Brawn questions whether F1 needs DRS

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In the round-up: Formula One’s new motor racing manager Ross Brawn questioned whether the Drag Reduction System is good for the sport.

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@grammo likes the look of Ross Brawn’s approach:

Having worked in engineering for 30 years, first in technical positions then management, I’ve seen projects go wrong. It’s always the same.

The person [crucially] with the power makes a decision based on gut feeling, ego and politics. Despite anything those with detail knowledge may have said or probably didn’t so as not to offend that ego. Following an analytical process and numbers before making decisions is the best chance you have for a successful project.

Ross Brawn is the man for the job. I hope he has the energy to see it through.

Look at Moto GP five years ago there were only 16 bikes on the grid and they were in trouble. They came up with a five-year plan, stuck to it and are now going through a golden period. Teams are bidding for spots on the grid which is limited to 24 and public interest is increasing. My only fear for Moto GP is that a Bernie Ecclestone will be lured

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84 comments on “Brawn questions whether F1 needs DRS”

  1. WeatherManNX01
    25th January 2017, 0:12

    Could DRS as we know it be on the way out? Perhaps, I don’t think many will be upset to see it go.

    I see two options. First, get rid of it entirely.

    But there’s another option I would not be opposed to. Instead of getting rid of it, open it up and make it available just as it is in practice and qualifying. We want to see fast cars, right? Let it be used regardless of how close they are to the car ahead. This would allow the car ahead to properly defend and not guarantee an overtake, while a driver on his own can still put on a show with a little extra speed.

    Would it allow the likes of Lewis Hamilton to win a race by 100 seconds instead of 30? Perhaps. But if he’s winning by that margin anyway, what difference does it make?

    1. I think another option would be disabling DRS altogether in tracks like Montreal, Spa, Monza, Baku, China, Malaysia etc but keeping them only in Melbourne, Hungary, Monaco

    2. I’m not sure if free-for-all use would do much. My guess is that it would have the same ultimate effect as getting rid of it altogether.

      I disdain DRS as is, but I think the fundamental principle is worth something, with a significant tweak. What I’d like to see is the activation window be e.g. 5 seconds behind rather than 1 second behind, BUT have the activation turn off once the trailing car gets within e.g. 2 seconds. Cars would be in closer proximity to each other more frequently, inviting more opportunities to overtake, but the real skill bits of attacking & defending would be left entirely to driver skill.

      1. WeatherManNX01
        25th January 2017, 19:45

        Yes, free-for-all use would effectively be the same as getting rid of it, except that it has the advantage of reducing drag on the straights and making the cars a little fast. Perhaps those extra few ticks on the speedometer aren’t that big a deal to people; then just get rid of it. It was just an idea I had.

    3. DRS is, at the moment, a necessary evil. And I’m not sure I agree with Brawn’s characterization of it as “you push a button, you pass the car in front of you”. The DRS zones have been tweaked, I think, to the point where they make overtaking easier, but if you aren’t doing a good job following the car in front of you, DRS isn’t going to magically waft you past the car in front of you, nor is it going to allow the car you just passed to magically leapfrog you on the next lap.

      Time after time, we see a car struggle to pass under DRS, pull off the pass (with DRS), and then drive away from the car it passed. If DRS is so overpowering, why didn’t the passed car immediately re-pass on the next lap? After all, many circuits have not one, but TWO DRS zones, so if the only difference between performance is DRS, they should be passing each other every other lap.

      But no– usually, once a car gets past someone, even using DRS, they tend to drive away from whoever they just overtook, suggesting they were faster, but unable to pass without DRS.

      The trick is to allow the cars to race closely on the high speed sections, while still maintaining high aero grip in the corners– And you can’t do it under the current aero/mechanical rules of F1– not without seriously compromising the currently known laws of physics and aerodynamics.

      F1 needs underbody effects, and more stable suspension going through corners, to remove the reliance on giant front / rear wings. So naturally, we get more grip for 2017, but (theoretically) less suspension stability, and MORE aero!

