Norman Nato, Arden, GP2 testing, Yas Marina, 2015

GP2 has a great field – but it’s taken the DRS pill

2015 GP2 season preview

Posted on

| Written by

Norman Nato, Arden, GP2 testing, Yas Marina, 2015GP2 celebrates its tenth birthday this year. But the series which began life as a successful replacement to Formula 3000 as the foremost feeder series for F1 has struggled to live up to that billing in recent years.

In the first three season of GP2 the top two drivers swiftly made their way up into Formula One. But last year’s championship was the third in a row where both champion and runner-up are yet to start an F1 race.

In the meantime Formula Renault 3.5 has seen more of its top drivers ascend to F1. Reigning champion Carlos Sainz Jnr and his predecessor Kevin Magnussen were both in the Australian Grand Prix field, and Manor duo Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens were Formula Renault 3.5 race winners last year.

But a significant change during the off-season may have swung the initiative back towards GP2. It certainly seems to have contributed to one of the strongest field the championship has enjoyed for years.

Drivers to watch

The FIA’s controverisla new superlicence points system awards far more points to the top ten finishers in GP2 than Formula Renault 3.5. As a result a conspicuous number of drivers have ditched their 3.5 programmes for GP2 over the last 12 months.

Pierre Gasly and Marco Sorensen are back for a full year in GP2 following their partial campaigns last year, while Sergey Sitorkin, Norman Nato, Marlon Stockinger and Zoel Amberg have all followed them during the off-season.

One rival they will all have their eye on is Stoffel Vandoorne, who also previously raced in Formula Renault 3.5. The 2013 series runner-up looked like the quickest driver in the final GP2 races of 2014, ending the year with three pole positions in a row and pipping Felipe Nasr to second in the points standings.

The McLaren development driver returns for a second year at ART. The team which won three of the first five GP2 championships is now the de facto McLaren junior squad, and for the second year in a row Vandoorne is partnered by a driver from the Honda stable. Japanese Formula Three champion Nobuharu Matsushita replaces experienced Super Formula racer Takuya Izawa.

Pierre Gasly, DAMS, GP2 testing, Yas Marina, 2015While ART were the powerhouse team in the first years of GP2, DAMS drivers have clinched three of the last four titles. Red Bull-backed Gasly will therefore be expected to mount a championship bid following his switch from the former Caterham team.

It will be an especially absorbing contest at DAMS this year as Gasly is joined by a former Red Bull stablemate Alex Lynn, who was dropped by the operation despite delivering the GP3 title last year. Lynn is now a development driver for Williams.

Ferrari is another team to place one of their junior drivers in the championship. Raffaele Marciello too often failed to live up to his billing as a European F3 champion last year and despite a sole win finished eighth in the points. A switch from Racing Engineering to Trident may be the change he needs.

Alexander Rossi first raced a GP2 car in the Asia championship back in 2009, but ssurprisingly he’s never done a full year in the main series – he missed the first two races in 2013. Fabio Leimer won the title with Racing Engineering that year, and now Rossi has his big chance with the team.

He’s partnered by Jordan King, who had a win-less run to seventh in last year’s European F3 championship. King’s father Justin contributed to the recent rescue of Manor’s F1 squad.

Three years after taking the GP3 title, Mitch Evans is back for another shot at the crown and will have the benefit of continuity as he remains at Russian Time.

First year with DRS

GP2 has more than enough quality drivers in 2015 to justify its reputation as the leading F1 feeder series. How many of them will make it all the way to the top? That will largely be decided by how many places there are on F1’s worryingly depleted grid.

But if there’s one area where GP2 has seldom left fans wanting it’s the quality of the racing. Its closely-matched cars approaching F1 levels of performance have regularly served up excellent races, even at tracks which tended to see processional grands prix.

What a shame, then, that the organisers have lifted F1’s gimmicky Drag Reductions System and stuck it onto cars which clearly don’t need it to begin with. This hasn’t been done to ‘improve the show’ but out of a desire to make GP2 appear more relevant to aspiring F1 drivers. Formula Renault 3.5 has had DRS since 2012, but theirs is operated on a ‘push to pass’ basis, while GP2 will use the same proximity-based system F1 adopted in 2011.

GP2 should have heeded the words of its reigning champion Jolyon Palmer, who summed up its shortcoming two years ago:

“On some tracks DRS can be helpful but I think with Pirelli tyres you don’t always need DRS to improve the racing,” he said. “I would much rather see fewer overtakes but more wheel-to-wheel scrapping and drivers having to work harder to overtake”.

Unfortunately there seems to be little chance of that happening in GP2 this year. Hopefully that won’t stop the calibre of its competitors from shining through as it deserves to.

2015 GP2 testing pictures

2015 GP2 calendar

Over to you

Who’s your tip for the GP2 title this year? And will the addition of DRS enhance or detract from the racing?

