DRS rules get wet-weather safety tweak

2012 F1 season

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The rules on DRS in wet races have changed

The FIA has given the race director new powers to determine when DRS may be used in wet races.

The World Motor Sport Council decided that: “The race director may now prohibit the use of the adjustable rear wing (DRS) if he feels visibility is too poor in wet conditions.

“This has been done as a result of safety concerns over large speed differentials between cars.”

Also among the WMSC’s decisions in a meeting today in Milan was a change to the tyre allocation rules. In the event that both Friday sessions are declared wet, teams may now save one of their sets of dry-weather tyres for use on Saturday.

The WMSC noted, “It is hoped that this will result in teams carrying out more laps on Saturday.”

The WMSC also announced that, “Changes have been made to the personnel curfew to ensure the rest periods remain constant throughout the season, irrespective of the timing of practice sessions at particular events.”

2012 F1 season

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Image © Mercedes

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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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30 comments on “DRS rules get wet-weather safety tweak”

  1. This is completely unrealted to the content of the article, but I have to say: that’s an extraordinary photo of Schumacher.

    1. @PrisonerMonkeys Just made it my backround!

    2. @prisoner-monkeys You can say that again. I’ve included it in my wallpaper rotation.

      That said, is it just me or is MSC now the poster boy for the anti-DRS campaign? Don’t see why else his picture would be here.

      1. @journeyer, his drive at Montreal last year is as good an argument as any against DRS, so if any one driver is going to be the poster boy it may as well be Schumacher I think.

      2. @journeyer – I don’t think he’s the poster boy for the anti-DRS lobbyists. It’s just a really good shot of a car in the wet in an article about DRS usage in the wet.

    3. Yep, awesome shot. I’m starting to think the Merc is the best looking car this season

  2. Hm, these little tweaks really show just how detailed and micro manage the rules in F1 are. Not sure what to say about it apart from the fact that clarity is probably for the best.

    There were 2-3 embarrassing breaking of curfew by team principals or marketing people. And RBR taking it to the limit regularly.

    1. Just ban it already!

      Its a ridiculous device & a ridiculous syetm that creates ridiculous & stupid passing that certainly isn’t exciting to watch as a fan.

      drs will be the death of racing in f1, you’ll end up with drivers becoming too reliant on drs to pass someone & thus the quality of racing will suffer.

      for the sake of racing it should be banned as soon as possible, the longer it remains a part of f1 the worse things are going to get!

      1. I’m not a huge DRS fan myself but, “drs will be the death of racing in f1” might be a bit of an overstatement.

        1. don’t think it is, we already started to see it a bit in 2011.

          keep it around long term & drivers will come to rely on it too much & the racing outside of drs zones will begin to suffer.

          i saw gary anderson make a similar comment earlier in the year.

      2. I agree with my namesake, DRS just shouldn’t be a permanent thing.

      3. Not to sound like I’m having a go but you are in the minority https://www.racefans.net/2012/01/13/drs-work-2012/

        We all know that it won’t ruin F1 and last years races were an improvement on 2010.

        Oh and you can’t ban something that was put in place by the rule makers themselves. A ban would be something developed outside the spirit of the rules. To ‘ban’ is the wrong terminology.

        1. by that poll yes i was a minority, however by similar polls elsewhere im in the majority.

          polling on james allens website & several other f1 news/blog sites all have the anti-drs vote way ahead of the pro-drs vote.

          on one private forum im a member of 3,546 people voted & it was 79/21 agaist drs.

          also totting up drs discussions around the web brings up a clearly large majority of anti-drs comments.
          even on here you get far more anti-drs comments than pro.

        2. We all know that it won’t ruin F1 and last years races were an improvement on 2010.

          no they were not, they were worse!

          watching cars simply drs past another was not exciting, it was dull & boring!

          i missed the real racing & proper battles with exciting overtaking that was seen in 2010.

          most the passing in 2011 was dull & boring with the racing dull & predictable.

          many of these so called ‘passes’ were totally uncontested because of drs, that sort of ‘passing’ is not exciting!

          i’ve been watching f1 since the early 70s & 2011 was one of the worst years for racing that ive ever seen.

          1. “i’ve been watching f1 since the early 70s & 2011 was one of the worst years for racing that ive ever seen.”

            wow i doubt that VERY MUCH hahaha

        3. Not to sound like I’m having a go but you are in the minority https://www.racefans.net/2012/01/13/drs-work-2012/

          Look into that article/poll closer-

          Yes most voted for DRS to stay in F1 & at every race.

          However the majority also voted against the current DRS regulations (Can onlu be used when car behind is 1 second behind & in DRS zones).

          Everything that I have seen around the internet suggest’s to me that most fans don’t have a problem with the DRS as a device but don’t like the actual way its used.

          I think this is where most of the DRS related polls & survey’s done by the teams falls flat.

          They always ask do you like DRS or not & the responce they always get is somewhere around a 50/50 split & they then come back & say that fans are split on DRS so it should remain a part of F1.

          To get a proper read on what fans really think of DRS they need better questions as its not a simpel case of liking DRS or not, You have to take the DRS regulations into account as well.

