Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

F1 better without “artificial” overtaking – Vettel

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel is against making the Drag Reduction System more powerful because he thinks it had made passing “way too easy” at some circuits.

The Ferrari driver ended the last race trying to pass Valtteri Bottas for the lead but had to settle for second place. However he doesn’t want DRS being changed to make passing easier.

“First of all I don’t think I’m in favour of increasing the DRS zones,” said Vettel.

F1 two seater, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
Spanish Grand Prix build-up in pictures
“I think we have been a couple of years ago introducing it to some races where it was just way too easy. It was great when you were behind because you just sailed past but that’s not the idea of an overtake”

Vettel said it’s “normal” to have more passes in some races than others but the lack of action in the Russian Grand Prix wasn’t just down to DRS.

“I think for many reasons in Sochi it was quite difficult to overtake. The tyres lasted fairly well so you were able to push whether you were in front or behind so there wasn’t much degradation helping you come with an advantage on tyres.”

“The track layout doesn’t make it very easy to follow close which we’ve seen in the past as well. Historically here the last corner makes it quite difficult to get really close for the straight line.”

Despite the frustrating end to his race in Russia, Vettel says overtaking should be difficult.

“Personally I would have loved to be closer and then try to do something but it’s also a challenge so you need to not just arrive and then driver past, or have some tool that puts you side-by-side,” he said. “You have to work for it, try different lines, do different things.”

“I think in Sochi I just arrived too late it was perhaps the last three, two laps where I was maybe getting closer. But before that it was exciting, for me, to chase him down to try and do something at the end. Obviously it would have been great if it would have worked. It didn’t, I was looking forward to it maybe as much as you were.”

“Some days it works and some days it doesn’t. I think we shouldn’t get into a window again where it’s artificial.”

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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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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    31 comments on “F1 better without “artificial” overtaking – Vettel”

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      11th May 2017, 15:24

      Maybe someone in charge can listen to a 4 X WDC??

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        11th May 2017, 15:59

        They didn’t when he said the V6’s sounded awful.

      2. More DRS zones is the ONLY way there can be more overtaking. Following cars lose 20% down force which translates to 2 secs a lap.

        Drs should be a catching aid, not a passing aid. Allow drs anywear , BUT when the following car is within a few tenths (say 3 tenths) he looses it. A following driver can gain some of that lost 2 secs a lap like this.

        Until Ross brawn and whoever else can come up with a non artificial way of increasing overtaking, this is the only way.

        Drs is artificial, but at least when u consider the 20% loss in down force (2secs a lap) from following, it compensates for a lot of the dirty air.

        1. A much simpler solution would be to have a much narrower front wing with a limitation on razor blade size and complexity. I don’t understand why this is all so complicated.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            11th May 2017, 17:48

            “But regulation changes are expensive!” the teams say

    2. Spot on!

    3. I swear the word “window” is used more regularly in F1 than it is on the Microsoft web page. It’s now on the same list as the words “ominous”, “for sure”, “potential” and “bwoah”.

      1. Indeed. If I may I’d like to add “dna” and “the show” to that list.

      2. Don’t forget caggressive’… in 2 aggressive =cocked up
        Not aggressive enough = cocked up

      3. *Obviously.

    4. Vettel is only saying that because he is finally in a car in front. Wait a few months when he is trailing and his tune will change.

      1. Yeah. Because he didn’t lose any points because of the inability to overtake at Sochi…

        Also, finally in front? Yeah, he’s had to wait so long after 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and a couple races in 2015 and 2016.

        1. @ Baron, Vettel is leading the championship. Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

          1. He spent almost the the entire race at Sochi behind other cars, so you have an unusual notion of what “in front” means.

          2. In Melbourne, Vettel spent the first half of the race following Hamilton, and once he got in front thanks to the overcut it was never really a battle for the lead. In China the Safety Car went against him, so he had to fight to make up the places and was stuck behind Kimi for a few laps despite clearly having the better pace. In Bahrain, Vettel was stuck behind Bottas who had a tire setup error. In Sochi, after being passed at the start, Vettel couldn’t stay close to Bottas.