Have your say in the comments.

GP2

    Browse all GP2 articles

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    Posted on Categories GP2Tags

    Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 84 comments on “GP2 has a great field – but it’s taken the DRS pill”

    1. Pierre Gasly and Stoffel Vandoorne are gonna show that, with Esteban Ocon, they are the two biggest talents in motorsport. Gonna be one hell of a fight. Gasly is so ridiculously quick but hasn’t got great racecraft so far, which Vandoorne should profit from. Don’t think the field is that strong otherwise, but much better than in recent years, where the champion was bound to be a 4th year paydriver. This year the champion will most likely be a proper talent.

    2. I’m not sure why so many claim that the DRS is somehow “gimmicky”. F1 and, for this discussion, GP2 is supposed to be about technology. I love the so called gimmicks because it shows what the Engineers can do if given the opportunity that makes their cars go faster. Let them create new ideas…

      1. GP2 is supposed to be about technology.

        Umm..I’m not sure if I can agree with that. GP2 isn’t the testing ground for talented engineers, it’s mainly to find F1 drivers of the future.

      2. Don’t get it either. If anything, the fast degrading tyres are a gimmick.

        Give them tyres that allow them to actually race and DRS to make it possible to overcome the aero loss from closely following another car.

        People often complain about how DRS ruins overtakes when in reality it’s actually the case of one car being on older tyres or a different compound which has a much more dramatic effect on laptimes.

        1. In addition to the reasons given below its a gimmick because it makes no attempt to solve the underlying problem, that of cars losing too much aerodynamic performance when close behind another car.

          1. There is no real solution for that. It’s been tried and didn’t work. DRS works fine for bringing cars slightly closer together.

        2. Or remove the DRS zone & “only car in the rear which able to use DRS” policy, so the drivers are free to activate their DRS in any chances, or even didn’t use it at all.

          1. That makes no sense at all. DRS is to overcome the disadvantage of driving behind another car.

      3. The gimmick is the way they use it, Only letting the car behind have it & only letting them have it in designated passing zones which often leaves the leading car utterly defenseless against been overtaking stupidly easily is gimmicky & not really in the spirit of what racing is about.

        I want to see pure racing where to pull off an overtake the driver behind has to use real skill. Pushing a button & getting a massive speed gain which makes it at times absurdly easy to pull off the pass is not racing, its not overtaking & its not interesting or exciting.

        As to your point about technology, What part of DRS or the way its used is advanced technology? Every car is forced to have it, Every car gets roughly the same speed gain & there is no room for anyone to innovate it because the whole DRS system is effectively a spec thing. Its not as if one team can innovate with a DRS system that works differently to the rest or that gives them a higher drag reduction than the rest or that anyone can use it differently to the rest with different drivers getting more out of it than the rest.

        You get within 1 second, You get to the passing zone & you hit a button.. How is any of that innovative technology or even remotely interesting from a racing point of view?

        1. Apex Assassin
          15th April 2015, 20:22

          The gimmick is the way they use it, Only letting the car behind have it & only letting them have it in designated passing zones which often leaves the leading car utterly defenseless against been overtaking stupidly easily is gimmicky & not really in the spirit of what racing is about.

          Well said! Let the DRIVERS DRIVE!!!

        2. No, that just shows that you don’t understand it. Unfortunately that’s pretty common.

      4. GP2 is supposed to be about technology

        As @wsrgo says, its core concept is as a blank, F1-style canvas for drivers to demonstrate that they are ready for the step up. The problem is it has been fulfilling that description rather poorly recently, with experience often ranking above talent, and team proficiency so vital to a title challenge only a handful of teams are able to offer realistic title prospects. And of course, the better a team performs, the more expensive a seat becomes.

      5. It’s a gimmick because drivers aren’t free to use DRS whenever they want. If it was just a question of drivers having all means available to go as quickly as possible, they’d be free to use DRS anywhere on the circuit at any time. I can see the point of having something to try to counterbalance the aerodynamic turbulence that often makes overtaking much more difficult, penalizing those who try to attack. But Jolyon Palmer’s comment nails it: the problem is that drivers end up mostly trying to pass on long straights in very obvious fashion, rather than using feints and careful planning of a move, and extreme control at high speeds/braking to try to get past a competitor.

        1. @David BR: +1, well said.

      6. it shows what the Engineers can do if given the opportunity that makes their cars go faster. Let them create new ideas…

        They have been given the opportunity or created new ideas- they’ve all applied a flap that is mandated by the rules. There is nothing innovative about it.

        1. Sorry, that should be ‘Have not been’.

    3. It will be an especially absorbing contest at DAMS this year as Gasly is joined by a former Red Bull stablemate Alex Lynn, who was dropped by the operation despite delivering the GP3 title last year.

