Drivers praise 2011 rules changes

2011 F1 season

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Button and Webber race for position in India

Drivers credited the introduction of new tyres and DRS, plus the reintroduction of KERS, with improving racing in 2011.

Speaking in today’s press conference Michael Schumacher said: “To me, I think it is very obvious that we have improved big time. We have had incredible races this year.

“I take one particular example and I think it’s pretty fresh still, and that’s Korea. If you think about the fight that Mark Webber and Lewis [Hamilton] had together over there; without DRS, it would have been nowhere close, we wouldn’t have seen anything.

“It would have just been a normal kind of old traditional kind of race and in that respect, it may not always work out perfectly, there’s a little room to improve the situation but in general it has contributed a lot to some great racing.”

Jenson Button said: “I think DRS on its own is good but personally I feel that having KERS has really helped us this year.

“I think we can really use it to our advantage, to overtake and obviously to try and block a position, so that, for me, has been as big as DRS.”

Button added the new tyres supplied by Pirelli have also contributed to better racing this year: “I think that at the start of the season, especially, when we were trying to work out what the tyres were like and how many laps they would run and what the degradation was like, I think there was a lot of overtaking.

“Some of it came from looking after the tyres but also a lot of it came from people pitting, coming back out onto the circuit and being two or three seconds quicker than other cars.”

But he admitted the tyres are now making less of a difference: “It seems a little bit different now, the degradation of the tyre doesn’t seem to be as high, it doesn’t seem to drop off a cliff like it did earlier this year. Maybe that’s just our car, I don’t know, but that’s the way it seems.

“It seems that they are more conservative with the choice of tyres towards the end of the season, meaning that the degradation is lower and I think that that will be the case here also. I personally liked it at the start of the year when we had a lot of degradation, I thought that was more fun but personally I feel that Pirelli’s done a great job this year.

“To come into Formula One… you know you can’t hide coming into Formula One. I think that they’ve done a great job, they’ve definitely been a part of the action this year. There’s been a lot of great overtaking and some of it does come down to tyres. So yeah, I think KERS, DRS and the Pirelli tyres have all worked very well together. We’ve just got to hope that it doesn’t change too much next year.”

Rubens Barrichello said racing is “fun the way it is” this year.

“Obviously when you give a tyre to a driver you’re talking about more or less grip, you’re always trying to go for more grip and the faster you go, the more pleasure you have, so at the beginning of the year, I think everyone had to adapt a little bit, not that the Pirelli was worse than the Bridgestone, it was just different and you had to treat the tyres differently.

“That was the special feeling about it and when we talked about grip, in testing it seemed that it was not enough with the temperature that we had there, but then when we went racing, there was a lot of overtaking and I think Pirelli had done a really good job to actually help that. So together with the DRS and the KERS, I think the show has improved and let’s hope that’s the way Formula One’s going to be for the long term.”

2011 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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93 comments on “Drivers praise 2011 rules changes”

  1. I think Pirelli need to maintain those high levels of degradation we saw earlier in the season. Either way, they’ve done an absolutely brilliant job this season.

    1. Well, it is always going to be a battle. Pirelli intentionally presented teams with a problem this year. Towards the end of the season teams presented Pirelli with a solution.
      I don’t see next year hugely different. Pirelli is planning to give team a bigger problem, but i don’t see teams unable to work their way around it somehow, especially considering the experience teams had with tyres this year and using it to build next year cars.
      We might up end in a tyre situation similar to what was in Bridgestone days, just coming to it from a different ends. But i hope Pirelli won’t let it happen and will constantly present teams with a problems to solve. Tyre-related spectacular racing we had this year is just because of that – teams having a problem working their tyres.
      If Abu Dhabi was one of the first races of the season it may had turned out not worse than China, for example, just because teams hadn’t got their act on tyres together properly at the time.

    2. Yeah i agree. I loved the almost random nature of the first few races of the year and it made races like Barcelona, which is normally awful, really enjoyable and varying strategies really worked.

      The thing is F1 teams are so clever that they are going to find a way around the tyres soln enough and there is only so far Pirelli can go in making them degrade quickly etc, tyres are safety features after all.

      I think the drivers have also been part of the reduced degradation by knowing the tyres better an knowing when to push etc.

  2. Sorry, F1 is for the worse with the gimicks now accepted by the drivers. Time to follow another form of motorsport until sense comes back to F1. I am done with it….

    1. no offense, but i think F1 will do better without fans who don’t understand much or consider the racing realities we’re in these days.

      1. You are right , I will be better off because I do understand the reality of todays racing. Sad that you accept todays reality of racing and the crap added to the cars to make them more competitive.

        1. I’d prefer they do away with DRS, since the Pirellis are good enough, and the FIA still have to reduce the aero reliance. KERS I’m fine with, as it’s interesting to see the energy being re-used.