      At least everyone loves a parade. :)

      1. I agree grat about DRS being a necessary evil (at least at some tracks). I do HATE that its used at Montreal or Spa for instance. But……

        I have a sneaking suspicion in 2017 we might be actually praising the fact that DRS still exists in some cases. Yeah its a terribly non-elegant “band-aid” to the turbulence problem, but all it really does is offset the disadvantage of happening to be behind another car. Consider that oval racing often gives the driver behind a huge advantage instead. So what is the “natural” amount of advantage or disadvantage to be had?? There is no right answer.

        There’s been a good handful of times since 2012 that I recall feeling somewhat relieved that DRS was there.

    4. Why not use DRS like DTM? using it 7 times a race and you decide where and when

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        25th January 2017, 15:24

        I like this idea, give them a set number on pushes, and they can decide if they need to push-to-defend in some scenarios as well as to overtake.
        It’s good technology and should remain on the cars, but with a format tweak that means it doesn’t give an unfair advantage

      2. I like this !

      3. This is like Indy where they have a specified number (10?) of “push to pass (or defend)” options over the course of the race.

      4. I think DRS should be removed and keep only Kers, limited to a certain number of seconds (e.g. 120 seconds) during the entire race, at a driver’s will.

      5. That’s the right way to do it. This, or not DRS at all.
        I have no idea why they went whith this only-after-a-car-and-in-certain-parts-only system they’re using. Does somebody know?

    5. I think a better approach would be to enable DRS within the 1-1.5 second window but not have a limited area on track where it can be used, possibly giving it limited number of uses akin to DTM or the push to pass in Indycar.

      Ideally though, I think it should be gotten rid of.

    6. DRS only ever remotely worked well when paired with KERS. A driver could use his KERS to fight back against DRS, but was then disadvantaged by the lack of KERS at other points.
      Still an unfair disadvantage, but one that could be countered the some degree by cleaver use. Defensive drivers could actually use KERS strategically and we could see what they were doing.

      The change to standard ERS and the hidden management of it ruined this and DRS became the one trick pony that it is.

      I hope F1 is rid of DRS next season (then all lower formula follow too)

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        25th January 2017, 14:35

        Agreed. We need a return to KERS

      2. DRS was designed for a reason. Brindle said it right when he said F1 cars do not get a benefit from being behind, I like bike racing or even NASCAR to some degree where you get an advantage from slipstreaming. Instead current cars, and I imagine the ’17 cars despite being faster will suffer the same problem, are faster in clean air, and if you are following then you have a disadvantage instead of an advantage.

        The rule makers need to come up with some way of giving an advantage to the car following another. DRS was one solution, but not a perfect one.

        My solution? Single plane wings. No multiple elements, front or rear. Want low drag? Run low angles and less downforce. Want lots of downforce? Run big angles with more drag. Plus less cost for the teams. What difference to the look of F1? Nil.

        May not work but it’s worth a look.

    7. @b4lr0g Monza isn’t one of the circuits where DRS has been sort of OP at times. Only Montreal, Spa, and Baku from the current circuits TBH.

    8. petebaldwin (@)
      25th January 2017, 12:47

      Personally, I’d limit DRS to 5 uses each and let them use it whenever they want (including quali)

      It means DRS is there when it is needed but can be used to defend, to attack or to take pole. It’s fair to everyone and will add some variables that involves timing and skill to make the most of.

      DRS is a really cool technological advance but it’s being used in a horrible way that ruins races.

    9. And furthermore, DRS is pretty ineffective at most circuits these days and has been since 2014.

    10. What about keeping DRS and the zones but only allow activation if the following car is 2 to 10 seconds behind. The leader would be pushing to maintain a gap but you wouldn’t have an artificial over take. The driver behind would have to push to get into range but then would be able to close. Then you are all on your own for the pass.

    11. Get rid of DRS zones and limit the use of the device to a number of times per race, regardless of being within one-second distance of a leading car.

  2. I’m trying so, so hard not to get carried away with my optimism for a post-Bernie F1. You’re not making it easy for me, Ross!