      Par for the course I’d say, given that Lynn has the money to make it to F1 on his own. It was a good idea to replace him with Stoneman, who is still largely strapped for cash.

      1. @wsrgo – Lynn has a budget? Is it a familial fund or a sponsor? I was wondering who paid for the most expensive seat in single seater racing when he had just been dropped by Marko. If he does have a budget, one that is seemingly big enough to pay DAMS’ fees, then his F1 future is certain, regardless of his performance this year. He could even replace Massa.

        1. @wsrgo @countrygent @keithcollantine It is my understanding that Lynn was not dropped from the Red Bull Junior Team. He had enquired about future possibilities into F1 and was honestly told that it was rather unlikely that a seat would be opening up anytime soon. Which sounds logical given that Sainz and Verstappen have just started their respective runs at STR and Kvyat and Ricciardo are both very fresh at RBR too.

          Lynn then reached an agreement with Red Bull to leave the Junior Team, and found a position at Williams.

          1. @mattds – I understood that Lynn was told Gasly would be the focus of their attention in 2015 and that he ought to look elsewhere. Since his DAMS deal was announced prior to his Red Bull exit, and since he parted ways with Marko on good terms, I had wondered whether the DAMS drive was Red Bull subsidised, but if @wsrgo is right, and if Lynn has money, then that is highly unlikely.

            1. @countrygent this is what Lynn had to say about it:

              “My attachment to Red Bull has now come to an end,” said Lynn. “It was a very amicable decision for both of us.

              “Fair enough, they made their decision over appointing their F1 drivers and I knew that there would be no opportunity there to race with Red Bull in the next two years and that would be too late for me.

              “They appreciate that. They were happy for me to stay, but they said they knew they couldn’t stop me from chasing my dream,” Lynn added.

              This very much reads like Lynn took the initiative. He drew conclusions from Sainz and Verstappen being appointed as F1 drivers and probably being safe for at least two years, negotiated a deal with Williams and reached an agreement to leave the Junior Team.

              If he’s teling the truth (notice the part in bold) they wanted to keep him in the program.

            2. @mattds – But during the launch of the FW37 Lynn told a colleague of mine that Red Bull had decided that their central focus was on Gasly, and that realistic F1 prospects were minimal, and that therefore, whilst he had the option to stay, his exit was recommended. He is managed well, I think they realized the conundrum Red Bull will face if Gasly wins the GP2 title, since he has been auditioning for a job that isn’t available. Would they kick Sainz? I doubt it, and since the champion is not allowed to return to GP2, Gasly would be given the DTM/test driver sentence.

            3. @countrygent well, I won’t argue that there might have been more focus on Gasly. I’m just going against the notion that Lynn was dropped from the program. He could have stayed but opted not to. For the right reasons, I would say.

    4. TBH I think the WSR 3.5 are far better than the GP2 series, speed wise the GP2 got the upper hand but the 3.5 has got far better drivers theses days, it is enough to know that Nico Rosberg comes from the GP2 ….

      1. WSBR may or may not have better drivers (I think both usually have strong fields) but GP2 has always had far better racing in my view.
        I tend to find the racing in WSBR to be a bit dull, Overtaking always seems to be really hard & the racing in general always seems to be a bit processional.
        In GP2 however the racing has always been close, Cars have always been able to follow closely & overtaking has always been possible & exciting which is why I always look forward to GP2 races.

        it is enough to know that Nico Rosberg comes from the GP2 ….

        And so does roughly half of the current F1 grid including Lewis Hamilton.

        1. So true about the half of the grid coming from GP 2 (+1)

          Was not the best era of F1 when the overtakes where difficult ? the more difficult it is the more skills it requires to be accomplished , the more excitement it gives in my opinion, even if the overtakes have to be fewer, but their quality will be far better.

          1. DRS was introduced in F1 in response to over a decade of processional races, caused because it was extremely difficult to overtake. During those years, fans moaned endlessly about how boring F1 was to watch and how all of the passes were accomplished in the pitlane.

            1. @mazdachris But the problem of the difficulty in overtaking was already getting better thanks to the refueling ban.
              On-track Overtaking stats in 2010 were already up massively & were back upto what they had been pre-refueling (2010 featured the most since 1989).

              The Pirelli tyres & banning of the double diffusers & F-ducts for 2011 would have been enough to continue that trend, Adding DRS on top of that was not necessary.

              The problem I have always had with DRS is that it puts quantity over quality, Your getting a lot more passing but most of that passing is of much lower quality & therefore far less exciting to watch.

              Back when overtaking was harder you knew that every overtake that did occur was special, It was always exciting to watch & you knew it had occurred because of great skill from the overtaking driver.
              Now you get so much overtaking that it doesn’t really mean anything & a lot of it is of such low quality that its not even exciting.

