Is DRS “here to stay” or creating “go-kart races”? It’s still too soon to say

2022 F1 season

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After the pre-season tests of Formula 1’s radically altered technical regulations, drivers gave contrasting views on whether the Drag Reduction System is still needed to assist overtaking.

Those differences persisted after the first two races for the new machines. While some drivers remain convinced overtaking would be impossible without DRS, others said passing has become much more straightforward, allowing positions to be swapped repeatedly for lap after lap.

Charles Leclerc, who finished second in the last race after being passed by Max Verstappen, was among those who thinks DRS is still needed.

“I think DRS needs to say for now otherwise the races will be very boring,” he said. Leclerc believes this despite acknowledging F1’s changes have made it easier for cars to run closely together.

“Following has been better from last year to this year and it’s a very positive step. I like this step as a driver, I also think that it is very positive for the sport. But I still think it’s not enough to get rid of the DRS.”

Leclerc swapped places several times with Verstappen during the last race. At times the pair tried to avoid being the first to reach the DRS detection line before the last corner, in order to avoid giving the speed boost to their rival. For Leclerc, this is a part of modern F1 racing.

“It’s part of it and I actually quite enjoy it,” he said. “It’s part of the strategy for each driver in terms of defending and overtaking and it’s part of racing for now.”

His team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr also believes DRS is still needed to allow overtaking.

“Without DRS it’s almost impossible to overtake nowadays,” said Sainz. “What it has improved is the predictability of the car and following. It’s giving us a much more predictable balance and the ability to stay closer through the corners.

“But without those three or four tenths that DRS gives you in each straight, it would be impossible to pass.”

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Sainz suggested DRS needs to be made less powerful for safety reasons. “Because the slipstream is lower than this year we might need to consider making the DRS effect a tiny bit lower just to not have the [difference in] speeds that we see nowadays that some overtakes are maybe a bit too easy.

“But I think the DRS is here to stay because so far with the speeds that we are doing in the corners, it is still difficult to overtake.”

Not all drivers drew the same conclusions, however. Some found overtaking easier than others because of differences in the performance of their power units or due to the different rear wing levels they were running.

Esteban Ocon was pleased with the performance of his Renault power unit in Jeddah. “We didn’t have to be shy of anybody,” he said. “As soon as I had the DRS open, I could pass. I could overtake easily the Aston of Nico, Lando [in] the McLaren.”

The combination of cars which can follow more closely and the power of DRS gives drivers multiple overtaking opportunities, he explained.

“Before, basically, as soon as you had a chance you had to go for it because you might only have one chance. Now you have two or three chances in the lap to overtake so you need to time it right.

“You need to make the gap at the right time. And you know that if you don’t make the gap to the cars behind, they are going to have DRS and they can get you back.

How easily drivers found it overtaking in the first race with F1’s new rules came down to a mix of factors, including how many cars of similar performance they could race with. The Ferrari drivers only had the Red Bull for company, while Ocon was in the heart of a midfield scrap.

As teams begis to discover overtaking is not as difficult as before, that will increasingly be factored into their strategies and set-ups. Ferrari have already taken notice of the lower downforce level Verstappen ran which allowed him to overtake their cars, as team principal Mattia Binotto explained.

“Max was on slightly higher downforce level on Friday, then he reduced it,” he said. “We decided ourselves to stay on a higher level of downforce because we believed that was important for tyre degradation. But finally in the race the tyre degradation was very little and I think that their choice somehow merits some analysis from our side.”

Meanwhile F1 has added a fourth DRS zone to Albert Park for this weekend’s race#. But changes in how the teams configure their cars for the event may also contribute to easier passing. The challenge for F1 will be separating the cause from the effect, and judging whether its new rules or DRS is making the difference.

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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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81 comments on “Is DRS “here to stay” or creating “go-kart races”? It’s still too soon to say”

  1. Of course, DRS is here to stay.

    No one in charge wants another Trulli train.

    1. So much for the “biggest regs change in the last 40 years”…

      1. what about the changes seems insignificant to you? Have you not been watching the races or seen the cars?

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          5th April 2022, 20:59

          @ajpennypacker If DRS is still required, the regs have failed. Simple as. From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think it is required but obviously that will make passing more of a challenge which some of the drivers won’t be keen on. I imagine the teams prefer pressing a button to overtake rather than relying on their drivers using skill as well as that makes F1 much more inviting for those who perhaps aren’t quite so “elite.” It also cuts down on damage as they can go for zero-risk passes rather than anything risky.

          It’s a shame for the fans if they keep DRS although so seem to like it… It’s not for me though.