        2. Well, yes, since i watched endless number of unresolved battles on track with no action taken by drivers, because of downforce loss while following the car ahead. Wider and adjustable front wings – no real help. KERS is as good at attacking as at defending and in most cases cancels itself out. Pirelli? Teams, being a smarter bunch of people than we are, figured that out – everyone is ok looking after their tyres now, no one falls of a cliff suddenly and 95% uses the same optimal strategy.
          The racing reality in formula 1 is simple – these are very smart and scientific teams and highly skilled drivers we have. There is very little room for variety (and therefore mistakes), so unless you introduce something that is specifically designed to give an advantage, we are forced to watch something like Bahrain 2010 in most cases. By the way, we saw a resemblance of that in India not long ago. So there you go, maybe it’s better to watch some less competent teams with less sophisticated machinery and little bit less skilled drivers driving it around, getting it wrong etc, it is actually could be more exciting for some and i think it’s great. You should enjoy yourself, after all. No joy in watching something you don’t like, innit?

    2. It took you a whole season to realise you don’t like it in it’s current form?!

      You only have to look at the rate the race features on this site to see how good the races have been this year.

    3. what another motorsport form you mean?

  3. The racing’s been great this season for a number of reasons – KERS, Pirellis, DRS and more. It’s been great to see and I’ve really enjoyed watching it.

    Same that the Pirelli effect is almost completely non-existent these days. They started off working brilliantly and then they sort of just stopped working their magic. No one seems to ‘fall of the cliff’ anymore. I hope Pirelli stick to the agressive compound choices next year.

    KERS and DRS have played a big role in increasing the action and I love them both. People say it’s all ‘fake’ and ‘gimmicky’, but to those people I say look, at the end of the race, the winner is still the fastest driver in the fastest car on the day. KERS and DRS aren’t taking anything away from the formula, they’re adding extra elements to the racing and I feel that’s a good thing. Do you have to like them? Of course you don’t and I understand and respect those that don’t. Are KERS and DRS ‘destroying’ Formula 1 and making it ‘fake’? Come off it. If F1 drivers embracing KERS and DRS mputs you off the entire sport, then quite frankly you’re ‘fans’ F1 could do without.

    1. After all, it takes just a look on the “rate the race” articles to realize how great this season has been. Even if DRS was “gimmicky”, it has definitely helped improve the show, alongside KERS and Pirelli tyres.

    2. I have to say the idea of DRS itself is wrong. KERS is the same for all (of course small teams don’t have it, but it was their decision) and the way in which each driver uses it is part of his strategy. Pirelli tyres are the same for everyone, if someone decides to invert the order he uses his tyres in it’s part of his strategy.
      However, DRS isn’t fair. You’re first and the cars behind you get extra speed to pass you. It’s like no one wants you to lead, when you’ve deserved it. It actually puts the second-placed driver in a better position than the leader (considering he is within 1 second). This year Vettel has been untouchable because he was awesome, and pulled over 2 seconds away within 2 laps. It’s perhaps more straightforward to say it gives the third-placed driver an advantage over the second-placed driver.
      It rewards being behind, and penalises being ahead.

      1. “It rewards being behind, and penalises being ahead.” Not really, Vettel has been ahead all year and it has’nt affected his year one bit.

        1. And last race Hamilton also didn’t really have an issue staying ahead of Alonso – in the end the faster driver/car combination, when ahead, still has a very good change of winning it.

          I would prever to not need DRS, but I do think some tracks need something like it – I just wish it wouldn’t be used on tracks like Brazil where it isn’t needed to get a good race.

          But I do like that here they at least didn’t put it on the pits-straight where there is already a good overtaking opportunity.

          With enough corners between the overtaking opportunities to not have that Korea/Abu Dhabi switchback, having one DRS enabled opportunity added to the track seems like a good thing to try.

          For tracks where there are usually no overtaking opportunities, well, then DRS is the remaining one. If the DRS areas are chosen well, that is.

          That said, I am very dissapointed the teams decided to keep DRS as a longer term thing, instead of working to solve the issues it is a work-around for.

        2. Vettel has been so great to delete any advantage the second-placed driver had. That’s why I said

          It’s perhaps more straightforward to say it gives the third-placed driver an advantage over the second-placed driver.

          I think DRS in unfair, but the racing it gave this year has been excellent.

      2. Some people are weird. They criticise DRS because it ‘penalises’ the driver ahead and ‘advantages’ the driver behind. Then they criticise double DRS because an overtake in the 1st zone would be cancelled out in the 2nd when the driver who lost position gets it back.

        But isn’t this the supposedly ‘fair’ way to go? It is fair as both drivers use DRS once each.

        I suggest that there be multiple DRS zones on the circuit but each driver can only choose 1 zone to utilise DRS in. So attacking driver can’t use DRS in 2nd zone if he doesn’t get past. This eliminates ‘waiting for 2nd zone to pass’ problem. If overtake happens on 1st zone, defending driver has a chance to use.DRS in 2nd zone, assuming he isn’t 1s behind already. Fair and square.

