F1 could drop DRS “in medium term” if 2022 regulations succeed – Seidl

2022 F1 Season

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McLaren’s Andrea Seidl has revealed Formula 1 teams have discussed doing away with the Drag Reduction System “in the medium-term”, should next season’s technical regulations produce closer racing as intended.

Since its introduction into the sport 10 years ago, DRS has offered an overtaking aid to drivers who are within one second of a rival ahead of them around specially designated sections of the race track.

While the system has increased the number of overtaking moves during typical grands prix, it has come under consistent criticism from drivers past and present, media figures and fans alike. A frequent complaint is that it makes passing too simple, removing driver skill and making it harder to defend from a rival.

But the 2022 F1 season will bring a dramatic overhaul of the sport’s technical regulations to encourage closer racing by limiting the impact of ‘dirty air’ on the downforce generated by chasing cars. Seidl said the series has discussed the prospect of removing DRS from the sport if the rules work as desired.

“I would be a fan of getting rid of DRS in general, independent of the regulations,” he admitted, “but, in order to do that, obviously we need to have cars that we can race close to each other and where you don’t need DRS to make sure you have overtaking manoeuvres at all.

“I still have a lot of hope, looking forward at what’s in the regulations, that maybe after seeing how these cars do at the track and hopefully maybe improving the situation in terms of racing, maybe we can get to that point, at some point in the future, where they can remove the DRS.”

When asked by RaceFans whether teams had actively discussed the possibility of removing DRS from the sport, Seidl confirmed team representatives had considered a move for the “medium-term”.

“I understand that it is something which is on the radar, because we see that these new regulations bring the benefit we all expect from them,” Seidl explained. “But that’s then something for, let’s say, the medium-term, not the short-term.”

At this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the result of qualifying after his rear wing failed a technical inspection of its DRS operation.

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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...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “F1 could drop DRS “in medium term” if 2022 regulations succeed – Seidl”

  1. The one word that is not mentioned enough in these conversations: “slipstream”.

    Slipstream is absolutely essential to good racing in F1.

    It’s a beautiful, natural phenomenon which allows one car to draw alongside another.

    DRS is an abomination which gives a trailing car an enormous overspeed which more often than not allows them to sweep past long before the corner.

    DRS has destroyed far more racing opportunities than it has created.

    We need to get back to slipstream as being the primary driver of racing. I worry, though, that the new aero regulations will have a detrimental impact on slipstream effect.

  2. At this point i’ve very little faith that we will ever get rid of the stupid gimmick sadly because I think the sport in general has become too obsessed with statistics which often ignore the actual quality of the racing itself.

    Yes DRS creates passing to help inflate the overtake stats, But more often than not the overtakes it creates aren’t especially exciting to watch or that memorable to look back on. For me it’s often quantity over quality & been perfectly honest i’d rather a race with fewer quality overtakes that actually get you excited & which you can look back on fondly for years afterwards.

    The additional frustration for me with DRS is where they put it. I remember when they introduced it they said they would experiment with it’s placement & that it would only be put where it was needed to help assist overtaking where it otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Yet in reality it’s always put in the places where we already saw overtaking which does nothing but result in the sort of easier push of a button overtakes many dislike.

    The Kemmel Straght at Spa been one example, It was never needed there because that was somewhere we always saw good overtaking without DRS.

    And of course lets not forget how it wasn’t supposed to be around this long. I think the original plan was to remove it with the 2014 regulations, Yet they kept it & I think the fact it was available removed the push to find a better solution because they had a quick fix to help inflate the overtaking stats.

    1. One more thing. I said at the time it was introduced & maintain the view now that there were other, better, fairer, less gimmicky solutions available.

      Solutions such as something like Push-2-Pass where everyone starts with the same amount of uses & where they are free to use it how & where they want which not only creates better racing as it can be used defensively as well as to attack, But which also has more driver input & offers more strategy which creates more interest & unknowns compared to DRS.

      1. sounds like KERS (talking about the pre-2014 version where you had to push a button)

  3. Dr
    Rs also breaks up beautifull fights. Drivers arent even attemting to fight and just wait fornthe DRS zone. And IF there is a nice figjt going on, DrS makes sure it’ll be an easy pass before the firght will go on a few laps

  4. I wouldn’t want to get rid of DRS completely – just make it accessible to all drivers at all times in the allocated areas (or a limited number of times per race).
    This is especially true for qualifying, which is supposed to be on-the-limit, maximum output lap times… DRS aids in creating this further impression of max speed.

  5. Good, DRS makes for 2nd rate racing…

  6. I want it gone but it’s been in so long I almost can’t imagine them getting rid of it.

  7. Getting rid of it with the new cars would really be a great step forward. But let’s not get too hopefull they will actually ditch DRS for now.

  8. why does the FIA not appreciate that easier overtaking in 2022 is just going to result in a procession of fastest packages every weekend?

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