          1. Well that’s overly simplistic isn’t it? Because whereas you can press a button to overtake, the following lap the other car can do the same to you. Like it or not, and I’m not a big fan of it, DRS does make it more interesting. We saw this very well in Jeddah. It was lovely. The kind of battles we haven’t seen since… honestly I can’t remember. Certainly not in the 2000s. Probably early 90’s, last time aero wasn’t such that it made it overly complicated to follow closely.

            Anyway, I’m ok with the sport evolving. This year’s regulations have been very successful so far. Getting rid of DRS was never one of the objectives. I suppose we could get rid of it right now and the racing would still be better than 2021. But why get rid of it already? This is the first year of the big overhaul. We will have to iterate on it to make it better and better. Eventually, maybe DRS becomes redundant.

    2. Personally, I think it comes more down to the fact that audiences and drivers have become used to seeing passes complete before the braking zones. If they removed DRS now, we would see trains of cars because the drivers are no longer used to having to outbrake their opponents, or having to put pressure on an opponent for a dozen laps to force a mistake or find a way through. It is likely that it would be reintroduced as a knee jerk reaction.

      What they need to do is reduce the quantity and length of the zones to allow the drivers and fans to adapt. These cars are able to follow closely enough that there would be opportunities into the braking zones without DRS.

      They definitely need to do something to tone down the effect right now, though. I’d suggest cutting the number of zones and making them shorter. It’s getting silly when the drivers are purposely refusing to pass each other to get DRS in the second zone instead of the first, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to cause an accident in the next few races if it is allowed to continue this way.

      1. @drmouse After hearing such things as these drivers being able to get a handle on tracks they’ve never raced on in quite short order, i.e. only a small number of laps, I can’t agree with your suggestion that “drivers are no longer used to having to outbrake their opponents, or having to put pressure on an opponent for a dozen laps to force a mistake or find a way through.” I think we have seen many examples of this last year and this year already, and I think if they took away DRS now the drivers would quickly adapt, for even just through all of them being out their racing together they’d have no choice, or be swallowed up.

        But your second two paragraphs, I agree completely.

    3. @proesterchen I just can’t even envision a Trulli train with these cars without DRS, for they are no longer clean air dependent, nor are we in a tire competition.

  2. It’s not impossible! I used to overtake Trucks on the M16 back home, they’re not much heavier than formula one cars.

    1. The force is with you then

      1. at least someone got it. was beginning to worry there.

    1. Coventry Climax
      5th April 2022, 13:31

      I don’t use the stuff from Murk Sugarlump. What’s in the article?

      1. THREE THINGS I WOULD CHANGE ON DAY 1 (if somebody finally put me in charge)

        1. Teams should not be permitted to work on cars during red flag periods. Currently, unlimited amount of work could be performed on cars without any impediment whatsoever, and as long as the work is completed before the re-start, the car then starts from its starting grid position, as if nothing has happened. Generally, this involves change of tyres, but on several occasions, pretty extensive repairs had been carried out. This just might be the worst F1 rule ever, but in spite of that, it remains on the books for at least a decade.

        2. There are no restrictions for DRS use in qualifying, and therefore, there should be none during the race. Let’s get rid of the detection zones and one second intervals, it only leads to a situation where (depending on their track position) some drivers are using DRS lap-after-lap, while others not at all. Teams and drivers should be allowed to use DRS at any time they see fit, but with restriction of maximum four uses per race and 60 over a season, for each driver. That way, it would become a strategic tool evenly distributed to all, instead of the current unfair automaton scenario.

        3. Dissecting every situation to determine whether a driver ‘gained advantage’ or not is complete nonsense. Breach of rules should be a breach of rules, period. This applies particularly to track limits. If the drivers can be precise in Monaco, they sure can apply being precise elsewhere. Instead, we have a situation where selected corners are marked for track violation observations. Often, even if a driver gains advantage, it’s OK, because he was ‘avoiding an accident’…ridiculous. To make matters worse, the allowable surface is marked by white-red curb here, green stripe there, or painted Italian flag somewhere else. Inevitably this leads to confusion and inconsistency, regardless of FIA’s rigorous claims otherwise. Every track limits violation should be penalized by at least five seconds, without exception. I can already hear the screams of teams and drivers that it would be too harsh and unreasonable, but some of us remember times, when leaving the track automatically meant encounter with bumpy grass or gravel. As for penalties, 40 years ago jumped start would cost a driver 60 seconds and an entire lap could be deducted for passing under yellow flags. Driving habits were developed accordingly.

        Bonus Round. Lapped cars should not be directed to un-lap themselves during safety car periods. If the best drivers in the world cannot handle mixed fields on re-starts, then those slower cars should be dropped back, rather than advanced forward.

