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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Nov 2011   |  1:32 pm GMT  |  232 comments

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was always going to be the acid test for the new concepts introduced this year to promote overtaking; Pirelli short life tyres and DRS.

After all it was at this track last year that Fernando Alonso lost the world championship because he couldn’t pass Vitaly Petrov’s Renault after a bad Race Strategy call.

For this year’s race the FIA went for a double DRS zone, as it has done a few times this year, on Yas Marina’s two straights.

The result was a lot more overtaking and plenty of examples of drivers overtaking in the first zone and then being overtaken again in the second zone. This happened with Paul di Resta and Sebastien Buemi as well as Mark Webber and Felipe Massa.

We’ve had plenty of comment on this from readers. Here are some examples:

Ayron writes: “I’m starting to lose my regard for the DRS, having now seen a number of tracks where cars have made overtakes just prior to the DRS zone only to be overtaken by the passed car in the following DRS zone.

Webber is a notable sufferer having lost taken positions in Korea and Abu Dhabi. He wasn’t the only one tonight, however and this is something that needs to be looked at.

A car built for optimal cornering (or a driver jumping on another driver’s mistake) gets ahead of an opponent through pure racecraft, only to lose the position on the following straight primarily to an artificially applied speed diferential (DRS). It doesn’t seem fair to me.”

Wayne agreed: “There was very liittle of the fantastic overtaking that James mentions. There WAS a lot of swapping about in the DRS zones however which is an entirely different thing. This track is inherrently poor, so they overcompensated with massive DRS availability. The result, as Coulthard said during the race, was artifical overtaking.”

And Simon Donald said: “Completely agree. This is not real overtaking. This is just a farce. DRS was supposed to be a technology to assist in overtaking by getting you into a slipstreaming position not gifting you a position by being 10 to 15 km/h faster than the car in front. Totally artificial. The driver in front has no chance to defend.

The circuit looks nice and all that kind of stuff, but Id rather spend a season of weekends at Spa, Silverstone and Montreal. The circuit needs a revamp for 2012!”

I think they should make some changes to the Yas Marina Circuit, but Richard Cregan the CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management and his team have to analyse very carefully what happened yesterday. They know that the track could do with some tweaks but it won’t be easy to persuade those who don’t understand the sport so well but who hold the purse strings to release some budget to make changes when yesterday’s race featured plenty of passing.

K stepped in to defend the use of DRS. He said: “The original idea of DRS is to “aid” overtaking, not to guarantee a complete overtake. The drivers still have to do the work.”

Dave Deacon pointed out: : “The idea was to use the first DRS to get close and the second to overtake… Button referred to this indirectly in an interview. Drivers were also using the DRS zones to decrease their lap times and so catch other drivers. Typically, these were back markers being overtaken.”

And the final word for DRS supporters goes to Chapor who said: “I see a lot of negative arguments against the double DRS zone this past race, but I think it had it’s merit simply because it wasn’t just a push to pass zone, but it was also a tactical tool to use in the race. Were as we hear a lot of complaining that slower cars couldn’t defend like we have seen in races were a single DRS zone was used, but here we had the faster car come up and pass, but the second zone served as a possibility to re-take that position, evening out the playing field somewhat. We got to see some very nice wheel to wheel racing in the corners following the DRS zones because of it. After last years bore fest we demanded more overtaking and we got it. So let’s stop complaining ok.”

So give us your opinion in our poll. Did the DRS improve the racing at Abu Dhabi?

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232 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    I am surprised how seemingly amateur some of the DRS usage was in the race. It seems pretty obvious to me that if a pass was possible with a single DRS then wait for the 2nd DRS zone, don’t pass on the first one just to lose it again in the second. While I agree that two position changes in a lap like this is pretty artificial… why weren’t the drivers smarter to maximize their use of it?

    1. Claudio says:

      spot on, just the point drivers should take into account.

      1. Borg says:

        Could it simply be that on this circuit it is simply not possible to pull out the 1s gap between zones? Drivers knew it and therefore, didn’t waste their tires doing this.

        On another note, I hope this makes everyone realize that being able to use DRS to defend against a DRS pass (as many suggested – in the name of fairness nonetheless!) is absolutely rediculous if DRS is to work as intended.

        Is DRS artificial in general – that’s another discussion. Note how James restricted the question to Yas Marina circuit only.