        1. I suggest NO DRS nor KERS. I suggest getting rid of wings. Problem solved.

          1. But what is a “wing”, and is the body of the car itself a wing? Teams have a great deal of knowledge on how to apply aerodynamics to cars, they won’t un-learn that.

            It will likely just end with Newey coming up with the best way to have aero-downforce on a wingless car, and others trying to match.

            So the problem will be more hidden, less openly discussed (bc. no one has wings, right, so they can’t be the problem!), but still there, and more intricate and subtle, and thus more fragile with respect to “unclean” air.

    3. +1 All the way great comments

    4. Great comment +1

    5. But absolutely no one is saying KERS is ‘destroying’ Formula 1.

      DRS and KERS are fundamentally completely different concepts and should never be lumped together in an argument.

      Sorry if I feel so strongly about this :)

      1. +1. KERS and DRS are totally different issues.

        KERS is a great and welcome addition to the sport.

        DRS is purely a means of F1 pandering to those who prefer a show to a sport. The thing that concerns me, and many other fans, is that DRS appears to be the thin end. Can the DRS genie ever be put back in the bottle?

    6. @magnificent-geoffrey I think it’s disingenuous to lump KERS and DRS together as if they’re the same thing.

      My strongest objection to DRS is that the leading driver can’t use it to defend when the trailing driver uses it to attack. That’s what’s fundamentally wrong and unfair about DRS. As you know, I reject the ‘slipstream’ argument totally.

      But you cannot fault KERS in the same way. That is why they’re completely different concepts, as @john-h says.

      1. And that is why I 100% support KERS, especially now the majority of the grid have it (unlike 09, when it was poorly implemented), but cannot properly get behind DRS. The thing I hate most about DRS is that it was meant to be a very last-ditch stop-gap effort until new regulations. Now it looks like the regulations will not change enough, the dirty air problem will still exist and DRS will become very long-term. This would be very sad. As a stop-gap I could slightly appreciate it, and it has livened up some races this years. But that is at the expense of what I see as fair racing, and this can pass for a time if it is brief. Otherwise, unless they rethink the rules for it (like KERS allow a certain number of seconds per lap) it will be detrimental to real racing.

        1. I agree with @keithcollantine and @matt90 . Compared to DRS, KERS is a relatively fair system because it is equally applied to all cars and drivers. However it “can” still be considered somewhat artificial due to reliability. Many drivers end up racing without it and their race is considerably compramised due to a small glitch or whatever. But outside of that, it is up to the driver to determine when to use it.

          If the graphic displays are correct, we have seen some drivers really not know how to deply KERS effectively (Webber), and others conserve and split its usage wisely (Hamilton).

          1. With respect to KERS reliabilty: that’s just a matter of a new technology – had KERS like things not been banned when McLaren started using them a decade ago, they’d probably have had some failures of it (but who’d know it their KERS, as the mercedes engine did the same around that time).

            But by now most teams would have it, especially the top teams, and it would be mostly reliable by now.

      2. Until recently I’d have disputed the unfair bit.

        Bu this time I’m ready to agree somewhat.

        What I’d add is that it makes it impossible to have surprise results. The top cars will end every race at the top. Fisichella wouldn’t have led Spa for more than 3 laps had Raikonnen had DRS. And that thought has put me off DRS completely.

        1. I’m not entirely sure about Spa 2009, Fisischella was actually faster, but couldn’t get past again after Raikkonen used his KERS to get by. Maybe DRS would have let him win it!

          Or FI should have had KERS – but they probably wouldn’t have been so fast with that heavy system added to their sidepod, so it’s just a matter of a mid-grid team doing a good job, but still not being quite at the level of the top teams in resources.

          Fisischella winning would have been a great story, but in the end the reality in F1 won out, and gave Ferrari an important win in a very lackluster year.

    7. @magnificent-geoffrey As mentioned kers and drs are entirely different.

      I think kers is fantastic and I like that drs keeps the pack together and that’s about it. It’s taken as much away from the racing as it’s added.

      Pro-drs people will cite the Petrov/Alonso stalemate but that is simply a very poorly designed track. I understand Tilke has very little room because of the regs but every circuit has the same problem. When is he going to accept hairpin, long straight, hairpin doesn’t work?

      One of my favourite things was watching a faster driver probe and pressure the car in front looking to force an error getting rewarded with a pass. Just because drs accounts for less than half the overtakes it doesn’t mean the remainder are genuine because tyre wear plays a factor, which is fine, but it does mean that we have no idea what percentage are genuine overtaking moves.

      Another issue I have with drs is that faster cars aren’t penalised when they mistakes and end up in the middle of the pack because they can easily cruise back through the field and more often than not the second half of the race is simply against the clock because everyone is racing in the position equivalent. Nobody is still fighting for position and if they are it’s a battle between 11th and 12th.

      There’s also the issue of the diminishing value of race craft. No longer is great defensive driving or great overtaking rewarded. Even when a great overtake does occur – Webber at turn 1 in Korea – it isn’t rewarded because the overtaken car can simply use drs to regain the position.

