DRS: How should it work in 2012?

Debates and polls

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Schumacher using DRS at the Nurburgring

A year since its introduction in F1, the Drag Reduction System continues to inspire a mix of vehement criticism and steadfast defence from F1 fans.

Its detractors say DRS is fundamentally unfair because it robs the leading driver of the ability to defend their position. They add that Pirelli’s more challenging tyres and the reintroduction of KERS in 2011 proved overtaking can be made easier in F1 without resorting to artificial gimmicks.

DRS defenders insist that it has successfully increased overtaking, and that problems with its implementation can be solved by tweaking the rules and positioning of DRS zones.

The top ten passes nominated by F1 Fanatics last year did not contain any that were achieved using DRS. The move that was voted pass of the year – Mark Webber’s sensational move on Fernando Alonso at Eau Rouge in Spa – was reversed the following lap when Alonso used DRS to pass Webber on the straight.

The DRS debate is complex and highly-charged with shades of opinion which run the gamut from banning DRS entirely to subtly changing the rules.

With that in mind, I’ve set up two polls below in an effort to accurately reflect what F1 fans think of this controversial recent addition to the sport after the first full season with it.

How often should DRS be used in 2012?

There are no changes to the DRS rules for 2012, although the position of the DRS zones at some tracks may be altered.

Assuming the DRS rules for 2012 remain unchanged, how often would you like to see DRS available for drivers to use in races?

How often should DRS be used in 2012?

  • DRS should not be allowed in any races in 2012 (25%)
  • DRS should be available in less than half of races (4%)
  • DRS should be available in around half of races (7%)
  • DRS should be available in most but not all races (20%)
  • DRS should be available in all races throughout 2012 (45%)

Total Voters: 604

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How should DRS work in 2012?

In the many conversations we had about DRS during the course of 2011, various different rules were suggested. Here are a selection of some of the most popular alternatives.

But could the alternatives make it less useful for overtaking? Or might they encourage drivers to mainly use DRS on out- and in-laps to increase their chances of passing their rivals via the pits?

Cast your vote on what should be done with the DRS rules in 2012.

How should the DRS rules work in 2012?

  • DRS should not be allowed at all in 2012 (16%)
  • DRS should stay, but using another different set of rules (6%)
  • Drivers should have the opportunity to use DRS a certain number of times per race (35%)
  • Drivers should have the opportunity to use DRS a certain number of times per lap (8%)
  • Drivers should have free use of DRS during the races (14%)
  • Drivers can only use DRS when within a second of another car (in races)* (21%)

Total Voters: 573

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*i.e., the 2011 rules

How successful was DRS in 2011? Do you think it should be used at every track in 2012? And could rules changes improve it?

Cast your votes on DRS using the polls above and have your say in the comments.

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

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Author information

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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170 comments on “DRS: How should it work in 2012?”

  1. Love the number of times per race solution. I would assign each driver a certain number of seconds to use DRS (and I would give 30-45 seconds do each), and they then use it as they please!

    1. I think A1 did something like that, the whole push to pass thing. I love it, it’s fair for all drivers, and it should help passing at crucial moments.

      Honestly, this I think would turn DRS’s popularity around.

      1. Other than that, I’d love DRS to be used on areas that are unlikely to create racing. Like the main straight in Australia (wink).

        1. yes all that needs to happen is place drs zones in hard to overtake areas. ie. NOT on the back straight of istanbul or spa. make drs a catch-up device as much as an overtaking aid.

      2. Great idea. Current system makes fools of drivers in font. If only the front runners could also use it to defend…
        Will create a different dimension in race strategy without the rule being partial. Love it.

    2. Good idea

    3. I think a number of times per race is best, but i also want the drivers to be able to use it freely in quali and practice, and then for a duration during a race, which changes depending on the length of the race to the nearest minute.

      How to calculate it:

      The stewards take the average lap time from all quali sessions, and work out the total race time if that lap was the average lap time for all the laps.

      eg: in singapore, average lap time for all quali sessions is, for arguments sake, 1:50, and there are 61 laps.
      so assumed total race time is 112 minutes.
      The drivers can use the DRS for a maximum of 5% of the race, so that’s 5 mins or so

      (if the quali sessions are wet, then average times are taken from last years quali sessions, and that happens all the way up to 2009)

      Good idea or not?

      1. I like the idea, but that’s a very complicated way of working it out.

      2. Yes, this is what I was thinking too. It’s not really that complicated, the FIA have a pretty good idea of how long each race should last, so it’s easy to just make DRS be available for 5% of the race in total time. I’ve always flet that would be a great way to treat KERS as well, since for most teams teh KERS never really gets “empty” anyways.

    4. too complicated, a certain number of uses wud be the better option maybe 5

      1. No, I think more than 5; 5 is too little
        How about in a 50 lap race one could use it 20 times?

    5. And also, to save fuel, drivers can use the DRS in the pitlane, and on the inlap after the chequered flag and the outlap to the grid.

      1. (in addition to the number of times the drivers can use it whereby it increses their straight line speed)

    6. That’s how KERS works. It’s a fairer way because everyone can use it the same number of times, but if a defending driver uses it as someone is attacking him, using it, it destroys DRS’ purpose.
      I’d remove it, but we’d see no overtaking.
      I think the 2011 regulations worked well at times; the crucial part is the placing of the zone.

  2. Definetly a certain amount of times in a race, at least that should moderate the useage of it.. It could be a new strategy, “OVERTAKE HIM NOW! BEFORE THE PITSTOP!”

    1. I still think it would be best to be able to use it whenever. Passes would come from when drivers made a mistake when trying to use it. Remember it wouldn’t just be possible to use it on the straights, but in all types of places including fast corners.

      I haven’t answered the first poll, as my answer to it depends on the mode of operation discussed in the second poll.

    2. Well, I never suspected this, but at this moment @comabvbsixx you’re part of a big majority here on F1F.

      Which makes makes me reconsider.

      I voted to have DRS at less than half of the tracks, to make sure it adds to the suspension on those boring-but-not-to-be-deleted-from-the-schedule-because-of-money-tracks, while DRS makes for stupidity at great tracks (Montreal, Monza, Suzuka, Spa, Silverstone etc). And I also voted to keep the current rules.

      Your point about new strategies certainly is appealing.

      But still, I think DRS should really be about negating a little of the aero-wake of a car when following close. Not all, because then you get Turkey 2011 all over.

      A limited amount of using DRS is not about Aero-wake, but about strategy only. And this is, my dear fellow F1F’s what I don’t like about it.

  3. DRS should be used in every race but only if they scrap the rules as they are now. I can live with the zones (just about but I still loathe them) but what really irks me is that the defending driver can’t use it. Ideally, it should be used whenever by anyone but for strategic race craft then limiting it per lap could be fun like how kers is. The idea behind DRS is great but the rules surrounding it right now are terrible I feel.

    1. The problem with giving DRS to a defending driver is that is completely cancels out the advantage given to the attacking driver, making it pointless.

      1. Unless it can only be used a fixed number of times, but this is a better argument to get rid of it completely. It’s unnecessary and sometimes a faster car stuck behind a slower one is just as entertaining and can provide variety in the results.

      2. The problem with giving DRS to a defending driver is that is completely cancels out the advantage given to the attacking driver, making it pointless.

        True but seeing the defending driver completely unable to do anything isn’t racing- it’s even less exciting than being on a motorway. It’s completely unfair to limit the guy ahead. From a race craft point of view it should be limited like kers where it’s up to the driver when to use it so at least it retains some use with overtaking.

        1. True but seeing the defending driver completely unable to do anything isn’t racing- it’s even less exciting than being on a motorway.

          Then wouldn’t you agree that the proper placement of the DRS zone would fix this problem? The FIA got it very, very wrong in Turkey – but the zone was palced almost perfectly in China (I think the zone in Turkey was placed where it was because the distance had worked so well in Istanbul, and didn’t take the hill on the back straight into consideration). If the FIA can place the DRS zones so that they offer an attacking driver an advantage without being overwhelming, it should be fine.

