(L to R): Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022

F1 needs changes to stop DRS “cat-and-mouse games” – Horner

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 should change DRS zones where necessary to prevent drivers slowing excessively as they approach detection points, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said.

While disputing the lead during last weekend’s race in Jeddah, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen repeatedly slowed ahead of the DRS detection point before the final corner, each wanting to be last across the line to gain a benefit from it.

After several attempts, Verstappen was finally able to gain use of DRS and passed Leclerc to win the race.

“I basically knew that if I was leaving Max with a DRS behind for the main straight, I will be overtaken very easily,” said Leclerc. “So I just wanted that DRS.

“On the first lap I braked very early and I got the DRS and manage to overtake back on the run to turn one. And then the second one, obviously Max knew that I was going to do that, so we both braked quite early, but I still managed to stay in front at the end. The third time, it didn’t work out for me.”

Despite his driver winning the race, Horner says the fact drivers were prepared to lose time in order to be the last one over the DRS line shows changes are needed.

“The DRS is so powerful you can see that there was a game of cat-and-mouse going on between the drivers where they’d actually brake to a point that they accelerated then to the corner,” he said. “So I think maybe we should look at where that DRS detection zone is for future years.

“You definitely want to avoid being in that situation.”

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A similar problem occurred during last year’s race. At one stage Lewis Hamilton ran into the back of Verstappen as the Red Bull driver tried to provoke his rival to overtake him before the DRS detection point at the same point on the circuit.

Start, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in pictures
However Toto Wolff believes the drivers’ attempts to avoid reaching the DRS line first adds entertainment to F1 races.

“I like it personally,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “I think the cars delivered on what Formula 1 hoped.

“Great overtaking and DRS is powerful but it provides a great show now. I think that was entertaining to watch.”

However Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer also believes F1 should consider changes to DRS based on the first two races under the series’ new technical regulations.

“The only thing we’ve got to do is now assess what DRS does with these cars because you can follow a lot closer,” he said. “Before it was really easy to break the DRS train and then off he went. So we just have to assess that.”

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2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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105 comments on “F1 needs changes to stop DRS “cat-and-mouse games” – Horner”

  1. Is Otmar Szafnauer not now working at Alpine yet the article states:

    However Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer also believes F1 should consider changes to DRS based on the first two races under the series’ new technical regulations.

    1. Correct. It’s a major error.

    2. Lol easy to get mixed up, with those pink Alpine cars.

  2. Two races into the season, Verstappen’s wheel-to-wheel racing has been clean as a whistle and Horner is making sense. Something feels wrong ;-)

    1. Came here to say that! Feels so weird agreeing with Horner!

    2. Because you need two to tango.

  3. However Toto Wolff believes the drivers’ attempts to avoid reaching the DRS line first adds entertainment to F1 races.

    So F1 now has become a ‘race’ to slow down enough to come second :P

    Give me sprinklers any day of the week.

  4. Two races in and DRS has been a huge factor in fights for the lead in both. If they want to keep DRS, it has to be in places where it can help but not guarantee a pass. It also should never be on two consecutive straights as it creates a really weird type of racing.

    It won’t be long before someone brakes early to try and let the the other driver past in order to get DRS and we end up with contact.

    We’ve seen these games played before but it’s getting a bit silly now. I don’t think the FIA can bring rules in to stop it – they just need to reassess how DRS is used (or better yet, get rid of it entirely).

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      29th March 2022, 12:09

      It happened last time at Jeddah, remember?

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        29th March 2022, 12:10

        the contact I mean.

      2. It did indeed but that was to let someone back past so a slightly different situation… You’d have never seen anyone deliberately lose a position if they didn’t have to previously whereas the regs are creating that situation every week now.

        I don’t blame the drivers at all – Leclerc did the only thing he could to try and hang on to his position and if you bring in rules to say you can’t brake early, they’ll just ease off the accelerator earlier down the straight. If drivers are deciding that it’s beneficial to lose a place in order to get DRS, there’s clearly a significant problem….

    2. It won’t be long before someone brakes early to try and let the the other driver past in order to get DRS and we end up with contact.

      I mean, it happened last December did it not?

      1. That was Max giving the place back to Lewis after Max had cut the corner of turn 1. It just happened to be just before the last corner.

        1. So there the intention was not to gain drs?

        2. That was no coincidence… It was both reasons- he wanted to give the position back there BECAUSE it was just before the DRS line

    3. Dead right about consecutive straights. It was rubbish at Melbourne before, hopefully they’ll change it this time with the new faster back section.