      I’m an F1 fan and I will always be an F1 fan regardless of what the rules are, doesn’t mean I have to like them. 2007 was a good season, 2008 was a very good season, 2009 was as good as can be hoped with a dominate car, 2010 was a great season so what do they do? Make multiple changes. I’d like the Pirelli tyres and kers but not drs. The fastest car normally wins but drs makes that even more certain and we will no longer get battles like those at San Marino between Schumacher and Alonso.

      F1 has never been about countless overtakes, American motor sport has that covered and great as it is, it’s not F1. F1 has always been about hard fought battles and great overtaking moves. Would Villeneuve have gone round the outside of Schumacher at Estoril if he had drs available down the straight? No, he would’ve waited and we would’ve missed out on something magical. That is basically my problem with drs. Apologies for the essay.

      1. This is what we don’t get with drs.

      2. DRS has,nt stopped magical moments, there was Vettel,s pass on Alonso at Monza and Webber’s pass on Alonso at Spa. Now their has probably been more. But I dont believe that anyone can name more than about 2 magical passing’s in any year eg 95 name 2 or more, 2000 name 2 or more, 81, name 2 or more. ect, etc. You got what you always got, and more in 2011.

        1. Both those passes happened outside of DRS zones. What you’ve shown is we get great racing without DRS and we don’t need it.

          1. No, what I’ve shown is that DRS does not have the negative effect that the Anti-DRS crowd would have us believe.

          2. ‘DRS doesn’t ruin F1 so we should keep it’ is definitely the weakest argument in favour of it I’ve heard so far.

          3. ‘DRS doesn’t ruin F1 so we should keep it’ I don’t recall saying that and I’m shocked that you would twist my words to suit your Anti-DRS obsession.

      3. Eh, but Hamilton did show great defensive driving against Webber in Korea. Yes, there was the DRS exchange, but Webber wouldn’t have gotten past without it either, so Hamilton just taking it back again, well, those DRS zones were a bit silly for that reason I think, but that’s it.

        Even with DRS, Webber could only get past because of a mistake/misjudgement by Hamilton when passing backmarker Kovalainen, as Hamilton’s car had great traction out of the 2nd corner – probably due to a good KERS system, so the faster car of Webber had no opportunity to get past.

        Is that artificial, or just a good thing – even if you are faster, you still have to fight to pass. Vettel might have been able to get past HAM in a similar situation, Webber wasn’t (but of course, Vettel was already ahead after a quick move in the first lap).

  4. I personally cannot stand DRS & what its done to the racing.

    I’ll give F1 another half season, If things are the same then sorry but i’m done with F1 after something like 32 years of following it.

    1. Maybe in racing DRS is no good… But I love it on qualifying…

      1. In qualifying they can use it whenever they want, which I like. If the situation was the same in the race I think you’d see more overtaking too, as drivers will make mistakes activating it exactly like used to happen with missed gears before we got sequential gearboxes.

    2. Dizzy, I aam fascinated by the mentality of people with this view. Would you be willing to explain why you would suddenly give up on a sport you’ve been following for decades when we have the most exciting grid of drivers in history and have seen the most exciting season of racing action for a very long time?

      1. Because I don’t find DRS passing intresting or exciting to watch, Its all completely fake & has harmed my enjoyment of this season.

        I shall copy/paste something i wrote a few days back-

        In the past we saw less overtaking yet every single one of the overtakes we did see were exciting & meant more because you knew it was hard fought for.

        This year we have seen a great deal of passing yet not a great deal of real exciting overtaking. DRS has provided dull & unexciting passes & to an extent some of the tyre created passing has been a bit dull.

        If you see too much of something then it eventually gets devalued .
        For instance we all remember Villeneuve/Arnoux because it isn’t the norm, If it was something that happened every race after the 1st 2-3 occasions it would no longer be memorable or exciting, It would just become the accepted norm.

        2011 may have seen record levels of passing, But for me very little of it was actually exciting & DRS in particular ruined my enjoyment of the season.

        I said when DRS was announced that I’d wait & see how it worked before casting judgement & having seen it in action I hate it.
        I was not someone that decided they disliked DRS pre-season & simply refused to give it a chance. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, Saw how it worked & didn’t like what I saw.

        I stand by the final line of my above comment, I’d rather 1 real overtake than 10 DRS passes.

        1. Well said Dizzy. I agree, overtaking is not what F1 is about for me. Well there should be overtaking manoeuvres but it’s not the-more-the-better. What I like about overtaking is the unpredictability, if one can see a pass coming 5 laps in advance (as it has sometimes been the case this season), it’s just ridiculous. Let’s hope F1 comes to its senses soon.

          1. “What I like about overtaking is the unpredictability, if one can see a pass coming 5 laps in advance (as it has sometimes been the case this season), it’s just ridiculous.”

            Pretty much sums up another critisism I have with DRS.