          1. Obviously, proper placement is better, but it is still against the spirit in a way that allowing it to be used like KERS isn’t.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys yes better placement is key. in turkey it could’ve been on the straight after turn 8. ok still not much overtaking would happen there but it’d set you up better for a pass down the longer back straight.

            similarly, a zone on the start/finish straight or the run down to eau rogue at spa could work in the same way.

      3. Which is why I don’t think the “using a certain times a race” rule is any good.

        If the DRS is such an advantage, then it should at least be used on a specific sector of the track, so it gives the leading driver a chance to work around it and try to defend intelligently. Like saving KERS to use it on the DRS area.

        Maybe DRS should be available not in the longest straight of the track, but somewhere else, maybe in consecutive small straights so overall it gives an advantage but not that much. Or something else.

        All in all, it should be there, but not in all races (I don’t see why Spa needs DRS…) and with a different set of rules.

      4. Hmm if both drivers had it would it cancel the added speed advantage but also cancel the aero wake disadvantage?
        There for allowing faster cars to pass slower cars and not be held up. This to me is what I like about DRS you can just pass the back marker and get on with racing cars of similar abilities.

    2. The defending driver already has a massive advantage in keeping his position: the huge invisible wall of turbulance his car gives off. This means that, all else being equal, he doesn’t actually have to do *anything* to defend his position other than follow the racing line. This is why for years we have watched race-winning cars or drivers stuck behind backmarkers or midfield plodders for large portions of the race distance.

      That’s the whole point, and it’s why DRS is not “unfair” against the defending driver. It’s why KERS was a failure as an overtaking solution – both drivers could use it, all KERS units gave the same power, therefore the defending driver just had to use his as the same time as the attacking driver to cancel the whole thing out. Let both drivers use DRS and you have the same situation: No benefit.

      The argument is often trotted out: “DRS would have cost us great battles of the past like Bloggs vs. Joe at StrawBales, drivers can’t defend like that”, carefully ignoring that Turbulance has spent years costing us potentially great battles where drivers can’t *attack* like that, and that Bloggs and Joe had cars which were capable of following each other in the first place.

      DRS isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to create “once in a lifetime” overtakes we’re all going to watch again and again. It’s supposed to remove an unfair advantage which the defending driver has, and it does that. And still the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

      1. @Hairs Perfect comment. Says everything that I think myself about the subject.

      2. @Hairs

        the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.


        Pirelli’s more challenging tyres and the reintroduction of KERS in 2011 proved overtaking can be made easier in F1 without resorting to artificial gimmicks.

        1. @Keith-Collantine I know you’re a big fan of Pirellis and so am I, but the fact is the tyres had such a minimal effect by the end of the season that the teams might as well have been using Bridgestones again. Thinking back to races like India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil – most of the overtaking moves we saw (especially at the Tilke tracks) came from DRS zones. I’m not saying that’s good, I’m saying the Pirelli factor was great at the start of the season but would not have worked to give us decent racing like at the start of the season just on its own.

          1. might as well have been using Bridgestones again.

            That’s categorically incorrect. We never saw a driver do most the race on softs to pit because the rules say they have to.

        2. @keithcollantine

          1) If KERS is responsible for the increase in overtaking, why didn’t it work in 2009? It doesn’t produce more power in 2011. Nor does that answer the point about both drivers having it.

          2) How is DRS an “artificial gimmick” but a button on the steering wheel that gives you a power boost by KERS or turbo for x number of seconds or y number of horsepower isn’t? All use regulated mechanical solutions to offset an aerodynamic deficit.

          3) Tyres worked for two thirds of the season. Then the teams defeated them. Next year it won’t take them so long.

          Neither tyres or KERS have solved the fundamental problem of aerodynamics. They help, but they don’t negate it. Drs does negate it, briefly, when we know it is at its worst.

          1. You make some good points.

          2. 1) KERS wasn’t used by many teams in 2009. And it’s more the contribution of it than a suggestion just KERS is solely responsible.

            2) DRS is clearly artificial because the driver in front can’t defend. With turbo’s the and KERS the driver in front has access to the same tool as the trailing driver. It is artificial racing that people have the problem with, not that it’s artificial in the sense of a computer-game-like power boost.

          3. KERS shouldn’t be limited either. The limit on KERS is stifling its development, and it is the most road relevant technology on the cars.

          4. So “artificial” is when only the chasing driver can use it? Bah!

          5. @Mike @hairs

            Yes, that is exactly what ‘artificial’ is. It is when an advantage is limited to one driver in order to artificially create a pass. KERS isn’t artificial because all driver have the same usage of it- it is strategic. If it comes to a situation where one driver has it and one doesn’t (back of the grid aside admittedly) then the driver without it is either unlucky to have poor reliability that meant KERS broke (same as any element of the car), or should have been more strategic with its use. This can also be applied to turning up the engines- which happens today and when it had greater impact in the 80’s.

            DRS is not like this- the driver in front has no chance at access to the same advantage at the same time unless also running 1 second behind another car. Therefore, the rules force a clear advantage on one car with virtually no chance of the driver in front having access at the same time to defend. This fundamental, obvious difference is something Coulthard somehow failed to understand for most of the year, constantly bringing up the 80’s turbo case as though the two are the same, when they are actually completely different.

          6. advantage is limited to one driver

            It’s limited to the chasing driver. Regardless of who it is, or where they are in the race.

            I don’t like DRS, but it’s not unfair.

          7. @matt90 @mike
            DRS is an attacking advantage which the following driver has, that the defending driver does not.

            aerodynamic Turbulence is an advantage the defending driver has that the attacking driver has no access to.

            DRS can result in a simple negation of the turbulence effect, as we saw at some races, or it can result in easy passes, as we saw in others.

            DRS can be tweaked. Turbulence cannot.

            KERS is entirely artificial, because its use does not come from a design imperative, it is a heavily crippled, brute force solution imposed on the cars not to improve the strategy or the racing, but to provide a veneer of ecology to the sport. If that were a genuine goal, then its use would not be so heavily, arbitrarily, and artificially restricted.

          8. @Hairs

            DRS is an attacking advantage which the following driver has, that the defending driver does not.

            Well… Yeah it is.

            I’ll tell you what though. If anyone finds a way to increase overtaking without giving the following driver an advantage let me know. :D

            I agree about KERS btw.

          9. We’re arguing over semantics with KERS. The way people accuse DRS of being artificial is not the same as how you call KERS artificial, for the reasons I explained. Your version of artificial depends on how/why something is designed, whereas the complaint people put on DRS is the artificial racing aspect.

            DRS can result in a simple negation of the turbulence effect, as we saw at some races, or it can result in easy passes, as we saw in others.

            I agree that it worked best when passing was still very difficult (Australia, Monaco etc.), but it still forces the laws of physics into submission- it is a solution, but a bad one.

            DRS can be tweaked. Turbulence cannot.

            Not tweaking exactly, but if they bring ground effects in (as originally planned) shortly after the new engines, that should provide a reasonable fix. Until then I’m happy to use DRS (as long at it’s used correctly), but it still an artificial solution and shouldn’t been seen as a long-term fix.

          10. It’s limited to the chasing driver. Regardless of who it is, or where they are in the race.

            I don’t like DRS, but it’s not unfair.

            Of course it is, exactly for the reason you said. The driver in front has no equal defence once in that zone.

          11. @Mike The thing about DRS is that it’s not just artificial, it’s also contrived. Turbulence and slip streaming are natural consequences of the cars going quickly; their affects can be reduced or strengthened depending upon the design limitations imposed on the cars, but they are still a natural consequence.

            The reason ground FX was seen as a good solution (as mentioned by @keithcollantine) is that it was a natural progression in the aerodynamic development of the cars. It came in at the time when slip streaming and turbulence were beginning to have an impact. The ban on ground FX as a big part of the present situation.

