DRS mechanism, Alfa Romeo, Interlagos, 2019

10 years of DRS: Should F1 wean itself off push-button passes?

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Last weekend marked 10 years since the Drag Reduction System made its debut in Formula 1.

The moveable rear wing element was first seen in action at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. It was devised to make it easier for drivers to overtake each other – the principle that they would only be allowed to use it within a second of another car (whether it was on the same lap or not) has been unchanged in the decade since its introduction.

DRS divided opinion at the time and still does. While some have praised the role it has played in assisting overtaking moves, other argue it has made passing too easy in some circumstances.

It was originally considered a short-term fix which made it easier for drivers to race close together in aerodynamically racing cars. Formula 1 will introduce new aerodynamic rules next year which are intended to make racing much closer, yet DRS remains a feature of the rule book.

After almost 200 races with DRS, has the time come for F1 to wean itself off the overtaking boost? Or does it deserve a long-term place in the sport?

For

While DRS has created more passing, many of the overtaking moves it creates are instantly forgettable, and involve drivers blasting past each other on the straights with ease.

It’s true that the nature of F1 car aerodynamics makes it hard for cars to follow each other closely and overtake, and DRS helps get around that. But it’s not a true fix for the problem – that is supposed to come next year, and once it does, F1 should prioritise getting rid of DRS and the ‘fake overtakes’ it creates.

Against

The amount of overtaking has increased in Formula 1 thanks to DRS. Since the new, wider and more aerodynamically powerful cars were introduced in 2017, which made it even harder for drivers to follow each other closely, it has become a vital aid to passing.

Overtaking in single-seater cars is always going to be difficult, as multiple other series have shown. The fact DRS has spread quickly to other championships proves its success as a solution and shows why F1 should not give it up.

I say

After F1’s 50th race with DRS, I wrote a piece explaining why it had failed to win me over. That was seven years ago, and in the intervening period my view has changed little.

But what’s worrying now, 10 years on from the introduction of DRS, is that new fans who have discovered the sport in that time may believe push-button passing is how racing is supposed to work. The joy of a true wheel-to-wheel F1 scrap which goes on for lap after lap is almost impossibly difficult now, partly due to DRS and also the fragile nature of current tyres.

DRS has completely taken over. With up to three DRS zones per track, it’s hard to get a sense of how readily drivers could pass each other without it. New track designs come with DRS zones pre-planned. The short-term ‘sticking plaster’ solution has become a crutch the sport won’t give up.

The DRS debate boils down to a matter of quality over quantity, and I’d far rather to see a small number of quality moves per race than the stream of uninteresting ‘motorway’ passes DRS creates. And the plan to increase the DRS detection window to two seconds for the mooted 2021 Sprint Qualifying races is a horrible idea.



You say

Should Formula 1 aim to remove DRS in the future – or is it here to stay? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Do you agree Formula 1 should aim to remove the Drag Reduction System in future?

  • Strongly agree (67%)
  • Slightly agree (16%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (3%)
  • Slightly disagree (7%)
  • Strongly disagree (6%)
  • No opinion (0%)

Total Voters: 285

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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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  • 125 comments on “10 years of DRS: Should F1 wean itself off push-button passes?”

    1. Yes it should, it’s an affront to racing. Close the poll….

      1. People have short memories of the processional racing just prior to 2011. Now with increased downforce it would be even worse without DRS.

        There were some easy passes made, but usually these have been cars on a different strategy or outright slower – early in this hybrid era the Mercedes power unit had such an advantage this was inevitable yet rarely had to defend.

        What people forget though are the wheel to wheel scraps that DRS makes possible. There were some great fights down through the grid in Bahrain, most of which wouldn’t have occurred without DRS. We certainly wouldn’t have had the Verstappen /Hamilton scrap and Verstappen trying to pass around the outside of Hamilton in T4.

        1. Exactly! Clearly DRS can be too powerful at a lot of tracks, but most of the racing prior to DRS was garbage. Go back and watch some of the mid 2000 races where sometimes the ONLY passing was done in the pits.

    2. Would have Sebastian Vettel won his 1st World Championship title if there would have been DRS? No! Alonso would have past Petrov easily in final race at Abu Dhabi. And it wouldn’t be such an interesting race as it was. And it was a great performance from Petrov. The people doesn’t want to see overtaking. They wanna see battling. With DRS there is no battling…

      Reply moderated
      1. I watched that again the other day, and the way I’d remembered it was, ‘why didn’t Alonso just throw one down the inside from so far back, and so what if you collect him, you’re gonna lose the championship anyway’, but when I watched it again, he’s never even close enough to not bother braking and hit him, the Ferrari falls so far back, even in the slipstream.

        I’m with getting rid of DRS, i’d rather watch someone struggle to pass someone, than just breeze past. It might make strategy more crucial (or not, with every rule change we ask ‘will strategy be more important?’, but ultimately everyone conforms very quickly). But i’d rather watch Alonso having no answer to Petrov than see people just breeze past each other.

      2. Who knows. With DRS Vettel probably would have been able to pass Webber in Turkey or Button in Belgium, for example. The 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was just boring. I expected Alonso to quickly pass Petrov, but when that didn’t happen and the battle was ignored by the TV director, it became clear that his race was pretty much over. And he didn’t just have to pass Petrov. He had to pass Rosberg and Kubica as well, which was never going to happen. The track just doesn’t allow for good racing, and the rock-solid tires didn’t help either, but with DRS the race would at least have been more dynamic.

    3. Yes agree. The overtakes are mundane with DRS and although they serve some purpose, the excitement of a genuine pass ,albeit fewer of them, outweighs their functionality imho. The skill of timing one’s momentum and closing up into the preceding corner is a beautiful thing to behold.

    4. No, Formula One should continue to allow DRS on cars. Just not the one second rule, or DRS straights etc. Let anyone use DRS whenever they like. And also allow more active aero besides DRS.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        3rd April 2021, 13:27

        It’s too dangerous to allow drivers to open it round corners it’s a recipe for disasters. A good means of keeping the tech would be giving each driver say 100 seconds in the race to use it in drs zones, so it could be used tactically to defend, to pull away, to close a gap etc.

        1. That’s something I have had in my mind too. I liked it back in when they could use it whenever and wherever in the qualifying. It seemed logical that it was up for the drivers to make the difference. Yes if I remember correctly it was Grosjean at Silverstone who crashed because he drove some corner with DRS open. But if they would introduce push to pass it would be better if drivers would be allowed to use it X number of times in without limitation where to use it.

        2. Too dangerous for drivers to open? That’s hilarious, no different to a throttle. All part of the skill. Moot point though DRS is awful.

          Reply moderated
      2. If they’re going to keep it, it should be a limited amount of uses per race to attack or defend. Obviously they won’t go down this route as they don’t want to be seen to be following Indycar but it’s the best option.