      2. John Vooght says:

        DRS has completely ruined Formula 1. 99% of the overtakes this season have been completely artificial. The excitement of overtaking (ie. the most exciting part of Formula 1) has been completely removed from the sport. I use to be on the edge of my seat when a driver was reeling in another driver for an overtake, and when a driver pulled it off, I was genuinely jumping in the air with excitement. Now it’s embarrassing. It’s not overtaking, it’s simply driving past another car because you have a speed advantage due to DRS. I want to see real racing. Fast drivers driving fast cars as fast as they can. Not tactical driving, looking after tyres, and using a artificial device to drive past another car. Button’s win in Canada summed it up for me. He won from the back, but did he overtake any one? Did we see him risking a late braking maneuver to overtake someone into the last chicane? No. We simply saw him drive past the others because of DRS. It’s embarrassing, and needs to be got rid of. Surely people agree?

      3. Borg says:

        So real sugar has been substituted with artificial sweetener or corn syrup. I get it. But the thing is that few of us here do, meanwhile the masses couldn’t care less, as long as it tastes sweet. Know what I mean?

      4. APASUNOC says:

        It has improved the overtaking at a few circuits, ruined it at others and made no sense at the rest.

        And the biggest point is that the circuits that have been improved by it are the circuits ‘designed ofr overtaking’ by Tilke.

        Old circuits like Spa and Suzuka, Silverstone and to an extent Australia were all fine witohut the DRS or were ruined by the DRS.

        If his circuits are so good for overtaking why is it that only at those trakcs is overtaking so bad?

        And double is twice the pain.

      5. Borg says:

        APASUNOC,

        The answer then is to have 5 non-DRS races each season. Who says every race must be a DRS race?
        I think this is what is needed also. After all, it doesn’t rain at every race, why must this variable be present everywhere?

      6. APASUNOC says:

        That wont happen as the FIA regs people ahave big egos and admitting that they are wrong has never happened and I doubt it will over the DRS next year.

        They could change the wings easily for 2013, but haven’t because that would admit that they were wrong about the current aero. They could make the front tyres back to width of 2009 but they won’t. They could do heaps of things but they won’t.

        Australia – Useless
        Malaysia – Too much
        China – Wayyyyy too much
        Turkey – etc..

        It’s just hit and miss.

        Can anyone think of any moves quickly this year that you will remember in years to come with the DRS? I think the only half memorable ones were without the DRS.

        And it hasn’t stopped drivers getting stuck behind a slower car. Webber behind Alonso in Spain. Webber behind Button in Abu Dhabi. Webber behind Hamilton in Korea. And Webber is generally rather good with wheel to wheel racing.

        As for 5 non DRS races, they won’t do it as it means they have admitted defeat and failuer of their idea and implementation. Also you’d get a changing rule set which makes it feel even more like fake for entertainment value only racing

      7. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Sorry for the offtopic, but any input on whether this ould lead to better overtaking? (Done in paint)
        http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/deadtimes/images/0/09/0suggestion.png

      8. Jack says:

        Yes it would!

        I’m gonna be even more off topic (sorry) and say wouldn’t this just lead to a better race:

        http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/651/yasmarina.jpg/

        Only took 10 minutes, and it still goes under the (absolutely vital) hotel. How much does this Tilke fellow get paid again?

    2. Ron Colverson says:

      I completely agree, I was about to make this exact point but you’ve done it for me. By about the third ‘double pass’ I was expecting some drivers to start doing this, but there was no sign that this occurred to anybody.

      1. Borg says:

        You know, it takes energy to slow down from higher speeds. Energy which has to travel through tires. Which tend to degrade.

        Could this double passing be seen by tactical drivers who do this for a living as simply waste of effort, and more importantly tires?

        I have to say a big YES to that. That’s why they didn’t waste their time, energy or rubber.

      2. RodgerT says:

        I think Webber did try just this at least once.

        However the second DRS zone seemed like it was shorter, and combined with McLaren’s better top end speed the tactic didn’t work for him.

      3. Liam in Sydney says:

        Yeah, but the overtake against Massa was a good example where he was already in front and was re-overtaken at the end of straight 2.

    3. Steven Pritchard says:

      I agree… Surely the FIA realised that the “re-pass” was possible for overtaken cars. Why not just a single zone?