            I’m sympathetic to @Mike with his view on KERS. The way KERS is regulated now it is also extremely artificial. In the sense that a car designer may not choose to put it on the car if they were not forced to carry the weight of it any way. If on the other hand restrictions were taken off KERS and it was able to be used in the way it is in the auto industry – as an energy saving device – it would not likely be a tool of choice for a designer. As soon as the tipping point is reached where more energy can be saved out of a KERS than could be produced from an equivalent weight of fuel, KERS is an advantage. The development of a good road relevant KERS has the potential to be a performance differentiator. To me this seems like the ideal F1 technology: cutting edge, road relevant and a performance differentiator.

          12. It would likely, not it would not likely. grr.

      3. And still the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        Selective memory, huh? I think we’ve already made countless suggestions on how the FIA should tackle this overtaking problem. Heck, Keith had an entire series of articles on the subject last year! I think I speak for many when I say that we want cars with more power than grip, cars that generate less aerodynamic wake and tyres that degrade faster (thanks for Pirelli we already have that). DRS was never mentioned.

        The 2014 rules included the return of ground effects, which would make cars much less sensitive to dirty air while retaining a good level of downforce, but the teams didn’t want that. Why spend millions developing a chassis under a completely different set of technical rules and, most importantly, risk upsetting the running order while they can simply settle for the cheap DRS?

        I’ll say this again: using the DRS as a solution to the aerodynamic sensitivty of the current cars is just like applying a bandage to a wound where a medical surgery is required.

        1. @guilherme
          You’re complaining about the sport opting for the cheap solution. Yes they are. But the teams have proved that if you take their current aero generating devices away, they can replace them in 6 months and regain all the lost downforce. Aero is king. Unless you have a spec series, teams will chase aero performance over everything else. And that means turbulence.

          So while suggestions of more power are nice, a team with more downforce will win every time

          1. If the cars have more power they will be more of a handful. this means it will not be so easy to drive them on the limit. we will therefore see more fatigue and mistakes throughout the race. This will contribute to more wheel to wheel racing.

            Of course more power is not the solution to everything but it is one of the reasons why F1 has become more predictable.

          2. If you give teams more scope to develop moveable aero then they can develop systems that combat turbulence.

          3. @vjanik These guys aren’t soccer mums or old ladies. If you give them a new higher limit, they’ll go for it.

            The only thing more powerful cars will do is increase straight line speeds and make it more dangerous. The FIA has been limiting speeds for years for that very reason.

      4. I strongly disagree. The biggest problem with drs now is that it is being viewed as the solution which it shouldn’t be and it’s worrying when the likes of Paddy Lowe are commenting that there is no need to change aerodynamics.

        The solution lies somewhere between aerodynamics, tyres and track design (hairpin-long straight-hairpin is not the definitive solution Mr. Tilke) but it’s unfair to ask the detractors amongst us to propose solutions, we aren’t engineers and we don’t know enough to propose viable solutions.

        Finding said solution requires time and effort by the teams and the FIA to not only develop it but identify and close the loop holes F1 engineers are so good at exploiting. It won’t be easy but it’s necessary.

        I’m against the notion for letting both cars use it, may as well remove it if that is the case. As it stands the defending driver does have an unfair advantage as the effect of turbulence outweighs the additional speed of the following car. A problem is that drs has rarely been placed correctly and I don’t see that ever happening on a regular basis. The problems may get ironed out but cars evolve every year and every car is different, drs will always be adjusting and getting it spot on will remain a fluke. Not to mention that circuits and the calendar change every year.

        An F1 race is 24 cars trying to get into order of fastest car first, slowest car last and drs either makes it too easy or doesn’t do its job (there isn’t a middle ground). DRS hasn’t been helped by a clear running order amongst the top cars but how many podium spots since tyres settled down have been unclear entering the second half of the race? I don’t know if this has been worse than season past but I don’t want to sacrifice the great late race battles of joe vs bloggs only to see a procession amongst the top positions in the second half of a race. If position battles are still going on it’s generally because drs hasn’t done its job.

        There are those that will claim drs as responsible for the improvement of races this year but I think that Pirelli tyres have had a much bigger impact than drs and it’s no coincidence that race entertainment has declined as teams have figured out the tyres.

        I would have preferred 2011 to have been a Pirelli only season so that it was possible to determine the effect more accurately and if racing didn’t improve then introduce a version of drs but as it stands the whole system is a gimmick that I don’t think suits the image of F1 and its benefits to entertainment remain unclear.

      5. the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        Ground effect aero.

      6. Banburyhammer1
        13th January 2012, 19:56

        And still the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        What about the proposed return to limited ground effects in 2014? The whole arguement towards bringing it back was the fact that the cars would be less dependant on downforce from the wings. I mean, please correct me if Im wrong, but the whole idea for DRS was as a stop gap measure until the new regs came in, after which it would be scrapped. I would say Im of a majority that doesnt like DRS but could live with it as a temporary measure. Now its basically permanat im sick at the sight of it.

        I also disagree that the wall of downforce is fake racing. Its certaing detrimental to the following driver, and is a problem that needs to be solved, but its not artificial like DRS. KERS is fine as its down to the driver when he chooses to deploy it, but DRS is such a blunt force weapon to the problem that is so over regulated, even for todays increably stingent F1 it goes against all my ideas of fair racing. Its nealy like the stupid ‘spitting the corner into two lanes’ piece of rubbish TGBB was enforcing in Indycar.

        The reason the ‘wall of downforce’ effect isnt fake racing is because its a purely passive effect of driving closely behind the defending car – and is only detrimental in the corners. Nobody who claims that the dirty air affect is fake racing would say the tow drivers use to pass on the straights is fake racing – even though they are one and the same thing!

        Its almost like claiming that having a power advantage is fake racing, because even though the car in front may have a horrible chassis and is slow in the corners, but on the straight its blasting away with its greater power. Im sorry, but no.

        1. Banburyhammer1
          13th January 2012, 19:59

          In fact whats really preventing overtaking on the straights is a move towards ultimate lap gearing, coupled with limiting engine revs.

      7. Hairs: I agree as well with your original comment about the wall of turbulence being the already-in-place advantage. You explained it well and I agree completely.

      8. Everything Hairs said perfect.

    3. @Steph Wouldn’t giving drivers free reign of when to use it mean that they’ll only use it in the places where it will be most effective and therefore guarantee that every DRS pass will be a ‘motorway’ one?

      1. Why not have item boxes laid out on the track so that when one drives through them they collect 5 DRS ‘power boosts’? FIA decide where best to locate said item boxes (although it may take a few seasons to get them in the best positions).

        This idea would also have the added bonus of encouraging drivers to clean up marbles by going offline, thus making it simpler to conduct more ‘overtakes’ later on in the race.

        My ideas have been expanded upon here:

        1. haha yeah. Everyone knows WipEout is the future F1 and the speed boost box is the next step to that future. As you can see from this footage of the future, Bernie’s short cuts has also been implemented and if you win you receive a gold medal :P

      2. No. If drivers have free reign on DRS means they’ll use it through corners where the timing of the application will need to be precise to get the top benefit, this will lead to mistakes, and thus more overtaking.

      3. Arguably the defending driver would be able to use his as well.

        I think however come the end of the race, some drivers will breeze past. Spose it’s fair, but great for fans? meh.

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th January 2012, 17:17

      as @magon4 said, there should be the possibility to use it for, let’s say, 3 minutes in all race (the driver chooses whenever he thinks it’s necessary) and for both challenger and defender. … What I hate is to know that no matter how much fans complaint about DRS or other things, we never know if FIA or Bernie is reading our comments. There should be a way to promote Keith as F1 Fanclub PR director so he can shut Bernie’s up (when necessary) but most of all , communicate what us fans think

  4. Voted for “DRS should be available in all races throughout 2012” and “Drivers should have the opportunity to use DRS a certain number of times per race”. The latter sounds like very interesting idea.