              Look at Nascar for example, They often go on about how the plate races featured 80+ lead changes & they make a big deal out of that. But most of those lead changes were completely meaningless & I find an F1 race with 1-2 lead changes far more exciting with those few lead changes meaning far more.

              Quantity doesn’t always make something better & I’d much rather the quality & excitement of the overtake be put above how many there were.

            2. I object to DRS amongst other things because they made no attempt to solve the underlying problem, that of too much aerodynamic performance being lost behind another car. DRS is just a sticking plaster.

            3. If overtaking had become easy in 2010 you might want to tell that to Fernando Alonso. And then get out of the way quickly!

              But I agree, the change to wider front wings and taller rear wings seemed to have an effect, perhaps alongside the double/blown diffusers which ensured that the floor was working more efficiently. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution to getting rid of aero wake on high downforce cars. That’s not just an F1 issue, that’s something that affects all high downforce cars.

              But on DRS, I think at the moment the balance isn’t too bad. I think it has been too powerful in the past, but now it seems like generally it gives enough of a boost that the following driver can maintain a close gap and then potentially get alongside another car into a braking zone. We don’t tend to see that many instances now where a car simply romps past another one and it well clear halfway down the straight. I’d also say that in the past, when overtaking was very difficult, in the days of the V10s and the early V8s, a lot of overtaking came by virtue of differing power levels which to me, sits alongside DRS passes as ‘easy’ overtakes. If you’re passing down the straight with a massive speed advantage, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s because of DRS, KERS, or simply a good old fashioned extra hundred horsepower under your right foot. Yes we do see the occasional easy overtake. We also see plenty of thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles where cars go through multiple corners side by side. Arguably, those incredible battles wouldn’t be possible if not for DRS allowing the following car to get close enough in the first place.

              I agree, it’s not an ideal solution. But I can’t help but admit that the action on track these days is among the best I’ve seen in 20+ years of watching F1.

      2. @abdelilah

        TBH I think the WSR 3.5 are far better than the GP2 series, speed wise the GP2 got the upper hand but the 3.5 has got far better drivers theses days, it is enough to know that Nico Rosberg comes from the GP2 ….

        This will definitely not hold true anymore for 2015. With Vandoorne, Gasly, Lynn, Evans and Marciello in GP2 that’s a huge talent pool.
        In FR3.5 the big names are rookie (at this level) de Vries, Stoneman and Rowland. While these are good drivers (and I especially think Stoneman is a fantastic talent as well), GP2 has FR3.5 beat through sheer numbers alone.

    5. i stopped watching f1 regularly when it introduced drs as i simply hate the effect it has on the racing. watching 1 car breeze easily past a defenseless car because the driver behind could hit a button which gives him an unfair speed advantage is simply not the sort of non-racing that i enjoy watching.

      and this year i will no longer be watching gp2 for the same reason.

      the racing in gp2 has always been fantastic, if there was any series in the world that never needed gimmicks like drs its gp2 so bringing drs into gp2 is completely ridiculous.

      i’ll be getting my racing fix from other places this year & will not be supporting f1, gps, wsbr, dtm or any other series which introduces such artificial gimmicks.

      1. Bye

      2. watching 1 car breeze easily past a defenseless car because the driver behind could hit a button

        That’s because of the tyres. Not because of DRS.

        If you see two closely matched cars, DRS will help them attack. If you have closely matched cars with no DRS then you see no attacks.

        Breezing past another car only happens when they are the following car is already 2 to 3 seconds per lap faster than the one in front because of tyre differences. Even if the following car had no DRS he would still breeze past. It’s ridiculous to blame DRS for that.

    6. For 2015, GP2 has benefited greatly from the FIA’s new superlicense regime, with talent that would have otherwise been spread thinly across FR3.5, GP2 and GP3 now concentrated in GP2. The stunning prospect of pitting proven series winners like Vandoorne, Evans and Rossi against highly rated newcomers like Gasly and Lynn excites me more greatly than this weekend’s episode of F1. As with all great motorsport so much is at stake: for Vandoorne a GP2 title would prove he is the landmark talent some are beginning to rank him as, and for Evans, Gasly and especially Lynn it will be the final assault on the F1 dream. I will however be watching the knowledge that GP2 will also soon fall to the FIA’s monopolistic ambition amid the reintroduction of F2.

      And yet there is elephant in the room. If GP2 is capable of consistently reproducing the kind of racing we saw in Hockenheim last year, why, to quote Montoya, have we handed Picasso photoshop? The logic is made even less understandable when it is considered that in 2013, the first year of the new naturally-aspirated GP3 car, there was not one pass for the lead. But that misses the point, at junior level the focus should not be “the show” but teaching real racecraft to future F1 drivers. If Saturday’s race turns out to be a series of DRS shootouts, we can only pray that Domenicali learns the lessons in forging the concept of FIA F2.

      No training is required to push a button in an F1 car.