        1. Coventry Climax
          5th April 2022, 13:52

          Ah. So basically what I’ve been saying for a very long time now.
          Glad you agree with me. Let’s try to persuade the rest. And the FIA. And LM.

          1. I’m in…but good luck to us. I too have been saying this for years and even discussed it with Charlie Whiting. He was 100% for No.1 but said teams were strongly opposed. But he loved DRS and was not in favor of any changes there.

          2. Coventry Climax Just to remind you of what you said to me for daring to suggest there may be tweaks to DRS yet…

            “Dream on, happily. You’ve been doing so for a long, long time already. Waking up appears to not be one of your ‘forte’s’.

            Then ‘I hear you’. As if you’re one to have any influence on it at all. In your dreams probably.”

            What makes you so special? Hypocrite.

          3. Coventry Climax
            5th April 2022, 18:15

            @Robbie :
            I do not suggest tweaks to DRS, I want either it or the rules around it completely abolished. That, no less, no more is what I’ve been saying for a long time, and you know it.
            I think you are also very well aware that I do not believe for one second that F1, FIA, LM, etc really strive to achieve these goals that I, Aleš Norský and many others, would like to see achieved, or actually ‘reversed’.
            Even if they do say so from time to time, I’m quite certain it will never happen.
            And that’s where you and I differ, as you choose to believe the twisted stories they invent in order to come back on words that were said earlier, at the time for the sole purpose of selling it to the public and everyone involved.
            And that, my friend, is the true meaning of the word hypocrite: saying this, doing that.

            Now please explain to me how you think that word is applicable to me.

          4. Coventry Climax Your hypocrisy comes when you shoot me down with your “As if you’re one to have any influence on it at all…” only to then yourself proclaim “Let’s try to persuade the rest. And the FIA. And LM.”

            For the record, if you have read my stuff at all you will have seen that I have been anti-DRS from the get-go. All I have been doing lately is trying to make sense of why they still have DRS. I find myself encouraged at least, that there is a possibility as suggested by Domenicali of using DRS differently and in the way he suggests it would no longer be an unfair advantage for a trailing car, and would be a completely neutral tool only meant to save them fuel in the zones. I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with DRS repurposed that way such that it is no longer a push to pass button. So my options, my hopes, my expectations remain either ridding themselves completely of DRS, or failing that changing it’s use in a way that would be fair for all.

            But in your world it seems that my opinion is invalid as I will not sway F1 with it, whereas your opinion is valid and you will be able to sway F1.

        2. @Aleš Norský
          Agreed if you could change item 3 to:

          There are no track limits. Therefore there are no track limit discussions.
          Pros:
          -less rules so less debate
          -less policing
          -less controversy
          -it’s the same for everyone

          Cons:
          -Some tracks will produce really weird racing lines

          Fix for the cons:
          -Stop being lazy and design better corners

          It works on Monaco and Baku, but there are walls some might say.. Fair enough. Then look at Zandvoort. No track limit violations last time round, none. No warnings, no gaining advantage debates. Why? Because the track punishes drivers making a mistake. It is self regulated and therefore perfect.
          BuT wE nEeD tArMaC rUnOfFs!1!
          Fine, I don’t prefer it but you could leave the tarmac, just add a meter of deterrent* on the edges of the corner (inside/outside/both). Someone spinning out? Fine, there is room for Lance to go wide. Someone cutting a corner or going wide to try and gain an advantage? The chosen deterrent will hurt your time/tires/both.

          *Different solutions possible for different situations.

          1. Agreed about Zandvoort (my FB post was done well before that) this is how it used to be. But for one reason or another, we have those large paved run-off areas now and rules are needed. Say there are corners that are faster if one takes wider turn through a run-off (kerbs removed). In that scenario, in the name of safety that run-off would need to be extended, because under your suggestion, good part of it will now be a race track. Not a way to go, I think…enforcing the white line would be the right solution.

        3. Third point, I’m with you 100%. If the penalties were consistently harsh (natural or administered by the stewards), drivers wouldn’t leave the track. All this wishy-washy “gaining and advantage” bull just causes inconsistency. Unless the driver is literally forced off the track by another not following the rules of engagement, there should be a penalty of one form or another for leaving it.

          On the second point, I’m with you up to a point, but I wouldn’t put any restrictions on its use at all. Why artificially limit it to a certain number of uses, especially such a low one. The only time I would disable it was for safety reasons, in the wet or soon after a restart. Otherwise, have at it, and not only in certain zones but anywhere they want.

          On the first, though, I can’t agree. In a similar manner to the ideas of closing the pits under SC/VSC conditions, I believe it would lead to cars restarting in an unsafe condition or retiring when they have a repairable issue. Red flags and safety cars are always going to be massively unfair to a lot of drivers, but they are there for safety reasons and all rules around them should be made only for safety reasons.

