective DRS systems. Now all the information we have is that we will not see any reduction in the power of the DRS."
The FIA has also abolished 'force majeure' for the 2013 campaign, with the rule previously causing confusion in qualifying sessions when cars ran out of fuel on-track and teams attempted to justify the reasons for the non-completion of in-laps.
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