  5. I disliked the DRS system the moment I saw it “perform”.
    Today’s F1 has become too restricted, too artificial, too political, too monotone and…, well sooo boooring!!! :(

    I think I’ll be better of watching random chess matches this year, if season 2012 is anything like 2011 was…

    1. same thing to me i hate this DRS the FIA think that they solved the problem of overtaking but in reality they made it even worse
      at least the few overtaking maneuvers that we have seen before were not so artificial
      F1 need a radical change because with all these stupid rules & regulations the performances of the driver is only 5 to 10 % of the total performance it’s all about the car
      Why the DRS was not introduced before when racing drivers were real men when Mansel & Senna were Wheel to Wheel at 300 km when Piquet overtakes Senna at full locks of the brakes when Prost & Senna were like soldiers fighting in war
      i think the regulations should give more space to the driver’s contribution so we can see more racing driver in F1 not just “PlayStation Boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” because i think that today
      there is only a few real racing drivers that remains on the grid (maybe 3 or 4)

      1. The only thing making that comment more ridiculous would be a “Thumbs up if you agree”, so I am calling Poe’s Law on this.

      2. Motor racing and grand prix racing in particular was started so car makers could prove whose car was best. It is not about the driver as much as it is the car.

        1. That’s how it started. But that names like Nuvolari and Fangio are still remembered shows how important drivers are to the sport.

          With competition comes heroes.

          1. The drivers could not have been heroes without their cars. The early drivers were heroes because they brought honour to their cars and their makers.

    2. @Commendatore Too political? Probably. Too restricted, artificial, monotone? Seriously? You genuinely think F1 is really that bad right now? I honestly cannot understand why anyone would think like this. F1 is as good right now as it has ever been.

      @Tifoso1989 You’re being over the top.

      1. It is too restricted – hence why everything innovative gets banned (F-Duct, Blown defusers, double defusers etc.), engines are limited to 18000 rpm, penalties are dissed out constantly and mostly with little consistency and we have artifical gimmics like DRS and KERS.

        1. Too restricted, for me, would be budget caps, standardised chassis, a single engine provider and things like that. Things we’re not even close to having. Formula 1 is still about the best car and the best driver winning on the day. If F1 is too restricted, how do you explain a team like Red Bull comprehensively owning the field for the last two seasons? Or how the new teams are so rubbish in comparison to the rest of the grid? If things are too restrictive, everyone should be virtually identical performance-wise, should they not?

          1. The current engine restrictions sure are pretty close to a single engine formula in effect.

          2. The engines are actually remarkably different. But things have to be restricted otherwise costs get out of hand. Engines are the single biggest money sink if you let it be.

          3. I understand that they are different, but with development restricted many of the same characteristics of a one engine formula are achieved.

  6. I’m quite happy with the rules as they have been in 2011. I think it’s the best compromise to have a significant ammount of passes without changing the aerodynamics too much (a costly, long and difficult move).

    The only think they should change is the DRS zones in some circuits.
    Like for example, they should avoid putting them on a straight before a slow chicane (Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, Canada for one of the zones, Nurburgring…) : it would make overtaking either as difficult as without DRS, or much too easy (with passes done before the braking point). And they shouldn’t put the DRS zones in places where it’s possible to overtake without DRS (I’m thinking of the Spa zone of course) : they should put in a zone, where it’s hard to overtake, but not impossible, like at the end of a medium long straight which has a slow or medium speed corner at the end of it, where there is just enough room for 2 cars (for example the hangar straight in Silverstone, the main straight in the Hungaroring, the start-finish straight in Montreal…).

    And I like the idea of not putting DRS at all races (Spa could use that).

  7. I don’t think the rules need to be tweaked. I think DRS can exist perfectly well as it is. But I also think that the FIA need to figure out where the optimal place for each activation point is, relative to the next corner. I seem to recall that they got it almost spot on in China, but they blew it in Turkey. The DRS zones need to be put in places where the drivers can use them in such a way that DRS itself is not the defining factor in the pass. It should just offer enough speed for an attacking driver to get his front wing alongside the rear wheels of the car in front. Everything else should be down to the driver.

    1. @Prisoner-Monkeys Agree with all of that as well.

    2. I agree with this a *million* percent.

    3. That would be the best solution, but you’ve highlighted the problem in your statement – picking the best DRS spots is pretty much random.

      Personally, I think the ideal solution would be DRS anywhere, at the drivers’ choice – but for a limited amount of time e.g. 1 minute alltogether

      1. @Cjpdk But don’t you think that after an entire season’s worth of info and data, the FIA will be in a much better position to fine-tune the zones and make them more effective and efficient? I do.

        1. Maybe so. But there isn’t really a science to DRS zones, so we could be waiting forever for a perfect solution

      2. you’ve highlighted the problem in your statement – picking the best DRS spots is pretty much random

        We’ve had a full season with DRS now. The FIA should have plenty of data on how it works, and so they should be able to use that data to place the activation point more accurately (though Bahrain, Hockenheim and Austin might be a bit of a problem).

        1. So, which other motor sport categories would you like to see this added to?

          While where at it how about an anti-DRS for cycling?

  8. For me DRS should only be used in the race, the DRS is a devise to aid overtaking, so why they decided drivers can use it anywhere in quali I never understood.
    I think it has worked well in places but not in others. The best example is Ham vs Web at korea that was perfect, not too easy to get by. however with turkey and spa it really was not needed where the DRS was placed.

    1. For me DRS should only be used in the race, the DRS is a devise to aid overtaking, so why they decided drivers can use it anywhere in quali I never understood.

      The DRS rules in practice and qualifying are framed as they precisely to encourage teams to use DRS as an overtaking aid in the race.

      If they did not have free use of DRS in qualifying and practice, then they would have insufficient incentive to run longer gear ratios. So, when they came to use it in the race, their shorter top gear ratio would make it far less useful for overtaking.

      (Even so the teams cut it as fine as they dared – after Barcelona the McLaren drivers complained their top gear ratio had been too short to do any overtaking.)

      I don’t blame anyone for not realising this as it’s not exactly obvious. It serves to illustrate why there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the DRS rules.

      The best example is Ham vs Web at korea that was perfect, not too easy to get by.

      I disagree – at one point Webber overtook Hamilton at turn one, but then Hamilton was very easily able to re-pass him using DRS. It’s likely Hamilton could have made the re-pass stick without DRS, but it would have been closer and more exciting.

      1. I never quite understand why the engineers cut the gear ratios so short.

  9. I’m a bit torn to be honest, because really I think half of the races don’t need DRS at all, plenty of races made that obvious in 2011.

    But for the teams to go through the effort of designing the cars and the DRS systems, it’d seem a bit silly to use it only half of the time.

    But we should wait and see. Obviously 2011 was the first year. At certain tracks they got the zone completely wrong (Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, for example, just my opinion) and they can only learn from these mistakes. So it should work better this time round.

    1. I really dislike DRS on its principle, but I would say they could keep it as it was last year (but optimise the zones to only give just enough te get close) and use it only at a few tracks where overtaking is hard because of a misguided thinking in its design.

  10. I believe that DRS should go so I voted for the last option in both polls. Restricting the usage of it to a certain number of times per race would also be a welcome improvement. I could also tolerate the current DRS rules in snoozefests like Valencia.

    So much has already been said about this tool. I think the opinion on it depends on what the fan expects from F1 and what are the main reasons for his obsession. F1 has never been about overtaking for me. For sure, I want to see some but if I see on average 30 passes per race it’s enough. I hate it when overtaking is simple, easily predictable and when I have no idea whether I’m watching a great drive or just a great DRS-ing. I also think that defensive driving is a beautiful art.

    What is more, I think that people simply demand too much show these days. Not just in F1 but everywhere. But you cannot have a thriller all the time, boring races have to be there so that we can appropriately evaluate the great ones.