      3. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2021, 0:11

        That’s what I’ve been advocating for a long time, @Ivaylo: drop DRS or at least abandon all the rules around it and give control over it to the drivers, to use whenever and wherever they like.
        The ‘pro’ side of the article says DRS … ‘has become a vital aid to passing.’ Yeah, about as vital as power steering, fully automatic gearboxes and what not. Vital for whimps, that is. The free use of it being dangerous is nonsense. Yes, those incapable of timing the use of it correctly will go off track, same as with the use of the pedalbox, steering wheel, flippers and the rest of it. The point is that it should be the driver showing skills, craft and cunning, instead of using artificial trickery that kills everything that real racing is about.
        This poll -and the FIA- is as useful as elections in a totalitarian state: we’ve voted against overwhelmingly (I’d say about 70%?) for the past 10 years, but they’re gonna ignore us anyway. DRS won’t go next year, sprint races will become the norm and you might as well prepare for reverse grids too.

      4. Agree with this, allow “DRS” as a design evolution, not a heavily regulated race-enhancing gimmick. Let teams apply active aerodynamics to any surface they want, and let drivers activate it whenever they want. Yea.. it’s dangerous. That’s the sport.

      5. Agreed. If these are supposed to be the most advanced racing cars in the world, then a moveable part is an advancement that the drivers should be able to use whenever they want. If they forget to close it and shunt in a corner it’s on them. I think it’s the same for tires – let them use whatever they want, whenever they want. Let them race.

    5. I would say most DRS are in the wrong place. Okay some circuits like Hungaroring and Albert Park need it. Bahrain doesn’t need it on the run to turn one and turn four as they already are great passing zones and would be better off putting a DRS zone on the run to the final corner, Might create an overtake into the last bend if not it puts them close enough to have a more natural battle on the run to turn one and turn four

      1. *Most DRS zones are in the wrong place

      2. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2021, 0:20

        If “some circuits need” it, then apparently those aren not suited to host an F1 race.
        Changing the cars in order to race on those tracks? That’s like telling the drivers that for these circuits, they’ll drive a formula ford, or get to tow a caravan because that suits the track better and creates more of a show.

    6. Useless poll. Everyone wants DRS gone, the question should be whether we want to get rid of it immediately, or wait until the cars and/or circuits have been ‘fixed’ so cars can pass each other without this artificial aid. I say keep it on the cars but don’t use it on circuits where cars can pass each other without it. Hopefully it will just wither away that way.

      1. @krommenaas Have to agree with you here. The way the poll is worded makes it a very leading question and I can’t imagine many people think that DRS is the optimal long term solution to encourage better racing in F1. I expected it to have a time scale attached, maybe even as early as for next season.

        My preference would be to trial non-DRS races at a few events next year, in the same way that they are trialing Sprint Qualifying this year. Choose races which previously have been relatively easy to follow and overtake on and see how they go. If successful, they can consider branching that out to further races in subsequent years, and try to find the right balance across all circuits. Hopefully by the following generation of cars in 2025/2026 with further improvements to their racability, they would be able to remove DRS entirely.

    7. The only way they’ll know if they really need it or not is to have it but not allow it to be used.
      Run some races without it. If the races are dead, activate it. If the racing is acceptable, leave it locked off.

      With the possibility that it may never be used, teams will need to develop their performance under the assumption that the system may never even be activated. There’s a design choice – something sadly lost in modern F1.

      Personally, I don’t like DRS. I totally understand why it’s there – but what I don’t understand is why F1 has had it for 10 years and never tried to get rid of it. Even with the 2022 regs, I expect the cars will still be so aero dependent it will be necessary to keep it. The idea of going slower makes many F1 insiders and fans shudder and fret that F1 is dead.

    8. Next year, the cars are going to be changed to make it easier to follow other cars. I see no reason not to scrap DRS at least for a few races in 2022 to see if the cars can still overtake. Maybe current F1 cars just can’t overtake without DRS, but there’s only one way to find out.

      1. I realise this seems to contradict my views about sprint races, but I think these are different circumstances. I think everybody would prefer to not have DRS; the only reason we do have it is because it is too difficult to overtake without it. I would be against getting rid of it now, because there would be no overtakes (or very few) and the races would be boring. But the poll asks, ‘Do you agree Formula 1 should aim to remove the Drag Reduction System in future?’ Of course it should, we would all prefer for the overtakes to happen without an artificial system. But first, the cars need to be changed to allow them to follow each other more closely.
        Sprint races, on the other hand, are different, because the current format is perfect in my opinion. Maybe sprint races would make it slightly more exciting (although I doubt it), but not by enough to make it worth trialling it, as it would just become another problem that needs to be removed in the future but, like DRS, becomes difficult to remove.
        Back to DRS, I think that unfortunately, it has been necessary this decade to keep the racing exciting, so I am not opposed to it as a system. But I think we would all prefer not to have DRS, so Formula 1 should definitely aim to remove it in the future, after first making the cars better at following each other closely. So I voted ‘strongly agree.’

        1. @f1frog It takes the stroke of a pen to change race format. Sprint races would be far easier to introduce or get rid of than DRS.
          DRS’ permanent removal, on the other hand, requires a completely new set of aero regs, along with the associated expenditure and lead time – and the risk that it may not improve anything, and could possibly make F1 worse.

          The fact the you openly admit you are unsure of the effect sprint races would have is the perfect reason to trial them.
          They would, of course, be much better if they featured some fundamental differentiation from a GP other than length, though. Perhaps arranging the grid in a different order? ;)

    9. DRS was an over-reaction to Alonso’s failure to pass at the 2010 title decider.

      I think it’s a real shame DRS was instigated the following year, at the same time Pirelli made their debut as tire supplier. If it was delayed by a single season, or Pirelli were on board a year earlier, it may never have even come to fruition. High degradation tires created some exciting racing over the first few seasons of Pirelli (2011-2013) and arguably the racing would have been even better in these years without DRS (less passes for sure but better racing).

      Since 2014 the cars have gotten larger and heavier thanks mostly to the new power units. This in turn puts more load and stress into the tires which I feel (though I’m no engineer) contributes to their overheating issues and peaky nature. The 2017 aero rules only made these problems worse, placing more emphasis on aero for car performance and making overtaking without DRS almost impossible on many circuits.

      The 2022 rules are only gong to fix part of the problem. The cars remain too heavy and too large and they will continue to rely on aero for performance. The laps by Alonso last year in the R25 at Abu Dhabi were a clear demonstration of what F1 has lost since it moved to these new power units, a reaction nearly everyone in F1 appeared to share at the time.

      Hopefully the 2022 chassis rules, combined with three years of fine tuning and the all new 2025 engine rules will be the step in the right direction many of us hope for.

      1. DRS’ introduction was the result of decades of ever-reducing quality of on-track product due to dirty air. That hasn’t yet been addressed fully, and 2022 regs still only go part of the way.

        The tyres are peaky partly due to the factors you mention (increased mass and downforce) but also partly due to the way teams approach F1 now. They collect so much data on the tyres and can push them ever closer to their performance maximum at all times.
        Think of it as a triangle – they are now constantly operating at the top peak (a small, narrow window of extreme performance) but without all that knowledge they’d be further down the triangle (with a lower general performance but a much wider window).
        It doesn’t really matter what the tyres are like, they’ll do the same with anything they bolt onto the cars now.

        1. ALSO teams were already using sand operated drs systems in 2010, famously one handed driving through 130r and Eau rouge

      2. Don’t blame Alonso for drs. That is not the reason it was introduced

      3. @aussierod In 2014, yes, but the later minimum car+driver weight increases have happened for other reasons.