    1. A few days in a row with good news.

      The drivers seem pleased with the cars.
      Bernie moves out
      Brawn appointed as technical director
      A promise of a better approach to the fans.
      A few good signs from McLaren (hate them or love them the sport needs big teams)
      Now this DRS news.

      We are not used to this. Tomorrow what? Manor manages to find a buyer?

      Is this reap life, or just fantasy?

      1. *real

        An edit button also?

    2. Same here, Jacky, same here.

  3. Ross Braun is a hero! His love of the sport may save F1 from itself. I am greatly encouraged.

  4. Derek Edwards
    25th January 2017, 0:46

    Bernie Ecclestone was still sending telegrams as recently as 2008? Strewth – no wonder he had no idea how to harness social media…

    1. That’s a metal plaque.

      1. …of a telegram that was sent by Bernie in 2008

    2. It may be old fashioned a telegram, but you have to admit it’s a nice gesture, a more personal thing than a twit. Is the man itself, mr f1, congratulating you for that achievement.

      1. Yeah I suppose, but the actual message was pretty brutal- even if entirely accurate!

        1. I think the message was meant to be sincere.
          The phrase everything will be “downhill from here” means “easier from here”. It is referencing to cycling. Uphill is hard, but then downhill is easy.
          Although as it turns out the opposite was true and he never won again, so it seems like the suggestion was that his career would go downhill (negative).
          Its pretty funny tho!

  5. There’s so much hope surrounding the change in leadership in f1. I do agree with Ross Brawn on everything and I am sure Liberty isn’t afraid of the manufacturers that said, we can still be afraid of liberty. F1 is still great and still a place whereby the best win. Liberty can make “f1 great again” or may turn f1 into a show rather than a sport, that’s where the profit is, TV. Bernie did Tv but in the end f1 was still manufacturer driven. F1 did suffer greatly with the sale to cvc and the bureaucratic delays on the last couple concorde agreements. F1 slowed down in responsiveness, yet f1 did survive the loss of tobacco and the big crisis.
    Seeing f1 change leadership when it’s about to change regulation makes me wonder if there was an attempt to usurp the people responsible for the hype that’s around, it’s like Mercedes just before 2014, or McLaren now. When things start to appear to be on the up someone tries to steal the laurels.

    On 2017 I think Ocon is right, overtaking in 2016 was better than in 2015, that small nose change did improve racing but I don’t think the changes on the wing and diffuser are going to compensate for the extra aero and turbulent air.

    On cotd, motogp was getting more and more technical, that coupled with high costs meant that only Honda had both resources and expertise to develop their bikes, yamaha fought brilliantly and Ducati used the vast resources of the Vag group. After suzuki and kawasaki collapsed, they mocked up the 2016 rules, focusing on slightly lower costs, based on the introduction of f1 style standard ecu’s, testing and an increase on engine allocation restrictions and also Michelin’s return. On the face of it the 2016 rules have been successful, Suzuki came back and won on their 2nd season back, and KTM is coming, Aprilia is surviving but after in-dept analysis the season was much like the previous 15 seasons, it was the new tyres that made the difference, for the first time in a while these tyres were not tailor made to either Honda or Yamaha but more of an unknown quantity. The very top guys, as in the past 15 years are going to dominate, deservedly but they hurt the show. As ever Honda is able to out develop, so in an effort to understand the new ecu’s only Honda had enough resources to re engineer their drivetrain in-season in order to make the traction control work properly turning their season around. The new winners won on mixed conditions it just happened to be that past seasons were not rainy at all so new winners were scarce, Vermeleun Lemans springs to mind. The only dry race wheel to wheel new winner was ducati at Austria which only happened because the ducatis are by far the most powerful bikes. The headlines on Motogp are much like f1’s in 2012 and early 2013 a lot of winners but not that great races, often motogp feels underappreciated they have a go at f1, but in the end both have evolved to much of the same issues.

    1. @peartree It’s as if the old adage of ‘throw as many engineers at a problem and they’ll all come to the best, same solution’ holds water across disciplines.