      1. wayne says:

        You would alos think that those in the know would relaise that the wacky Races comedy-destructo tyres do as much to prevent overtaking as they do to help it. How? Because they are made of tissue paper, the hairs on little girls’ forarms, spiderwebs and dew-drops they shed many more ‘marbles’ onto the track off the racing line, making any line bar the racing line a no go area, especially in the corners (DRS cleans up the straights a little it seems).

    4. Phil Bishop says:

      like

      1. Richard Mee says:

        My own view is that DRS and all the other Aero stuff is now way over the top. Trouble is it now employs hundreds! They can’t sensibly change course without major ramifications.

        I’d much prefer a stock aero package brought in with emphasis on basic mech grip

        Then see every development dollar move (back) to the drive train with unlimited in-season development and testing allowed.

        Just think! This would be infinately more relevant and transferable to road cars of tomorrow. It would also massively improve the show due to increased unreliabilty, cars sliding all over the track and lack of aero-limited close running etc.

        No aero; men from boys. Get it done.

      2. Borg says:

        I am so with you.

        But I thought about this at length on my long rides in and out of work. There is no silver bullet. No solution. This is why we have DRS, becuase even people who live F1 24/7 and make the cars we admire have no solution.

        You save on aero, you dump money into engines. You save on engines, you dump it into brakes, tires, computer aids, etc.

        This is the definition of racing. Would you have ever thought that exhaust gases could make such a difference? Really think about it – and think that for many decades no one seems to have come up with that one. F-Duct? Magic dapner on Renaults? Widening Michelins? This is what these guys do – they find the smallest gap and make it an advantage.

        There is only one way to have absolutely fair racing – in a simulator with whole grid of Ferraris being driven by a whole grid of Kimis.
        Otherwise, let’s face the truth that no aero simply means development money and effort goes elsewhere and delivers slightly different type of racing, but one where you still won’t see an HRT at the sharp end.

        As for no-aero: men from boys. Go ahead, jump into Vettel’s car and trust your tires and aero as you commit your life to a quicker lap time. These are no boys. Boys maybe when they get here, but F1 makes men out of them.

      3. coefficient says:

        1. There are plenty of spec racing series where teams still develop under the skin such as IRL so watch that instead perhaps? It is nowhere near as interesting as F1 though.

        2. You can’t expect teams to decommission their highly expensive wind tunnels and CFD programs and make thousands redundant in the process.

        Would it not be better to have a strict budget cap but open up the technical regulations so that teams can design and build to their own unique philosophy. Maybe this way we’d get more diverse designs that wouldn’t interfere with each others aero performance.

    5. Graham Reeds says:

      I was going to say exactly that but you have beaten me to it.

    6. Quercus says:

      I kept thinking this race that the overtaking drivers should stay behind in the first zone and concentrate on passing in the second.

      Overall I now like DRS (I wasn’t keen originally). The reason is that it lets faster car/drivers pass and stops the frustration of being held up for lap after lap.

      Of course it’s not going to be a brilliant success at every race but it I don’t think it ever has any negative aspects.

      If it was up to me I’d let them use it at any time they like, and hope they’d make errors.

      1. Borg says:

        Maybe it was not possible to get a 1s gap between any zones? 2 to 1 or 1 to 2? So why waste tires doing this?

        Also, you can’t use DRS anytime by anyone, because if you can attack with it, and defend with it – what’s the point? It’s just the same pass or attempt that will happen at higher – and therefore more dangerous speed.

      2. Quercus says:

        Yes, I agree, but they’d have to use it very accurately and there’d be a risk that under pressure someone might open it too early or leave it open too late into a corner; thus more room for error.

      3. Borg says:

        I think we went down this road in discussion.

        Why not then just have stick shift? Isn’t having DRS to force an error artificial as well?

        Every product has a development cycle and market life. Perhaps this one – F1- now dependent on gimmicks has run its course? Surely it contributes nothing to automotive industry technology wise. Or does it?

      4. Quercus says:

        Finding more ways to push drivers into making small mistakes is the way to sort out the very best from the ‘nearly the best’.

        The cars are so close to perfection, and so evenly matched now that it’s only when we have rain that the drivers are pushed into racing at the limit of their skills.

    7. Mil says:

      My thoughts entirely – I think Button understood this, few other cottoned on.