    1. Did the same as you Girts, as I don’t like DRS at all. I vote for no DRS, emphasis on mechanical grip through the tires, and less emphasis on downforce by restricting their wing and diffuser usage so that when we see a pass it is do-able because of the reduction in aero dependancy, and is by the driver, by the seat of his pants, not because it was ‘great DRS-ing’ as you well put it.

      Seeing the options put forth to vote on, even though they were just there for the purpose of feeling people out as to what they think, made my head swim and made me feel even moreso how artificial it seems. How arbitrary it would be if they could use it only here or there depending on the track, the DRS zone, the this, the that, and I guess the velocity of an English or African sparrow.

      Simplify please. Put it back in the hands of the driver, not the device. It’s the pinnacle of RACING. Being able to push the equivalent of a ‘turbo button’ and making a leading car look silly and defenceless doesn’t impress me. It does the opposite. It takes away from it.

      1. I’d have to agree with all of that.

  11. Ryan Williams (@)
    13th January 2012, 11:21

    I like the idea of only being able to use it a certain number of times per race. Drivers would have to choose optimum times to use it, rather than just having to be within 1 second of the car in front. It adds a new element of strategy to the race

  12. Isn’t it too late to talk about DRS usage? I mean, FIA looks adamant …

    In my view, tracks have to be redesigned – yes, I know, this is the most expensive solution, but there are other motor machines racing on those (or most of them) tracks – they don’t have DRS.

    1. @Kiril-Varbanov DRS was introduced because of concern over the difficulty of overtaking affecting the popularity of the sport. So if this isn’t a suitable subject for debate then nothing is!

      1. @Keith Collantine Yes, I get that, my point was that it’s too late to change any rules for 2012 in particular.
        And actually overall (as you mentioned): what kind of problem we’re trying to solve?
        Answer: overtaking difficulty.
        The solution: DRS.
        Do the people like it? No, not really. Are we going to vote for more challenging tracks? Me? Certainly.

        1. India was an interesting track, certainly challenging (ask Massa) but one of the dullest races. Brazil this year was not as good as normal. There are certainly a lot of identikit circuits around, but they can barely be blamed for lack of overtaking (a couple of exceptions aside).

          That tracks don’t need to be redisgned is obvious because of the number of other series that produce exciting races on the same tracks. The issue is dirty air, not circuit design (although obviously some circuits are better suited to overtaking, fundamentally great racing should be capable on any race on the F1 calender).

  13. Why not link the DRS to the KERS button and have it regulated by time to match that available from kers. For example they get a certain amount of Kers per lap and they choose where to use it. Typically this is in the overtaking zones where one assumes they would also use the DRS. Therefor its just one button to overtake or defend. This means less driver operated controls. more racecraft controlling the outcome. For example a simple dummy manouver on the first straight could lead the car in front to use their DRS and kers to defenc leaving them vulnerable on the next straight from the car behind who actually saved their KERS and DRS.

    1. P.S. Keith can you add this choice as a radio button to vote. as the other options are not to my liking or to the benefit of the sport i feel as its too artificial. ;-)

      1. @scribbler No, because if I add every slightly different alternative everyone suggests the poll will have a thousand options. There is already an option for keeping DRS under some other set of rules. And it sounds like your suggestion is very similar to the “limited uses per lap” option.

        1. I know keith, it was tounge in cheek comment although no smiley for this i though the wink smiley would show that i wasn’t serious. Thanks for commenting though i think my idea would work well and i am open to the teams aproaching me for my impelementation designs also. ;-)

  14. F1 is more and more like super Mario. Several “Mushrooms” are available, because without them, F1 can only become a procession due to safety reasons and complex regulations, enclosed in a “need to be” green behaviour.
    Drivers uses simulators which should be something like Gran Turismo. They just use these skills on a perfect machine when it is race time, F1 never brake nowadays.
    All the drivers are split by tenths or hundreds of seconds and surprised are normally almost impossible. There are not enough natural chaotic parameters, then F1 invent necessity to change rubbers, DRS and KERS.
    Then it is boring because quite nothing can happen ; in 2011 F1 was saved with the help of the weather and the mushrooms.
    It is almost time to have a competition where the F1 are without regulations and driven by remote. F1 would be then safe, and incredibly fast, with accident incredible, like before, but with no harm.
    The day we have this, old F1 would be seen as an abacus when we have super computer. I will miss this possible exciting future.
    The real F1 stopped when the turbo was banned in 1988-89 (?), like for the rally car when the B-Group was banned (who care about rally today ?, even if it looks like very difficult) ; from before until these days, we felt the death, the human uncontrol, etc…

    1. Mario? They should have three different categories of cars ;)

      1.) Light ones with good acceleration and poor top speed
      2.) Good all rounders
      3.) Great top speed, lots of weight for shunting, yet corners like a dog.

      I’d watch that.

      1. They already have this. The maclaren must have some reinforcing for side impact the amount of shunting Hamilton does. (I’m a fan)

    2. The real F1 stopped when the turbo was banned in 1988-89 (?), like for the rally car when the B-Group was banned (who care about rally today ?, even if it looks like very difficult) ; from before until these days, we felt the death, the human uncontrol, etc…

      While I agree with most of your post, I have to say that you should remember 1994 when commenting on the good old days. You’ll no doubt remember there was a push to remove all the gizmos on the cars that season, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. This year shaped F1 into what it is today and to be honest some would say it’s just great that F1 is still as quick as it ever has been.

      I agree with getting rid of the mushrooms, but let’s still keep the things that keep F1 reasonably safe in the event of ‘human uncontrol’.

  15. To me the idea of using DRS a limited amount of times per race does not really solve the issue of it.
    It does adress the mail point of unfairness (as its use will be available to both defending and attacking driver), so it makes it better suited to sport as such.

    But I really hate it when in series like Indy you hear the commenters talking about how many pressing of the button drivers have left. And more importantly, it then does nothing to adress the problem with running close behind another car, so why even have it there?

    In that case I think it would be better to just allow it altogether (because it gives drivers more options to differentiate) without limitations, save safety areas where the FIA and the drivers agree its too risky to allow.

    1. sry typo – … main point of unfairness

    2. +1.
      I really agree with your point on how it doesnt help with the running behind thing.

      However, I think it should stay as it is and hope that the powers that be get better with DRS zones due to the experience in 2011.

    3. The IndyCar thing I completely agree with. To be honest, I’d just get rid of DRS altogether. In my opinion, there was nothing wrong with the racing pre-2011. We did get processions occasionally, but I still enjoyed the vast majority of races. There’s much more to a race than overtaking.

    4. I think I prefer that idea actually. If DRS must stay and will only be used as an overtaking device then x times per race is best. Otherwise, I’d give it a miss or allow it unlimited.

    5. Nice to find someone else who understands why unlimited use of DRS is a good idea.

  16. DRS is overtaking by committee. It’s insane and where racing is devine, DRS is an anathema.

    Take the example of success ballast. The faster the car the more ballast it has to carry. Now I’m against this also but at least it attempts to equalise performance by handicapping the faster car. DRS is the opposite! It handicaps the slower car just at the time it’s at it’s most vunerable. Is that sport? I think not.

    Unless an overtaking manoeuvre is between two cars built, operated and running to the same spec at all times then the overtake manoeuvre has zero value.

    DRS is just a poor ‘sticking plaster’ solution to the so called overtaking problem. Anyone who believes otherwise is deluded. Collectively in F1 we have some fantastic technical brains. Unfortunately the rule-making brains are incredibly blinkered. We won’t get any progress towards a fairer more even and exciting F1 until those ‘brains’ come together in an lateral and open minded way.

    1. DRS is the opposite! It handicaps the slower car just at the time it’s at it’s most vunerable.

      I couldn’t agree more. Quite often in 2011, after Kovalainen had made one of his good starts and thus got in front of one or more of the established teams’ cars, I caught myself thinking: “OK, a cool start but what’s the use? The guys behind will get DRS enabled and inevitably overtake him again in a couple of laps.” How can anyone find this exciting?