          1. I believe it would lead to cars restarting in an unsafe condition or retiring when they have a repairable issue.

            Cars wouldn’t be allowed to return to the track in an unsafe condition, @drmouse.
            Besides, if a car was in an unsafe condition, it’d most likely be uncompetitively slow anyway, and (should) immediately receive a meatball or black flag.

            And if a team wouldn’t or couldn’t repair the car under competitive conditions, then they’d be out of the race anyway. So no loss.
            No benefit in giving them a free pass. Unlike pitting under SC/VSC, there is no strategy involved in repairing damage under red flag.

          2. Nobody would be forcing the teams to send out cars in unsafe condition, would they? This rule (as well as those others) are on the books for about 15 years…racing was doing just fine for 100 years before that. When someone damaged their car, they would retire or spend extra times in the pits. Safe and simple.

          3. @drmouse I agree with S and @Aleš Norský. Another option in between is to give the teams the option to work on cars or change tyres, but start from the back of the grid or pit lane if they do so. That’s what IndyCar has done for ages and I can’t recall a serious incident resulting from a car that was sent out with no repairs to maintain track position.

          4. Yep, @markzastrow.
            Not even NASCAR’s ‘no touching the car at all under red flag’ has lead to anything.

          5. And if a team wouldn’t or couldn’t repair the car under competitive conditions, then they’d be out of the race anyway. So no loss.

            Repairing a car under “competitive conditions” immediately after an SC or red flag is a much bigger deal than doing so under “competitive conditions” at almost any time. The entire field is bunched up. Something like the replacement of a front wing may cost a few places mid-race normally, but immediately after would probably put them a fair way behind the back of the field.

            This is another reason why closing the pits for SCs is not necessarily a great idea: If someone needs to pit for new tyres but a full SC or red flag comes out, forcing them to pit afterwards will probably ruin their race. It goes from being a slight advantage to need to pit just as an SC is thrown to one of the biggest disadvantages there could be.

            Note that I’m not saying they should be allowed to rebuild the car completely when it is in a state where they would be forced to retire otherwise (although I’m not saying they shouldn’t, either: we all want to see cars racing, don’t we?). But there are so many potential consequences to the “simple” fixes that I don’t know if they are the right way to solve the potential issues they are attempting to solve. I think if these “simple” fixes were implemented, it wouldn’t take very long before people were arguing that they should be put back to how they were, that it was unfair that someone ended up at the back of the grid after leading the whole race just to change tyres etc.

          6. @drmouse Need to move on with my day but just wanted to say the thing that bothers me about being able to repair cars under a red flag is that it is random in terms of what repairs are needed and how long the red flag goes for, so in that sense I’m not sure of the fairness of it. Perfect example, and this site did an article on it after Silverstone, was when LH damaged his own car when he was deemed to have hit Max, and the very red flag that LH himself caused allowed them to pit and fix his repairs in time, and go on for the win. The article here bottom lined it that perhaps this (should red flags mean parc ferme conditions) should at least be up for serious discussion within F1, and it also tied in the concept of discussion around some sort of compensation or allowance for when a car gets taken out and destroyed and the bill comes to a million, and a pu is taken out of the pool, specifically now that there are strict budgets in play.

            Perhaps there could at least be a rule that if amongst many reasons for a red flag, said red flag is caused by a driver doing a penalized act, then that driver is in Parc Ferme during the red flag he caused. Perhaps even his teammate, as his penalized act shouldn’t be able to benefit the team in any way.

          7. On no DRS restrictions…wouldn’t it be the same as nobody having DRS? Id its use is limited the drivers would really need to think about it, especially in combination with battery charges.

        4. @Aleš Norský I couldn’t disagree more with you on everything.

          1. Aleš Norský LOL, good response.

        5. To: Ales Norsky.

          Reference your Point 1. I have always felt that repairs during a red flag race stoppage should not be allowed, however, I have come around to the idea that under such circumstances, a safety related repair can be allowed provided that such a repair’s time be added to the car’s race time (including an average of in and out of the pits times), or even a re-start grid penalty of say 10 places from where the car/driver was immediately prior to the waving of the red flag.

          In addition, for me the white, or whatever colour, track boundary line is the limit of the track’s racing surface. Any two wheels over that line – the car is off the track. For all lap times to be official, then all four wheels should be within the marked track boundary for the entire lap. Driver skill and accuracy are paramount.

          I say bring back the old oil barrels used as boundary markers at Silverstone in 1954!