      It’s reaching a ridiculous, unsafe point like the old acoustic/manual
      DRS that Alonso operated by taking both hands off the wheel…

      Toto won’t like it so much if he gets his cars to work and there’s an unsighted Merc driver at the back of a group of three or four who goes flying over someone’s back wheel when they all hit the brakes.

  5. As long as no one was coming full speed behind them, and for this race they still went at a racing pace with a very early brake while the competitor was on the side vs. not right behind (I saw it as something that could be tried in a non-DRS tight corner, for better line/speed at exit) ; so I would agree with Toto here.
    Last year with the slow crawling made me think of the track cycling Sprint format, when they only go full speed at the last possible moment for 1 lap (which I’m not fond of, I prefer the Pursuit)

  6. I dont agree.
    The new regulations improved racing but I am not sure yet if DRS can be dispensed. Saudi Arabia track is very peculiar and we might not see DRS working like that again.
    Anyway, it can look like contrived or even dangerous to go slower to let the car behind be the one ahead at the DRS, but ir seems to be part of the current game.
    I dont see it differently to drafting on other series.

    1. They’re not talking about getting rid of DRS though, just talking about moving the activation points.

      1. someone or something
        30th March 2022, 0:08

        The detection points.

  7. Horner is making sense. But for now we have two intelligent drivers who know how to react.
    The problems will arise when certain drivers who do not understand how it works will hit a car from behind. And of course Fuming it was a brake check…

    1. Obvious troll is obvious.

      1. I only saw a reasonable comment here and it’s not the 2nd.

        1. @esploratore1 it’s certainly not the third, either

    2. Ah @erikje there’s the rampant anti-Hamilton we’ve come to expect from you

      Who was deemed to be at fault in that incident? Do remind me.

      1. Noframingplease (@)
        29th March 2022, 19:14

        @gardenfella72 yes it’s Mister garderner who can’t stand a single critical note about ‘the goat’. That Lewis didn’t understand Max in that race and wanted to stay behind was obvious. The thing Max can learn from Lewis is to play this game a lot more smarter (some people would call hypocrite, but that’s another discussion). If Max breaks nextime in the same way like Lewis did once with Vettel, telemetrics won’t show anything, and the result is far more effective. Just like Lewis bumps opponents at the reartire. You can always shout at the radio ‘that guy is so aggressive, he cut the corner’, and the first seed of framing is planted. In short, you don’t have to be an anti-Hamilton person to see the rather simple games Toto and his puppet are playing. It’s not his talent people argue about, it’s the hypocrisy and his amateur mindgames people dislike him. The way Lewis chooses to attack his rivals (on and off track, Alonso, Button, Vettel, rosberg and Verstappen) is no secret. There is always a recognizable pattern in Lewis behavior when drivers suddenly change in serious competitors.

    3. wow, you needed to stick that last part don’t you. Is that incident and penalty hurting you to this day, just forget it.

  8. I would like DRS to be always available for all drivers, when and where ever they dare to use it.

    1. It would be a much fairer system if all drivers could use DRS rather than the current proximity-based system which has always disadvantaged the leading driver. With cars now being able to follow and the tyres appearing to be more durable, it could be worth experimenting with DRS if it doesn’t leave the sport, which it probably won’t now.

      Unlimited use throughout would negate strategy and render DRS completely pointless, so one suggestion could be something like 60 seconds per zone throughout the race for drivers to use, kind of like how Champcar used to run the old push-to-pass system.

      1. I think that is a grand idea, something like 20 DRS moments per race, but only in DRS zones. You can use them for defense or offense.

    2. I would like it back that way again. Either that one or limit the number of times someone could use it.

    3. Or to get rid of it.

  9. DRS needs tweaks. I can’t believe the system is so slow that it can’t tell who is 1s behind at the activation line. DRS shouldn’t be available before the cars enter the straight that DRS is on. Either that, or have the line at the Apex of the corner before the straight

    1. I don’t think having the line at the apex would help. If you take the last turn at Jeddah as an example, what would stop Leclerc from just going slowly around the outside of the corner and letting Max past? If Max refused, you’d have both of them crawling around the first half of the turn instead….

      If they can get DRS to work at the activation line (maybe it automatically activates or something) then that could work….

  10. Oh no… I guess it finally had to happen. Infinite monkeys typing in a room and all that.

    I agree with Horner…

    #sigh

    1. Enjoy your ‘Monkey Shakespeare’!

    2. It reminded me of Montoya and Andretti at MIS back in the day. Entertaining as anything, but not without a gimmick on the back if the car.