      1. Vandoorne a GP2 title would prove he is the landmark talent some are beginning to rank him as

        He is the next Belgian F1 driver. Already better than Nasr, Ericcson, Stevens, Merhi and Sainz. You heard it here first.

        1. I really didn’t hear it here first, @xtwl I saw quite graphically when Stoffel won his frist ever race in FR3.5 withstanding perhaps the worst flat-spot I have ever seen! I think you are missing Perez, Kvyat and Massa from that list…

          1. I was being modest, @countrygent. I wouldn’t say Massa though. Stoffel might be faster on one lap but 13 years of F1 experience don’t count for nothing…

        2. Too bad he was stubborn enough to reject Red Bulls offers, what a shame as he would have been easily in Kvyat or RIC seat.

          1. @abdelilah It was Frijns, not Vandoorne who turned Red Bull down; Vandoorne has been with McLaren since 2013 after Wurz introduced him to the team.

            1. My mistake, I had his face in my mind but I have mistaken his name for vandoorne, so I meant Frijns the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion.

    7. I don’t understand the problem that a lot of F1 fans are having with DRS, to me it’s a great improvement.

      For those who argue that DRS isn’t “fair” since the back runners gained an advantage, you guys need to know that running at about 1s at the back of another car gives “bad air”. Since air that comes out of a car flows in a different way to “normal” air, the aerodynamic of the car running behind is affected and therefore making the car not work at its highest level. So DRS fixed that! Furthermore if a driver passes another driver via DRS, he must make sure he pull a reasonable gap before the next DRS zone, or he will be passed back right again.

      For those who claim that DRS makes the race “boring” : I sometimes watch F1 races with my family, who know nothing about racing or F1. They don’t care about strategies and tyres and times,… they watch the race just for the overtakes. More overtaking means F1 can attract new fans, and fans keep the sport running.

      1. I take it you’ve never watched a GP2 race…

      2. I see where you’re coming from regarding a large element of the viewers wanting to see overtaking and agree. However, DRS isn’t the only way of making that happen.

        If the cars were less reliant on running in totally clean air then they could run closer together and overtake without the need for DRS. That should be where the focus is.

        1. The trouble is that that “If the cars were less reliant on running in totally clean air” bit is not going to be solved by any other means apart from standardized aero packages with hardly any aero effect.

      3. Complete the following survey:

        Did the watch either of the GP2 races in Hockenheim last year? (delete as applicable)

        a) Yes
        b) No
        c) Can’t remember

        If yes, did you enjoy those races? (delete as applicable)

        a) Yes
        b) No
        c) Can’t remember

        Have you watch the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix? (delete as applicable)

        a) Yes
        b) No
        c) Can’t remember

        If yes, did you enjoy this race? (delete as applicable)

        a) Yes
        b) No
        c) Can’t remember

        If you have indicated that you have enjoyed any of the aforementioned races, you have demonstrated that DRS constitutes little more than an unnecessary, gimmicky appendage of F1’s commercial ambitions. In conclusion:

        Did you watch the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix? (delete as applicable)

        a) Yes
        b) No
        c) Can’t remember

        If yes, did you enjoy this race? (delete as applicable)

        a) Yes
        b) No
        c) Can’t remember

        If you have answered “no” it must be assumed that you are also of the opinion that DRS constitutes “giving Picasso photoshop”.

      4. @ducpham2708 I think you’ll find that most of us are well familiar with the dirty air effect. Most of us would prefer to see aero reduced so the dirty air effect is too, rather than use a bandage gimmick to compensate that only takes the challenge out of it for the drivers, and has the fans thinking less of the skills needed to drive an F1 car. And F1 is not attracting new fans, so the gimmick is not fooling us. More passes at the cost of the integrity of the sport is not better, nor is it working.

      5. More overtaking means F1 can attract new fans, and fans keep the sport running.

        @ducpham2708 But since F1 introduced DRS viewing figures have declined & F1 has failed to attract new fans despite all this excitement that DRS has allegedly helped create.

        In some regions you can put the decline in viewers down to changing TV models, But the figures have also declined since 2011 in regions such as Germany where the TV model has not changed at all.

        There are plenty of fan poll’s, survey’s & comments around the new to suggest that a large portion, Maybe even the majority of F1 fans do not like DRS & that DRS has turned fans off F1. I know family/friends who were once massive F1 fans for many years who no longer watch because of DRS & while I still watch I have found that DRS has taken a lot of the enjoyment away in certain instances.

        Going back to the TV figures in Germany, Its been posted by somebody here & i’ve seen it also elsewhere mentioned that the 2 German F1 broadcasters (RTL & Sky) have done internal surveys looking at why German viewers are losing interest in F1 & that those survey’s put DRS (And the Pirelli tyres) at the top of the list of reasons why there turning F1 off.