        6. DRS should have acces at all times BUT limited uses say like 30 times a race. That means the driver decides when to use it but he needs to be stratical about it. It’s much beter then current DRS without removing DRS.

  3. If they still need DRS, If they still have DRS beyond 2022 then i’m sorry but the new regulations have completely & utterly failed at one of there main goals. That been to have cars that can race without the need for silly artificial gimmicks!

    It’s a joke, DRS is a joke. It isn’t racing, It’s artificial push of a button highway passing that i simply do not find enjoyable or exciting to watch.

    The DRS passing & re-passing as we have seen in the prior 2 races (And at Abu Dhabi in the past) just comes across as utterly artificial & again I just don’t find it to be enjoyable or exciting to watch because it to me feels fake.

    In decades to come I doubt any of the DRS artificial non-racing will be remembered in the same way as all those truly exciting & memorable bits of racing & genuine overtaking in the pre DRS days are.

    It’s quantity over quality & it’s an utter joke.

    1. Coventry Climax
      5th April 2022, 13:58

      I absolutely agree with you, @roger-ayles.
      Personally, I’m close to two conclusions:
      They’ve changed F1 and will not reverse those changes, despite all the hollow talk.
      They’ve changed it such that I don’t really love the Formula anymore.

      That’s fine. Will save me a lot of spare time and money in the future.

      1. They’ve changed F1 and will not reverse those changes, despite all the hollow talk.

        Yes, that’s correct. It will continue to evolve.

        They’ve changed it such that I don’t really love the Formula anymore.

        Seems like it. That’s ‘progress.’

        Enjoy your spare time. There are so many better ways to spend it.

        1. Coventry Climax
          5th April 2022, 18:43

          I find your definitions of ‘evolving’ and ‘progress’ rather stretched, as those words are generally used to indicate that things are not only changing, but also improving. I do not think improvement is the case here.

          Anyway, I do hope that you can understand I’m not too happy about them taking away the thing I’ve loved since the early sixties, last century. Yes, I’m that old. And no, I don’t have and never have had any difficulty with change of any kind. In the case of F1, and I’ve said it before, it’s the direction of change that I disagree with.

          1. My personal definitions of ‘evolving’ and ‘progress’ aren’t necessarily the same as F1’s, but that’s how they describe what they are doing.

            I understand your frustrations and, indeed, share many of them – but the fact remains that we also have to accept that we are no longer F1’s target or priority.
            What we liked about F1 in the past isn’t what they (F1 management and teams included) want it to be in the present or future.

    2. That been to have cars that can race without the need for silly artificial gimmicks!

      I seem to remember that the stated goal of this set of regulations was a reduction in dirty air behind a car and an improvement to a driver’s ability to follow a rival closely without at the same time causing hugely detrimental degradation of the tyres.

      It’s quantity over quality & it’s an utter joke.

      DRS is about allowing a quicker driver to overtake a slower driver.

      That’s what we’ve seen the past couple of races, too. Charles overtook Max in Bahrain, Max overtook Charles in Jeddah. In both cases, while there was a bit of hanky-panky, ultimately, DRS worked in that the quicker driver managed the overtake and come home ahead.

      1. Coventry Climax
        5th April 2022, 18:29

        “DRS is about allowing a quicker driver to overtake a slower driver.”
        That is 100% NOT correct.
        It allows a faster car to overtake a slower car, irrespective of who’s driving them. Faster and slower could be due to design, tyre choice or degradation and such.
        It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the drivers themselves being slower or faster, or smarter, or impatient, better at judging this or that, better or worse at fast or slow corners, etc, and that is my grievance with it.

        Fine, go ahead with it all, have Google make the cars and omit the drivers all together, if that’s what you like.
        But do it in a separate Formula and don’t call it F1 please.

      2. @proesterchen

        DRS is about allowing a quicker driver to overtake a slower driver.

        Just because a driver is quicker doesn’t mean he deserves to overtake one that is slower, That isn’t how racing has ever or should ever work.

        A driver in a slower car should be able to hold off a faster one, That is what has given us so many thrilling & exciting races over the years as well as given us some surprise results & shown off the racecraft & ability of some of the best drivers who have been able to get a slower car towards the front & keep it there.

        It’s perhaps no wonder that in the DRS push of a button highway pass era that we don’t see any of these surprise results with drivers in slower cars punching above their weight as whenever you get a situation where somebody pulls out a mega qualifying lap (Such as some of George Russell’s laps last year) or gets some luck with a safety car (Something like Kimi Raikkonen at Monza in 2020) & ends up towards the front they just get easily/quickly DRS’d back down to he mid field with no real chance to defend.