            In the past I used to get excited when one car began to catch another because you knew you were about to see a good fight for position. When the car got there you got a good fight & if the car behind was able to get by you got to see an exciting overtake.

            This year you see one car catch another, Know he’s got DRS, Know where the DRS zone is so know where the pass will happen. Its a lot more predictable & therefore not as exciting in my view.

            With DRS & the DRS zones there is no longer any unpredictability or tension surrounding where & in many cases when a pass will happen & thats taken away most of the excitement for me.

          2. @Girts
            You can see any pass coming well in advance. If a car is catching another theres going to be a fight for position. Even without DRS, theres normally only a few choice places to overtake, so predicting isnt hard.

            @Dizzy, @Girts
            DRS has accounted for less than half of all overtakes this year… 45.1%. So, was the other 54.9% just as predictable?

          3. “In the past I used to get excited when one car began to catch another because you knew you were about to see a good fight for position. When the car got there you got a good fight & if the car behind was able to get by you got to see an exciting overtake.”

            Funny, I remember how one driver would start to catch up to another and when he got within a second,… Well, that was that…
            Sure, there was always some tension of “Will the defending driver make a mistake?” but mostly it was “Well, he’s (attacking driver) stuck now…”

            I agree most DRS passes are too easy but in the past few years overtaking has been too difficult. Now we have the possibility of an overtake when an attacking driver is just a few tenths quicker. Before DRS a driver would have to be at least half a second quicker to even stand a chance.

            Comparing today to Gilles Villeneuve’s time is pointless btw. Those cars benefited from ground effect and weren’t hurt much in speed when following another car through a corner. Most of the passes in that time were passes where the attacking driver would already be on the defending driver’s tail at the exit of a corner.

        2. Although I’m not a DRS fan, I can’t agree with your argument that passes in F1 should be rare. There was lots of passing in F1 in the 60s. That didn’t make the races less exciting!

        3. +1 @Dizzy. The FIA instead of correct what went wrong in the first place, brings a total gimmick to try to fix the problem, I think creating a new standard of the aerodynamics of the car would be a way cheaper/cleaner/more elegant solution to the problem overtaking has become in the last years.

      2. I don’t get it either. Times change, and things move on.

        I don’t want to get into a “should we have DRS” discussion. Fact is we do have it. It’s the same for everyone; they all have DRS to use. I don’t believe it takes away any skill. You could say it requires more skill – for the driver in front to defend it. And it is defensible – Hamilton/Korea best example that springs to mind.

        A point I’d like to make – most complaints about DRS are that it’s artificial. Everyone loves the Pirelli’s though, those tyres engineered to degrade to spice up the racing. Is that also not artificial?
        I’m personally still undecided on DRS. I’m playing devil’s advocate here. But, I certainly won’t give up on a sport I love because of it. I do find that a bit odd. Still, if that’s what people feel, they’re perfectly entitled to stop watching.

        1. Was it realistically possible for MS to defend in Canada?

          1. No. It wasn’t possible for him to get to the place he eventually lost without DRS either. He made few moves almost instantly when race control enabled DRS.

          2. He did have the fastest car in a straight line, he probably could have made them.

          3. 2 DVC – probably. but then again, without DRS everyone would had different gear ratios…

        2. It’s the same for everyone; they all have DRS to use.

          It is not necessarily true that every driver has use of the DRS. The problem is that drivers don’t have DRS to use at the same time. That’s why a lot of fans don’t like it.

          I’ve stopped watching at least 6 races this year due to DRS overtaking, or even worse double DRS overtaking. And judging by reactions here I’m not the only one.

          I think if we are going to keep the DRS, keep mandated zones for safety reasons, but allow every car to use it in that zone on every lap bar the first one. If one car develops a much better DRS, then that’s the same as building a car which is much better out of slow corners or fast ones.

          It may even push some more emphasis back onto top line speed in car development, which will make the balance between top speed and down force for fast cornering even more varied. Not sure if it would open things up more, but it just might.

  5. In which case, Goodbye F1!

    My father already stopped watching F1 this year because of DRS & He’d been following Grand Prix racing since the 30’s when he was a kid & used to goto places like Brooklands with his father.
    I was willing to stick around & see what DRS did, After a season I don’t like it so won’t be watching another F1 race untill DRS is ditched & I seriously mean that.

    Its saying something for the new ‘formula’ that we havn’t had any surprise results from those outside the top 3 teams this year, Closest we got was Schumacher at Montreal but he got robbed of a surprise/well deserved 2nd by DRS.

    DRS is by far the single worst thing to ever be introduced in F1.

    1. Again, would you be willing to explain why? DRS is not perfect, but I can’t for the life of me understand why so many people want to give up on the sport when we have seen the most overtaking in a season of all time?

      I had to grow up the the Ferrari/Schumacher era – undoubtedly the most tediously boring period in the history of Formula 1 – and yet I still didn’t want to give up watching. Why would you give up now when things are so much better? Is it Vettel? Is it the cars? Is it that you want overtaking, but only the sort of overtaking you want? I’d love to know.