        But moving away from F1 this article is about GP2 & anybody who thinks that DRS is good for GP2 has clearly never watched a GP2 race.

      6. I’m not embarassed to say that I’ve never watched any motor racing besides MotoGP and Formula 1. From where I come from motorsport isn’t popular (yet, I hope), other motosport shows are not broadcasted here. Thankfully to the unpopularity of the sport, I get to watch Formula 1 for free (with some ads) and that was also why I became a fan in the 1st place.

        Regarding my comment, I apologize for my irrelevance on the GP2 topic. I saw some comments above stating that DRS was “bad for F1” so I thought I should share my opinion on the matter.

        Maybe GP2 is good enough without DRS, I can’t know. But on the F1 topic, I think that cars are relying more and more on aerodynamic, I’m not arguing whether this reliance is GOOD for the sport, I’m just saying that it’s a fact. I doubt if you remove DRS there will be any overtakes at all! Just a few days ago we heard Nico screaming on the radio about Lewis “blocking” him, even though Lewis is way ahead, the bad air influence on the car is too big that without DRS a car behind can never catch the car in front, let alone overtaking.

        If DRS didn’t exist, why would drivers want to get near the car in front. They would try to stay at a reasonable distance and then maybe do something via strategies, for instance an undercut (or overcut). The only motivation of getting near the car in front is to get in the DRS zone so they can have more speed. Of course what I’m saying only applies to “same-same” cars, a Ferrari wouldn’t hesitant at getting near a Manor for an overtake.

        1. @ducpham2708 how long are you watching F1?
          You can find dozens of videos on Youtube with great overtaking action before DRS, when passing someone was really hard, even if you have a superior car.

          DRS killed waiting for the unexpected, trying to get that better exit from the corner or following your opponent lurking for even a small mistake. Check the pass Hakinnen did on Schumacher at Spa 2000, while lapping Zonta, one of the best overtakes of all time. It would not have happened in DRS-era Formula, Mika would have waited to use DRS and make an easy pass. Sure we have more overtakes, but they are by-the-book, boring DRS-aided moves.

          Secondly, DRS makes many alternative strategies impossible. When you are slower, you can’t defend against a faster opponent. So usually, using a strategy that will result in having worse tyres at the end of the race, will get you overtaken. Besides that, even great defensive drivers, like Button often give up when in DRS disadvatage. That way we have even less fights, and we lose some great defending action, which to me is equally impressive as the attacking moves.

          For me DRS has removed a lot of elements of the sport that I used to enjoy and each year I am wishing it gets removed. With “designed to fail” tyres, it’s useless anyway.

          1. I watched F1 before and after DRS, and yes there were great overtakes back in the days, but have you tried looking at it differently?

            Without DRS, stuck behing traffic would hurt even more than it currently is. Drivers would never go for a more aggressive strategy (like 1 more pit stop than the normal strategy) because he will lose too much time getting out of traffic that the advantage of having fresher tyres would be gone.

            It’s also about what’s fair, say a Mercedes is behind a Ferrari and the Mercedes is faster, but the bad-air may destroy the Mercedes’s speed advantage than therefore it couldn’t pass. This would contribute even more to the “same strategy for all cars” problem that we are having, why give up a position when it’ll be damn hard to get it back later, even with fresher tyres?

            F1 is not doing well but I doubt DRS is to blame. I remembered 2-3 years ago F1 fans were criticising Pirelli and its “designed to suck” tyres because it emphasizes too much on tyre usage and ruin the “good racing”. But after Malaysia there was a COTD praising Pirelli for making the race so amazing. I believe DRS still has the potential for good racing, just try to find the upside of it.

      7. I think here is wear all of you are missing the point. If you take the DRS away you need to reduce the Airo evicted to get rid of the bad air that comes of the car in frond. That means the car will be slower and every one will go one about how slow the cars are. What i have seen this year and most of last year is that the DRS does not have the great evict that it hadin previous. Take the lotus of Maldonado in the last race. Even with DRS it still could not get past the Mclarne and pull away even thow it had the best engine in F1 know. We still see brilliant over takes in F1. But the F1 fans of today culture is to complain about every thing. Even when they complain about some thing they have not done there home work or just ignore it because it does not suit them. Ppl complain that we have to restricting rules and that they do not want a spec car racing they want cars to be different and the FIA gave them that they complain because one team did better then the other, and don;t give me the story it is because other teams can’t catch up Ferrari has proven every one wrong. By next year well most probley have great seasons between Ferrari and Merc in F1. Just think what Merc would have done last year if they could have test as much as they wanted. We how have followed F1 long enough knows this is how it works. One team dominates for a few years and then we have a few great seasons till some one finds a way to dominate again. Thats F1.

      8. I think anybody on this site would know why F1 was introduced, and that most hate in despite that.

        1. *why DRS was introduced to F1

          1. And ‘it’ instead of ‘in’.

            I’m having a bad day.