  6. I thought that with the lower rear wings which will create less drag DRS will have some of its easy overtakes negated as it will be less of an advantage. However I do feel rather than get rid of it all together it would be better allow driver size to use it any time, this would create an element of driver skill as it would be more of an advantage to those who can open it soonest. Also making cars faster in a sraight line but no quicker through the turns would increase braking zones hence provide more opportunities for overtaking

  7. Be still my beating heart… you better not just be teasing Ross Brawn, if you’re gonna get me going like that you best be ready to put out, knowhatimsayin.

  8. Actually, Mercedes didn’t win 8/59 races, not 5/59

    1. Mercedes didn’t win 8/59 races, not 5/59

      You lost me there..
      did they or did they not?
      And noticing i already missed the notation, i am left confused ;)
      5 years, 59 race wins?

      1. @seth-space Of the 59 races since 2014 began, Mercedes have won all but 8 of them.

        1. Thanks! Confusion solved ;)

        2. In the words of Stephen Fry, “he was either mad or both”.

  9. Now that bernie is gone maybe whiting could just leave as well…

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      25th January 2017, 12:47

      Why? What is your thoughts for that mate?

      1. He thinks drs is great racing. He is probably the person behind the stupid double drs idea as well. One drs detection zone, two drs activation zones like canada. He is in charge of enforcing the rules which was a complete joke on last season. He also inspects tracks and seems to be one of those who wants to make all runoffs into big tarmac zones so cutting is easy. He is not just checking the circuit when it is done. He is on the team as soon as the designing of track starts. And when drivers cut a course and gain time he comes out and says cutting the track is ok if the safety car comes out afterwards and takes away your benefit.

        He was also part of the group who were deciding on the rulesets for the hybrid engines. Ruleset which have been complete failure in every respect. Charlie was also one of the lead figures in the spectacle of banning radio messages. He was probably ok giving jenson and mclaren a penalty for the team telling him he has a problem with brakes. I think he has pretty much backed and agreed with ecclestone at every turn when a kneejerk rulechange has been put into words.

        And the only reason he has his current job is because he is best buddies with ecclestone.

        1. @socksolid I know that some people have criticized Whiting for some things, but this diatribe I think is quite unfair and doesn’t take into account his reasoning for certain decisions, nor does it highlight all the good things he has done in F1 over the years. I don’t see anything from any of the commentary regarding BEXIT from those within F1 and quality F1 media, saying that hopefully Whiting is next, other than from you.

          1. I’d guess people like you are so focused on seeing bernie as the all the evil that is in f1 that you are willing to completely ignore the other people who not just did all what bernie asked but also agreed with him. But when asked charlie has imho proven that he is part of the problem. It is undeniable that he is best buddies with mr e. Nobody denies that but that alone doesn’t make him a problem. What makes him a problem is his reasoning. The exact thing you think somehow absolves him.

            On drs:
            “I’m a great fan of it” and
            “It still requires extreme skill from the driver. It is not as if it’s turn on, overtake, go, done.”
            Brawn seems to think this is pretty much nonsense as well. Sadly I can’t find the article where charlie pretty much says nobody cares how overtaking happens as long as it happens. He has absolutely 0 interested about the quality of the overtaking. Just quantity. And drs gives just that. Endless amounts of completely forgettable button press position changes.

            It is also kinda easy to read the various opinions and agree because on the surface ALL people say reasonable things. Literally 100% of all people including bernie has said there is an issue with prize money distribution, cars should be able to follow others better, there is a need for better cockpit protection or whether f1 is even in good shape. Those opinions are irrelevant because everyone agrees. What matters is how they are willing to solve those issues. And charlie’s ideas have been junk. Radio ban, double points, drs. His mexico corner cutting logic was bizzarre beyong belief. F1 is better off him. Bernie is not the problem in f1. He is just part of the problem which is that the show is ran by old people who are completely out of touch with the fans of the sport.

  10. You know- what I really don’t like about these modern cars is how much of their grip comes from the aerodynamics. It’s probably around 70-75%. That is probably one big reason why F1 cars can’t really pass if they don’t have DRS- with that kind of performance, the cars need to be operated rather than driven. The less downforce, the better, I say. Someone like Ross Brawn probably understands that much better than most people.

