Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Drivers need 2s advantage to overtake at Melbourne – Ocon

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon explains why overtaking is so difficult at Albert Park:

What they’re saying

Ocon was one of several drivers asked yesterday whether the extra DRS zone at Albert Park will make overtaking any easier. He gave this statistic which illustrates why drivers find passing so difficult at the track:

It’s extremely hard [to pass]. It’s close to two seconds the overtaking, you need to be two seconds quicker.

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Comment of the day

@Graigchq has an alternative suggestion for how to implement DRS:

Why not reduce its effectiveness a little, then go back to it being driver-operated at any time, a pure mechanical device.

This is how the F-duct was introduced when McLaren worked out how to stall the rear wing easily, and managed to run a massive rear wing in Monza, and effectively turn it into a smaller one by stalling it on the straights.

Until, if ever, we have cars that can actually follow each other without overheating or losing downforce/grip, we’ll always need devices like this. This one came as an engineering solution to the main problem of downforce/drag, perhaps the Adrian Neweys of the F1 world should be free to think up newer solutions to this problem on their own?

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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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  • 22 comments on “Drivers need 2s advantage to overtake at Melbourne – Ocon”

    1. I think one of the things that really irks me about DRS isn’t just that I don’t like what it’s done to the racing but also the way it’s been used, I also don’t think DRS is the only or even the best option that was available.

      IF they do believe DRS is the best option (It isn’t & I’ll get to that in a bit) then there are better ways to use it.There should be no DRS zones, There should be no 1 second gap & there should be no ‘only for the car behind’.
      DRS should be available to everybody everywhere around the track, Give them x seconds or x uses of it during a race & let drivers use it strategically to both attack & defend. With the way it is now with zones & 1 second gaps there’s no driver input involved, There’s no strategy & in many cases there’s no way to defend & overtaking shouldn’t be that way, Especially not thanks to artificial circumstances.

      However IMO DRS never was the best option. When it was introduced in 2011 they had the V8’s that were rev-limited to 18,000rpm yet capable of going above 20,000 & you also had KERS.
      They should have gone with an Indycar style P2P system giving drivers more revs or more KERS boost using the same principle as U suggest above, Give them all x seconds or x uses throughout a race to be used anywhere for attack or defense. And that idea works with the current formula, A bit more turbo boost, Fuel flow or hybrid energy for x seconds or uses.

      That sort of P2P system has worked everywhere it’s been tried, It is far less artificial, Far more fair & produces far better racing than DRS ever has or even will & best of all it’s more in the hands of the drivers, Gives them more strategy options & doesn’t restrict most of the overtaking to designated passing zones.

      1. @stefmeister +1 btw.

        And while I’ll attract some spooks that act like I’m typing Cantonese, do not read over Stef his fabulous post right here.
        This stuff should be COTD. No Scooby-doo like toss-ups to generate discussion. Just lay the truth out as COTD and perhaps put up a poll ”Do you agree with this COTD”? Step 2: Send the result it to liberty.

      2. @stefmeister I don’t have a problem (and never have had) with the way its implemented.

        1. ‘It’s’

      3. Allowing boost increase or fuel flow increase would require the engines to be redesigned.

        I have not really watched indycar so I don’t know how well the p2p works. But imho it would be better perhaps if we got rid of drs zones and just let the driver use the drs once at any point on the track at any time they want except first 5 laps. Maybe even limit it to 5 drs per race and make lapped cars give free drs which don’t count against the 5.

        That way drs takes little more skill when drivers need to make the decision themselves and they get limited number of chances. Lapped cars should give free drs so the backmarkers don’t ruin the races. Plus it adds a tactical depth because if you play your cards right you can use the backmarker for defensive drs without it costing you a drs.

        Best thing is to reduce the downforce and drop the drs altogether but those take time whereas the drs rules could be changed at any time.

    2. Theo (@theodorium)
      23rd March 2018, 0:37

      Remember, it’s not DRS any more, it’s “DHL DRS Deployed”.

    3. You’ll never reach 2s when everyone is on a regular mix and Mercedes just burns away whole litres extra just because Renault wants to win themselves and not make half the grid WCC, while Ferrari just puts a whole damn second tank in the car, then fires James Alilson (yes he was fired indeed, for another reason then you’re told, the thing with his wife is very dirty story only a few folks in the paddock dare to honestly talk about) only to have him leave for Mercedes and tip Charlie the exact blueprint of the oil tank of Ferrari only for Charlie to immediately remove it during the Baku grid walk.
      This has been #spookstellingyoustuff
      Let’s have fun with this sweltering Aussie weather.