      1. They seem to be comparing F1 of 2011 with F1 of of the 80’s and 90’s. Instead they should be comparing F1 2011 to F1 2003 -> 2008. Those years were like really fast parade laps.

        1. Yet all the overtaking we did see between those years was actually exciting to watch.

          I can name hundreds of memoreable & exciting overtakes which took place in those seasons, Can’t think of any great passes which happened in DRS zones this season.

          The obsession with passing alone will end up killing the racing which got so many of us into the sport to begin with.

          1. But most cars got past eachother by using pit-strategy. Schumacher+Ferrari were great at it. Now I don’t want to say that had no excitement, the thrill of whether or not a strategy works out was definitely there, as it still is to a smaller extent now (due to Pirelli), but I like on-track fights for position much better in general.

            I think that in 2010, after a careful start, we saw teams start to fight on track again for position and that was great. Now in 2011, KERS and DRS have made the teams do that even more and that is good. I don’t like to see a simple DRS pass and prefer to not need those, but we have also seen a lot of non-DRS fights too.

            In recent races a better understanding of the tyres has brought back the overtake via pitstop as a valid method, especially for Ferrari who are slow to get the tires up to temperature, but as Abu Dhabi showed, it is still a gamble, which might not pay off – in that case Hamilton was able to counter it and won the race.

            So on the whole I think F1 has seen great races this year.

      2. Because DRS has not created good racing, Its all artificial & gimmickey.

        I’ve not got excited over seeing a single DRS pass, It just gets me frustrtaed & I no longer feel like im watching a good race.

        When you have a situation where one driver drives the wheels off his car to get it into 2nd & then gets robbed off that position because the cars behind can simply push a button in a designated passing zone & proceed to breeze straght past, Thats completely wrong & totally against the spirit of good racing.

        Watching a driver in a sub-par car drive a brilliant race to get higher up than he should be & then be able to hold that place against much faster cars used to be something fans loved (Gilles Villeneuve at Jarama ’81 for instance) yet now its impossible because the car behind gets DRS & then is easily past.

        F1 is turning into Nascar, Entertainment at the expence of racing.

        1. I think people forget about some things really quickly. I completely agree with @infy. We should be comparing 2011 with the previous seasons, not to the 70’s or 80’s.

          I remember they made a study in 2007/2008 and came out with the idea that a car needed to be 2+ seconds faster than the one ahead to pass. I’d risk saying that no pilot would alone be even close to 2 seconds faster than any other in F1. Therefore, you either had a much better car than the guy in front or you wouldn’t pass, period.

          I much rather have today’s F1 than the one we had 5 or 10 years ago.

          1. The changes made to the cars for 2009 changed that, It was 2 seconds with aero as it was in 2008 but when they changed the aero regs for 2009 they cut it down to 1.

      3. How many of us have to same the same thing….DRS is a stupid idea because of how it works and many of miss the day when the better driver passed the guy ahead of him by using skills and tactics common to all who were successful and knew how to get the job done.

        1. First sentence should have read feel the same about the same thing….so riled up I can’t even write.

      4. I second every word of that comment, @Magnificent-Geoffrey

        I also grew up in the Schumi era, and didn’t know much different until Alonso in 2005, then 2007 and 2008 came along with 2 incredibly close and down-to-the-wire championships, 2010 the same (if a little mediocre in the last race. I still challenge anyone to watch the 2010 season afresh and bet on Vettel winning in the last race) and 2011 we’ve seen some of the greatest races with brilliant overtaking. The top 5 that I think will be most memorable all don’t include DRS, so why stop watching F1 because of DRS?

        1. Well said @KeeleyObsessed

          Although I don’t entirely agree with @Magnificent-Geoffrey piling KERS+DRS together, DRS hasn’t been so annoying for me that I can’t enjoy the great racing we have seen this year despite (and maybe sometimes due to) it.

      5. @Magnificend-Geoffrey

        Reading through this thread, which reflect my own opinion, I think there are two reasons that put people off of DRS.

        First is the obvious extra aerodynamic benefit the trailing driver gets. You could argue he also has a disadvantage of running in dirty air, but that’s his mistake for running behind a driver he should be in front of. I don’t like this asymmetric concept at all, it feels ‘unfair’.

        The strongest argument for me personally is that even though it might stimulate the number of overtakes, there isn’t a single DRS overtake I’ve cared about the entire season. It’s boring, doesn’t show skill, doesn’t add tension. I’d rather see 9 out of 10 current DRS overtakes and care about the 1 that’s left, so it’ll mean something.

        Tyres have worked wonders this season and if KERS gets more powerful and less restricted we might see an aid equal to all drivers that can be used in a skilled way, rather than a routine one. If only they stuck some bright green lights on the bodywork to show if KERS is on, we don’t need any graphs anymore at all. :)

  6. Well I’m not considering swapping F1 with ice hockey just because of DRS although I still believe it’s one of the worst F1 innovations ever. I have learned to tolerate the system and I admit that it has helped to spice up the show at some races that would otherwise be too boring (Valencia, Monaco). But it shouldn’t be used at circuits like Montreal or Spa. More often than not it’s just been artificial and unfair.