        With DRS would we have seen those wonderful 20 lap fights with Schumacher & Alonso at Imola in 2005/2006?
        Would we have seen Raikkonen & Alonso have to pull off some breath-taking overtaking coming through the field at Suzuka in 2005?
        Would we have seen Gilles Villeneuve hold off 5 faster cars to score a brilliant & memorable win at Jarama in 1981?
        Would Thierry Boutson have been able to hold off faster cars to win at Hungary in 1990?
        Would Mark Webber have been able to hold off the much faster Toyota of Mika Salo to score that wonderful 5th place in the Minardi at the 2002 Australian GP?

        DRS robs us of real racing, Real battles, Memorable battles & exciting overtaking & replaces it with push of a button easy highway passing that nobody will remember because of how artificial, easy & unexciting they are to watch. It’s probably no wonder the past decade has given so few moments to remember compared to the decades before. It’s been destroyed by artificial gimmicks creating fake racing.

        1. DRS robs us of real racing, Real battles, Memorable battles & exciting overtaking

          No, all DRS does is change the delta-t needed to complete an overtake.

          And I have zero sympathy for arguments that needing to be 1.2 or 1.5s per lap quicker should somehow be the new benchmark to allow for a successful overtake.

      3. petebaldwin (@)
        5th April 2022, 21:05

        @proesterchen – So what you’re saying is the goal of DRS is to remove racecraft. It’s basically just a time-trial now.

        They could do it in football – whoever has the most possession in the opposition half wins. You don’t need to actually score goals… If you’re the better team, you automatically win.

        1. So what you’re saying is the goal of DRS is to remove racecraft.

          What I’m saying is that through the use of DRS, the delta-t needed to successfully complete a pass gets moved.

          What I’m also saying is that I don’t find any virtue in a driver that’s a lot slower (like, 1.2 to 1.5s per lap) being able to keep a quicker driver behind through the quirks of the circuit and the regulations, and have no desire for that to happen more often than it already does. (Imola, Barcelona and Monte Carlo coming to mind as the perennial stinkers on the calendar)

  4. Coventry Climax
    5th April 2022, 13:45

    As I replied to @undercut677 in the fourth DRS zone article:

    1. Coventry Climax
      5th April 2022, 13:49

      And another fail: Both above were intended as a reply to @stefmeister

  5. DRS will remain even if it isn’t really needed because once you introduce something that is perhaps a bit more artificial and gimmicky it’s exceptionally hard to remove it.

    Overtaking would still be possible without DRS, It would be a bit harder & there would be a bit less of it but it would still be possible. However when F1 & a chunk of fans have become as focussed on numbers as they have any drop in the amount of overtaking will be seen as a negative even if the smaller amount of overtakes been seen wound up been more exciting to watch.

    I don’t often give my own view of things but i’ll say this. I don’t like DRS & DRS is actually a big part of the reason i’m no longer as engaged with F1 as I once was. I no longer watch every race & I now rarely watch live & I have switched off the TV mid-race a few times when it’s been particularly effective in those races. I will also say that one of the things that led to this is knowing some of the behind the scenes stuff & knowing that despite what many within F1 were/will say publicly about moving away from it there was not & is not any real push to do so & the plan as i’ve heard is to use it more rather than scaling it back.

    1. @gt-racer
      I agree. Maybe a factor not discussed often but I believe to be true: DRS is keeping DRS relevant. Since drivers are given the tool to make overtaking more easy, they will use the tool. Without the tool the objective would be to work out where on the track you have an advantage and try to capitalize on it. With DRS the game changes. It’s about being just close enough at an arbitrary detection point. The rest of the track just matters less now.
      To make it worse: there is even a penalty for trying an overtake on a different position on the track. If you do it somewhere else you are bound to give the car you just passed DRS on the next straight. So that means there actually is incentive NOT to overtake. Case in point: the recent gamification of the DRS line between Leclerc and Verstappen.

      This results in numbers. Someone will say that DRS is needed because otherwise there would hardly be a single overtake, just look at the numbers! Sad thing is, they’ll be correct if they indeed look at those numbers.

      So the existence of DRS is actively reducing any other sort of overtake and will therefore make itself relevant.
      I want to see racing without it. I like the sprint-without-DRS idea, but I feel the sprint format will on its own be enough of an incentive to play it safe and NOT overtake.. So I feel it wouldn’t be representative of a proper race without DRS…

      /my 5 cents

    2. the plan as i’ve heard is to use it more rather than scaling it back.

      Domenicali loves the idea of using DRS as a fuel-saving device….
      It won’t be going away.