  11. Ok whatever horner. Guy would complain about anything wouldn’t he? As much as Lewis has empathy for everything and everyone christian wants everyone to know how much he hates winning!

    BUT what I don’t get is why no teammates took advantage of DRS to advance their positions…did they deliberately want to fade back from the lead? In the states we work together dammit, we even draft the cars we ARENT teammates with just to stay close for an opportunity… And we. KNOW these cars work a lot better, it’s plain to see. DRS isn’t too powerful, it’s just unnecessary now. Regardless… I was stunned to see Alonso and ocon fighting to slow each other down when they could have just leap frogged one another as long as they had that artificial advantage. How TF is that not even a strategy after damn near 10 years?!!

  12. Horner praised Perez for slowing Hamilton down to a crawl at some corners in Abu Dhabi 2021 so it’s difficult to see where he finds issue with the DRS ‘no, please, you first’ battles. The fact is watching the drivers trying to trick each other over the DRS is similar to SC restarts and similarly entertaining, lots of second-guessing, feints, double-bluffs. And far more fun than the actual DRS passes themselves.

    1. @david-br I don’t see how you can equate Perez in AD in a one-off scenario where SP happened to have the pace and the opportunity to slow LH down (not sure about ‘to a crawl’) to what is turning out presently to be a repeated ‘cat and mouse game’ that could affect every race and occur throughout much of every race.

      “The fact is watching the drivers trying to trick each other over the DRS is similar to SC restarts and similarly entertaining, lots of second-guessing, feints, double-bluffs. And far more fun than the actual DRS passes themselves.” Lol I don’t disagree but I am just still trying to wrap my head around this. It certainly is a different ‘usage’ (in a way) or let’s say effect of DRS that I hadn’t expected. Overwhelmingly I’d like to see them try a race without DRS with the hopes of them discovering they can do away with it completely, but I have to admit this different flavour of DRS has been entertaining, and perhaps I’m aided in that opinion because Max is in this fight and we have now seen Ferrari isn’t the be all and end all after all.

      Anyway, bottom line for me is that I haven’t been put off with what we have seen so far, but I lean towards what Horner is alluding to, as in, is this really what we want? As well, I still would far far rather just see DRS gone, or used as a fuel saving tool by all drivers in each designated zone every time they are in said zone regardless of proximity to other cars.

      The way I was thinking of it yesterday is that prior to DRS being introduced the cars were also very negatively affected in dirty air, and yes there were times of processions for various reasons, but the point being it took them decades of having clean air dependent cars before bringing in DRS, meaning we lived without DRS for a long time with those types of cars. Why should they still need DRS now that the cars are finally no longer clean air dependent?

      Just as they wanted to experiment with Sprints, I’d like to see them agree to three races this season that will be DRS free, and let’s see what that brings. Give them this first half of the season to get a better handle on their cars and the tires, and then let’s just see what happens without DRS, even just for one race (perhaps too small a sample size though) so they have something to ponder from that experiment going forward.

      1. @robbie I made the equation because I presume Horner believes there’s some problem with the slowing down bit of the DRS cat-and-mouse. It doesn’t really matter to my point if it’s taken to be a one-off scenario or not.
        Anyhow, answering the more general point, yes DRS was an artificial solution to the dirty air problem. But should it go? I’m split minded. Put it this way: if the cars can now race each other closely, which they seem to be able to do, and the teams are close – specifically at the front (Red Bull and Ferrari) – then maybe DRS is unnecessary in a purest sense. I buy that idea. On the other hand, if you have two DRS zones, one close to the other, it’s quite entertaining to see these calculations about when to go for the pass, how to block a re-pass, and so on. And the fact that there are two zones – and this ‘cat-and-mouse’ – for me cancels out somewhat the artificiality of DRS because it makes it ‘evenly artificial’ if you see what I mean. So I don’t know. I think without DRS we’d see fewer overtakes but they might be ‘purer’. But is that what F1 wants? I doubt it.

        1. @david-br Fair comment.

          “Despite his driver winning the race, Horner says the fact drivers were prepared to lose time in order to be the last one over the DRS line shows changes are needed.”

          I think he is just questioning if this is the way to go with drivers intentionally slowing when they should be racing, not ‘reversing’ to the DRS lines. Simply he is questioning if this new dynamic is the right dynamic and shouldn’t it be tweaked.

          That said, and as I said earlier, I’m still wrapping my head around this and have been entertained even as a big detractor of DRS, like you, and that it is exactly because of this juxtaposition between entertainment and gadget that needs to go. I still say these cars shouldn’t need it at all, and I certainly appreciate Horner questioning this new dynamic even when Max won.