      1. Simon Lord says:

        To be fair, TV viewers had the advantage of seeing the same thing happening with the double pass-and-pass-back over and over again – the drivers would not have had the same information unless it was given to them over the radio.

      2. Liam in Sydney says:

        Yeah, so what guys on the pit wall doing? What were their spotters in the stands doing at every corner? They were asleep at the wheel.

      3. Mil says:

        There are a whole army of people back in the UK watching it on the BBC; they could have given appropriate advice.

  2. Dmitry says:

    I’d like to see racing on Pirelli tyres without DRS.

    1. shane says:

      I agree completely. But saying that, we aren’t getting the issues with tyre wear like earlier in the season. Is this teams getting used to them. Or the tyres not being made as aggressively as before?

    2. Mav says:

      At the start of the year maybe but the teams have figured out the Pirelli tyres and James has it wrong – they are no longer short life tyres. The fact that the front runners are now willing to do two runs in Q3 is overlooked in favour of wondering why Force India don’t do any. Moreover, there has been gradually less and less variation in strategy.

    3. wayne says:

      We definitely only need one of the two in F1, but perhaps the other way round is the way to go? I want to see drivers going for it not having 50% of the race determined by who is the best tyre saving expert.

      Ok, So I started the season with DRS being right up there on my all time list of F1 nightmares. I screamed and railed against the idea on every news site and blog known to man and a few that were not. I have since decided this: DRS just allows those driver/car packages that are naturally faster to make the progression that they would ideally make naturally.

      But, it isn’t natural and it is artificial. It is the F1 community making the best of a bad job. It is a compromise in a sport that usually resists compromise, both in sporting and technical terms.

      For me it is also another weight on the wrong side of the scales between true sport and sports entertainment. Where the ‘wow’ factor starts to become more important than the purest form of sport where competitors compete on a level playing field. Until DRS everyone did compete on a level playing field, every team has an opportunity to develop the best car and driver combination (their budget is their business and their responsibility just as Manchester united has more money to spend that Stoke City). Now we have a rule that specifically and deliberately hands the advantage to one competitor over another. If a car is legitimately in front (i.e. has not broken the rules) that car has the right to compete to hold the place without being disadvantaged. It’s like the rules say ‘you should not really be there so we’ll help the guy behind take what is rightfully his’. FIFA don’t tell Manchester United they can play with a smaller goal mouth because they are naturally better than Stoke City on that particular day.

      F1 should seek to address the fundamental issues with the circuits in my opinion. Everything else is just sparklers and mist for the masses. We intermittently loose really good circuits such as Turky, Canada, Suzuka and heaven forbid Belgium because someone with no real national interest in motor sport has more money and to balance the loss of great circuits the sport compromises its values and purity. Look at Yas Marina, the circuit is compromised because of the damn hotel! What on earth is that about? How telling for the future of what is important to F1!

      1. wayne says:

        Even DC who gave the ‘the whole car is artifical’ patronising lecture earlier in the year said the overtaking at Yas was ‘artifical’ in his commentary.

      2. E says:

        He also said, if I recall correctly, that it was artifical but ‘entertaining’. Most people like being entertained for 2hrs not bored stiff watching a glorified test session.

      3. wayne says:

        E, I am entertained by Football and Tennis but they do not feel the need to incorporate cheap gimmnicks into the sport that intentionally disadvantage one compettitor over another.

  3. David Hamilton says:

    I was amazed by Sunday’s race. I thought racing drivers were supposed to be smart!

    Yet we saw repeated occurrences where drivers would overtake in the first DRS section and get re-passed in the second.

    The solution is blindingly simple: The following driver should merely use the first DRS to cruise up behind the other car, but not overtake. Then in the second DRS it becomes a simple overtake with no chance of a counter-pass.

    Job done!

    It seems odd to blame DRS for the lack of adaptability of drivers, or in the advice that their team is giving them.

    1. Aaron95 says:

      Without any doubt DRS has made a number of races more exciting this year. Overtaking was perhaps a bit easy in Abu Dhabi, but I don’t see how the FIA can be blamed for making the zones too long – before the race the consensus seemed to be that it wouldn’t be much use. It looks like this circuit needs only one DRS zone, and I suspect next year it will have just that.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        I can only think of Monaco that can even come close to fitting the ‘DRS made it more exiting’ class, even then I wasnt to keen on it.

