Is DRS an ideal gadget/device for F1? What do you think?

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    Younger Hamii

    Hey Guys,Over the course of this season the Drag Reduction System(DRS) has produced some Positives & Negatives & also Mixed results.

    Australia & Spain – Not Enough spectacle in 2 of its early races?

    Canada & Spa – Too Easy?

    Monaco – No show?

    Abu Dhabi(today),China & Monza – Decent showings?

    Nothing is perfect in Life so dont expect DRS to give us what we want(excitement & classic racing) but What do you think of DRS in general? Is it really needed in Formula 1? Do People seem to criticise the device a bit too much? Our Voice matters!!! Leave your Responses,maybe rate DRS out of 10.Im also going to put up a topic soon regarding What has produced the Spectacle/Excitement of this season

    Cheers & Love you all!!!


    I think Australia was actually one of the better showings of DRS. It didn’t grant drivers a free pass, but instead enabled them to challenge the car ahead towards turn 3.


    DRS is a novel idea terribly implemented. I feel it is against the spirit of competition to give one driver an advantage over another, which is what I feel is happening during the race.

    I’m not against active aerodynamics per say, if fact I’d love to see fully variable front and rear wings, if only because I enjoy the technical aspect of the sport the most.


    @younger-hamii happy today for some reason? :P

    I’ve said it before, but I have no problem with DRS so long as it’s a short-term solution before they change to aero regs. I do think it improves the racing for the most part, because whereas in the past if a car slowly caught up at a tenth or two per lap, you knew they couldn’t overtake, but now if they can get within 1sec you know something can happen.


    Yes and no, yes because we see much more overtaking manouvres. No because we see that DRS making overtaking ALOT easier…


    Me personally, I think DRS is an excellent little tool which has really grown on me as this wonderful season has progressed. It brings a whole new dimension into F1, and the idea that it makes passes easy is ridiculous. Lewis Hamilton had DRS for 27 laps at Monza, but couldn’t get past Michael Schumacher. Same with Vettel at Suzuka against Alonso.

    The only places where its been seriously wrong were Canada and Belgium. I thought DRS was best in Germany, Suzuka and Korea. I also thought it was very good today.


    The Hamilton vs. Schumacher battle at Monza is not a very good example to defend the usage and application of the DRS. The fact the DRS wasn’t effective for Hamilton isn’t cristal-clear like simply “not being too easy”. Schumacher had a monster top speed at that race and Hamilton was simply hitting the rev limiter. You could see him getting close to Schumacher and then just as he hit the rev limiter the Mercedes would pull away a little bit. It wasn’t effective in that particular battle because of the setup characteristics of both cars. If I remember correctly, some overtakes in the midfeid at that race looked pathetically easy.

    To me, the whole problem is this “zone” stuff. Why zones? Why limiting it only to one (or two) straight? Why not give drivers, say, 35 opportunities to use it whenever and wherever they want throughout the race? I thnk it would be more natural, giving the defending driver the opportunity to use it too, and it would add an strategic variable – should a driver save his “allocation” or should he go banzai and use it 4 times in a single lap to pull that overtake?

    I think it DRS was actually nice in Australia and Monaco. I absolutely hated it in China, Turkey and Canada, and felt that it was pretty stupid today with one zone right after the other.


    Why can it only be applied to the largest straights? Why not occasionally allow it in a section of track where there are bends, just to mix it up. The DRS is meant to cancel the effects of running in dirty air, so giving the drivers the use of DRS through a small section with bends and small straights- such as most of section 3 in Abu Dhabi- would allow the attacking driver to somewhat negate the effects of running in dirty air while hassling the defending driver through a less obvious area where the chance of passing isn’t made too easy and is still very challenging- it might result in some good racing rather than completely artificial passes that are often achieved before the braking zone.


    DRS is a faulty system designed to cover up flaws in the the cars’ and circuits’ designs.

    I’m no aerodynamicist, but this is what I’ve heard from elsewhere, as it’s quite widely discussed in F1 circles: a side effect of the cars being aerodynamically set up as they are is that they produce a lot of dirty air, which makes it very difficult for other, faster cars to follow them, catch up and overtake. The positive (for overtaking) slipstreaming effect only begins much closer to the car in front, and the dirty air often prohibits the car behind from reaching it. I can’t come up with the solution, but there are plenty of extremely well-paid and intelligent people in the sport that should be able to, if they were instructed to do so by the governing body.