          1. @robbie @david-br I think the fact that even detractors of DRS (myself included) are acknowledging this kind of racing makes for an entertaining show means that DRS isn’t going anywhere. Ironic, isn’t it — the new regs, which were supposed to eliminate the rationale for DRS, have done their job, but in doing so have made DRS even more valuable to the show.

          2. @markzastrow I’m just not at all convinced we’re seeing the style of racing we should be settling on in these early days with these cars, as per Horner’s comments, and I think that when the likes of Horner is questioning if this is what we want, I expect there to be tweaks along the way as they learn more about these cars. They literally should not need DRS now or at a minimum should be doing experiments to see if DRS free racing might be even better with these cars. So no, I am not at all of the belief that DRS is even more ‘valuable’ than before. We can’t say that when we haven’t even seen them try racing without it now that the cars are so so different. Interesting choice of words as well, to say ‘valuable to the show’ when if anything DRS devalues passes.

          3. @robbie Oh, that’s a deliberate word choice — I wasn’t saying that you think DRS is more “valuable”, but that it is literally more valuable, as in to F1’s market cap. After seeing all the engagement that these battles are driving and their commercial value, I just don’t think Liberty and F1 are ever going to pull the plug on DRS. [he says with a tone of frustrated lament]

          4. @markzastrow I agree it is ironic! Rather than helping a faster car pass by cancelling out the speed loss from dirty air, DRS has turned into a kind of Mario Kart boost pill you can take once or twice a lap when in close racing. It adds another dimension of tactics. I’d suggest letting it happen for a while, experiment with the format a bit, the length and location of the zones and so on, maybe even drop DRS at some venues and see what happens.

          5. @markzastrow No for sure that is what I picked up on from what you said, and I didn’t think you were saying that I think DRS is more valuable but rather you think it might be too valuable commercially, but I am not convinced that F1 wants this powerful DRS, and I have much hope that they will head towards tweaking or removing or repurposing it than liking what they see now and sticking to it.

            That to me connotes that they might as well have just stuck with aero downforce cars, but no, they changed the cars for a reason and I don’t believe for a second that it was to make DRS more powerful and even more of a factor. I think we need to give them time to evaluate this and head towards the very reason they made such drastic changes with which to begin…more close combat between drivers…teams closer to each other…all adding up to less DRS not more. I mean, they have hinted all along about reducing or eliminating DRS, or using it for everyone on the straights as a tool to save fuel, and never have they said we love DRS so much, and we know you fans do too, that we’re going to change the cars to head towards not needing it, but then double up on it instead. No, I think there is much more to the story than that, and it just may take some time for them to settle into these new cars and see them on various tracks before they make more moves. I just don’t see it as desirable in general, and in the long term, from both within F1 and without, to have cars doing as Horner points out and jockeying for position and riding their brakes to be second place before this line or that.

          6. @david-br @robbie I agree with both of your suggestions — completely sensible to experiment. If we have to have DRS, I wouldn’t mind a real variety of approaches to setting up DRS zones, and some tracks with a lot and some with none, etc.

            But it will be interesting to see how Brawn and F1 play it. It reminds me of when IndyCar moved to the DW12 chassis with the rear wheel pods, which were meant for safety, but had the side effect of cleaning up dirty air and yielding those race-long slipstreaming battles at the Indy 500. I thought it was interesting that when IndyCar removed those pods in 2018 and it got harder to follow again, IndyCar’s competition department said they liked that there was less overtaking and that it rewarded the teams that were able to properly set up their cars.

            I was actually a big fan of those 500s. That style of racing was unique to certain tracks and the means of achieving it was less artificial than DRS. But I do admire IndyCar’s willingness to experiment and tweak the effect. I’m just not so sure F1 will have the same willingness…

      2. @robbie Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, or Red Bull Ring might be suitable for a wholly DRS-free race experiment. No other track really.

        1. @jerejj Spa and Interlagos I’d definitely like to see DRS free. Not so bothered about other tracks.

  13. F1 needs removal of DRS to stop DRS “cat-and-mouse games”

    FTFY

    1. Hopefully the announced review will soon clear up how F1 plans to handle DRS.

      Keeping it, especially with multiple zones on a track, is a vote of no-confidence in the 2022-spec cars.