    I don’t believe drivers really like DRS, particularly those who race with the weakest teams. Well maybe in qualifying but it’s hard to believe that you enjoy being regularly passed by rivals who get additional boost just because they are faster and happen to be right behind you. The drivers probably don’t hate DRS as well but praising it is just PR, they know that most fans and journalists like it and adjust their statements accordingly, that’s how I see it.

    1. I certainly don’t believe the drivers are big fans of it either.

      For me, DRS has also gone a long way in diminishing the championship. We always see the same guys at the top because they can just breeze by the midfield as they like.
      There are no shock results or breakthroughs for the midfield teams.

      DRS passes are simply not interesting, It won’t cause me to switch off, but I enjoyed 2010 and even 2009 more than I have enjoyed this year.

      I truly hope F1 decides to rid itself of DRS soon

  7. I don’t understand this stance of “If DRS stays i’m not watching F1 anymore” DRS to me is a tiny part of a huge package that is Formula 1, whether it’s there or not it’s no where near a deciding factor to whether i watch it or not, i wouldn’t simply just give up on on the sport i love because of one rule change.

    I’m not the biggest fan of DRS in the world, but we complained there was no overtaking and the “overtaking group” responded. Ok it might be a little gimmicky and might not be as exciting as a genuine overtaking manouvre, but it would take a hell of a lot more than a slot in the rear wing to stop me watching.

    1. DRS is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s a step too far for most people who support pure motor racing, and grew up with Grand Prix racing meaning the true pinnacle of the sport. Grand Prix racing is supposed to be about developing the best car, it started to try and decide who’s car was best — that’s the essence of the sport.

      Restrictions have been placed on nearly everything, there ‘s no competition between tyre manufacturer’s, they have to use the same computer, and the engines are 5 years old and super restricted in design. The areas where development are actually encouraged (i.e. KERS) aren’t really, KERS is limited and is allowed only in a restrictive way. And on top of all this we have DRS. The technical regulations are so akimbo that an artificial aid is needed to speed up the cars behind and aid overtaking. They need to fix the problem properly, either reduce aero, or give the drivers free reign to use moveable aero all the time. If they make it hard for the drivers they might make a mistake and create some overtaking that way. Bernie Ecclestone suggested short cuts, well this is the technological equivalent of a short cut. Some of us just can’t take it any more. This is the last straw and we’re all off to watch LeMans cars.

  8. “and might not be as exciting as a genuine overtaking manouvre”

    But the reason I say I would stop watching F1 is because of this.

    I don’t find the DRS racing exciting & if Im not finding it exciting Im not enjoying watching it as much as I once did & eventually Im just not going to watch it anymore regardless of how much I have loved F1 for the past 32 years.

    Besides by saying ‘I will stop watching F1’ doesn’t mean I’ll stop watching MotorSport, F1 isn’t the only racing series in the world ya know.

  9. For me DRS needs to be heavily modified or go. if it’s to cancel the dirty air, allow any following driver to use it all the time – but make DRS weak enough so it only makes them go 1/2 mph faster down the straights. Alternatively, move the DRS zones to the small straights instead, for the same effect. But with DRS as it is, it is rarely perfect. There are too many differences in the cars’ straightline speeds on race days to turn it to perfection – it will always be too much in one case, not enough in another and just right in a few.

    1. Exactly. What’s right this year won’t necessarily apply next year because each year the cars change – that’s the nature of F1.

      So all this ‘we’re testing it out this year and it will improve next’ is just not going to be the case.

  10. there was a poll on james allens website a few weeks ago regarding drs & it got something like 2500 votes & was 60/40 against drs.

    the results of that poll are similar to similar polls i have seen regarding drs & that indicates that the majority of fans dont actually like drs.

    if the teams are actually listning to fan opinion i dont think we would have drs next year.

    1. there was also another poll on james website a few months back about drs & out of the 5000 fans who voted 71.98% said they thought drs was too artificial.

      1. How about an F1Fanatic poll Keith?

  11. I also hate DRS, Well more specifically the DRS regulations in place during the race.

    Many of the reasons I dislike DRS have already been put forward here so im not going to simply repeat them, I’ll just post my alternative solution.

    If they keep DRS then use it like the Push-2-Pass system used elsewhere. Every driver can use DRS a certain number times during a race & can be used anywhere around the track. Can also be used to either attack the car infront or defend against a car behind.

    An alternative is to simply drop DRS & use KERS in a similar way.

    By using it in this way you bring in some strategy with its use & if you get it creating a smaller advantage (Say an 8-10kph gain rather than 15-20) you then lose the problem of it been an often easy & guaranteed pass.