  11. Personally I love the technology of the PU’s almost, 1000hp out of a 1.6L without atmospheric rev is absolutely amazing granted the hybrid systems account for a portion of that. The control and efficiency systems that will have been developed for this generation of engines will have recurring usage for on road vehicles for years to come… in other news, in MotoGP Ducati have patented a variable exhaust outlet, imagine what Newey could do with that!

    1. @ Ross

      granted the hybrid systems account for a portion of that.

      I wouldn’t consider this a diminishing factor. The hybrid systems are used to take energy away from the car when it doesn’t need it, and then deploy that recovered energy when it matters the most.
      The bottom line is: Whenever a driver floors the throttle, his car accelerates at a rate that dwarfs anything the sport had seen before.
      These are truly exciting times.

      1. Completely agree, I think the hybrid systems, the charge and discharge rates of the units, and the efficiency in which they recovery previously wasted energy is nothing short of genuinely amazing. I only noted the systems as I didn’t want readers to assume I had included these recovery systems in the 1000hp statement :) .

    2. The 1000hp is just a peak figure that the car doesn’t even achieve every time the driver gets flat on the throttle pedal. All of the engine is gps controlled so engineers can choose how much energy is deployed at certain parts of the track. Which means the 1000hp is only used at the beginning of the straights when the car has driven out from the previous corner. Technically very complex and nice but for racing it is just dull as dishwater. And fuel saving and battery recharging. How exciting!

      Back in the day when an engine had 1000hp (or more) it really meant it had 1000hp everytime then driver floored the pedal. The 2005 cars could get their 900hp+ every single time all the time when the driver asked for it. In every single way the 2005 engines were far more impressive. Faster around the track, more real horsepower, great sound. Cheaper as well. Only fuel consumption is a negative.

      Now it is all decided by a computer. Now the 1000hp number is just false advertising. Most of the time they are hardly getting even 700hp I’d imagine.

      1. I’d imagine

        So, this is all asumption right @socksolid?
        Anon deconstructed that mythical 1500bhp number from the 80s some time ago.

      2. They were 1000hp and they blew up after 310km, if the race engine even made it that far… The technical brilliance in the current PU’s has no comparison in automotive history. If you want ancient engines that burn fuel with reckless abandon and atmospheric decibels, maybe stick to NASCAR.

  12. I think regardless of it’s benefits, it’s proved sufficiently unpopular enough that it should be scraped.

  13. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    25th January 2017, 8:12

    I hope Ross phoned Bernie just before he was shown the door just to say ‘It’s not personal Bernie, this is business.’ 😂.

  14. I will be utterly, utterly delighted if Ross Brawn is the catalyst for DRS’ expulsion from the formula. I have detested it since day one, and I might even fire off the lonely party popper–a hangover from New Years–sitting on my mantelpiece if the day comes when it is cast off.

    1. @newfangled I can’t wait until ‘The DRS Years’ becomes a thing. Truly awful period of F1 and i fully expect DRS to ruin the racing in 2017 as well. Roll on 2018 – Can’t wait to finally see F1 change for the better, for once.

  15. My wish would be to lose DRS (although some good suggestions here about tweaking it) but most of all, PLEASE, normally aspirated engines! I don’t think, with road car technology heading down the ‘autonomous’ route, that f1 needs worry itself so much about being relevant, since it is likely be be less and less so. I think it needs to accept it is primarily entertainment and even, yes, ‘sport’. Perhaps it can find its way back to being breathtaking live as it once was? That’s my hope.

  16. I´m in favour keeping DRS, and now more than ever, if it´s something that i don´t like is processions, and in a year that tyre degradation isn´t a factor and downforce is much higher than before, without DRS you won´t see overtaking at all.

    Going back a few years when we saw races with 7 or 8 overtaking manouvres F1 was really dull. This new era brought perhaps a few more overtaking than necessary, so it may need some tweaks, like reducing the lenght where they can use DRS…

  17. ”another race in the US, citing New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas” – Should a 2nd US race be added then I’d prefer Indianapolis to be the venue over any temporary circuit, and furthermore, regarding the cities mentioned: I can’t see a race in Las Vegas actually happening primarily due to the number of casinos there. I just don’t see that as a realistic option. I see it as the least realistic option out of those four cities from the logistical point of view.