      1. I hope so.

        I have been debating with my wife, who came to the sport recently and has never seen F1 without DRS. She can’t seem to understand that seeing 2 well-matched cars and racers battle for several laps, with attempts at outbraking and high pressure on both drivers, is far more exciting than even the Leclerc-Verstappen battles we have seen so far this season, even if there is no overtake by the end of it. We don’t need lots of overtakes to make a race exciting, it’s far better to have close, wheel to wheel action even with few overtakes – in fact it makes the few overtakes we see more impressive.

        From what I have seen so far, we are at least very close to that happening this season. Maybe we are not quite at the point of being able to ditch DRS in its current form altogether yet, but with a single short DRS zone (say in the middle of the longest straight) I believe we would get to the point where late braking and high pressure would bring us the exciting races we want.

  14. I don’t see why. Let em race.

  15. 2022 when Verstappen was tricked by Leclerc into this cat-and-mouse game:
    Horner: “Changes are needed”
    Wolff: “It was entertaining to watch”

    2021 when Hamilton was tricked by Verstappen into this cat-and-mouse game at the exact same place:
    Horner: nothing to see here
    Wolff: he braketested!

    This is just a comment to show that (all) people adjust their opinions to what suit them, I don’t want to restart old conversations about whether Horner and Wolff tell the truth or whether Verstappen may or may not breaktested Hamilton.

    1. That’s true!

      1. @matthijs Not a very accurate depiction imho. More like…

        2022 even when Max beat Charles:
        Horner: Is this really what we want?
        Wolff: Yes, it is entertaining.

        2021 when the cars and tires and the rivalry was different and LH should have stomped on it and blown past a very slow Max such that Max would not have been able to catch up in time to DRS LH:
        Horner: LH, shadowing Max’s gearbox rather than picking a clear side to be on, ran into him in a cat and mouse game for who would be second to the DRS line.
        Wolff: He brake tested LH.

        I think it is a fact that Max brake tested LH, but LH shouldn’t have put himself directly behind and so close to Max imho, and I’ll suggest that if this cat and mouse is to become the norm, then drivers will already understand to not put themselves directly behind a car that may want to slow quite a bit and purposely try to be passed.

        1. So you’re saying that it was partly Lewis’ fault for being behind Max when Max decided to decelerate rapidly and unexpectedly, and that he should have known in advance what would happen and position himself accordingly?! I mean, short of clairvoyance I’ve no idea how you expected him to arrive at that conclusion seeing as his team hadn’t even notified him yet that Max was letting him back past. It was completely in Max’s interests to make it as awkward and unclear as possible, which is why he slowed and weaved across the middle of the track at first, as if there was a problem, before suddenly slowing further when it became clear #44 was reluctant to pass.

          It wasn’t a competitive cat-and-mouse incident in the braking zone as per 2022, it was a clumsy attempt to make giving up a position as difficult and unclear as possible, hoping to reap the benefit either via an immediate DRS re-pass or, as happened, a contentious incident with everyone pointing fingers at one another.

          1. @effwon Obviously Max was trying to let LH past and LH didn’t want to cooperate and so they were both playing a game whether you want to call it cat and mouse or not. It was completely in Max’s interest to do what he did and LH might have done the same if the situation was reversed. Of course what happened was partly LH’s fault as he was playing the game along with Max. He was to be getting himself ahead of Max and he wasn’t doing so when Max gave him the opportunity. I still say LH should have just got the jump on Max as he slowed and blown past him such that Max would not have been able to DRS LH back.

          2. Not partly, complete at fault.
            He was sleeping, like this weekend.
            Some tracks seem to be to demanding for Lewis.

          3. And the nerve to say it was a braketest.
            Braketest is what LH did to SV in Baku 2017
            Of course SV got the red mist and had no better idea than wheelbumping LH
            So all the news was about SV’s silly response and not about the braketest that provoked it
            Seb, next time keep your cool and get the aggressor blackflagged, or better yet, in the brig.

          4. And the nerve to say it was a braketest.

            I don’t see how anyone can argue it wasn’t a brake check. Max braked hard (proven by telemetry) outside a braking zone with Lewis directly behind him. Whether the intent was to cause a collision or not, that was a brake check. I have seen people disqualified from both casual and competitive karting sessions for less obvious examples.

  16. Mark in Florida
    29th March 2022, 13:05

    Get rid of drs period. The cars are supposed to be able to follow close enough to pass now. Why do we need the crutch of the drs system? This is a gimmick left over from the early days when cars couldn’t pass each other at all. I don’t think we need it anymore, but management likes it because it adds drama to the show. It robs one guy of victory to give it to another. This garbage keeps the pot boiling so to speak and keeps the ratings and message board going. I have hated drs from the very beginning. It’s not fair at all to the guy leading the race and never has been when anyone can whiz by the leader as he helplessly looks on. Where’s the skill and merit in that? Wake up F1.