      When we had “Trulli train”, that was at least something to talk about. Now it’s just Trulli-in-front-DRS-bye.

      1. 100% agree

        1. Me too…same thing happened at Spa when NR took the lead from 4th on the grid, and held back SV while the whole world knew all it was going to take was for the for DRS zone to come up once they were allowed to use it. That kind of predictablility is ridiculous in the pinnacle of racing.

          1. That should say…’for the FIRST DRS zone to come up’….

          2. I can agree with the general argument in your post @robbie, shame your example does not add up, as Vettel overtook Rosberg long before the DRS was activated (remember it gets activated only after the 2nd lap of the race)!

          3. @BasCB…fair comment…I think I must have been recalling something either DC or MB said as NR took the lead, that being it would only be a matter of time before DRS saw NR get passed…I hadn’t remembered that SV didn’t need to wait that long, such was the superiority of the Red Bull over the Merc, but I think my point still stands in that even before it happened the commentators were saying DRS would take care of NR’s lead…for my point about predictability I don’t think it matters in this case that SV didn’t actually use DRS to get by him, when the commentators felt safe in predicting NR’s quick demise in spite of a great start.

  17. there shld be some mechanism to block DRS with the racer in front so he atleast has a chance rather than be a sitting duck.
    One should have a certain number of DRS attempts and the leader should get a DRS disabling unit. which disables the chasers drs when he enables it. and even that is limited. So it’s a choice of whether its worth deploying the jammer or just let the guy pass or defend really well and waste his drs.

  18. I often pondered the notion that DRS should only be available at races where there’s less than average overtaking numbers.

    If we were to take the 2010 stats for example, add up all the overtakes (excluding lapped traffic) and then find the average per race, we could apply DRS to races that fell below that average number.

    That way the more overtaking-friendly tracks remain unaffected while the drab ones get a bit of sorely needed (if artificial) action.

  19. DRS for closing gap
    Shorter activiation zones

    I think DRS is a great tool for closing the gap between drivers. Getting them close enough to make a pass the next lap/activiation point. I think that one solution could be to allow drivers to use it in specific zones of the track up until they are within something like 0.8 seconds of the car in front. So it allows drivers to break the dirty air and get close enough for a pass.

    One other simpler solution could be to use shorter DRS zones so it makes drivers still have to be brave on the brakes to get past like in Australia (think Button on Kobayashi).

    The main problem with DRS is the fact that F1 fans want overtaking but then they get too much and they aren’t happy. Martin Brundle says he likes DRS because it essentially allows the quicker driver to get past eventually. I agree, if a driver gets past with DRS the driver behind, if he is quick enough should be able to keep up and use DRS the next time. So I don’t think it is good in the fact that we don’t get drivers ahead because of better use of DRS, the quicker driver always gets past.

    The thing is, we are never going to be able to see the likes of Gilles Villeneuve holding up a train of cars because if that was 2011 they would have used DRS and KERS to get past. I as an F1 fan, love the underdog and for a slower car to be ahead of a faster car is something a lot more exciting than seeing a pass using DRS.

    I think F1 needs to cherish what it has at the moment as some of the races over the last few years have been the best in a very long time. F1 fans are just hard to please!

    1. oops I forgot to delete my notes at the top of my post :s. Damn IE7 doesn’t allow me to edit :(

  20. I’d say no to double DRS zones because a defending driver can give up his position in the first and regain it in the second zone. Some drivers seem to have cottoned onto this fact while attacking, but it makes the first zone redundant.

  21. Look there are some very inovative but essentially flawed suggestions above that are very expensive and complicated to implemement. Esentially the effect of DRS is very similar to KERS. You push a button and you go a bit faster for a limited amount of time. if this is down to more power to weight ratio or power to drag ratio is irrelivant, so why all the silly rules. Combine the two into one Boost button and give everyone a fighting chance at overtaking / defending but limit it to universal fixed amount, so its down to the driver when to use it. My preference is to Keep these ‘aids’ to enable a fast driver to catch up to the front of the pack in the event of a colision or rain forced tyre change etc. something outside of their control to allow them to recover. I think once they had caught up the advantage would be lost as both front runners would have the same aids available to them and therefor only racecraft would secure a sucessful pass. Being an Engineer i also like to see the outcome of the race dictated by not just the driver but also the equipment Therefore it would be interesting to see which team could combine the effect of a joint drs and kers the best as you could effectively tune them to work better together.

  22. I think DRS is a good idea. I’m not sure on the current rules though, I like the idea of it being used a certain amount of times in a race, it would play into the strategy and increase the spectacle in my opinion.

    I think the rules of DRS in qualifying need to change as well.

  23. All or nothing.

  24. I voted “Most Races” and “Free use” as they are the closest to how I think they should be done.

    “Most Races” is because I think there are certain tracks and/or areas of track where their use is dangerous: to other drivers as much as the one who opens their flap at the wrong time (I would reword that, but I’ll leave it in so those as immature as me can have a giggle). Therefore it should not be allowed on those races/sections of track (or conditions such as heavy rain/yellow flags etc).

    WRT rule changes, I think they should basically reverse the current rules: Allow free use of DRS throughout the race, anywhere on track (subject to the above restrictions), EXCEPT in a defined “passing zone” if there is a car less than 1s behind you (actually I’d change it to half a second).

    This would also allow the device to be used for different purposes, e.g. fuel savings. It is very similar to my view on KERS/ERS: If the system has charge, the driver should be free to use it, including off-throttle (fuel savings again) or similar, for as long as it lasts (no artificial time limit)

  25. To me the solutions is very simple:

    Allow DRS in all races scrap the “within 1sec rule and dedicated zones” and simply limit the number of activations per race – this could be done in many ways

    A: Max 10 activations per set of tyres??
    B: Fixed number of activations per lap or fixed number for the whole race??

    This still gives an advantage but allows the driver to decide when its best used and as other said it adds another dimension to the already complicated strategies.

    At the end of the day I want to see man and machine battle it out, and to me that means who can get the most from their machine who can utilize their brain to make the best use of what they have available? Also it would spice things up as the drivers experiment on where to use it in order to gain their advantage?

  26. If it is going to exist then it needs to be at all races.

    Really needs to be re-written to be used whenever the driver likes (though have some DRS safety blackspots where the system won’t allow it to be activated) but limited to a certain number (say 10) times per race so that there is some strategy to whether to use your allotment early on or as the race progresses.

    Then have rules that it can’t be used for the first two laps of the race or immediately after a SC. It also can’t be used when running anything other than dry tyres.

  27. I am not a fan of DRS instead I think the FIA needs to work hard with Perilli to make tyres that will make interesting & also sometime in the future they need to allow teams use unlimited amount of KERS in a race per lap.

  28. DRS should only be used at cricket grounds.

    1. Sorry about these silly comments.

      Trying to make a serious comment for once, I really think that we should test out a few races with no DRS now that the double diffusers have gone.

      This seems like complete sense to me and we may find that the level of overtaking is perfectly entertaining (and not 200 per race either) because now drivers are not waiting until the DRS zone to overtake, but actually looking at all parts of the track once again.

      Overtaking should be difficult. F1 is a challenge. Admittedly it was made too hard by the dirty air generated by a) Aero parts over all the cars up to 2008 and b) double decker diffusers in 2009-2010.

      This would also let the drivers think more about steering the car and pressing the pedals, and not when to push a button. Call me old fashioned but that’s what I call racing.

  29. I’m not decided. I’m between no DRS never and, DRS at some (boring) tracks with current rules.
    I liked DRS in Barcelona, I really did. It added to tha suspense but didn’t spoil it.
    But to have this system at good tracks like Spa and Monza is à sin.
    Aren’t tha rulemakers watching? Don’t they know that overtaking should never be too easy?