        DRS is artificial. Period. Always has been, probably always will be unless its use is un-restricted.

      2. K says:

        “DRS is artificial. Period. Always has been, probably always will be unless its use is un-restricted.”

        Totally agree.

        I’ve always believed the problem lays in the restricted use of it.

        God knows what was on the minds of the FIA / Charlie or whoever decided to impose restrictions. The point please, FIA?

    2. Bruce says:

      I quite agree with David, I thought that the F1 drivers, the best in the world, were supposed to be clever, but time and time again we saw a driver being overtaken in the 1st DRS Zone only to be reovertaken in the 2nd.
      I was watching thinking to myself, why is he overtaking again in the 1st when he’s going to get passed in the 2nd. Crazy!

    3. Jonathan Lodge says:

      I agree completely. Most people have complained that the cars are too easy to drive, that reliability is too good and that we should see more driver input.

      Now they are complaining that DRS is artificial! What better way to rely on driver input than to make the drivers work out how to use 2 DRS zones to best advantage?

      The likes of Button had obviously worked it out – and then needed to work exceptionally hard to make his car as wide as possible whilst racing without his KERS.

    4. Duane says:

      Well said David Hamilton & Jonathan Lodge! Exactly the what I was thinking while watching the race. Very little strategic thinking on display regarding how to cope with the 2 DRS zones.

  4. Luca says:

    its clear that if DRS is to stay then, as this season was very much a ‘work in prgress’ year, there will be the need to tinker the positioning of the zones etc… as some tracks it has worked to offer an opportunity for an overtake and in others it has made things a little too easy.

    However, i still say the Yas Marina circuit is not a place for F1 to be racing at. The track is just not that well laid out – and if the track isn’t the best for racing F1, then lets not go there.

  5. David Hamilton says:

    Also, Webber’s problems are equally obvious:

    Red Bull systematically gear their cars for leading the race. Unfortunately that leaves them hitting the rev-limiter when trying to overtake using DRS.

    It’s a strategy that has served Vettel very well this year, but has worked against Webber, as he cannot regularly get front row slots.

    Seems odd to blame DRS for strategic failures by a driver and his crew.

  6. Dan says:

    Couple of points and an idea!

    i)DRS this year as at least allowed some fluidity in the running order. Sometimes it’s been too easy and you could not really describe the position change as an overtake. Still it has at least meant races are less static and that can only be good.

    ii)Have Pirelli gone too conservative? Were they a bit too cautions in the second half of the season. Perhaps they wanted to show that they are able to make proper durable tyres and not just have their brand associated with tyres that fall apart. Maybe we’re just seeing the teams cope with the tyre deg better? Either way I hope Pirelli will err on the side of slightly marginal tyres.

    iii) A thought with respect to DRS. I’m sure there are plenty of holes in this but I’ll just throw it out there.

    How about prescribing a set ratio for the 7th gear / final drive and thus top speed. That would mean at best DRS would only ever get you alongside the car in front and travelling at the same speed then you have a battle in the braking zone.

    1. Rafael Lopez says:

      Yesssssss……that is what I have wanted to say for so long! Or something like that…

      The whole point of DRS is to HELP you overtake…not do it for you.

      Ideally, it should allow your car to get alongside (or 3/4 of the way) the car you want to overtake. Then the actual overtake (i.e. under braking) is all you.

      THAT is how DRS should work

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        It will never work as intended. Not all cars have the same top speed, so having the DRS zone just the right size to get cars up alongside but not past is not possible for ALL cars.
        Of course, how close the two cars are together at the time will also effect it.

      2. Nadeem says:

        Totally agree but hard to get that right on each track. Is there a reason they can’t test the DRS during a practice session say add 10 mins on P1 or P2 and have a couple of cars try a race sim in the zone and adjust accordingly?

  7. MISTER says:

    Hi James,

    I am very happy you make polls like this to get the opinion of the fans. You make us feel very important. Thank you for that.

    I have no voted because the DRS did make the racing more entertaining, but it wasn’t original.

    I would probably choose artificial overtaking over no overtaking, but I would not enjoy it.

    I will not vote for now, But I am inclined over second option..too articial.