    Then we come to the circuits. It is undeniable that certain circuits are conducive to overtaking, while others are not. Wide corners that allow multiple lines and a clean track that isn’t impossible to drive when off the racing line are two key elements, but the circuit configuration itself is important too. I’m not sure if it’s safety concerns, lack of imagination or a desire to have the best-looking track at the expense of functionality (Abu Dhabi is the perfect example), but modern circuits just don’t seem to produce enough opportunities for overtaking. Then there are street circuits – there Monaco, of course, but recently we’ve gained races at Singapore and Valencia, with another street circuit to come in New Jersey. Add up the horrible new tracks and the street circuits, and there aren’t many others left where overtaking is a regular (and natural) occurrence.

    If those two issues could be fixed, there would be no need for DRS at all, and in my opinion, the sport would feel a whole lot less artificial.

    Now, onto the current application of it. There seems to be a desire to have two DRS zones in every race, which can lead to motorway-style overtaking, as you described it, Keith, like at Abu Dhabi today. One car passes another with DRS, the second car takes the place back in the next zone. That can’t be right. I’ve actually wondered whether teams will start using it strategically. Let’s imagine Vettel has romped into a big lead and the two McLarens are in second and third, setting practically identical lap times. Their team could tell them to avoid overtaking each other for most of the lap, but allow themselves to be alternately passed using the double DRS zones, thus letting them shave a few tenths off their lap times as they leapfrog their way into a position where they can challenge for the lead. It sounds ridiculous, but is it really so far-fetched?

    Then there’s the issue of DRS being available to cars as they lap back-markers, or as they are lapped themselves. A front-runner could gain an advantage by hanging behind a back-marker for a little longer than normal, so they can get the advantage of DRS on the straight. A great duel between two midfield cars could be distorted as one of them gets DRS as they are both lapped. The system isn’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference between cars racing for position and cars who are a lap or more behind. It absolutely should be.

    DRS has another seriously damaging effect: it makes it less worthwhile to try to overtake the car in front at any point of the circuit other than the DRS zones. I would love to see overtaking figures for this season and last season, with this season’s stats split into DRS and non-DRS moves. I would be willing to bet all the money I have that the non-DRS moves are lower this year than they were last year. How can that be right? Drivers who use their skill, judgement and bravery to pass a car should be rewarded for it, not immediately re-overtaken by someone who has only had to press a button. In the long term, it will lead to increasingly risk-averse drivers, who will lose some of their racecraft, and the sport will become ever-more dependent on artificial overtaking aids like DRS.

    I would love to see it disappear from the sport, but I know it won’t. It’s much easier to have a push-to-pass button than to actually address the problems with the cars and circuits. At the very least, though, the back-marker problem I described should be fixed and there should be only one zone per lap, or drivers who have just been overtaken should not be allowed to use it on the car that overtook them in the very next zone.

    Alianora La Canta

    I intensely dislike DRS. It foreshortens time between battles and then leaves most cars stuck battling the same person all race due to few differences between cars, only they get to pass each other every lap (or twice every lap). It may make for more movement, but while that’s happening, the people ahead are getting away. The battle you are in on lap 3, if other factors are anything like equal, is the battle you will be in at the end of the race. So it results in more predictable racing. It becomes a question of who is behind and in the zone before the last DRS zone of the race (because that person will assuredly win the battle). You have to have a huge car advantage, hope your tyre-wear-based strategy puts you into totally clear air after a pit stop or hope the driver you’re passing is less savvy concerning DRS zone usage than you are, to break out of a battle.

    As a result of the DRS zero-sum overtaking effect, the only way of making significant non-luck-based progress is now to save tyres. The best way of doing that is by not using tyres in qualifying, especially soft ones. This saps the vitality from Q3 by encouraging people to not run, and if the back half of the grid was savvier on strategies, it would sap the vitality from Q2 as well for the same reason.