    1. Ground effect helps in corners but inhibits slipstreaming. We would end up with a train of cars again which was the problem in the first place. What they need is a watered down version of DRS. Shorter activation lengths or a reduced gap in the rear wing. It basically just has to mimic slipstreaming.

      1. Mark in Florida. I don’t disagree at all. Well said.

        G I think they should at least experiment now that we have these cars, as it is certainly not a given that there would be a train of cars again. I don’t see why they would make such an assumption given the vastly different cars now.

        I’m also not convinced of this ‘DRS needed as replacement for lesser slipstreaming’ argument, as it would be the same for everyone. The car in front would not be benefitting from slipstreaming either, so just because slipstreaming is less effective, so what, it is the same for everyone. What would be wrong with simply trying and seeing how the cars do over a few different types of tracks with these new cars, without DRS, and yes without major slipstreaming. Would it still not be a gimmick free contest of which car/driver package would prevail on a given Sunday, without the benefit of DRS or even slipstreaming? Have drivers ever been able to rely or count on slipstreaming for their success other than at some tracks at some times? Perhaps more for qualifying at some tracks if anything, no?

        1. @robbie
          I don’t want DRS at all. I’d like to see cars that can follow in corners and overtake on the straight without it. However, quotes from the driver’s saying the slipstream effect has now gone as a result of better airflow to the chasing car makes me believe that DRS is now a necessary evil that needs fine tuned. Maybe they can find a way around it without DRS but I’m struggling to see how.

          1. G I’m just not convinced that slipstreaming was something they have depended on all that much, other than when it can be planned in qualifying, often between teammates, but not always. If you depend on a slipstream to advance your car then your car is not going to be fast enough to maintain a lead when there is no slipstream available. I’d like to see a contest of which car/driver package prevailed on Sunday, not which driver needed the aid of DRS or a slipstream for the win. I’m sure there’s still a bit of slipstream anyway, and I’ve not heard anyone arguing that a lack of slipstream from these cars that send their dirty air upward is a problem bigger than clean air dependent cars.

          2. Slipstream isn’t needed as much if the cars can be very close by the braking zone anyway, and I think we’ve seen they can from the starts and restarts, before DRS is enabled, in the past 2 races. That leaves the option of outbraking your opponent into the corner very much on the table, as well as staying behind for several laps to put pressure on them. Of course, the weak point here is probably the tyres, but it would be interesting to experiment with vastly reduced or no DRS zones.

            While ever DRS is available, I don’t think we will see whether the cars can race without, though. Why go for the difficult outbraking manoeuvre or close racing and pressure when you can use DRS?

    2. Luckily, almost nobody would agree with you

    3. I was a vocal adversary of DRS when it was introduced. And indeed I felt that we were robbed of some great battles due to some ‘highway passes’, because of DRS. But I have to admit that on the other hand we were also treated by some great battles, because of DRS, that wouldn’t have been opportunities at all without it.

      I still feel that DRS is gimmicky and is a wrong solution to the problem, but I don’t feel that F1 has become more boring with it than without it. I don’t like DRS but I do like the idea to give the driver behind some tools to mitigate the disadvantages of driving in dirty air. It is less than last year, but dirty air is still an issue. I think some tweaks needs to be made and Bahrain and Jeddah gave us some valuable data about DRS in combination with the new era of cars.

    4. People tend to forget just how turgid the racing was in the heyday of the 80’s and 90’s when there was a dominant force of Williams or McLaren or whatever and teams such as Arrows used to regularly fall foul of the 107% qualifying rule.

      All of the changes in regulation since the late 90’s has been to bring the field closer together, if not downright slower (grooved tyres) to improve racing but the problem is, with stable rules and restrictive regulations, there becomes an established order and turgid racing all over again.

      DRS was brought in to enable overtaking on Tilke tracks where there was a ‘fast slow fast fast slow’ approach to corner design.

      It’s been nice to see the diversity of design in the new regs, but in reality, there is still very little to mark the cars apart with all 20 cars covered by a couple of seconds or so in qualifying. All the engines are almost identical with very little to differentiate between suppliers, there is only so much downforce that can be generated by the new rules and it’s only a matter of time until all the cars start resembling each other so some element of ability to go faster than the guy who is in front of you is necessary.

