Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

DRS will do more to aid passing than new front wings – Bottas

2019 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas believes the increased power of the Drag Reduction System this year will have more of an effect on racing than changes to the front wings.

The new front wing rules introduced for the 2019 F1 season are intended to allow cars to follow more closely. But rear wing dimensions have also been increased, making DRS more powerful, which Bottas believes is having a more significant effect.

Bottas was asked during last week’s test whether he’d tried running close to another car to assess the difference the new wings are making. “I’ve only been following like properly maybe one lap around and behind only one car not multiple cars,” he said.

“So while I felt it felt a bit better, a bit easier to follow, you still do feel that effect of losing downforce because the cars do have a lot of downforce. No matter what when you’re in turbulent air you lose the downforce, even though the front wing is more simple.

“But I feel it’s a bit better – it just felt a bit more consistent. Like the car felt predictable still following other car. So I think that’s good.”

However Bottas said he noticed a bigger difference from the larger DRS flap.

“The bigger effect is the maybe the DRS and the cars being more draggy, more tow effect on the straights. So for sure it’s going in the right direction. It’ll be easier to pass if you have the pace.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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15 comments on “DRS will do more to aid passing than new front wings – Bottas”

  1. So more artificial overtake moves. Might be interesting in the midfield

  2. They should probably adjust the DRS zones now, and on some tracks maybe remove them altogether. Just imagine Monza or Baku with DRS and these bigger flaps, it’s going to be too easy to overtake and speed off in the distance. Heck, the Baku straight is longer than some highways in my (eastern-European) country.

    1. My opinion as a couch/playstation expert is that they should put DRS zones but not in every straight of a circuit. The reason is simple: you set your car up taking into account both slow and fast sections, so it’s a mix of high and low downforce. If you have DRS in all the straights you can sacrifice the low downforce setup to have a faster car in the slow areas and use DRS to recover on straights. So I’m ok with one DRS zone, but not with 3 like we had on certain tracks.

    2. @gechichan Baku maybe, but Monza unlikely due to how ‘ineffective’ DRS already is there due to the skinniness of the rear wings. Less drag = less effective DRS, so highly unlikely it’s going to be any different there to how it’s been the last eight seasons. The same applies to Mexico as well albeit due to altitude rather than the rear wings being skinnier than usual.

      1. Size of rear wing DRS now has a minimum set in the regulations right?

  3. DRS is like slow torture. Introduced in 2011 as a temporary thing. Yet surviving multiple rule changes, including the switch to the V6 turbos, and “revolutions” in the aero rules.

    After almost a decade with this temporary solution, they make it more powerful, while Ross Brawn of Liberty simultaneously says that he hates the system. He would make a great politician. Saying one thing, and then doing the opposite.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the 2021 rules still have DRS and almost identical engines with more fuel flow and RPM. Most probably the changes will be delayed until 2022 anyway. How i would love to work for Liberty. Already growing a mustache..

    1. @vjanik what can be a viable option to have overtakes without DRS, given what we have now (giant cars with gigantic downforce levels)?

    2. @vjanik Exactly. I always hoped (and assumed) that DRS would be a temporary fix but it’s here to stay. Bottas’ quote is quite telling.

      So for sure it’s going in the right direction. It’ll be easier to pass if you have the pace

  4. If the problem is giant cars and gigantic downforce levels, then make cars shorter and lighter with less downforce. Could have been done many times since 2011. Its much easier to put on DRS though (and make it more powerful as teams find more downforce). Instead of actualy solving the problem.

    Using gimmicks like DRS, degrading tyres, and points for fastest lap to “improve the show” will ultimately destroy F1 if they dont learn their lesson. They cannot out gimmick Formula E or NASCAR. Unfortunately thats what they are trying to do it seems.

    1. @vjanik well said. DRS is the ultimate indictment of a gimmicky sport. the comments from bottas make me really depressed about the new season. DRS has ruined wheel-to-wheel racing at tracks like spa and montreal, formerly two of the best on the calendar.

  5. When I saw a statement from someone at Mercedes I thought it would be something on the lines of “Ferrari’s DRS is stronger than ours”


    1. Haha. You beat me to it.

  6. I thought Liberty wasn’t interested in gimmicks. DRS is a stain on our sport and needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

  7. Obviously from Bottas standpoint Drs overtakes is the only thing that will ever happen.

  8. A positive sidenote may be that if DRS is more powerful, the DRS-zone can be shorter.

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