  8. Till says:

    The DRS has made for more entertaining racing this year, together with the Pirelli tires. Unfortunately its not so easy to say which of the two contributed how much.
    At Yas Marina, as spectacular as the architecture and surroundings are, the track doesnt do much for a good racing spectacle and will hopefully be upgraded to improve this.

  9. Steve Arnott says:

    Not a fan.

    I’m not against the concept of the movable rear wing but I don’t like its implementation. Too constrained and, well, artificial.

  10. James B says:

    The problem is, I think, the extension of the zone (was it one or both?) but that gave the overtaking car more of a chance to shut out the defender into the corner.

  11. Matt says:

    2011 is the first season of F1 where I have felt sleepy while watching. Back in 2004 the struggle to defend and overtake was far more vigorous. I know this was helped by the different tyres and differences in engine performance, but DRS is too predictable, like an equation.

    I also have severe reservations about the safety of DRS. We saw it fail to close properly on Glock’s car. I think a failure to close at a top speed corner such as going into 130R is only a matter of when, not if.

    It counters the progress made in safety over the last decade to design something into the car which must work 100% of the time to be safe.

  12. Michele says:

    I believe it is too artificial. It is much better when the driver performs the overtake themselves instead of pressing a button and having assists in overtaking. If there wasn’t any KERS or DRS in Formula 1 it’ll be so much better. I agree with Martin Brundle’s comment from one of the races earlier this year: “The current drivers have it too easy, let’s stick in the manual gear sticks so we can see some real racing!” Also bring back the Formula 1 Grand Prix to Adelaide!

    1. Tom in Adelaide says:

      Yeah, we know how to do a street circuit properly!

      1. Michele says:

        Yeah, couldn’t agree more! Our circuit is a Monaco away from Monaco. Our city was welcoming to all of the F1 community, we promoted the Formula 1 Grand Prix very well unlike Melbourne who take it for granted. The drivers and teams loved the atmosphere and it brought life to our city. I’m sure the current crop of drivers would love to race on it too. Our circuit became an instant classic and we had the golden era Senna, Prost, Mansell, Lauda, Rosberg, Piquet etc. To not have Adelaide on the F1 Calendar is by far the worst decision ever made. Adelaide should end the F1 season in November and should have stayed as the tradition.

      2. James Allen says:

        Then Sydney got the Olympics and Melbourne needed to do something big..

      3. Michele says:

        Yeah true, Melbourne also hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games, they got AFL (Boring), Rugby, Cricket, Australian Open Tennis, Football, Motogp and V8 Supercars. They were smart to get the Grand Prix but the attendance levels still can’t get to what Adelaide’s did.

        I just hope Australia can hold the Grand Prix, they should alternate it with Adelaide like the German GP with Hockenheim and Nurburgring. Especially with how the Victorian Government are complaining about the costs. It’ll be a massive loss to our country if Melbourne fail to keep it. If the Adelaide & Victorian Government can split the fee and host it together by alternating every year it should work. What do you think James? Do you miss Adelaide on the F1 Calendar?

      4. James Allen says:

        Yes Adelaide was great. But Melbourne is great too. Adelaide has moved on now.

      5. Michele says:

        Yeah they both are great. I went to the Melbourne one for my 21st this year, I have to say it was fantastic, that was my first Grand Prix in 16 years, the last was Adelaide in 1995. I have to say I miss the big V12′s especially from Ferrari :( my favourite team of course!. Thank you for your response! You do such a phenomenal job with your website, also RPM, the Vodafone Report and of course the FOTA Fans Forum.

  13. Nick says:

    Looking back at the season, I feel that we’ve ended up with nothing regarding the DRS. The Pirelli tires absolutely made all races more interesting. The DRS however, didn’t. The tracks that held dull races last year, still held dull races this year. The same goes for the good races. Some tracks on the current calendar are so poor, that DRS can’t fix them. Valencia, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi were still relatively boring races. Just look at Abu Dhabi’s layout. Every straight is perfectly straight. Every patch of tarmac is as smooth as it can be. Take an onboard lap at Interlagos for example. None of the straights is actually straight. It’s full of bumps, corners with a changing radius, it’s not perfect and that’s what seems to provide good races. Good tracks will provide good races, like they’ve always done. Adding the DRS will not cure poor tracks.

    1. Dan says:

      Have to disagree with Barcelona. I thought this was the perfect balance.