    1. All of these locations have current NASCAR and Indy circuits, so temporary circuits wouldn’t be necessary…

  18. Shame for that one article where Horner blasts his bosses horn about how having superb technology engines is somehow less worthwhile for motorsport than having incredibly complicated aero you cannot see and no one is really willing to show of.

    I think the technology is great. And it DOES do a lot to entice manufacturers to be part of the sport as well as helping along development of road vehicles. I like complicated aero too, but only if we can actually see it.

    So what we really need is that the sport shows us more of what they are doing with the technology and the aero, as well as showing some things it inspired (even if that is things like improving procedures in OR to help save lives, or improve how well luggage moves through an airport or ridges put on refrigerator compartments in supermarkets to keep things cool and save energy).
    It would open up a whole new range of content to bring to viewers, it would open up a boatload of PR opportunities for sponsors (and even promotors, if they get to show a discovery channel like “how do we build up the Baku race in less than 2 weeks” documentary) and it would really make it far easier to interact with the sport.

  19. While I agree with most of the COTD, a point worth noting is that UK viewing figures for MotoGP have collapsed since it moved to pay TV, and after a lifetime of following the sport, I haven’t seen a full race since they moved to BT Sport, and didn’t even bother with the highlights last season.
    When it was on BBC and Eurosport they were getting more than 1.5 million viewers watching live, BT gets less than half a million viewers, with a few hundred thousand watching highlights on ITV.
    Even given the pitiful state of F1’s TV ratings, I can only see them going down once it moves to an exclussive deal with SKY in the UK, and no matter how much the new owners improve it, I will never pay for SKY Sports just so I can watch F1 as it’s just not worth the cost.
    So unless Liberty are going to renegotiate the TV deals, they’re going to be losing a significant number of viewers once the exclussive deal with SKY starts, which may be fine from a short term financial perspective as they make lots of money from the SKY deal, but where will it leave the sport in 10 or more years ?

  20. Give Ocon a 10-place grid penalty in Melbourne for that comment (public whingeing, failing to promote his sport). Then we’ll see if he can make it interesting for us.

  21. I think I won’t mind DRS being used like F-duct by everyone.

    But as long as the current implementation is no longer used, it should be an improvement.

    1. I think the same, let everyone use it when and where they want to.

  22. I’m no engineer or so but 2017 F1 cars are gonna punch a bigger hole with the bigger downforce, right? Shouldn’t that mean that good old slipstreaming will have a bigger effect and that DRS might be unnecessary?

    1. If the tracks where only made of one long straight sure. The problem is that the big hole punched by the car in front gives you no areo in all the turns so you cant be close enough to slipstream on the straights.

  23. Evil Homer (@)
    25th January 2017, 13:11

    I am actually pretty pumped for all of this. BE on the exit, a great tenure Mr E, albeit 10 years too long.
    New faster cars, wider tyres, new owners in, Ross Brawn back, maybe no DRS, times are great!

    And, before everyone thinks I am getting ahead of myself, yes, maybe, but we have some changes in F1, BIG ONES, so lets us F1 fans run with it for now before everyone gets negative again. I have never seen a sport so negative about itself (inside & outside the Paddock).

    I think these guys will bring us back to the ‘Golden Years of F1’

    But really the Golden Years depend on your age and how your driver was doing, right? I was 12 when Ayrton won in 1988- so loved that period with Alain (funny if anyone has read Alonso said he thought the Senna/Prost era was boring but asked what era he would like to drive in was the 80’s)

    Michael fans 2000-2004 I suspect, or if an real old school you may love Hunt in 1976.