    3. Coventry Climax
      5th April 2022, 18:50

      Agree with you, @gt-racer.
      And baasbas, those are very true words.
      And should they try racing without DRS, then doing it for a race or two – as suggested by some here- will do no good whatsoever. It’ll likely take longer than that for the drivers to get used to racing the old way again. So when asked, the drivers slowest to adapt will complain that it was better with DRS. Guess who the FIA will listen to.

      1. I remain of the opinion that F1 is not as in love with DRS and the easy highway passes as many fans like to portray. I think they are going to tweak DRS in the short term so there isn’t the cat and mouse effect of literally decelerating ahead of a line in order to trail, and so that there isn’t the large delta that the likes of Leclerc spoke of where DRS’ing cars are blowing past the leader before they even get to the braking zone. I remain confident this is not the type of ‘racing’ F1 is looking for, so it will be tweaked. I also remain hopeful that the ‘more’ usage of DRS not less being referred to above is because they will head to it merely being a fuel saving tool and not a tool disadvantaging a leading driver. I am not going to sit here and project doom and gloom regarding the future of DRS when it is still such early days with this new chapter, and rather I will take their decisions around DRS as they come and hope for the best.

  6. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    5th April 2022, 14:20

    DRS isn’t bad in itself, just poorly implemented. It improves speed and fuel economy, but it creates enormous inequality on the track, so why not try just let them use DRS whenever and wherever the drivers feel they can?

    That way the driver gets any advantage over his opponent only if he’s brave and/or skilled enough to open it a millisecond earlier than the driver he’s racing.

    Why not test that concept for thee races in a season instead of the sprint race?

    Or why not even test it during sprint races? I’d actually watch them in that case.

    1. @IfImnotverymuchmistaken
      Wherever indeed was the case in 2011 & 2012 until usage got limited on safety grounds, so a no-go.
      Leaving a choice with DRS use entirely up to drivers is unnecessarily risky.

    2. Indeed just give them a limited uses but unlimet acces of DRS (for example 30 times) So or you use it to make up time overtake or defend or safe fuel the driver may decide it himself only limeted uses. So the driver can save them for the end or use it in the begin but when the attempts are gone it’s gone.

  7. Just let them use drs as a push-to-pass but with limited uses so that way you can also defend with it if you like. No more detection zones. Keep the DRS zones to ensure safety. Give them 10 DRSs per race or one every 5 laps or whatever. Make some experiments this year, the same as what was done with the sprint races. Call them crazy DRS qualifying bonanza fest. God knows you have enough rounds in the championship to do it.

  8. Why is everybody just talking about DRS / No-DRS as if there was no middle ground?
    The effect of DRS massively depends on the length and number of DRS zones.
    Apparently DRS is too strong at the moment, so just reduce the length of the DRS zones…

    And even if DRS is still needed, the new regulations are not a failure. The long battles we have seen in the last two races would very likely not have been possible with the old regulations.

    1. RenM Well said. But further, I would like to see them experiment with not using DRS for a race just to see, but I can understand that they may just want to give the teams and drivers more time with these wholly new cars for now, and see them race at several different types of track, before they decide what to do with DRS going forward. You are of course right that the racing is different now when they are not using DRS where it is not allowed on the tracks. It is also different now in the DRS zones, with cars actually braking ahead of the line to ensure they are not leading, and can therefore use DRS.

      Unlike many cynical comments, I do not believe for one second that the intent was to have drivers braking ahead of DRS lines to ensure they trail and can then get the easy highway pass. I will be shocked if this is not tweaked, and I remain hopeful that ultimately DRS will be around but only as a fuel saving tool for all drivers to use every time they are in the zones, independent of proximity to other cars. For now I think it would be understandable if they just need more time with the cars and more venues before they make the appropriate changes that we can already see need making.

    2. @RenM Zone lengths aren’t an issue.

      1. How is the length not an issue? A longer zone will increase the effect the DRS has.

        1. Not always as over the years we have seen short zones be super effective and long zones not really do much because how effective DRS is or isn’t isn’t simply dependant on zone length.

          This has always been one of my issues with it, it’s virtually impossible to tune so that its only as assist because there are so many other variables that go into how powerful it is.

          Things like wind direction, Wind speed & even air temperature can all play a role & you can’t control any of that. And you also have car setups which can dictate how powerful it is.

          If it was as simple as finding the right zone length then they would have got to a point after 2-3 years where zone length was tuned perfectly to not create any of the easier passes as that was never what it was designed to do. It was meant as an assist to draw cars level & create overtaking opportunities but not drive them past too easily before the braking zone.

    3. The effect of DRS massively depends on the length and number of DRS zones.

      And of how much the rear wing opens when it’s activated, which is also something that could be reduced. Leave DRS, but not to the point where the car with DRS open has a 15 km/h advantage and the car in front has no chance to defend when the overtake has been completed 100 meters before the braking zone.