      My memory of this race will be of Hamilton and Vettell slugging it out, punch and counter-punch.

      OK Lewis wasn’t quite able to make a move stick…. but if he had done it would’ve been a move to remember and the knock-out punch in a great fight.

      Lewis was aided by DRS, it gave him an opportunity, but did not serve the pass up on a plate. This in my mind should be the exemplar model for how DRS should work.

  14. Chris says:

    I’ve been hemming and hawing over whether I like DRS pretty much all season. Now I very definitely falling into the ‘it’s not good’ camp. When, as others have said, drivers can just push a button and gain a speed advantage over the car in front, it cheapens the act of overtaking. In fact, it’s more of a ‘pass’ than it is an overtake. The victim has almost no hope of defending and it also seems to have led to a driver mindset (with a few noticeable exceptions. Hamilton, for example, seems one of the few who tries to use it as an aid to get him closer to the driver in front to line up a pass in a few corners, rather than just a push-to-pass button) of ‘I’ll just wait until the DRS zone.’

    Something does need to be done to improve actual overtaking, though. Since time immemorial, it’s been understood that because the cars are so aerodynamically sensitive, they have trouble following closely behind the car they’re trying to pass. Could the rule makers not alter things so less of the downforce comes from aerodynamics? I’m thinking here of ground effect and sculpted floors – are they not less susceptible to dirty air?

  15. boulay says:

    Hi James

    Sorry for posting off topic but please could you look at the hypothetical situation at McLaren if Hamilton wins at Brazil and Button gets a few points – Button would claim to be No1 driver at McLaren next season by virtue of points but Hamilton would claim it by number of wins etc.

    does it matter who is No1 at Mcl? do they have a hard rule for who is No1 if it does in fact matter? would this scenario destroy any harmony between the drivers etc?

    thanks, and again apologies for off topic.

    1. bluefroggle says:

      I have been wondering this too.

      Hamilton is moving further away from No. 1 each year.

      2008
      Lewis wins WDC, so gets number 1 for 2009.

      2009
      Jenson win WDC so he gets number 1 for 2010, while Lewis being his team mate gets number 2.

      2010
      Seb wins WDC, so gets number 1 for 2011.
      McLaren are second in constuctors, so get numbers 3 and 4. Lewis was higher in 2010 than Jenson, so gets number 3.

      2011
      Seb wins WDC, so gets number 1 for 2012.
      McLaren are second in constuctors, so get numbers 3 and 4. Jenson was higher in 2011 than Lewis, so gets number 3. Hence Lewis gets number 4.

      Lewis by year

      2009 number 1
      2010 number 2
      2011 number 3
      2012 number 4
      2013 number ?

      following this pattern, for 2013 this will be number 5!
      but hopefully it will be number 1

      1. Brisbane Bill says:

        So what would have to happen for Lewis to get number 5 for the 2013 season is for McLaren to be the third placed constructor in 2012 and Lewis to beat Jenson in the drivers’ standings. Not impossible. Likely? Who knows, but might be worth a punt if a bookie will offer some decent odds.

    2. TheBestPoint? says:

      don’t see why it should create any issues. when Jensen first moved over to Maclaren he came in with the higher number.

      all the chatter about it being otherwise has been media concocted and media led – Yours truly included.

      it will be good for Lewis in any case- hopefully keep his mind focused on the job in hand.

    3. Grabyrdy says:

      I think the team will decide who’s their mover and shaker, and it won’t just be by statistics. It seems that Jenson, having started as the outsider, has gone a long way to taking the team over. If Lewis gets it back together, and he’s done a good job this weekend, it may change, but one race doesn’t change everything. The slightly muted celebrations at McL speak more loudly than any words, I think.

      In an ideal scenario, it’ll be up for grabs all the time, with each driver giving 105% to be top dog. That’s how it should be.

  16. Scott says:

    Not completely against DRS but needs to be tweaked for next year to make sure it just gets you alongside the driver in front and not simply cruise past. Then bravery under braking and actual racing will be required to pass…

  17. Alan Dove says:

    DRS is an acceptance of defeat by the OWT and F1. There is clearly no suspense with a DRS aided overtake, but without it there are no overtakes. You need DRS to allow races to flow better, but it’s far too apologetic to be regarded as a legitimate way to overtake. Also, the rev-limiter has negated some of its benefits anyway.