    8. Real shame about DRS. It has not helped viewership of F1, in spite of the promise of more passes, like more passes at any cost was even a correct response or direction to go, so how they think this is good is beyond me. It is actually even worse news that they think drivers need DRS in GP2 in order to be better trained for F1…as in…DRS is here to stay. So we need to train drivers on how much easier life will be in F1.

      IMHO, we can’t count today’s drivers amongst the greats when they’ve got DRS, and beyond that it’s an exercise in tire conservation, with actual racing a rarity, actual passes not driver vs. driver but driver vs other driver handcuffed by dirty air even from 2 seconds back now and/or on terrible tires that they dare not race on for fear of making them worse.

      I just hope China was unique in how it treated the tires…how dirty air kept cars 2 seconds back or ruin your tires. If that is the new norm, that will be hugely damaging to F1, but I suspect their response will be more DRS zones and an opening front wing to compensate for tires that simply could be mandated to be made better, and the continued addiction to massive wind tunnel expenditure and aero downforce.

    9. Nice article. Like most of us, I am not a fan of DRS. But GP2 is not F1 and there is a good chance that DRS won´t be that bad in GP2 cars. I may be wrong, time will tell. But having followed GP2 action I feel that in this category the drivers always try very bold moves, not so much calculated moves like drivers in F1. They need to try to impress every race so that they can keep their F1 dream alive. Cars are also closer to each other when it comes to performance. DRS may result in just some more overtaking action but maybe it will not be that artificial. Overtaking in GP2 generally is a lot more easier than in F1. Well maybe “easy” is the wrong word but nothing else came in my mind. Maybe I am wrong and DRS spoils it all. I do also wonder why they did not try DRS in GP2 before bringing it in F1?

      1. @mattf1f – Why will DRS not spoil racing in GP2? Is a slot-gap not a slot-gap?

        1. I am not saying it will not spoil racing in GP2. But I remain optimistic that it might not look as bad as in F1. I tried to explain it in my previous post but maybe did not do that very well. Anyway lets try again. If you look at the grid positions after GP2 qualification and results the end of the race you can see that in the top 10 there are usually lot of drivers who started all the way back. This means that even without DRS theres a lot of overtaking, and because the cars are all pretty much in the same league, that in turn means they run closer to each other, and driver errors play more significant role than in F1, and when you add that GP2 drivers also tend to make more errors and they try to overtake in places where F1 drivers usually would not risk it (except for some of the hot heads), theres a good reason to believe that there should be a lot of overtaking outside the DRS zones. This is the reason why I want to believe DRS will not spoil GP2. It has not been tried in GP2 so it might work differently there. All we can do is keep guessing until we see it in action.

          1. @mattf1f – But isn’t what you’ve written proof that the Dallara GP2/11 slipstreams well already, and that with the addition of DRS this could become vastly accentuated?

      2. In theory DRS will have a bigger impact in GP2 because all the cars are the same so any speed gain from DRS will have a far greater impact & will therefore make said pass far easier.

    10. Putting DRS on GP2 cars is an awful idea. The end.

    11. Thought I should say, DRS made the Chinese gp exciting. Lots of battles that may never had happened without drs closing drivers up.

    12. Apex Assassin
      15th April 2015, 14:41

      DRS is the single dumbest thing in circuit racing today. It’s an artifice where none is needed. In fact i think it absolutely detracts from the spectacle of drivers racing.

      And I was thrilled to see Lewis say the same recently, joining the likes of Mika, Hulkenberg, Kubica, Schumi, and Vettel with an actual public statement on the subject!

      1. Well Lewis is one of the few F1 drivers who is actually really good at overtaking. So of course he would like it as hard as possible so he can really be one of the few.

        Still if, DRS overtakes are so easy, why isn’t Rosberg pulling them off on Hamilton for instance? Hamilton overtook Rosberg plenty of times.

    13. I think Jolyon Palmer nailed it – Pirelli tyres have proven to be beneficial for racing.
      I wonder if I’ll live to see the day when DRS disappears again.

    14. I must say that I do agree with the implementation of DRS into GP2. GP2 is the feeder series into F1 and it is supposed to teach drivers how to race and using DRS is a key importance in overtaking in Grand Prix racing today. While I don’t like DRS in F1, because it is in F1 it is logical to follow FR3.5 and implement it so the up and coming drivers are educated on how DRS is properly used.
      I just wish DRS was scrapped in F1…

      1. Whats to learn about racing with DRS?
        You get within 1 second, Wait to hear the beep in the FIA approved overtaking zone & then you press a button.

        The lower categories such as GP2 should be about teaching the young drivers how to race, How to overtake & it should be about allowing the best racers the opportunity to stand out above the rest just like drivers like Lewis Hamilton did.