    We even had Paul di Resta deliberately giving up on defending because he knows he can get the place back easily next DRS zone and that saving the tyres a little tiny bit was more important than protecting his position. Now that has to be the epitome of pointless overtaking generation – two overtakes simply because it benefitted the driver in front to give up their position temporarily. The risk-aversion Estesark worries about has already set in among the savvier elements of the grid.

    When the teams wise up to how to tackle the DRS-enabled F1, it will become so predictable as to be practically ossified. The leader on lap 3, unless they’ve had a troubled first 2 laps, will almost inevitably win. Anyone who is not a pole candidate will fail to run in Q3. Anyone who’s not a Q3 candidate will ignore Q2. Starts, a car which is quick over one lap and very cautious driving will be the only important factors to people aiming for points that don’t have a prospect of winning. So many factors will be removed from succeeding that it will more or less lock the current heirarchy of teams into place. I believe F1 is being seriously harmed by DRS and that it is only a lack of savvy from the majority of teams that’s acting as damage limitation.


    With the new tyres I don’t think we need DRS. Yes some races might be more boring, but so what? Boring and static F1 races are nothing new and I think the tyres give us enough fun for the calender to still be exciting, and pure.
    But if we were to use DRS I think they should use their imagination.
    They shouldn’t use it to make certain corners that are prime overtaking zones in the first place into an overtaking bloodbath, I think they should try to create new overtaking zones. Corners where it usually isn’t possible but with a little straight leading up to it. That would make overtaking with the DRS hard, and possibly allow the duels to last for longer and keep the cars closer. In Melbourne there were only few DRS passes, but it kept the cars neck and neck for several laps and I think that is what DRS should do.


    @ Estesark – There were figures released at the mid-point in the season about overtakes and the percentage that were DRS related, the figure was much lower than expected with DRS related overtakes being around a quarter (I think, I can’t remember exactly) of all overtakes. Of course this figure may have changed substantially in the latter half of the season with fewer wet races etc.

    @ Alianora – I’m sorry, but I don’t recall ANY races ending…. ” It becomes a question of who is behind and in the zone before the last DRS zone of the race (because that person will assuredly win the battle)”. Perhaps you could point me in the direction of a couple of examples? I know this was a fear pre-season which to my knowledge HASN’T materialised!

    Zero-Sum effect? I think you have misread the racing somewhat! You say that you have to have a huge car advantage to make the DRS work, however ignoring the other erroneous assumptions in your post, I would argue that with DRS you have to have LESS of a car advantage to make an overtaking move stick compared to previous seasons, where cars with large pace advantages would be ‘stuck’ behind much slower cars for often the entire race.

    The reason the teams towards the back of the top ten in Quali save tyres is due to the fact that they know they aren’t going to get any higher than 9th/10th so they may as well save the tyres to have fresh rubber at the start, it has nothing to do with DRS at all, it is to do with the regulation stating that the cars must start the race with the tyres that they qualified on in Q3. Your last paragraph is just nonsense quite frankly!

    Also, Paul Di Resta let a car through in the race because he knew that he was not really racing that driver for position, it would save time to let him go rather than waste time defending a track position against a car that was only around him on circuit due to differing strategies. Again, not DRS related at all.


    I think its difficult to discuss DRS when comparing what happened in the past vs what happens now in F1. I think it is best to look at other racing series around the world. If you look at DTM, LeMans, and V8 Supercars, and overtaking is exceptionally difficult for every tin top car. This year in F1 we’ve seen so much overtaking which has been attributed to DRS. Ultimately its a fundamental change in the rules to stop a driver with superior equipment getting stuck behind a slower car, and we’re even seeing cars with similar performance overtaking each other which wouldn’t of happened in recent years.

    I would like to see blue flag rules changed and rely upon DRS to assist in drivers overtaking back markers.

    In my view, DRS is a measure to allow cars to overtake without losing the “sponsorship wings”… Its a win win, in that regard.