  9. DRS is “Press X to win”. The same as Nitro in NFS or any other similar series. For modern, lazy society, DRS is a perfect solution.
    For Liberty, too. They can show in their press releases that the show is much better because “thanks to 12 thousand DRS zones, we have increased the number of passes by 75 percent. More to come.”

    DRS is going to stay forever.

    1. Or changed by just give them a limited uses but unlimet acces of DRS (for example 30 times) So or you use it to make up time overtake or defend or safe fuel the driver may decide it himself only limeted uses. So the driver can save them for the end or use it in the begin but when the attempts are gone it’s gone.

  10. Not “here to stay”, but to overtake.

  11. The first time I’ve seen anyone wishing for a less powerful DRS for safety, even though the DRS effect has never really proved a safety risk anywhere. Interesting argument.

    1. ian dearing
      5th April 2022, 17:42

      I seem to recall they had issues with safety at Silverstone T1 and turned it off for qualifying? Something along those lines.

      1. @ian dearing That was different & entirely unrelated to effectiveness.
        Silverstone’s S/F straight had an activation for the 2018 British GP weekend (DRS didn’t get turned off for QLF) that rightly got removed for the following season as approaching & running through Abbey with DRS activated proved risky.
        Something that should’ve been foreseeable, though, & what I fear for Albert Park’s T9 (formerly 11).

    2. @jerejj The term “safety” is meaningless nowadays tbh.

  12. have DRS de-activate as soon as the wheels of the overtaker are aligned with the wheels of the overtaken
    also. no mention in the article about go-kart races…? I don’t get what the title is referring to

    1. Will DRS stay, bet on it.
      What we are in for now are gamesmanship and yes, go-kart racing.
      The objective is not to overtake per-se, but to be ahead at the checkered flag.
      Max and Charles have both shown a knowledge of when to lead at the DRS trigger point and when not to lead. We will see a lot more of this and it will get really silly at some point. As when Lewis accused Max of a Brake-Test when it was about the DRS activation point.
      Gonna be entertaining.

    2. I expect the reference to “Go-Kart Racing” is where one car passes another only to be re-passed at the next corner …. and so-on.

    3. @alfa145 An automatic DRS deactivation requires brake application.

      1. @jerejj I’m pretty confident we still live in a world where machines do what humans tell them to do

  13. Could Masi come back to make a human error for DRS

  14. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
    6th April 2022, 10:24

    DRS is clearly an artificial overtaking aid, but it was a part-solution to a problem which hopefully won’t exist with the new regs. I think someone on this forum floated the idea of trailing no DRS at sprint races, that could be a great way to see if we still need it. The cars do seem to be able to follow each other much more closely.

    Maybe the solution isn’t to ban DRS but to use it differently. Maybe let drivers use it whenever they want or let them have a “fixed amount per race” for the drivers to use when they see fit (like when KERS was introduced and it was power limited). Although it may be an artificial overtaking aid, it’s also a beautifully simple engineering solution to drag on straights and although it does feel like it cheapens some overtakes, it also seems a shame to just get rid of it completely.

  15. The main reason that drs is hated is that it is too easy to pass. The actual origin was to promote overtaking and I would understand this as creating more opportunities. So if the drs were to shut once you are alongside then that would leave the actual drivers to use racecraft over speed advantage. Passes are exciting in corners as that is were car and driver must be in harmony and on the edge. Anyone think that would be feasible?

  16. Broccoliface
    6th April 2022, 23:38

    It won’t go anywhere anymore. Liberty’s aggressive expansion into non-core audiences relies on the excitement factor of cars swapping positions lap after lap. They won’t remove something that risks lowering that factor even a little bit, lest they slip into a spiral of reduced viewership (or even reduced expansion).

  17. It is too soon to judge the new rules so why are they adding DRS zones to circuits already, it seems like an admission of failure to me.

    I could understand F1 deciding to keep DRS the same as previous seasons so they can judge what impact the new car designs have on the racing.

    If the evidence said the new rules worked and racing did improve they could reduce the number of DRS zones or even get rid of DRS completely.

    So I don’t understand why at only the third race of the season they are adding another DRS zone to a circuit.

    I accept the reasons why DRS was originally introduced, in my opinion it was a necessary evil in F1, but for me overtaking in general is just not as exciting or impressive since DRS was introduced.

    On paper I should have thoroughly enjoyed the last race in Saudi Arabia with the battle between Verstappen and Leclerc, but I didn’t and my thoughts when watching was that DRS is still king.

    I fear Formula 1 is now addicted to DRS and they won’t get rid of it no matter what.

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