    I have been following since a kid, still love it, defend to my mates I get to watch, when we do get that bloody boring race, but its still the best sport I think! New times (hopefully) lets embrace it F1F fans :)

  24. Michael Brown (@)
    25th January 2017, 14:40

    Get rid of DRS, bring back a more powerful KERS

    1. @mbr-9, what do you mean, bring back a more powerful KERS? KERS still exists (it’s just called an MGU-K now), and it is more powerful than it was in the past.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        25th January 2017, 21:44

        Driver-controlled KERS

        1. @mbr-9
          There is driver controlled KERS already, as has been explained, it’s called MGU-K, is controlled by the driver and is more powerful than the old KERS system. There is also MGU-H which is charged by the heat from the turbo/ICE and runs in syncs with the ICE.

  25. No, Ross, we don’t want DRS. We never did. Get rid of it.

  26. I am still wondering how will Brawn and Todt work together in this situation. The ‘owner’ of the F1 is the FIA and Brawn has nothing to do with making and enforcing sporting and technical rules.

  27. I’ve always said that the best way to implement DRS is like how they implement the Push-To-Pass system in IndyCar, where each driver has a limited number of uses during a race, but it can be used anywhere.

    This would still allow for drivers to be able on overtake on circuits where overtaking is trickier than normal, but add more of a tactical element to it where a driver can either choose to use them early to get himself up the field, or save them for later in the race if they are in a position where they are chasing the leaders down, who in turn may or may not have enough ‘uses’ left.

    If each driver had, say, a maximum of 10 DRS uses per race, or 15 that can be used across qualifying AND the races, then there is also an extra tactical element to be had.

    DRS could still work in F1’s new era, but it’s use is all too obvious in terms of we can see when it is being executed.

  28. DRS is a hard question. Of course it has advantages and disadvantages. I think the problem is how F1 uses it nowadays. Drivers could use it (only) when they are within 1 second and maximum 2 times per lap. I think this a wrong way and often kill hard overtakes/battles.
    I think it would be better if drivers could manage it and they would have the possibility to use it X minutes/race or X times/race. It would be a new tactical element of drivers.

  29. I think that DRS should stay in F1 but the usage should change. DRS should be deployed immediately after the corner and should close at the middle of the straight, so the car that follows to be able to regain what has lost during the corner due to dirty air. Then after DRS is closed the drivers can fight regularly with the help of slipstreaming for the remaining of the straight

  30. I have always wondered why F1 ended up introducing DRS? What triggered the need for this unnatural gimmick? Some point to increased downforce-levels and better brakes.

    That might be part of the reason, but I think there’s something else that has been instrumental in creating the need for DRS. The strict regulations mean that the cars are pretty similar.

    The worst car to pass is your teammate because his car has the same strenghts and weaknesses as your car. That means it’s difficult to exploit the other cars weakness as you have the same weakness. Since the regulations are so specific you will basically have 20 cars with similar strenght and weaknesses (of course there are differences between teams) that makes overtaking difficult.

    In the past when regulations were less soecific and intrucive you had totally different philosofies which created cars with vastly different strenghts and weaknesses. Then you didn’t need DRS as one car could exploit their strenght at certain parts of a track to pass a car that had their strenght at another part of the track. When all cars share similar traits that is no longer the case.

    Let innovation rule in F1 again, then we don’t need DRS anymore.

    1. @Kimiwillbeback Your opinion is shared by many, however the problem is that freeing up innovation drives up costs and therefore ensures F1 stays as a game of he who has the most resources wins. It’s already pretty much that now, and better money distribution may help heal that somewhat, but overall the ‘have’ teams will always prevail.

      DRS was brought in because F1 decided there needed to be more passing due to their aero downforce addiction causing processions.

      I do hear what you are saying about differences in cars creating passing, but innovations tend to get copied and there tends to be a convergence of performance amongst the cars especially with stability in the rules.

      I’d just as soon have the top 6 or 8 cars close in performance and able to race closely with a proper mechanical grip to aero grip ratio, so that we are seeing the top 6 or 8 drivers duking it out on a fairly apples to apples basis so we see who actually is the better driver…and no DRS available of course.

  31. Don’t think we need drs on long straights as the more powerful car will overtake if its long enough. Like in Austria a lot of overtakes happen up the hill where there’s no drs. I guess we could keep it for tracks with shorter straight tho

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