    I personally don’t mind the DRS. It adds to the spectical and although I’d rather see passes done under normal circumstances, it’s not happening enough due to the level of downforce and speed differences. Some tracks it has been too easy, Istanbul for example and we were robbed of a good race for 3rd on the podium due to it whilst some it’s going to be difficult due to the layout of the track (Monaco/Australia) and some just not work (spain).
    The DRS zones aren’t set in stone as we seen in Abu Dhabi they can be moved through out the weekend. This has got me thinking, could there be a drivers meeting before the race disscusing the DRS zones? It wouldn’t be easy as the drivers towards the front will want shorter zones whilst others will want as long as possible but I think it would be good if drivers agreed to change the zones so cars end up along side. If only there was a way of testing the zones before hand it would make DRS a better, more valid device.

    Alianora La Canta

    Asanator, I did say “if other factors are anything like equal”, and indicate large car superiority, tyre wear and DRS-zone savviness as three factors that re-introduced inequality. As a result not every battle was ever going to result in the effect initiating, especially once some drivers started cottoning on about the importance of DRS-savviness and tyre wear. Examples of the effect happening despite that include (note I have listed each occurence by beneficiary(ies)):

    China: Mark Webber and Tonio Liuzzi

    Turkey: Vitaly Petrov, Adrian Sutil and Rubens Barrichello

    Canada: Nearly the entire midfield that was left standing by this point was affected by this, from positions 6 (Felipe Massa) to 11 (Nico Rosberg). Of these, Massa, Jaime Alguersuari, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastien Buemi benefitted from the effect. The last-lap pass by Button doesn’t count as it was a combination of Sebastian Vettel spinning and DRS helping Jenson Button get to the scene to take advantage (which is not the specific effect Asanator was asking about).

    Europe: Vitaly Petrov

    Germany: Sebastian Vettel

    Belgium: Felipe Massa

    Singapore: Felipe Massa

    Japan: Pastor Maldonado

    Korea: Jaime Alguersuari, Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi

    Abu Dhabi: Jenson Button

    Total occurences of effect counted by beneficiaries: 18 in 18 races

    Races where no incidences of “becomes a question of who is behind and in the zone before the last DRS zone of the race” (8): Australia, Malaysia, Spain, Monaco, Britain, Hungary, Italy, India. Several of these were tracks where the pro-DRS brigade didn’t think the DRS was powerful enough and a couple of others (Monaco, Britain) were subject to unusual circumstances that ended up reducing overtaking at the end of the race in general.

    Maybe it’s more noticeable for me because I often focus on the midfield, where serious car superiority is less likely to be a factor than the front of the pack. But an average of once per race is definitely significant. It’s more common than a Vettel victory at the moment, put it that way…

    “Serious superiority” for a single-DRS zone race means 0.5 seconds per lap; this is guaged on the basis that it is difficult to get closer than 0.5 seconds to the car ahead in normal running due to the dirty aero effect that DRS was introduced to combat, and getting more than 1 second away by the next DRS zone breaks the battle. For a multi-DRS zone race, it’s more complex; the amount of superiority needed is 0.5 seconds in the longest distance between zones. If two DRS zones are within the same quarter of the lap, for example, then “serious superiority” means 0.67 seconds per lap as there is only 3/4 of a lap to get the advantage back (the zero-sum effect induced by the two DRS zones cancels out the effect the 1/4 lap bounded by their zones).

    Statistically, cars are more likely to finish where they started, adjusting for retirements, this year than last. That indicates that a lot of the overtakes that are happening are simply reversals of previous passes, hence “zero-sum” overtaking. I have yet to see any evidence that any car this year has broken away from a battle it wouldn’t have broken away from in 2010, except for cases where a skilful driver might have been able to fend off a potentially-somewhat-faster rival.

    In 2010 nobody saw any need to save tyres in qualifying… …because they knew that it was possible to make good progress without resorting to such extremes. Now they do, because they know they’ll be stuck in battles for the same position because of the DRS. The tyres being the most reliable method of breaking off the battle. Allowing tyre changes doesn’t help because the wear the tyres take is such that it’s become a decisive factor. DRS is completely relevant because it takes away the other methods of improving position.

    Paul wouldn’t have needed to “let” Sebastien Buemi through in the race in 2010 because there would have been a point in protecting the position. Either he would have successfully defended the position and prevented an overtake, or Sebastien would have passed him once and had done with it. There would have therefore been 0 or 1 overtaking moves total, while this weekend there were 2 per lap from him for several laps, purely because of DRS generating pointless overtakes.

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