      4. DRS was an over-reaction to Alonso’s failure to pass at the 2010 title decider.

        @aussierod DRS had already been added to the 2011 regulations before Aby Dhabi 2010.

        It was voted through by the WMSC in June 2010.
        https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/fia-announces-moveable-wing-changes-4439614/4439614/

    10. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      3rd April 2021, 14:11

      I’d say currently it’s needed; that without DRS the cars are so difficult to follow and the performance disparity between them would make overtakes exceptionally rare. For now, DRS helps cars of similar or slower pace catch up to ones ahead, it helps overtaking/defending on tracks where generally it’s rare and goes some way to mitigate the ‘dirty air’ effect on a following car. You could argue that the ‘DRS effect’ is too strong on certain tracks and arguably too weak on others, but as a tool to help the races I’d say it’s currently vital to the survival of the sport.

      If the new rule changes allow cars to follow each other better and helps equalise car performance across the field then I’d say then it’s become obsolete, but this is for right now – and right now I think the races would be poorer without it.

      1. goes some way to mitigate the ‘dirty air’ effect on a following car

        The dirty air effect is in the corners and primarily impacting the front wing. Rear wing straight line DRS does nothing to mitigate that other than make up some time the following car could’ve lost in the corner.
        I’ve argued before that DRS should be something which offsets the corner dirty air impact, rather than just trying to ‘give some time back’.

        1. @coldfly most of the aerodynamic studies into the cars have suggested that it primarily impacts the front of the floor on the cars more negatively.

          Whilst there is some effect on the front wing, generally the loss in performance is similar to that of the rear wing, so that does not significantly change the handling balance. It tends to be the impact on the front of the floor that causes more of the handling imbalance and problems with following due to the changes in performance.

          1. @coldfly Maybe DRS being at the back is what’s wrong. If you’re right about dirty air effect in corners causing all the probs then shouldn’t F1 consider some sort of moveable front wing for the car following to use? We could have DES (downforce enhancement system) instead.

    11. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      3rd April 2021, 14:16

      For me, the frustration of seeing what should be a good battle for position ruined by the faster car getting a ‘free pass’ far outweighs the enjoyment of a great DRS assisted overtake, few of which spring to mind. There is no sense of jeopardy watching a faster car hunting down your favourite driver, a pass is predictably inevitable.

    12. If they can somehow make drs at 1/3 or half strength, I would be for it and to do that would be to get rid of drs and make a push to pass system like in indycar. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport supposedly, but they can’t think of a better system than drs??

      1. Jockey Ewing
        4th April 2021, 12:31

        I think a smaller opening on the wing would be a quite simple soulition for that. Likely that even device could be modified to open to differenc an angle to play with it’s effectiveness. I would not mind something like 1/3 as well (after this decade definitely :)), and if the opening is small, then it would be much safer to allow the drivers to use it everywhere, if they are agile or brave enough.

        Also I think things like dynamic wings and dynamic suspension paired up with deep learning, with the goal of maintaining a targeted grip and downforce level could counteract the effects of dirty air, and would be an amazing, and quite advanced technology, and probably still would be cheaper than the fight for the last horsepowers on the fuel and engine side. This targeted drip and or downforce level could be of course dynamically changed as other things in the setup. Although I fear this would be a move further from the dancing, much more challenging cars from aroung the eighties, they would be even more planted.
        So as the safety devices are pretty good, and the cars are really planted compared to previous eras, I would not mind loosing downforce at all. Hm giveing up some downforce (simpler aero), but maintaining that lower downforce much more consistently withy dynamic devices (based on the track section and the ongoing action as well, so it would involve GPS data, deep learning, artifical neural networks, image processing). I would even allow DAS-like systems, but with a simple switch on the steering wheel, instead of the dual axis. If a giant passanger aircraft is quite safe, AI driven dynamic wings and supsensions, easily could outperform Willams’s genuine dynamic suspension today, at safety, just like in performance. The AI should be taught to somehow safely counteract the effect of peeking from the other car, or changing lines while following closely.

        Also I am quite surprised that at the pinnacle of motorsport teams can not change the gear ratios as part of the setup.

        1. Jockey Ewing
          4th April 2021, 12:34

          … could be modified to open to a different angle to play with it’s effectiveness (per GP venue for example)…

    13. Bit lazy reposting an earlier (years ago) comment but I would still like to see it. Here goes:

      Just for a laugh, how about reversing the DRS (let’s call it the Drag Increase System). So the wing pops ‘up’ if your car has another less than 1 sec behind during the straights. Teams will have to make their cars as slippery as possible to enable/retain a competitive top speed and then after the ‘DIS’ zone, the cars now have to get around corners with much less downforce due to the reduction in ‘aerobits’. Combined with the current less degrading tyre it may add some excitement.

      Note: this comment started with ‘Just for a laugh’ (I wonder how many of the current rules & regs started the same way ?)

      1. Track limits have ended up in the ‘just for a laugh’ category

      2. Paul Schofield
        3rd April 2021, 16:45

        I was wondering, from a technical perspective, whether a downforce increase system would be feasible. This would be available for the 2nd car (probably still need to be in the 1 second window) so it could follow the lead car more closely through a corner and then a normal overtake would be more achievable on the straight. This doesn’t need zoning as the use on the ‘wrong’ part of the track would actually be detrimental.

        Reply moderated
    14. Based on the stated goals of the 2022 changes, yes DRS should be retired. However, as I don’t think the 2022 changes are going to have the desired effect, I think DRS should be modified to adjust the front wings to maintain the downforce lost when closely trailing another car. That will achieve the desired goal of allowing cars to follow closely and it will bring back the skill and race craft we saw in the past when drivers attempted to overtake.

      1. @velocityboy Why don’t you think cars that will only lose 10% or so of their performance while in dirty air, vs the 50% they lose now have the desired effect?

        Also, would your idea really bring back skill and racecraft when you have only altered the method of advantaging the trailing driver over the leading driver?

        Their desire is to make cars that can race more closely and you seem stuck that that will never happen and so would only substitute one artificial bandage gimmick over another due to what I assume you think is an insurmountable addiction to aero downforce, but which by all accounts seems to be on the way out.

        To me you would have F1 even more addicted to aero by giving them even more front wing, and haven’t we had too many decades of that nonsense already?

        Time for them to try something different, and thank goodness they are.

      2. We had “front DRS” in the late ’00s and it wasn’t good enough. There was 6 degree change on the front wing, but all in all the result was “Meh”.

        1. The reason it didn’t work was that teams decided to set it up as a tyre management tool throughout the race, rather than a system to recover lost downforce only when following.
          @venedikov

          I still think it could work; especially if you give it 10 years to mature.

    15. Yes, in the long-term, but I voted for ‘slightly agree’ for now.
      Firstly before anything else, how is DRS being allowed at 1.9 seconds behind ‘horrible’ compared to 0.9? An overtaking move is more unlikely from nearly two seconds back anyway, so DRS most likely wouldn’t make any difference to the eventual outcome.
      I point out the same thing as several times before: Most of the time, DRS doesn’t really aid overtaking to any extent due to the difficulty of following and staying close enough through corners to benefit from it. Yes, on some tracks or sections of tracks, such as Spa’s Kemmel straight and Algarve’s S/F straight, it may have sometimes appeared OP, but it definitely doesn’t automatically guarantee a passing move.