      It’s a shame to see a lack of fundamental difference in engine and aero as the bulk of the differences are cosmetic which leads to a lack of ability to really change things up from one track to the next with weird, out there ideas and it is only a matter of time until a new order is fully established. That we don’t have Mansell / Senna coming up to lap the 3rd place guy after just half the race is both good and bad, but unfortunately, DRS is going to be here to stay, it just needs to be tuned better and not set up to be used stupidly

  17. They need to look at making drs less effective now that the cars follow closer. What they NEED to do. What they MUST do is change the rules for safety car and virtual safety car periods. The race is artificially changed in that time. Its not racing. I dnt want to see anyone gain positions or wun because he was in the right place at the time. Of the safety car and benefitted from it. That’s not what racing should be about. Pits should remain closed. All drivers should maintain distance as when safety car or virtual was declared. And restart the race as such. Pits can be reopened.

    1. That’s what they do in Indycar, but safety cars still have a massive effect on race outcome there, so I don’t see how this would help in F1.
      If the pitlane was closed it would just be a massive advantage for the people that just pitted, instead of a massive advantage for the people that were about to pit.

      1. Well, IndyCar closes the pits when a full course yellow comes out, but then reopens it after the field is bunched up behind the safety car. IndyCar can’t ban work under yellow entirely because they need to refuel.

        That’s not an issue in F1, so I don’t see why what Wayne is suggesting — banning all work under SC or VSC and maintaining gaps — wouldn’t work, except that the point of a full SC versus a VSC is to bunch the field to give workers uninterrupted clear track to work in.* Maybe you could eliminate full safety cars but make VSCs much safer, with cars forced to reduce speed by, say, 95 percent instead of 40. For incidents where even that is unsafe, red flag the race. If cars don’t change tyres under red, they restart the race normally; any cars that do change tyres must restart from the pit lane and are released 20 seconds later (or whatever the average pit time loss is for that track).

        * Well, and to make the race more exciting, but ignoring that…

    2. I don’t think there is a reasonable way to restart with existing gaps under the full safety car. The entire, or at least main, point is to bunch the field up to give the marshals more space to work. If that’s not needed, the VSC should be used. To restore the gaps after that would be an immense challenge. They could probably do it by lining the cars up on the grid, in on-track order (with lapped runners where they are) and giving each driver an individual “go” signal, but that could easily lead to unsafe situations (where the leaders are approaching the back of the grid before everyone has started), or by releasing them from the pit lane, but I think just re-establishing previous gaps while still running would be near impossible and take a long time.

      Also, many people like the fact that it bunches the field up. It definitely doesn’t feel fair to anyone who has built a gap to the driver behind (no matter where they are in the field) but it does bring a little jeopardy.

      Finally, the VSC gaps seem far more flexible than expected. Some at times have managed to reduce the gap to their competitor in front by a second or more, which doesn’t seem like it should be happening. I’m sure it’s just the car behind managing to get closer to the ETAs than the one in front (basically the front car going slower than they absolutely must), but the VSC is supposed to neutralise the field.

  18. Simple fix: No DRS during the final 5 laps of the race. You want the position, you overtake the old-fashioned way.

    1. And what does that fix?

      1. The silly cat-and-mouse games that the leading pair were playing with the DRS detection line.

        1. If DRS is still needed, disabling it for the final few laps would just lock in the order at that point. You may as well just finish the race 5 laps early.

          The only way this works is if DRS is no longer needed, in which case why not get rid of it entirely?

  19. Completely agree, it was ridiculous. Two high quality drivers going to the limit was great, but having to purposefully slow at one point in the track is something they should not have to do.

    Ideally, get rid of it. If not, fix where it is employed on the track. It might be alright if it was used to open up previously difficult to overtake at corners, rather than being used on a long straight.

    1. I think they should give it a try and see how fighting ends up being without drs.

      1. Remember when DRS broke in 2019 for 17 laps and Bottas still managed to overtake from the back of the grid?

        I expect that at some point this year, DRS will ‘fail’ again to see how the race runs without it, especially if there is a disparity in performance with a front runner at the back somewhere

  20. Did Max brake test Hamilton last year? Max invented the DRS zone cat and mouse game, but now it’s an issue? Oh Mr. Horner Spice, is there no end to the hypocrisy?

    1. It’s hardly hypocritical for Horner to speak on this when he has done so even after his driver won the race last weekend. I think you are just being a sheep trying to follow a misguided herd. As well, Max didn’t invent the game and it was LH that was trailing him so close to ensure he would be second to the DRS line. The were both playing the game equally, or LH would have not participated and would have just blown past Max when Max was slowing.