      On to COTD;
      Btw COTD is ridiculous; We don’t need DRS and the fact he still think tinkering with small things is what F1’s magic bullet is… that is pure ad-revenue ”someone” wants to attract here with the new season (Would be nice to not delete this post for once but just react honestly as we’ve seen with the GP this week, money is an issue here).
      The only reason F1 is so aero-heavy and PU-dependent now is because Alonso alone could’ve died 5 times already (watch the FIA Halo presentation), and the lawsuits would’ve brought the FIA in the most preposterous American-style lawsuits, just look at what Bianchi caused. So they said no to ground-effects. Even ”mild”-ground effects (so that Indycar-like crashes wouldn’t happen) are too dangerous for the law-department because the tracks will sue the FIA and win because the FIA doesn’t own the tracks, which I’ve been saying they should have been doing along with the FIM, so that they can buy and adjust more land around the circuits for better security measures (FIM and the FIA already work together on the tracks they visit both during a year, this is not far-fetched).

    4. Probably off topic but I think FOM and liberty should have licensed this for the f1 theme tune…

      Or maybe some of the broadcasters should use it for their programme intro starting at 1:53 till the end. It really gets my blood pumping. I wasn’t sure why it got my hear beating and why it reminded me of f1 so much but then it clicked: It has a similar melody to the intro to Geoff Crammond’s GP3 f1 game :)

    5. Totally off point, after watching the 1st hour of practice, either the engines are louder ( and higher pitched) or the microphones/TVtransmission are much better this year, pretty much like the amateur smartphone footage briefly provided before that old fart Buddy or Barney Whatsisname made them take it down.

      1. I was track-side in Melbourne 2 years ago and again today, and the engines were definitely louder today.

    6. I can’t really agree with the point of the COTD. Furthermore, I think there wouldn’t really be a point in going back to the usage of DRS being unlimited in FP and QLF sessions. The usage in those sessions was restricted to the designated activation zones for safety reasons after all. Also, its effectiveness can’t really be reduced, and secondly, it hasn’t even been that effective anymore since the introduction of the current engine formula.

    7. Movable aero devices are the way to go. Let all cars behind P1 use active aero.

    8. I would not support quotas either and I understand that “promoting diversity” is kind tough because F1 cannot fix social issues preceding it but F1 could at least go to schools/neighborhoods dominated by minority kids with little or no exposure to the sport and let them know they’re welcomed as long as they prove their value either as engineers, mechanics, marketing heads or drivers.

      When you’re a poor kid in a black dominated neighborhood in Paris and you see pictures of an F1 (or F2, or WEC, etc.) pit crew you could just think to yourself “that’s not for me”, without even needing a third party saying it to your face.

      F1 seems to believe that no active role should be played by them on that front and wait to see more Hamiltons and Wherleins prove themselves but I argue that making a small effort can have a huge impact. Go talk to those boys and girls who feel that’s not they’re sport and win their hearts.

      1. Hamilton’s comment is interesting because it isn’t how F1 appears to viewers. The drivers are diverse ethnically and nationally. The location and fans change every race. The sponsorship comes from around the world. I even end up watching the Spanish feed sometimes.

        That doesn’t mean what he says isn’t true. It is certainly possible the business is dominated by white men. But on balance F1 is way more diverse than many sports.

      2. What if you are latino and poor and watch f1? Black people for example are more interested watching nba than motorsports. Just because a kid feels like something is “not for me” it doesn’t mean the kid says so because the sport is racist. Interest in different sports is cultural. Nobody in northern europe watches cricket yet it is a huge sport around the world. If you are born in india the culture about sports is different than it is in north america, europe or africa. You grow up watching different things and as such you aspire to do different sports.

        Imho the lack of different demographics is nothing but a marketing issue. F1 is european sport with deep roots in europe. If f1 wants more african americans to watch it and participate then it needs to market the sport more to that demographics. But it is a two way street. If f1 wants more diversity then it needs to push to diversify their markets. And it isn’t that simple. F1 did not take off in india or china despite them having a race there.

        1. I think you’re talking a different thing man. F1 despite being a global championship is mostly centered in the UK and Lewis is English and knows the demographics of the sport, he walks into the factory every week and sees it.

          I don’t even think Lewis was trying to say the sport is racist, he just mentioned it lacks more diversity and this reality could be improved. F1 teams are massive operations and Lewis was looking beyond drivers – a very important part of the team but small in numbers overall.

      3. @jcost

        Do you think that poor white people have a great chance to make it in F1? Their lack of success is not so visible to people who only see race, not class, but it still exists.

        FYI, Wehrlein’s father is a rich guy who owns a factory.

        1. Unfortunately no. F1 should tell all those kids they can be there in different areas. Maybe rich drivers like Lewis could also help by granting scholarships to smart kids living in not so good places or even mentoring talented aspiring racing drivers from minority backgrounds or whoever comes from less affluent families.

    9. great picture of ocon. the halo may have an unintended effect of bringing the camera frame closer to the driver, more like in the 80’s & 70’s. somewhere along the way, the frame was enlarged to include all the sponsors and aero gizmo’s on the car.

    10. When is predictions championship opening?

    11. “One reason for its success in attracting people from a variety of backgrounds is NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity programme that aims to attract minority and female participants to the sport. No one is going to argue that the programme is about to change the face of NASCAR, but it is at least challenging its image as an all-white, all-male sport.

      If we’re going to continue seeing everybody who is “not watching on a TV in Africa” as a “white”, then diversity will never be possible.

    Comments are closed.