      1. @jerejj Of course the main point is that the very existence of DRS is an indictment that the cars are way way too clean air dependent.

        Discussing when DRS is or isn’t more effective isn’t really the point. If as you claim it isn’t that effective most of the time, imagine then how extremely processional the racing would be without it. That is not to say I am for it, but it was thrust upon us as have the ultra clean air dependent cars. Until next year.

        The poll is about the future and you ponder the 1.9s for sprint qualifying, and I would suggest that of course you are right that cars aren’t passing from that far back, but it is because they will have limited laps and time to race it out, that they have tried to reduce the dirty air effect even further, for three trial qualifiers. We have known for quite a time how even being 2 seconds back with these cars starts to harm tires and thus performance, and is why we have seen drivers, in the pinnacle of racing, being told to hang back by their engineers in order to preserve their long-game strategy of tire conservation. Personally I totally get why they will allow DRS within 2 seconds rather than 1, for short Sprint Qualifiers.

    16. It needs to go. Problem is the F1 powers-that-be don’t seem to realise how much fans hate it. I remember Charlie Whiting was asked a few years back about worries some aero changes (can’t remember which ones) would make it harder for cars to overtake. His reply was on the lines of ‘I don’t see that as a problem. We can just increase the authority of the DRS’.

    17. I joked in a recent post regarding going off the track that there should be a vertical DRS position to penalize the drivers that are off the track. Obviously putting the rear wing vertical would destabilize the car. If DRS is done away with, the technology could remain in place. The cars would race with the rear wings open and if there is a penalty the wings could be closed. This would slow cars safely and could be applied safely for a precise number of seconds.

    18. DRS must go.

      I was very disappointed to hear of it’s retention on the new cars, but I am hopeful that I have read between the lines of what Brawn has said in that he is just concerned that teams might find loopholes such that they retain too much of their addiction to aero downforce in spite of the ground effects philosophy. Wouldn’t mind hearing some more current thoughts from him on this topic.

      Overwhelmingly I have faith that the teams will not be able to ruin the whole point of the design change, and that indeed the cars will lose much much less performance while in dirty air behind cars that will indeed make less dirty air than currently.

      My advice would be that they combine their efforts in pre-season testing to try some close racing and see what it is like, or failing that at least run some races without drs being used, and then they’ll know. If the drivers are still saying ‘you can’t pass with these cars’ which I will find quite unlikely but also depressing given the lengths they have gone, then they will know to tweak the cars further for 2023 in order to continue to work towards ridding themselves of DRS, for DRS must go.

    19. I honestly had no idea i was introduced as recently as 10 years again, it seems so normal now, that anyone would think it has always been there.

      Surely there must have been something similar before, or was over-taking in the past done ala natural.

      Just goes to show how easily the artificial and contrived becomes the normal and acceptable.

      1. Just thinking, in the past it would have been possible for a skillful slower driver to keep a faster car behind them, DRS makes that subtle art less likely, at the cost of entertaining passes.

      2. Depends how far back you go, but the only aspect from the past that I’d describe as ‘similar to DRS’ is the greater technical diversity.
        Cars tended to have more prominent strengths and weaknesses than they do now. Now it is more of a linear performance curve, as the cars are technically so similar. They are either fast, really fast or untouchably fast.

    20. Track selection and modification is key to overtaking without DRS, but knowing F1 where hosting fees matter more than anything else, I doubt we’ll ever see a calendar without tracks that needs DRS.

      Imagine going back to Barcelona with 0 overtakes the whole race for example. It’s actually worse than if there was DRS. Still a rare thing even then.

      1. @balue I find your comment very strange. It is like you have completely ignored that the new cars should make a world of difference and that aero dependence has been the main issue for decades.

        Track selection and modification? How many venues to you think there are to choose from globally that suit F1? Very strange. I thought it was quite obvious that the problem is in the philosophy of the cars, as I say for decades now.

        If tracks need modifying that much, isn’t that an indication there must be a problem with the cars?

        1. @robbie The car aero problem is a given, but let’s face it has no real fix as long as they have wings and what else turbulence generators.

          Even when cars were at their worst and there were tracks without a single real overtake, there was still overtaking at good tracks, meaning the biggest differentiator when it comes to overtaking is the tracks.

          You’re right there is a limit to good tracks for F1, but they can all be modified with cambers and whatnot, and all new F1 tracks should be built following a set of principles to ensure overtaking.

          Problem is that it needs full focus, and not just the old ‘what’s the next country we should promote in’ and Tilke’s ‘I’ll see what I can do’ as is now. If F1 is real about this, they should invest proper sums to get together the best heads and do proper studies to find and fix tracks, and problem virtually solved imho.

          1. @balue I couldn’t disagree more. Simplified wings are far less sensitive to dirty air than complex ones in cars that depend on them. Ground effects will mean the cars will get much more of their downforce performance that way. The new cars will also make less dirty air. And it’s moot. They are indeed going ahead with changing the cars drastically, not the tracks, for that is indeed the real issue. I find it very odd that you think just the very presence of wings, no matter their effectiveness, is an insurmountable problem. Oh well, guess you’ll have to see for yourself next year.

            1. @robbie You surely don’t mean you disagree that tracks makes a huge difference to the chance of overtaking happening. I take it you mean about the cars.

              I like your optimism, but very much doubt it will be solved to the point where there’s overtaking at any old track.

            2. @balue I think tracks make a big difference with these clean air dependent cars, and once they no longer have these cars, which is actually happening, then there will be no need to change the tracks. And I think too it needs to be appreciated that they are not looking for more overtaking for the sake of the numbers, they are looking for closer combat between the drivers.

            3. @robbie Still, it’s ironic that some tracks always produce the best of racing regardless of aero, and yet the talk is always about cars preventing racing..

            4. @robbie your post seems a bit contradictory, in that you initially suggest the tracks make a big difference, but then seem to suggest that the track isn’t that important by then saying that changing the cars will solve everything and that the tracks themselves don’t need to change.

              I do think that Balue has a point and that you do seem to be putting too much emphasis on the cars alone and too little thought to the circuits. We have seen how, even in cars that have been characterised as apparently overtaking friendly and having low sensitivity to “dirty air”, that it was still possible to have highly processional races where drivers would struggle to pass or could never get close enough to pass.

              Gilles Villeneuve’s famous train of cars at Jarama in 1981 comes to mind, given that Jarama was a highly technical low speed circuit. There were no problems with the cars behind following closely – he had four drivers following within 1.2s of him – but around most of the circuit, it was not possible for the drivers to build up enough of a difference in speed to Gilles to make an attempt to pass him.

              I doubt that changing the cars alone is really going to be quite as powerful as you think. If there is a very narrow optimum racing line, or if the speeds of the cars are at the two extremes – either a very high speed circuit, where the cars tend to be more drag limited, or a low speed technical circuit, where there are multiple corners in rapid succession and going outside of the optimum line compromises you significantly for multiple corners – then is it necessarily going to make that much of a difference for the trailing driver when you get to the next corner?