        Making overtaking easier is not helping the young drivers learn how to race, Or how to overtake… Its just making them rely on the push of a button which will take away the skill of racing/overtaking/racecraft & make the drivers worse in that regard.

        There can be arguments made for DRS in F1, But there is no argument that can be made for DRS in any lower category in my opinion.

      1. Even Hungary is interesting in GP2

    15. Perhaps the new superlicense system wasn’t the best way of achieving it, but at the end of the day there’s a fantastic lineup of drivers this year in GP2. Most years I try and usually fail to keep up with each race, but with guys like Vandoorne, Evans, Marciello and Gasly I’d do well to track future stars like them.
      On a slightly related note, I never understood the appeal behind Alexander Rossi, his results don’t seem to hold up as well as the other drivers I mentioned. Is it just the American factor?

    16. Although I agree DRS is not needed on F1 or GP2 I do think it is a good thing GP2 adopts it. After all it is a feeder series to F1 and in the end should mimmick it as close as it can so drivers can get the full experience as soon as possible. The fact these cars are all equal makes it even more interesting to have DRS.

      Some also like to act like GP2 was constant overtaking but in the back there were always plenty of trains going on. Very good drivers who just couldn’t get past some on the reverse grid just because they carried that little less downforce already hoping for the reverse grid race to be their best opportunity at points.

    17. You know what, after several years of it, I can actually say that DRS is good for F1, and should stay. These cars are simply way too hard to follow and overtake in, and DRS is a solution. Is it the perfect solution? No, the closest to perfect I can think of would be reducing wing sizes and bringing back some ground effects. But it’s the closest we’ll get.

      1. Pirelli tyres are the solution, DRS is overkill.

        1. Pirelli tyres are what’s wrong in F1 today. DRS is the solution.

    18. The proper Red Bull colours look great, don’t they?

      Field looks strong as many of them have already been winners and frontrunners in Renault 3.5 – Nato, Yelloly, Stanaway, Sorensen. Hopefully the series can still propel some talent into F1 and not sportscars or Indy Lights (my advice: don’t win the championship) but Verstappen and Sainz are doing just fine, which may encourage F1 teams to look elsewhere.

      And it’s stegosaurus racing – look at the cars, they’re years out of date, even with the Dreadful Race Spoilers on. C’mon Domenicali, bring on Formula 2 and let GP2 die painlessly and with dignity.

    19. first of all, the grid composition is very good this year. the favourites were clear: Vandoorne, Gasly, and Lynn
      behind them would be Marciello and Evans as dark horses.

      will be rooting for fellow countryman: Haryanto
      I can’t believe it will be his 4th season already. If I were him, I would rue the decision to join Barwa Addax and EQ8 Caterham. both teams showed uncompetitive and lacklustre. two years of racing just gone that way. somewhere around top six and able to challenge for podium will be delightful for him. moreover, partnership with Artur Pic hopefully can be a good comparison.

      as for DRS, it was a great shame for spectacle point of view. but for the driver, it will be good to learn and familiarize with kinds of F1 stuff. my prediction: there would be more crashes caused by DRS, like misjudged braking point or else.

      hoping for excellent season!

      1. As a Belgian, I’m rooting for Vandoorne of course but I’m a big fan of Lynn too. Looking forward to the Gasly/Lynn batlle this year.

    20. You know what, after several years of it, I can actually say that DRS is good for F1, and should stay. These cars are simply way too hard to follow and overtake in, and DRS is a solution. Is it the perfect solution? No, the closest to perfect I can think of would be reducing wing sizes and bringing back some ground effects. But it’s the closest we’ll likely get. And as to artificiality, if it actually makes overtaking so easy, then why doesn’t every car just re-pass the car that passed them in the next DRS zone? They don’t because you still have to get a good exit and be close to the car in front. So is DRS perfect? No, far from it. But it’s what we’ve got, and it’s working pretty well.

    21. DRS is a gimmick, but however in F1 it’s more understandable.

      In F1 engineers try to improve their cars whole time and at the same time they may find ways to disrupt the air flow for the car behind. Some rule changes may be done to improve the ability for other cars to follow, but soon engineers make it again more difficult.

      However, GP2 is a spec series. Teams aren’t allowed to make changes to the aerodynamics of the car. This means that it’s up to the manufacturer (Dallara in this case) that cars are good for racing without any gimmicks.

      The current car is third generation of GP2 cars. Racing-wise first one (2005-07) was the best. Current one, used since 2011 is not as good as that, but better than second one.

    22. This should not be a discussion about DRS in F1, It should be a discussion about DRS in GP2.

      1. And along those lines, That image in the article of a GP2 car with its DRS open makes me really depressed :(

    23. I don’t like the DRS, this is reduce the values of this series.

    24. Ohh boy… Canamasas again

    Comments are closed.