  12. KERS I can explain to a non-F1 fan. Tyres going off I can explain to a non-F1 fan. DRS and why we have to have it? – no chance.

    This may seem like a minor thing, but it’s not. It goes right to the heart of trying to develop a car that can beat the other cars in a race.

    The fact that so many of the drivers seem to like DRS makes me absolutely bewildered, I cannot believe my own ears. Of course the Webber Hamilton battle would have happened, just like millions of other battles happened in the years before DRS. I remember Webber and Hamilton battling in 2009 wheel to wheel at Sepang for quite some time. No DRS there.

    Cut some aero, widen the slicks and get back to racing flat out. Unfortunately, no one is listening out there. Bah.

  13. DRS is fake racing simply because it is manipulating the race! The fact that you can only use it after two laps (including restarts), then only in one or two sections of circuit and then only when you get within a certain gap to the car in front. Add into that you can use it as much as your want in qualy (which is still stupid given it’s race restrictions) and finally you can only do any of this if race control are happy that the track isn’t to wet.
    This is not how F1 should be.

  14. I don’t like DRS that much but I have enjoyed the season.

  15. Add me to the Anti-DRS side.

    Just have not enjoyed the racing as much & have not enjoyed a single pass aided by DRS, All just too artificial for my liking. I think this season would have been a lot better & had more exciting on track duels had we not had DRS.

    Looking at the Mercedes stats, There is still a high level of overtaking not including DRS moves, More than enough to please the “We just want more overtaking” crowd so I don’t think we really even need DRS.

    Im not about to start saying im going to stop watching as others have said they are. However I would point out that DRS has harmed my enjoyment of the racing through 2011 & if that trend continues over the next few years maybe I would find more intresting things to do on a Sunday afternoon.

    Love stefmeister’s idea on how DRS (Or preferably KERS) could be used, Hope someone from FOTA’s reads it as that should seriously be looked at for next season!!!!

  16. I do agree that the DRS is not the most clever way to deal with the aero problem, but it is a way, after all we did see, in my opinion, a fantastic season regarding the races. I do think that they can find a way to go around that problem without overtaking being ridiculously easy at some points. Maybe a tweak to the DRS zones or detection points. On my side, I think DRS hasn’t made any difference in how I feel for F1, partly because I don’t think its the biggest change in the rules or the greatest challenge for the drivers to adapt and partly because….

    I watched USA 2005!!! From start to finish!

    That must mean I’m an F1 fanatic…. no DRS or “fake gimmick” could make me stop watching.

  17. F1 Need to go back to the 2008 cars & regs. the cars are getting slower and slower every year. We need refueling back. And the last thing good tracks with no (NO) run offs..Let the drivers pay for there mistakes. Just my opinion . Have a good one lads.

    1. the cars are getting slower and slower every year.

      This was also the case before 2008.

      We need refueling back.

      Not if you want good racing we don’t:

      14 reasons to love the refuelling ban

      1. Keith Mate .The two that get me 4. Racing will be less artificial. the ”racing” now is more artificial in my opinion. 6. No more fuel-saving means they’re flat out all the way. Do we not hear team radios saying to there driver save fuel in the race?. in my opinion there hasn’t really been the best of racing this year. have a good one mate.

  18. I think 2011 has been the worst season since I started watching F1 in 2005.

  19. I just read that they just approved where DRS will be employed in Brazil. In fact, the headline said something like ‘FIA specifies where it will allow racers to pass other racers.” Personally, I always thought you passed someone cause you were faster, or you juked a better move, or someone messed up, not cause the ‘track’ gave you permission. It has really gone too far when the racers themselves approve of artificial passing. I have always watched F1 for racing, and I will continue to watch F1. But not for racing.. just for entertainment soap opera value. Cause I know it’s rigged. Hopefully someday F1 will realize that cars are not airplanes and get rid of the airplane wings. Till then, expect DRS and water sprinklers or some bs like that.

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  21. Can somone remind me how many on track racing changes for the lead we’ve had this season.
    Is it none or one? three max.

  22. For sure this year the racing has been better & probably this has to be one of the exciting season even Seb won the title early,I agree with the fact that in the last 4-5 races we didn’t see too much tyre wear but I hope from 2012 we will have even better racing.

  23. I’m constantly comparing this season with last, not only from my point of view but also trying to look through others eyes.

    Last year the racing itself wasn’t as exciting. I blame sterile tyres. But we had a fantastic challenge for the championship that literally went down to the wire. This year we’ve had virtually no competition for the championship and great racing. Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

    We’ve had two completely polarising seasons, each with their own reasons to get excited about.

    I’ve really enjoyed this year and I think the addition of DRS has made it more entertaining. Not always necessarily on track. I’d like to thank F1 for giving us something to bicker about weekend after weekend. It certainly got people talking!

    And all those who say they will switch off? I’ll be surprised if even 10% of them do.

    Support your sport. It’s yours to enjoy. F1 listened and tried to deliver. Things aren’t perfect but don’t pretend they were before.

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