            5. anon No what I am saying is that with these clean air dependent cars, the tracks can and do make a big difference in terms of some of them lending more passing opportunities than others, and unfortunately that has also come down too much to DRS and the ‘strength’ as it is termed, depending on the track and the zone and how they have played with those over the years. Of course even with clean air independent cars, some tracks are simply narrower and have little more to offer than one racing line, and can make for processional races.

              But I think you make my point, which I think you two seem to be missing, with your reference to the GV train from 1981. You describe 4 cars within 1.2 seconds of each other. I think that is something much closer to what they want to achieve with the new regs, and as I have said, and as Brawn has said, it is not about more passing, but closer racing. Today it is unheard of to have 4 cars within 1.2 seconds of each other, at least not without the trailing cars moving around so much that they ruin their tires. They have to space themselves out or ruin their day, meaning 4 cars within 8 seconds of each other.

              As to changing tracks. This quite surprises me to hear as a suggestion, particularly for the historic tracks, as it seems Brawn or Liberty can barely sneeze and some people think they are trying to take away the DNA of F1. Exactly how much track changing do you think would be acceptable? I think very little other than perhaps for some of the more modern circuits that don’t yet have the historical element to them.

              For me I think, and again it is moot because it is indeed happening, it is far more crucial to have cars able to race more closely than it is to keep the cars the same and change the tracks. I think the ground effects cars will make a huge difference…to the racing…not necessarily to the passing, and I think that seems to be the point that is being missed. I would much rather see a driver vs driver series of pass attempts and close racing, than see tracks dumbed down just because they can’t get off their addiction to aero downforce. Yet, they have been forced now to get off it. Oh, not entirely of course. They will still be taking all they have learned of aero and applying it where they can, but they will be limited as to how much that is, while they learn about modern ground effects now.

              We have just seen what a difference taking a bit of the floor away from them can make one season to the next. Yeah I am confident that wholly, entirely different ground effects cars are going to be vastly different, and better, and at a bare minimum a far better jumping off point than these last cars have been in terms of evolving towards but better racing on the track…racing…not passing for the sake of passing.

              Changing the tracks seems a very sad and depressing way of adapting to bad cars and would truly harm the DNA of F1. The current cars are not the DNA of F1, but the tracks are, and by keeping them virtually the same we have a reference point to generations past. The new cars to me will head F1 back to it’s DNA by making it more of a driver series than a driver assisted by engineer series.

            6. Wanted to sum up by saying that I predict that with the new cars, each track is going to offer more excitement than they currently do, even if some tracks are still relatively harder to pass on. When we hear now of some teams/cars being better at certain tracks, I think we will hear less of that starting next year. I think there will be greater odds that we will hear less complaining about the need to change this track or that, because I think the more exciting cars are going to change how we look at all the tracks. Even Monaco which is always going to be notoriously difficult to pass on is going to provide a closer train of cars not harmed in dirty air, and it may come down to better timed pit stops and quicker ones. At all the other tracks, the drivers may, and to me likely will, find passing places that we don’t currently know exist, because they simply aren’t dreamed of with the current cars. Or at least passing attempt places, and that is just as exciting as the passes much of the time. Drivers will have so much more confidence in their cars while trailing.

              As well, and it is not like we have a choice, let’s see how the new cars do before we go changing the tracks. I think that they already weren’t looking to change tracks very much (perhaps only certain runoff areas or aprons or curbs), and that will be even a lesser thought after this year.

            7. @robbie you seem to be intent on pushing the claim that I’m advocating for the tracks themselves to be modified onto me. I don’t want to be rude, but it comes across as you wanting to make a different point and thus trying to force an argument onto me that I wasn’t trying to make.

              I did not say “we must change the tracks for more action” – the point was to make a commentary about your position, which is that you seem to be treating the cars and the nature of the tracks that they race at as if they were entirely separate entities that could be entirely abstracted from each other.

              You seem to be placing an extremely large amount of faith in the 2022 regulations, to the point where it feels as if you’re focussing on that alone and want to shut down discussion on anything else – it may not be your intention, but the way you are putting your points across give that impression.

            8. anon The claim was that they need to change the tracks as that is the problem, not the cars. You seemed to be supporting that. Are we not all well aware by now of the problem with the cars? If I seem to be only focused on the cars, that is because it is what Liberty and Brawn seem focused on as well, and I agree with that approach. So unless you have information that tracks are about to be changed to enhance the racing or the action or what have you, I don’t see the point of the discussion really. I have stated my opinion that tracks are not the main problem, the cars are. I agree with that. I don’t see the point of changing tracks when they are changing cars. Not sure how much more simple I can put it. I repeat, I hope they don’t change the tracks and I haven’t heard that they are, and since we do know they are changing the cars, I suggest they concentrate on seeing what the racing is like before changing any tracks. Do you have information that they are changing tracks to accommodate better racing or action? My claim is that the tracks will ‘open up’ once the cars can actually race closely, ie. the tracks may have a whole different feel and those that perhaps seem like they could use a change, may no longer appear so.

              So combined with the fact that I think they always need to tread carefully when changing tracks and why, in part to preserve the historic tracks particularly, the historic corners, yeah I’m happy to set that idea aside and see them run with the new cars that are actually happening, and then go from there. The original claim was that changing the cars was no real fix as long as they have wings and will be disturbed in turbulence, and to ignore the degree of disturbance and the complexity of the wings as is being addressed, not to mention the switch to ground effects is I think ridiculous. And what changes to what tracks would guarantee to fix the problem that fixing the actual known problem of severe dirty air disturbance won’t fix? How easy would you make the tracks? How much challenge would you take out of them? That would be my fear.

              Of course I am putting an extremely large amount of faith in the 2022 cars. The whole of F1 is.

            9. @robbie please stop saying that I am supporting changes to the tracks – I have already said that I am not pushing that argument and am not happy with your continued insistence on putting false words into my mouth.

              I am going to ask you again on this point – could you please stop falsely claiming that I am putting that argument forward and stop trying to attack me on a point that I am not making? If you keep doing this, it gives the impression that there is a sense of malice in your actions by deliberately wanting to misrepresent what I am saying.

            10. anon Fair enough. Not sure why you’re so offended when you accused me of putting too much emphasis on the cars alone and too little thought to the circuits, and I think I have demonstrated why I have indeed put a good deal of thought into the circuits and how vastly different cars will likely change our opinions of some of them.

              Rather than making the emphasis of your point that I am being close minded, perhaps you could have expanded on why you don’t think tracks should be changed either. Or why you think the changes they are making to the cars won’t have the strong effect that I think they will. From what I can tell you seem to equate a train of 4 cars within 1.2 seconds of each other as no better than the 8 second apart trains we have now, and want to blame that on the track. I don’t. I think today’s cars on the same configuration of circuit you describe from 1981, would not be anywhere near within 1.2 seconds between the top 4 cars, and that would make it a far less exciting race than it was back then. To you it seems a train is a train, and to Brawn it is about closer racing, ala 1981.

              I think we have a great variety of tracks right now that range in characteristics in terms of the types of racing they provide, and our opinions may change positively about some of them that provide lesser passing opportunities, with the new cars, and keeping in mind the goal is not necessarily more passing, but more opportunities to attempt passes, in more places on these tracks, hopefully without the cheap method of drs in play.