      1. Personal attacks when a substantive response eludes you. Check.

        1. Personal attacks such as ‘Mr. Horner Spice’ and ‘no end to the hypocrisy’? Btw I gave you a response with much more substance than your remark contained.

    2. Hey Mark you have hit the nail on the head, and the F1 bosses need to listen,why can’t the leader who has earnt his position in a big way have the option to open up drs to keep his lead , and put racing for position down to skill and bravery not a cheat button.

    3. Max didn’t invent it. Hamilton and Alonso did that as early as Canada 2013. Year-3 of DRS.

      1. The brake check is a Max original.

        1. Only when the one behind is a rookie or a driver not paying attention because the track is to demanding.
          If you use several hundred meters to slow down and the car behind slows also it wad never called a brake check.
          Just Hamilton incompetence.

  21. Try those sprint things without DRS and see how it works out

    1. I like this suggestion. My vote would be Interlagos. Traditionally we’ve always had decent racing at this track so lets remove DRS and see what happens.

      For the rest of the tracks they need to seriously consider shortening the length of zones because it’s abundantly clear the regs are working. Be conservative for once and have faith in the drivers. They are the best in the world and will overcome most obstacles you put in their way.

    2. RandomMallard
      29th March 2022, 17:47

      Can get behind this actually. After all, if we’ve gotta have a sprint, can’t we use it to try something different?

  22. It was highly amusing, particularly liked Max’s solution to that problem.

    I’m ok with the DRS gimmick, they could shorten the DrS zone or reduce the number of DrS zones or perhaps give a limited time per race of use of DRS anywhere on the track (this might have been mentioned before)

  23. Eliminate consecutive DRS zones, and leave DRS on the big straights to compensate for loss of slipstream due to new rules.

  24. Mark in Florida
    29th March 2022, 16:38

    I still say get rid of drs. Indy cars pass each other more in one lap than F1 does the whole race. Yes I know they use push to pass which gives the driver about 25 more horsepower on the straight. But a lot of overtaking occurs in the corners requiring a lot of skill to pull off the pass. With push to pass you have a limited amount of seconds to use it then your out. Drs is forever…. apparently. Fundamentally drs is unfair because it automatically erases the hard work of the lead driver. The guy following just has to work enough to get close then pass the leader like he left his parking brake on. I hate it it deinsentivises the lead driver to cross the drs line in the lead of the race. We end up with strategies to slow down to cross behind. This is ludicrous in my opinion. F1 has new cars but old gimmicks and it stinks.

    1. Mark in Florida I don’t disagree but I also think it is early days and we may well see DRS tweaked and/or repurposed yet. Let’s give F1 some time to live with these cars and learn more about them and the tires and then they will have had more data from more and different tracks such that they can make an informed decision about what to do with DRS. It remains my hope that they either get rid of it entirely, or repurpose it so that it is no longer a tool to disadvantage a leading car, but rather just as a way for all cars to reduce drag, save fuel, and promote high speeds in the designated zones at each track, with no consideration needed for proximity to other cars. Every car opens it’s wing two or three times per lap (depending on the venue) in the existing zones to save fuel as DRS’s main purpose.

  25. have DRS deactivate as soon as the wheels of both cars are aligned… I’ve been repeating this for years, still have to listen to one good reason why this would not work better

  26. My personal view on the DRS is to remove it from consecutive long straights. That removes a greater opportunity for the following car to gain into the 2nd detection zone and pass on the next straight. If a track only has consecutive long straights? Then only have one DRS zone. In all likelihood the following car will be within proximity going into the detection zone and but not too close that by the time DRS is activated the overtake won’t be completed before the braking zone and and we see a side by side battle through the corner

  27. Had Charles slingshot to victory on the last lap as a result of lurking in second then I could agree with Horner. Otherwise let’s give it some more rounds and hopefully lots more action before making major changes.

  28. “Let them race.” – Christian Horner

  29. This tactical thing has only really appeared in Jeddah (excluding one moment between HAM-ALO in the 2013 Canadian GP on the straight towards hairpin & the most recent Bahrain GP with coincidently also LEC-VER).
    The detection point locations don’t give scope for such tactics on any other circuit.
    Perhaps relocating Jeddah’s S/F straight zone detection past the final corner might eliminate these tactics or earlier on the run towards the last corner, IDK.

  30. Not a fan of how DRS was implemented at Jeddah. If they want to keep DRS, fine, just change where the detection points are so you don’t have cars deliberately slowing simply for DRS.

  31. It’s great as it is, outsmarting your opponent is a part of the game.

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