  30. If the problem is that it makes it unfair to the driver in front then how about linking DRS usage to KERS usage so that DRS use reduces the amount of KERS available on that lap. Therefore there is some equalisation of the benefit between the front driver and the one behind. I believe DRS provides a greater benefit than KERS so they wouldn’t just cancel each other out.

  31. it should be banned, whole art of defending was destroyed, as was overtaking, now its just passing by… more boring than no overtakign whatsoever.

  32. How about further reducing the aero influence so that following cars can get close enough to slipstream without DRS… like the good old days.

    Having watched the film Senna last year all it did was remind me how exciting it used to be when cars actually raced each other in close proximity. And the opportunities for overtaking that arose.

    DRS has increased passing… I disagree that it has increased overtaking.

    1. Best answer yet.

      People always write off this answer as a step backwards and believe the cars will be slower. That would be wrong.

      More power and very wide tyres would keep the lap times the same as now.

      Do the same thing in the lower formulae too and bingo…all fixed.

  33. If it was up to me, i would get rid of it. The tyres alone plus the fact we will have 6 world champions on the grid, plus KERS will make for some exciting racing anyway. I don’t think we will need DRS in 2012.

    Having said that, we will have DRS in 2012 and i don’t mind really, it doesn’t put me off watching at all and it has it’s benefits every now and then, for example when a faster car needs to make it’s way through traffic quicker – (Hamilton, Singapore)

    But yeah overall i don’t mind if they keep it or not but like i say, if i was making the decision i would scrap it, (but keep KERS) and watch the real racing in 2012.

    1. The tyres alone plus the fact we will have 6 world champions on the grid, plus KERS will make for some exciting racing anyway

      It’s not just that. 2011 was the first time we didn’t have aero appendages and double decker diffusers too.

  34. Another thought… what will happen when the new engine rules are introduced and the teams have turbos again ?

    Will the new turbos include a push-to-boost button ? Combine that with DRS and KERS and it gets very bizarre.

  35. DRS should go, I really hate that what was a stopgap solution now looks like it is here to stay, with the teams and FIA deciding there is now no need to overcome the fundamental reason why DRS was brought in in the first place. The cars have too much aerodynamic grip!

  36. None of the alternatives to DRS float my boat. No matter how it’s done, there’s still a visible advantage given to a chasing driver. Yes, the defending driver has always had an invisible advantage, but you can’t expect the casual fan to always be aware of that. Meanwhile a lot of the hardcore fanbase, who is aware of these things, is against it anyway. It just seems to me that no matter how well it’s worked in a few cases, no matter how many times it’s been a joke in others, it’s simply a PR disaster that makes the so-called pinnacle of motor racing look like a computer game. Even the anti-blocking rule in IndyCar is in the name of safety – the strength and placement of DRS this season by the FIA was little more than a cynical exercise in making overtakes happen, whether they should have or not. At least the tyres are strategy components and not a blatant Mario Kart booster.

    I gave DRS the time of day as a stop-gap. Now FOTA is keen on it being permanent, I despair.

  37. For me there were races in which DRS made too many artificial overtakes. A good example (although not present this year) was Istanbul, where most of the overtakes took place at the back straight. Tracks like Monza, Spa or Hockenheim don’t need DRS, in fact, it makes the races worse. However, tracks like Malaysia, Singapore and other “Tilkedromes” need it desperately. So I would choose carefully in which races DRS should be included, and when included, keep the same regulation as this year.

  38. I didn’t like the 2011 DRS so I voted for it not to be allowed in 2012. My dislike is because of the highway style passes it creates. No excitement in watching one car fly by the other with ease (unles it is because of a top speed difference!). But since FIA isn’t going to remove it anyways, they should look at the lenght of the zones. DRS should enable the car that wants to overtake to get just besides the other car. After this DRS should have no effect so a succesful overtake is based on a higher top speed or capability of the driver to brake later. That way I could certainly live with it.

  39. DRS is the scaffold that holds up the crumbling house called the FIA rulebook. Sometimes to escape from a maze you have to retrace your steps. Why can’t we have more power, no (or small and inefficient) wings and big tyres? This will keep the lap time up and allow for close running through corners. Is this so hard for the people in charge to see?

    Don’t tell me the lesser formula would be faster because the same could be applied to them also.

    No one has ever been able to give me a satisfactory answers as to why. I dispair

  40. Still I think the DRS should be avalaible a certain number of time during the race. That way the driver could pass with DRS but they can Defend with it too. and I driver that is 2nd and the leader pitstop, he can push the DRS for his lap before the pit to make the gap to first position.

  41. BAN DRS

    You mean to tell me that designers with all of the means to perfect the shape of a race car can’t come up with something different that could give advantage to their driver and the net performance of their car in competition??

    This has been the way of Formula One for years and drivers had to get on with the job and show how their talent made them better than the next guy.

    Quit this nonsense of adding gimmicks to give advantage to lesser drivers who don’t have the stones to pass another competitor by simply driving better or more effective with the knowledge and ability to make a decent pass.

    Thats why there are so many levels in automobile racing. If you are good and can prove the merits of your ability , then you deserve to move up the ranks. This practice weeds out the pretenders and builds a unique group of talent that until recent years was what Formula One was about.

    Today you just need a bit of talent, a fat wallet and when you get there the cars will have loads of gadgets that will make you into false hero because of how this helping hand has enabled you.

    Just imagine how great you might be if you could do this without the gimmicks. Some of you will say this is what F1 has become but I challenge how the ripple effect will ruin what has been so special to us the fans.

    I challenge anyone who is a fan to continue to support DRS as it is presently being used and suggest that what is needed is a method to be heard and to let the FIA know that we want change, this path is no longer acceptable. Without a change the only thing we can do is stop supporting advertisors products.

    That kind of attention is noticed.

  42. DRS should be only avaliable at the top 10 hardest circuits to overtake including Monaco, Valencia and Singapore. However the Overtaking is fine using the Pirelli tyres and KERS during the other races such as Malaysia etc. However during the races that DRS is not in action it should be allowed to be used to every driver during the race, apart from the race leader, therefore it stops a Sebestian Vettel runaway leader!
    Just my thoughts, but it definatly should not be used at all races in the way it has been used this year however it does in others, therefore there has got to be a better use for it in the races that it is not!

  43. Sound_Of_Madness
    13th January 2012, 18:24

    How about that one? Use it (at zones) when the gap is less than 1 sec from the car in front, but close it when the gap gets at sth like 0.2 sec. This way, it actually works like slipstreaming, since the attacking driver loses the advantage when attempting to pass while successfully closing down the gap.

  44. The least the FIA could do is try a race or two without DRS. Maybe they could put on a DRS-free race in one of the season’s earlier races such as Australia or Malaysia, which already produced plenty of overtaking.

    They should also place the DRS zones in places other than the places which already produced lots of overtaking. In Belgium, putting the DRS zone on the Kemmel Straight was a stupid idea, it should have been placed on the start-finish straight.

    I think the FIA need to realise that there is more to racing than just overtaking. There are many different types of scenarios and incidents which can make races highly exciting. I’m not saying the FIA should artifically add elements to races (e.g. sprinklers), as such things happen very often anyway.

  45. You can’s assess DRS on one season – the FIA had no clue where to put DRS zones last year (my mum could have done it better) and whilst in some races it was great, in others it just became a farce. Give it until the engine changes then it won’t be necessary as turbo and KERS together will be a much bigger advantage than any aero device.

  46. hate drs & desperately want to see it banned for good!

    drs does nothing to improve racing, in fact i think it actually harms it!

    1. …you can’t ban something that was put in place by the rule markers themselves!

      You can revoke it or remove it, but to ban implies that it contravenes some rules. It doesn’t.

  47. if i see a stupidly easy drs pass in 2012 im turning off f1 & will never watch ab F1 race again untill this ridiculous gimmick is banned.

    DRS is the single most ridiculous thing to ever be introduced in F1, Did nothing through 2011 but harm my intrest in the races as I found every single DRS assisted pass to be boring, dull, unintresting & unexciting!