            11. @robbie the reason why I have been getting annoyed is because it strongly felt as if you were having a go at me for comments that Balue has made, and your post came across as wanting to force an answer out of me to a comment I did not make and a point of view I was not arguing for.

              If you want that argument, take it up with Balue – stop asking me to answer on his behalf instead.

            12. anon Lol I was having a conversation with @balue until you decided to chime in.

    21. DRS= Destroys Racing Spirit

      We have a lot of overtaking with it. But no more battles.

    22. Broccoliface
      3rd April 2021, 15:44

      Post this on Reddit and you’d get a lot more people in favour of keeping it. Unfortunately.

    23. Adam Thompson
      3rd April 2021, 16:27

      Drivers would have DRS open when its most advantageous, they close automatically when braking, don’t they?
      Drivers won’t be trying to use them on corners if they can use DRS any time they want.

      I want to see what would happen if all Drivers could use DRS any time they want.

    24. Get rid of DRS immediately, allow only only steel brake rotors, a common calliper & piston and one type of brake pad.

    25. Clearly it is a negative, not a positive. I’ve said this many a time: I’m no aerodynamicist, but I’ve yet to hear a convincing explanation as to why front wings can’t simply be brought back to smaller widths, thereby significantly reducing the effect of turbulence, therefore increasing following capability.

      1. but I’ve yet to hear a convincing explanation as to why front wings can’t simply be brought back to smaller widths

        I understand that the dirty air primarily impacts the central part of the front wing.
        Hence making the wings smaller will only (relatively) increase the impact.
        @maciek

        1. @maciek, @coldfly To solve this, the profile or volume of the front wings could be prescribed. Resulting in front wings similar to the ones we have in the early eighties ground effect cars.

    26. I would vote get rid of it. However, if you are going to have DRS there better ways of doing it. Use it to make difficult to overtake on corners slightly more realistic overtaking places rather than have them on long straights. Radically decrease the length of existing DRS zones if you are going to have them on a long straight, perhaps down to a third. Perhaps if you had a system where DRS shuts off as soon as you are alongside the other car then it would mitigate the dirty air without being push to pass. Have DRS at some races and not others (arguably Hungary benefits from it). Limit the time in the race when DRS is allowed (perhaps for the first third). Only allow DRS is a car has less points than the car it is trying to use it on.

    27. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      3rd April 2021, 19:32

      I think overtaking has been an issue since the mid to late 90’s. So in that respect DRS is a necessary evil to supplement the natural evolution of the sport. I would like to see it implemented better but as of today it is essential for some entertainment.

      When I say ‘implemented better’ I would like to get rid of the back-marker activation (surely the technology is there to stop drivers getting DRS from backmarkers 10 years later). I would also like to see the amount of DRS usage in a race limited. Arbitrary example “you get 15 uses of DRS to use as you please whether attacking or defending” so there is a little more in the means of tactics, strategy and intelligence involved.

      But all that aside, the question was whether F1 should aim to set the system aside……… well I strongly 100% agree, this sticky plaster solution should be set aside in the ideal world for the sake of purity. However I’m not convinced it’s actually possible. Ground effect and mechanical grip is the only way this can be done but unless you get rid of aero to pre-mid 90’s levels, dirty air is going to necessitate the system. Don’t forget the narrow cars and grooves tyres were foolishly brought in because overtaking (or lack of) was becoming a big problem in 1997.

      So fingers crossed for the new regs and Ross’ plans but I really can’t see DRS disappearing. Especially with Liberty’s push for entertainment and dare I say ‘gimmicks.’ I think the best realistic outcome is that it’s effects are heavily diminished and we get a compromise between pure racing and DRS.

      1. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2021, 0:54

        I don’t see DRS disapearing either, certainly as Ross Brawn himself has already ‘hinted’ as much (I’d call that ‘break it in gently’).
        But: I’d rather see one brilliant pass in 50 races, than 50 lame passes each race.

    28. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      3rd April 2021, 21:07

      Can we have the reverse of DRS. Whereby the default is an open flap of some description on the front wing which closes when within a second of following a car to reduce the dirty air deficit (tongue in cheek)

    29. How else are the slower cars supposed to overtake faster cars in turbulent air on a race day?
      DRS is the perfect symbol for the structure of F1.

    30. I hope someone in charge of taking decisions at F1 reads this. And I look forward to the opinion of the people on this site.
      Straight to the idea:

      Have DRS deactivate as soon as the front wheels of the car in the back are aligned with the rear wheels of the car in the front.

      That’s it. In this way you get both problems solved: you aid close racing and all the benefits that the current DRS provides. But deactivating it when the two cars are wheel to wheel stops it becoming too powerful, so you have less chance of boring overtakes. This version of DRS just guarantees that the cars can race aligned on the straight, which usually is quite exciting, because it becomes a race for who is going to brake later. Please guys if you find flaws with this write them in the comment, and if you don’t, help me push this so that it might get proposed in some meeting. @dieterrencken might be the bridge for this, if he sees the potential in it

      1. I like it. And it seems like it would be easy to test in a simulator. Another interesting side effect would be, as soon as the DRS closed, you can instantly see the straight-line aero difference between the cars. The one with the best aero will keep advancing when the DRS closes.

      2. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2021, 1:18

        @Stefano: The most exciting overtakes do (and did) not happen at the straights. The problem you’re trying to find a solution for, is that cars cannot follow one another closely around corners, which means the following car has to back off, which creates an advantage to the car in front. So once the straight is reached, the car following does not have enough time / is not close enough anymore to make up the time lost, and is consequently unable to pass, round after round. DRS is supposed to give that ‘time lost’ disadvantage back to the driver following.
        Your ‘solution’ does not address the actual cause, it just finetunes the “temporary” “solution” the FIA came up with 10 years ago. Also -or therefor- it will not change that nowadays passes are mostly on the straights. OK, a little less boring maybe, but still.
        The real solution should deal with the inability of current cars to follow one another closely around corners.
        And that is the path the FIA has neglected to take for the past 10 years.

        1. Coventry Climax
          4th April 2021, 12:04

          @Simon, I’m not the real expert here, that’s supposed to be the FIA, who are responsable for the ‘Formula’. My direction of approach however, would be to devise a means of measuring the amount ‘dirty air’ a car generates, and limit that to a certain value in the regulations. It’s supposed to be a top of the bill technical sport, so let’s drop the stupid, race-killing, third party operated and driver skills hiding solutions like DRS. I know the new aero regulations are trying to do this, but the main man about it, Brawn, already uttered his doubts about the effectivity and stated that DRS is probably still ‘needed’. That’s not very confidence inspiring, and indeed I have yet to see whether the new rules work (instead of putting all your money on it, like @Robbie seems to do.) I would have expected Brawn to say DRS will go, no matter what. So yes, to me, that sounds like those new regulations are a job half done.

          1. Coventry Climax But to be accurate, Brawn has not expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the changes. He’s actually very confident in them. Unless you have actual quotes from him otherwise. The best I have been able to glean as to why drs remains, for now, is that he has also spoken about them going to great lengths to cover off any and all loopholes, while at the same time he knows teams are experts at looking for and finding them too. He is hoping they will not find any of significance, and so that is why I am confident, and I think he is too, that drs should be able to be gotten rid of asap. I don’t think, with the extent of the changes they are making to the technical regs, that teams will be able to find ways to legally make cars that are still too clean air dependent. And I think the teams understand as well that the current cars…this type of racing…is not on anymore under the new management. As well they have participated in the formation of the regs and have signed off to be on board with F1’s new philosophy.