            Next time you make a statement, perhaps it’s good to, you know, think about it?

            1. You guys sound perfectly reasonable and intelligent arguing over the semantics of what someone posted on a forum…

      2. Vettel was never in favour of DRS.

        1. Who is a fan of DRS? Majority are surely against it. Actually would love to see a poll to see who likes it and who doesn’t

          1. Joe Saward

      3. Kind of true. He really hated the formula back in 2014, 2015 and 2016…. which wasn’t all that different from 2012 and 2013. Suddenly he loves the new racing formula again. Maybe Seb just falls in love with the sport when he’s got a great car.

        1. “.. the formula back in 2014, 2015 and 2016…. which wasn’t all that different from 2012 and 2013.”

          Say what? In what way was 2016 like 2012?

        2. Yes, when things dont work for him he turns into a profanity filled whinning monkey.

    5. We’d have more overtaking (or at least more attempts at overtaking) if they relaxed or scrapped the rules requiring every engine and transmission to last several races.

      The way things are at present teams have a strong incentive to settle for whatever they feel is the best track position they can get. Why wear out your precious engine trying to catch the car in front of you if there’s a less than 50% chance of successfully passing him? That’s the calculus driving much of the tedium in current F1. In the old days when you could drop in a new engine when you felt like it you could “have a go”, or “race”, without any penalty.

      Vettel’s attempt to catch Bottas provided one of the few interesting points in the race in Russia, but arguably it was a mistake to even make the attempt. It took life out of a precious engine and always had a low probability of success. Raikkonen and Verstappen could certainly have driven faster than they did (look at Kimi’s fastest lap) but they and their teams doubtless saw doing so as not worth the downside of additional wear on car components.

      1. Scrape engine limit and customer teams will die even quicker. Removing the front wing could have a better effect on overtaking.

    6. Awesome press conference. Vettel really is my kinda driver.

      He is there to race, wants to drive the car hard on the limit and that is that. I am sure he would be content with a V12 and a narrow front wing from the 90s, if it was competitive.

      Overall racing is better, overtaking is harder. Is that bad? MotoGP sometimes has races where #1 qualifier also has best race pace and we can see lap after lap of him simply extending an advantage.

      In F1 cars that are fast are usually infront, if we want more overtaking we need to put faster cars behind, or reduce performance gaps…

    7. Indeed Seb.

      And also abolish blue flags to stop that driver, who is forever demanding that they be waved no matter how far behind he is, constantly moaning over the radio.

    8. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      12th May 2017, 0:02

      Couldn’t agree more Seb, you fans up top who disagree with his comments, try the new zip lines in the Fan Zone if real racing isn’t your thing. Or better yet, WWF wrestling big, they don’t have DRS, just a script.

      1. I get the impression they’re mad that Vettel said it, and not at the sentiment against DRS itself. It’s sad that there are people like that among F1 fans.

    9. The thing that I’ve been impressed with is that overtaking is harder. It’s not impossible, and indeed there has already been quite a few instances of cars being able to sit much closer to the car in front than in the previous few seasons.

      The tyres are allowing them to do that – last year if they tried that, they ruined their tyres after a few laps.

      The best part is that although there have been fewer passes, those we have had on track have required some real driver skill and imagination not just “I’ll wait and pass under DRS” . That has to be a good thing surely.

      1. When was there ever a fight for the podium where the driver simply waited for DRS? That never happened.

        Why do people keep bringing up pretend these ridiculous examples and then based on this ridiculous example pretend the whole of DRS is bad.

        The only times DRS looks bad is in places like Canada where a driver who is already 2 or 3 seconds a lap faster gets DRS and simply drives by on the straight. Sure then it’s overkill, but that was never a fight for position anyway. Drivers would still wait for the straight to make that pass. At the end of straights is where the majority of overtakes happens. DRS or not.

        The point is, there have been plenty of good overtakes that never would have happened without DRS. If DRS supposedly ruined the overtake it wasn’t a fight anyway, so who cares.

    10. Excellent post. I’m going through a few of these issues
      as well..
      Schweiz tröja

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