    DRS Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. I voted no DRS at all.

    I think DRS ruined a lot of the excitement on the really great circuits where overtaking is naturally possible and made the bad races sort of okay.
    So instead of sleeping through a few races a year, and then on the other hand be able to run around screaming and shouting like an idiot at other races. We were left with a lot of good races but always with that bitter aftertaste.
    I think we talk way too much about it here, and the people on TV as well.
    For me it is just a waste of time.
    Why should be always discuss afterwards whether the DRS were at fault, wes good, what did it mean etc. etc. instead of talking about the racing, the thrills, the spills. The things F1 is actually about.
    Some races are good, others are not. That is just how it is and will always be, and I don’t think DRS solves that.
    In my opinion Pirrelli is enough so far, then lets wait and see if reducing the aero and increasing the seize and grippiness (as that actually a word?) of the tyres is necessary and by how much.

  49. Didn’t like DRS as a concept when it was announced & didn’t like how it worked through 2011, Found myself disliking it more & more as 2011 went on.

    I’d go as far as saying that I think DRS has somewhat devalued overtaking in F1.

    In the past watching the build-up to a fight for position was exciting, watching the 2 (or more) cars in close contact fighting for position was exciting (Alonso/Schumacher @ Imola 05/06) & any overtaking which did happen was truly exciting to watch.

    With the DRS through 2011 most of the time I started getting excited over one car catching another only for the car behind to get by the other car with reletive ease once he gets there with no good fight over the position with the car ahead been completely defenceless to hold the other car behind.

    We saw a lot more passing last year but watching it happen wasn’t as exciting & didn’t have me on the edge of my seat like I have while watching great battles for position & passes over the past 23 years.

  50. I’m pleasantly surprised at the polls so far, particularly the second one.

    I’ve always maintained that DRS should be a permanent fixture on the calendar. This is for a couple of reasons…

    1) What constitutes a ‘good over-taking circuit’ is largely subjective. Yes, we may all agree that certain tracks and corners do lend themselves well to it, but putting that down in a rule book is a whole other thing. I believe that the quality of a race largely boils down to the events that unfold on that day rather than being purely limited by the track itself.

    2) Politics. Imagine how disgruntled Team X would be when Team Y start on pole and there is no DRS to assist them whereas at the previous race Team Y had all the DRS they could muster? I appreciate that DRS will be determined well in advance of any competitive session but I could see it getting very ugly very quickly. Especially when you have certain cars that perform better on certain circuits.

    Keep it. Give it another go.

    I’d like to think that for 2012 they can pump some life into it. Operate it in a way that limits it’s use to a tactical advantage and people may just respect it a little more. I think the problem with 2011 is that it really just boiled down to the luck of the draw sometimes and we would all like to think that some thought and skill has gone into its deployment.

  51. DRS should be banned, Its a terrible system which took away a lot of my enjoyment of 2011.

    I think DRS may be even worse in 2012 as the FIA are talking about more double DRS zones & teams will all have better, more effective DRS systems/wings which will give a bigger speed gain & make passing even easier even in smaller zones.

    DRS is a ridiculous, artificial & gimmickey system which will end up doing far more harm to the sport than good.

    i still fail to see anything good about drs, its just stupid, dumb & dead boring to watch in action!

  52. I don’t mind DRS being used in the short term, as a stop-gap solution, but my issue is that it seems some people in F1 are simply giving up now on finding a better long term solution. For example, Abu Dhabi postponed their plans for layout changes, and Paddy Lowe said a few weeks ago that further aerodynamic changes aren’t needed any more.

  53. I would like to see it in boring tracks, and I would like to see it used in different places that are not used to setup an overtaking maneuver (example: long straights).

  54. either not at all, or free to use anytime. i hate the fact that the man in front has no means of defence when he got there in the first place.

  55. Whilst DRS does a great job, I’d prefer a handford device type system that was used in CART on the big ovals, just used all the time. The time lost in dirty air in the corners would be easily made up on the straights as the handford essentially created a massive slipstream.

    On CARTS ovals it produced LOTS of passing, arguably too much and made it a bit of a NASCAR affair. But passing is more difficult on road courses anyway, and I believe most of the job will still have to be done in the turns, as once the car pulls out of the slipstream the advantage is lost, unlike DRS which just drags the car past easily.

    Hopefully that would give drivers more of a chance to overtake by getting closer going into a corner, unlike DRS which gives the following car a huge advantage on the straight.

  56. Something has got to give, and DRS seems to work. But why use DRS in qualifying?

  57. There are also technical considerations that need to be remembered. For drs to work well it needs longer gear ratios. That in itself means that teams need to sacrifice some speed t have that extra available when drs is enabled. For this reason the drs is allowed on qualifying. It encourages the teams to have slightly longer gear ratios so that drs is useful in qualifying.

    If a team does not have long enough gears then passing with drs is hard because your maximum speed is limited by gear ratios. Like hamilton in monza against schumacher.

    Another aspect that needs to be remembered is that if a car has drs then the device itself needs to be designed and built into the car. If in some races you can use drs and if in some races you don’t then teams will want to build two rear wings. For that reason it is sensible to have drs in every race even if the race track does not need it. Also if the drs is adjusted to suit every race track then in turn that means having different rear wing for every race. For that reason having less effective drs for spa and more effective drs for monaco is not great idea in terms of costs.

    Another problem is the use of drs and essentially where it can be used. This is a huge double edged sword because if you allow drivers to choose where they use the drs then there are safety concerns and because drs is also so effective the drivers naturally want to use it on the best overtaking place anyways. The other side is that if there is a drs zone then you basically limit overtaking into that place on track. With double zones like in canada this is just really bad imho.

    Personally I’d just make the drs less effective. The way it was in 2011 the drs passes were boring and way too easy. The activation zones need to be adjusted as well and generally using the 2nd longest straightaway is the way to go. Not the longest straight except in monza and hungary etc..

    I don’t like drs though and in my opinion it should be a temporary solution to a problem that will be fixed other way as soon as possible. Push to pass type of solution with the turbo engines that are coming is a lot better option than this drs even if ptp is not totally ok for me either really :).

  58. Could we please have DRS, but instead of the current arbitrary zones, it could be activated at any time a car is within 5 meters of a car infront. This could be done with a live GPS plot, and would be deactivated as soon as the DRS car is alongside (ie: no longer 5 meters behind), and would not be available until the DRS car passes, or falls back into the 5 meter “Zone”. the passed car would get DRS as soon as it was passed so youwould get real drag races with DRS opening and closing, obviously thesystem used would have to be very accurate and have a few meters of tolerance, but i’m sure it could be done.

  59. If there going to have DRS then maybe they can base it off of qualy times. The slower your times the longer your DRS zone will be. The faster your times the shorter your DRS zone will be. This will (like the tire situation) will add an interesting strategy to qualifying.

    On a side note I don’t think leading cars should be able to use DRS on lapped cars.

  60. Eliminate DRS. Maybe the FIA can focus on drafting sporting regulations that foster competition and innovation among teams, which could naturally lead to better overtaking by design.

  61. One suitable solution is to allow the following or the second driver to use the DRS when he is within 1 sec and 2 sec of the leading driver or 0.5 sec to 1.5 sec instead of the current “within 1 sec “.
    This rule not only reduces the gap between cars but also engages them in a wheel-wheel battle to overtake each other.

    See for more details.

  62. how would it be if a driver would only be able to use DRS when within a one second for a certain amount of laps in a row…that would encourage the driver behind to try to overtake, to save time…but if it doesnt work you would get some help from DRS…just a thought…

  63. The placing of the zone is the crucial thing IMO. At Spa for example, placing of the DRS zone before Les Combes was nonsensical. However if you’d put it on the short Pouhon-Rivages straight, or before Bus Stop it suddenly makes sense.

  64. NOT LIKE IT IS!!!

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