            To me you are doing yourself a disservice to base your thinking on a misconception that Brawn has doubts about what they are doing. Perhaps go back and read carefully things he has said because it sounds to me like you are making some incorrect assumptions.

            1. Coventry Climax
              5th April 2021, 22:04

              I know you’ve put all your money on this, @Robbie, and are continuously trying to convince everyone you’ve made the right bet. I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but google “Brawn: we might still need DRS” and read the hits. At least one of them directs you to this site, but there’s many more.
              There might still be time to withdraw your money.

          2. Being able to measure the turbulent air behind a car would be best, I agree, Coventry Climax. And limit it so a certain number or profile that doesn’t do too much harm to the front wing of the car following. Then the constructors would be more free to develop whatever wings and flaps they want. One problem I see is the enforcing. The FIA should be able to measure it also when a team bolts on a new rear wing at a race weekend.

    31. Neil (@neilosjames)
      3rd April 2021, 23:18

      F1 should certainly aim to remove it at some point, but that point sadly isn’t now.

    32. I admit that I’m not a fan of the DRS system, and I think it should leave, but instead how about an defensive DRS system where the car defending is allowed, when the car behind him is <=0.5 seconds or less, he can open the wing to defend himself(Unless it goes back to the too little overtaking problem).

    33. I’m reminded of Imola 2005/6. Probably two of the most thrilling, tense, competitive battles of the era, between two legends of the sport at the very top of their game. Was there DRS? No. Was there an overtake between them? No! Are we still celebrating Schumacher and Alonso’s battles to this day? You bet! Would we be, had DRS been involved? Probably not. But I guarantee that DRS has robbed us of such countless close and thrilling DRS battles since.

      1. @swh1386 Those were not really exciting as we all knew there would be no passing.

        I totally agree passing should be very difficult, but on rubbish tracks like Imola, Barcelona, Monaco etc, there’s no other way than DRS. Even with the new cars I bet.

        1. @balue

          Those were not really exciting as we all knew there would be no passing.

          I disagree, There was always a chance a pass could happen be it via the lead driver making a mistake & opening the door for the guy in 2nd or the guy in 2nd seeing an opportunity & going for it. In the 2005 race for example Schumacher had managed to overtake Button to move into 2nd at the Variante Alta so overtaking was difficult at Imola was never impossible.

          During the closing stages of both of those races I was on the edge of my seat, Heart rate up, Glued to the screen because those are the sort of battles that I love to see. And the fact that I feel that DRS has robbed us of so many of those over the past 10 years is one of the biggest reasons I despise it. I don’t like these push of a button easy passes, I don’t like looking at the performance delta between cars & the effectiveness of DRS & having that feeling that the pass is a foregone conclusion partly as I don’t like that sort of pass but also because it prevents me from getting that worked up over cars closing on one one another.

          For example I struggled to get that excited about Verstappen catching Hamilton at Bahrain last week because looking at how effective DRS had been all day I was concerned Verstappen would just breeze past with ease & that hindered me getting into the fight as I would have done in the past.

          That for me is the damage DRS has done, It’s not just the negative effect I believe it has had on the racing but also the way it’s changed how I look at/feel about the racing. I just struggle to get as invested in the fights like I used to as even if it starts to look like it won’t be a straightforward DRS pass I still have that possibility in the back of my mind.

    34. DRS has grown on me to the extent that I don’t get extremely annoyed by it anymore, but it’s still something that is such a mood killer. There are so many battles that could potentially go on for lap after lap, yet they are decided once the car behind gets within the one-second window.

      As you point out, the problem is that F1 has gained many viewers in the last ten years who don’t know any different. To them, DRS is as much a part of Formula 1 as starting a race with starting lights, changing tyres during a pit stop or neutralising the race with a safety car. If you would post a similar poll to a site like reddit for example, I can imagine the results would be just as conclusive, but in the opposite direction.

      I’m afraid we are past the point of no return. It was a temporary solution that has been embraced by F1’s rule makers, by the teams and by F1’s new audiences. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is, sadly.

    35. I hate it. It makes F1 look like they don’t know how to build race cars. The cars almost require it. Maybe they should tweek it so the further down the order, the more DRS you get. The higher up the order you are, the less DRS you get. If you are in second you get none whatsoever. Increasing the amount the drivers get as you go down the order.

      1. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2021, 1:29

        There’s race classes in abundance that give penalties to those that have won previously. Usually it’s added weight.
        The whole point is that it’s all artificial, “show enhancing” F1 unworthy nonsense, no matter how you ‘tweek’ it.
        We should get rid of it altogether.

    36. When it was first introduced, I wasn’t overly concerned, but as always F1 gets things wrong and then makes it worse.
      These days it seems that they’re forever adding more zones and making them longer wherever they can. That allows Pirelli to bring rubber that destroys itself at the slightest loss of downforce and drivers to sit back and rely on DRS

      Too often we’ve seen tracks where a car blasts past half way along a straight and it would be reasonable then to expect that at the very least the DRS zone on that track for the next race would be shortened. What do we get – at those tracks they extend the DRS zone and in some cases have added one or two more zones.

      There are tracks where it’s not needed, or shouldn’t be, but F1 will always have a DRS zone regardless.

      What started as an “OKish” idea in now just plain silly and The only way to stop it being further misused it to get rid of it.

    37. Yes, and change the two compound tyre rule… it’s a joke. Teams should be allowed to run on any rubber that they like.

      1. @alex-bkk Indeed. It’s just as fake, yet never really mentioned (I wonder why).

    38. I say keep it. I started watching in 2012 so I don’t know any other way. Some tracks DRS barely helps but other it’s needed to prevent those processions with very little passing

      Reply moderated
    39. I prefer a NOS switch.

    40. I think in the present aerodynamic situation, it is best we keep DRS. F1 right now struggles very badly with dirty air. Until DRS was introduced, the overtakes were non existent. That period was the era of “procession races”. Although DRS seems fake, it makes sense when we realize that DRS came to solve a particular problem. Not to make racing exciting. In the present situation, drivers complain that the dirty air affects the car that is up to 5 seconds behind. In a situation like this, following the lead car closely waiting to capitalize on their mistake, is something which isn’t possible. The tires will simply heat up, and the following car will have to back off and wait for it to cool down. At least with DRS, drivers now have a task of driving within 1 second of the leading car to get an opportunity to pass. Maybe the DRS straights are too long, cause it seems that the overtake is too easy, but it is certainly not something that should be removed just cause it “seems” artificial. If DRS is to be removed, then fix the dirty air problem. Remove the car’s dependency on aerodynamics that they aren’t affected by the air quality anymore.

    41. When will F1 bloggers and anti DRS propagandists finally understand that it’s not about “push button passes”, but simply about reducing the disadvantage a following driver somewhat?

      If you see a simple “drive by pass”, then that is NOT because of DRS. It’s not that huge an advantage at all. Those highway drive by passes are caused by tyre age and/or compound differences or simply car differences. When a following car is 2 seconds a lap faster it will simply drive by yes. With or without DRS. People love to blame DRS for those, but that’s just ridiculous.