          I think the poll questions that Kieth did here was about the best i’ve seen & something FOTA & the FIA need to look into doing on a wider scale to get a proper read on fans opinions.

          1. Agreed, To get a proper opinion on DRS would you really need a Multi-part poll.

            * Do you like DRS as a device or not – Yes/No/Don’t mind it

            * Do you like the way DRS is used (only by following card when 1 second behind at detection line & in FIA DRS zones) – Yes/No

            * Of the following, Which do you think is the best way to use DRS – Keep as is/Unlimited use/Once per lap/certain number of uses per race.

            You could also maybe ask things like should the lead car be able to defend & should DRS give a smaller speed gain.

            If these questions were asked I’d vote –

            * Don’t really mind it
            * No
            * Certain number of uses per-race

            I’ve never had a problem with DRS as a system, Im not the biggest fan of it but I don’t really mind it. However I really cannot stand the way its used, All this 1 second behind & DRS zones comes off as completely artificial & I strongly dislike the way it works in the races.

            If it worked as a Push-2-Pass type system with a certain number of uses in a race where there was some strategy involved & it could be used to attack or defend I’d be less against it.

  3. Last year, DRS was completely banned in wet conditions (though the judgement of what exactly constituted “wet” was left to the race director). So if anything, we will see slightly more use of DRS this year.

    1. My thoughts exactly. I got confused knowing that DRS was totally switched off for wet races in the past.

  4. So how will the curfew work at singapore? If it remains constant regardless of what event they are at then does that mean the mechanics are locked in their hotel while practise is on?

    1. They won’t be locked in their hotel. The curfew means that team personnel cannot enter the circuit. It’s to stop teams from staying up all night working on cars, and then wondering around the busy pit lane the next day in a drowsy haze. The curfew will now be lifted at Singapore at the same time as it is lifted at every other race – at about 7am. It was a problem last year because the curfew was not lifted until about noon; the rules dictated that the curfew period had to be the same – about eight hours – at every race.

      1. Isn’t that badger’s point. If the curfew ends at 7am and is 8 hours long that means it starts at 11pm the previous night. If FP2 finishes at 11pm then the drivers may find the lights are off and the garage deserted by the time they get back in at the end of the session.

  5. Can’t say I really had a problem with the likes of Mercedes and Renault opting to pretty much abandon Q3 on tyre grounds. Playing the tactical game in a tactics heavy sport really isn’t much of a surprise, especially when you don’t score points on the Saturday.

    Nevertheless it will always be better to see 10 cars shooting it out.

    DRS tweak seems fair enough.

  6. You know what the biggest problem with DRS is, The one that hardly anyone talks about?
    It basically kills off the chance for mid-field teams to punch above there weight.

    We saw several times last year with Mercedes for example that they would get ahead of the top 3 teams only to then get dropped back when DRS became avaliable.
    Other examples of Sauber’s getting into the points only to get kicked out of the points by Force India’s & STR’s purely because of DRS.

    All DRS does is get cars in there natural performance order, Get someone ahead of where there cars performance is & there going to be DRS-ed. There is no longer much of a possibility for those surprise results where a driver/team gets above where there performance is.

    Will DRS be the “Death of racing” as someone above suggested? Probably not, However I do think that DRS will severely dilute the racing & devalue passing which is something I think we saw in 2011.

    The thing thats surprised me is that so many fans seem to think DRS is exciting?
    In what way is DRS exciting or even intresting?

    In all of 2011 I never saw a single DRS pass that was exciting, Never saw a single thing involving DRS that was intresting & didn’t see DRS do anything that made me think ‘wow that was great’.

    Take away DRS in 2011 & I think we would have seen better, more competitive & far more exciting racing with far more intresting/exciting overtaking.

    About all DRS did for me in 2011 is harm my enjoyment of the races.

    1. Just picking up on something else which Kieth mentioned in an article recently.

      Us fans voted Webber’s pass on Alonso at Eau Rouge as the best overtake of 2011.
      That was a real overtake & a real exciting overtake.

      However a lap or 2 later the pass basically meant nothing as Alonso simply cruised back by Webber thanks to DRS.

      Without DRS then the pass would have meant something extra as Webber would have stood a chance of defending the place.

    2. I think that this is the only real problem with the DRS. Yes, there needs to be a way to neutralise the effect of running in a car’s turbulent air, but as you say, DRS takes away the opportunity for smaller teams to benefit properly from good starts or mistakes from teams in front that are faster.

      It’s the same thing that happened to Kovaleinen time and time again. He’d get good starts, but drop back because of DRS (and probably kers too). It’s a real shame, and I hope it’s something that is addressed in the future.

    3. I said this something like this a few weeks back. Rosberg in Spa and Schumacher in Canada were doing extremely well and DRS ruined it. I think DRS also took the shine off Button’s victory in Canada. I agree that 2010 was more interesting than last yr as you had to earn your overtake. DRS has ruined the sport in my opinion

  7. I thought DRS was banned in the wet! I don’t remember how it worked last year, but in the Codemasters game it’s off when you’re using intermediates/wets.

    1. @Fixy It depends what you mean by “in the wet” – we did see DRS enabled at times when parts of the track were still wet last year, in Canada for example.

      1. Ok, thanks for the clarification @keithcollantine!

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