F1 will trial rules change to increase use of DRS during sprint races in 2023

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 will trial a change to its rules next year which will allow drivers to activate DRS earlier than usual during sprint races.

Under F1’s current regulations, DRS cannot be activated within two laps of the start of a race, or the end of a Safety Car period.

The FIA has confirmed that delay will be reduced to one lap next year, but only in sprint races. There are six sprint races scheduled alongside the 24 grands prix on the 2023 F1 calendar.

The proposal was approved by the F1 Commission and requires the approval of the World Motor Sport Council before it is added to the sport’s rules. This is likely to prove a formality.

The FIA said in a statement the F1 Commission “approved a proposal to evaluate a method to keep the field closer together and encourage closer racing by bringing the activation of the DRS forward by one lap at the start of a race or sprint session, or following a Safety Car restart.”

“This will be trialled during each sprint session in 2023 with a view to introducing it for all races in 2024,” it added.

The Drag Reduction System was introduced in 2011 as a means of aiding drivers’ attempts to overtake each other. F1 made drastic changes to its technical regulations for this season in order to further increase overtaking, which prompted some in F1 to suggest DRS could eventually be phased out.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

20 comments on “F1 will trial rules change to increase use of DRS during sprint races in 2023”

  1. Another braindead change for spectacle purposes. The whole point of waiting 2 laps is for safety reasons, to allow the field to spread sufficiently; how is the sprint race suddenly less dangerous? Why isn’t this change propagated to the proper race if early DRS is deemed safe?

  2. Why would you make the change for a sprint but not the race? If it’s a safety issue the same logic should apply. Maybe we can use sprints to experiment with no DRS at all.

  3. Let’s all have a quiet moment of reflection on the limits put on DRS use because Mark Webber constantly lost time to his better teammate.

  4. If you value F1 as a sport then I hate to say this but you may want to start looking at watching something else because the F1 you knew and love won’t exist in a few years. And again I hate to say this but nobody in any position of power cares so long as the new target audience keeps watching.

    GT Racer warned you all here where F1 is headed. Don’t act surprised, it’s entertainment for stupid masses, while owners and participants get richer and richer facing less and less risk.

  5. More DRS, yay!

    Perhaps I was expecting too much from the 2022 aero rules, but so far they’ve barely made a difference to how the races play out. It’s still a choice between a) getting stuck, b) flying past on DRS, or c) flying past on new tyres.

    There’s still very little racing, and those rare moments are often ruined by F1 drivers being worse racers than most GT amateurs who at least know how to give each other racing room on track.

    It also doesn’t help that 7 of the teams can’t make competitive cars.

    1. It also doesn’t help that the cars are huge, both in length and in width. And they also weigh a freaking ton.
      The cars need to lose about 20% in every area: length, width, weight. Then maybe we can have some proper wheel to wheel racing lasting for multiple corners, and without people crashing into each other. The tires will also be under a lot less stress and drivers would be free to push to max from lap1.

      1. Those would be about the dimensions of the early 2000s, which seems perfectly fine. Current F1 cars are about 11% wider, 22% longer and 33% heavier than those machines.

        Even if one accepts that some weight increase is necessary for improved safety features, today’s F1 cars are still heavily overweight. Primarily for the same reason a lot of road cars have seen huge increases in weight: hybrid power units and everything that goes with that.

  6. They are really trying way too hard.

  7. I maintain that drs is a useful tool for F1 but used improperly and very very lazily

  8. Introducing to races in 2024, but wasn’t DRS supposed to go away entirely over time after seeing how racing-friendly the current-generation cars would be? I agree with the top two posts.
    The whole point of waiting for two full laps since 2011, both the opening two in all races & the first two post-SC phases, has been safety so that the field could get slightly more spread out.
    Therefore, starting to use DRS a lap sooner in Sprints can’t suddenly become safer than last & this season, so a somewhat questionable trial.

  9. DRS is really never going to go away. I don’t understand why we are trialling more DRS when the new aero rules have reduced the need for it.

    In my opinion, overtaking has been too easy this season, and we should be reducing the use of DRS for 2023 with the aim to drop it at least by 2026 if not before. An example would be in the Brazil sprint race. Obviously it would have been incredibly difficult for Kevin Magnussen to win that race, but I think, under the current rules, it would have been impossible in a clean race. Even if Gilles Villeneuve had been driving the Haas, there is no way he could have taken the win by driving perfectly and holding everyone off, as he did in Jarama in 1981, he would just have been overtaken on the main straight by Verstappen with his rear wing wide open. And that is not a good thing. Similarly, in Spa Verstappen was able to drive from the back to the front in a quarter of the race. Undeniably, he was outstanding that weekend and deserved to win, even from where he was, but DRS just made it too easy for him, and qualifying has seemed a lot less important this year as a result. DRS was absolutely necessary for getting any overtaking under the previous aero rules, but now it makes it too easy.

    In my opinion, the perfect situation would be no DRS at all, but also the car behind being in no way affected by turbulence from the car in front. For 2023, I would suggest DRS should be kept, but only on the shorter straights, never on the long ones, apart from in tracks like Monaco and Singapore. They should also announce at the same time that there will be no DRS at all in 2024, giving the teams a year to design the cars around that fact. But it won’t happen, DRS will stay indefinitely.

    1. Agree with everything you said. But I’m afraid your conclusion is right DRS will stay.

  10. Fantastic, exactly what the fans who finance the sport have been crying out for.

  11. A sport no more.

    I’ve been a fan of the sport for 40 years now and can’t ever think of a time I’ve been more down on it.

    Too many gimmicks, Too much show over sport, Too many spec bits, Too little design freedom & far too much regulation.

    What we see now is Formula one in name only sadly and it’s getting increasingly clear what Liberty want to do with it. It’s not a sport to them, It’s a show to sell to the US market of nascar fans.

  12. Expect more of these kind of news in the future.

  13. shouldn’t the effort be towards reducing it?
    I was in fact wondering if it wouldn’t be better a system, where you are only enabled to use it, if you have been stuck behind the other car for a longer period of time, say a certain number of laps you have been inside a certain delta. drivers might want to try and overtake without it for not losing too many laps, and actually use it when they are actually stuck there. (I’m all for abolishing it completely, anyway. this would be just a more reasonable version)

  14. I found this year that racing was by far more interesting during periods where DRS was disabled.
    As soon as it has been enabled, the races have deteriorated into some easy, completely uninteresting passes and large DRS trains for the rest of the field.
    This is yet another example of F1 completely misreading what is or isn’t actually good racing.
    Seems totally ridiculous to have put all that effort into enabling cars to follow more closely to then increase the use of DRS.
    At some point, those in charge might actually get to understand that overtakes don’t mean good racing, but sadly that point is looking less and less likely.

  15. They’ve ruined real racing with DRS. What we have now is just an artificial easy mode version of F1, and many fans are apparently happy with it.

    Take it away and a driver would once again have to set up a lap or set of corners and build up to an overtake. Also the leading driver could counteract those moves and actually defend using racecraft – yeah that skill that is basically nonexistent these days.

    F1 has damaged itself very badly by not scrapping DRS this year with the new rules or at the very least starting to trial races without it. Going the other way completely shows the rule makers are so very out of touch.

    1. They should rename DRS, dumb racing system. A dumb system for the dumb masses to get excited about.

Comments are closed.