      If DRS actually did what people claim it does then we would see cars swapping positions every lap. That just doesn’t happen. Two more or less equal performance cars (and tyres) are not going to have an easy overtake just because of DRS. Or even an overtake at all. Yet if a following car is 5 tenths faster then at least DRS will give it a chance of attempting an overtake. So we see more and actually great battles too. Battles that otherwise would never have existed at all because without DRS they need to be well over 1s a lap faster. Battles that people were begging for during the 10 years before DRS was introduced.

      So either they change the aero to allow overtaking when the lap delta is less than second or they use DRS to do exactly the same. What is the problem?

      1. @f1osaurus The problem is being solved with the new cars, because the problem was that if you need a gadget to promote overtaking, that’s a problem. You fail to acknowledge that indeed it is far from always the case that a car with a tire or car, and I’d add driver advantage, will ‘simply’ drive by, DRS or not. It is the very reason they felt the need for DRS rather than getting off their aero downforce addiction. I’m going to much prefer knowing that if a driver is held back behind a car there will be more natural reasons for it other than just dirty air way too negatively affecting the car and it’s tires and therefore holding said driver back from showing he’s a better driver or is having a better car at the moment or the tires are in a better state.

        Highly clean air dependent cars are obviously not the way to go, especially when they need a gadget to make up for that, and deny it as you like make many passes indefensible for the leading car, which is why they have moved away from such heavily clean air dependent cars. Defend DRS all you like, but it’s a terrible way to have to go about racing and there is a better way, and it’s coming, by all the teams agreement and the vast majority of poll participants.

        1. @robbie

          deny it as you like make many passes indefensible for the leading car

          That’s just because you don’t understand. Give me a single example where DRS was responsible for an easy overtake. You will not find one. It;s always because the overtaking car is 2 seconds a lap faster anyway.

          Or perhaps because the lead car doesn’t care to defend, because it destroys his tyres. Even in Monaco they pass each other because of that one.

          Either way, DRS has never cause a drive by overtake.

          “Defend DRS all you like, but it’s a terrible way to have to go about racing and there is a better way, and it’s coming,”

          Keep dreaming, not understanding, and uselessly crying over nothing

      2. Best comment I have ever read on the DRS debate.

        Finally someone using its brain.

        I totally agree!

      3. @f1osaurus, you are right. We only saw it last week between Verstappen and Hamilton

    42. IsaacAndrews
      4th April 2021, 9:09

      I’m not sure how I feel about DRS. On the one hand I would rather f1 steers clear of these gimmicks to create purer racing, and most of the DRS overtakes feel artificial. However, over these past 10 years I can think of some strong arguments for DRS staying and what it has done for us.

      Thinking back to Canada 2011 (a race everyone knows and loves) Jenson Button was able to pass WEB and SCH much easier due to DRS, which enabled him to hunt down Sebastian Vettel and force him into a mistake on the final lap. Without DRS, he may have been stuck in 3rd or 4th for more laps and not been close enough to challenge VET, who then might not have made the mistake … then it wouldn’t have been the amazing ending that we all remember. Also think of Austria 2016 – HAM & ROS colliding on the final lap for the lead. Hamilton probably wouldn’t have been close enough to Rosberg without the effect of DRS.

      I love Formula One and I’m very much a person who gets excited by looking at the gaps down the field and seeing when a car is within 1 second. Without DRS we wouldn’t have as many battles (of that I’m sure) however the overtakes would be far better. We can all remember last year’s race at Mugello where the only proper overtaking spot was down at Turn 1 with an overpowering dose of DRS. Without it, we might have been treated to an exciting climax where RIC might have been able to make a genuine challenge to hold 2nd place ahead of BOT and ALB, who in reality both breezed past him with DRS.

      There are so many arguments for and against. In China 2018 RIC made some great overtakes (not boring DRS ones) to carve his way through the field and win. However there have been races such as Spain 2017 (HAM vs VET) and Hungary 2019 (Ham vs VER) where we may have been denied a more exciting battle for the lead, which was ultimately decided by a powerful DRS advantage. DRS has given us great action throughout the midfield as well, and with these generation of cars being so areo-sensitive it has been a benefit in some cases. But with that said as F1 looks to improve the car’s ability to race in close proximity from 2022, F1 should seriously consider removing DRS for better quality racing.

    43. It should be removed ASAP provided we don’t go back to the dull processions that we all complained about for multiple seasons before it was introduced. Let’s not kid ourselves with our rose tinted spectacles that everything was fine and better before DRS because it really was not. DRS was an inelegant solution to the problem, but a solution nonetheless. I want to see it gone and go back natural passed but only if those passes happen.

    44. Without DRS and on these fragile tyres it will mean no overtaking at all. Welcome to 99% of the races being decided by qualifying, because the order will not change during the race. All the cars will be set up 100% for qualifying and the race merely a dull procession.

    45. Yes, Get it off the cars ASAP.

      The silly artificial gimmick has no business been introduced to start with. It was something drivers were openly against at the time as were a vast majority of fans.

      It’s a Dumb Racing System that doesn’t improve the racing & produces utterly boring push of a button easy highway passes that are devoid of any excitement & are far less interesting to watch happen than the battle for the position it is robbing us of!

      #BanDRS

      1. @roger-ayles Agreed. Even NASCAR drivers were having a laugh about it when it was introduced.

    46. It might sound like an over simplification but could the use of DRS not be limited in some way. So that it is kept for now but can only be used a limited number of times.

      It does not sound like anyone is getting rid of it soon but I hope they are trying to do so. I certainly don’t agree with having more than one DRS zone per race. Maybe they could start by experimenting with not having it at all, at some races.

      1. @phil-f1-21 They used DRS like that when it was initially introduced to GP3 (Now F3) but after 2-3 years ended up simply switching to the same rules used to F1/F2.

        From memory they were given 6 activations in the feature race & 4 in the sprint race. They will still only able to use it in the DRS zones & i’m pretty sure were still only given use of it when within 1 second of the car ahead but having limited activations at least introduced a bit of strategy, Especially on days where DRS wasn’t producing guaranteed passes.

        1. Thanks @stefmeister. That’s something I didn’t know. So it could be restricted which I think is a better way forward. I don’t know if anyone is listening though.

    47. Keep DRS, but change the rules. Every driver has it for 1 min per race and they have to use it tactically. Add it to the graphics. Would mix things around a bit!

    48. More consideration for a small aero contrivance than to resisting blind mammalian tendency is pure conceptual Kuramoto model where the coupling strength is the media. ie. try to step out of your echo chambers people. And Media… you do the math.

    49. Get rid of it! It’s bloody awful.

    50. Keep DRS, but do away with “DRS Zones” and give the drivers a fixed amount of DRS time to use as they see fit, anywhere, any time throughout the race. Use it all in the first three laps, no more till the end of the race; use it to attack; use it to defend; use it to set fastest lap, whatever, but let the drivers choose and do away with the artificial-ness of the “within 1 second and only on certain parts of the track” rule.

    51. I don’t think the FIA will ever remove DRS. Press X to win is what modern society likes very much, and new boys and girls will love DRS passes. They already do.

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