    As the season has progressed DRS has become more and more artificial to those who watch because it’s entirely predictable. I haven’t once been thrilled by a DRS overtake.

    The other problem is the it excludes as many overtaking opportunities as it does create them. There’s very little to gain overtaking someone before a DRS zone because you leave yourself exposed if the driver behind gets the use of it.

    Unfortunately DRS is a necessary evil until F1 thinks of something better and more natural. but the ratings don’t lie, people must be enjoying the new regs.

    For purists its wrong, but there’s not many of us :)

  18. coefficient says:

    There are valid arguments both for and against DRS. It has produced good racing at times this year so perhaps this should be analysed more thoroughly to see if there is something being missed that would ensure the quality was maintained at each event.

    I think the most negative aspect of DRS is the fact that it tends to prescribe where the overtaking will take place on the track and as such the TV crews spend most of the race covering that section of the track.

    I’ve long held the view that DRS, if retained should continue free use throughout the weekend. The drivers should be able to use it wherever they like just like KERS. Nobody ever told Niki Lauda when to press his Turbo Boost button.

    We are talking about the absolute cream of race drivers on the planet here, if we’re going to give them a tool, let them use it for goodness sake.

    All this outside interference from race control sending software codes to cars to tell them what button they’re allowed to press and when brings predictability and is also making the TV directors lazy.

    I want to see the cars given back to the drivers again. It’s all getting a bit silly like it did about 10 years ago with the bi- directional telemetry allowing teams to interfere with the cars remotely. It was very impressive technically but it didn’t add anything to the racing.

    There was one particular incident at Monaco where Coulthard was leading when his engine started smoking. The team did some software jiggery pokery and transmitted a new program to the car which enabled it to get to the end of the race without exploding. Whilst thats totally amazing, surely the uncertainty of the sport is in part what makes it so entertaining so getting back to DRS, why tell everyone in the world where all the overtakes will happen before the race even starts?

    It defeats the object of it.

    1. Duane says:

      Great post!

      I think the idea that DRS should be used at the drive’s discretion is spot on! By opening the usage up, some very interesting aerodynamics will evolve to exploit the potential advantage. Also, some of the ‘artificial feel’ of confining this technology to a specified area would be eliminated.

      1. PK says:

        It actually makes no sense at all! KERS was supposed to do the same thing but the problem wsa that drivers used it as a defensive aid ie they used it when the guy behind used it. The same will happend with DRS.

      2. coefficient says:

        I agree, however, in a closely fought battle on track between 2 drivers it could prove to be the straw that broke the camels back.

        Picture this, Hamilton chasing Alonso hard at Monza lap after lap, each of them getting immediately onto the DRS on the exit of each bend. 2 laps from the end the pressure gets to Alonso and he hits the DRS a car length too early on the exit of ascari or parabolica meaning he has to get out of the gas and correct, letting Lewis through. Or likewise Hamilton spins from opening the wing too early whilst getting impatient/frustrated in pursuit.

        I don’t think that would be artificial. It would just be another element of car control if the device was used at the drivers discretion and it would make wheel to wheel battles pretty white knuckle!

    2. Chapor says:

      Your post is interesting, allow me to add my 2 cents worth in reference to the turbo boost button as Niki Lauda used it, back in the day using that button meant using more fuel, with DRS, it might mean if you use it, you can save fuel. So there is no direct penalty in using it. But if it was a freely available “resource” on the race track, it means that drivers can save fuel on the straights as well as gaining extra topspeed. Whether the fuel saving gain will translate into better pace because of less fuel being carried initially would have to be calculated by people smarter than me.

  19. Jon says:

    Echoing others comments, Drivers weren’t being that smart with there use of DRS, where they should have done the overtake in the second DRS zone. They should probably only have had the one DRS zone.

    However DRS is making a driver push harder so they are more than a second infront of the driver behind. This adds another element to the mix. But as showed by Mark Webber, unless you have a car which is fast in a straight line, then you can’t make a DRS overtake stick.

    I don’t think Pirelli have changed the tyres through the year, it’s just that the teams have adapted to how they work, and made them more durable due to setup.

  20. Barry says:

    I would rather see one ‘real’ overtake than ten artificial DRS added overtakes

    1. Phil Bishop says:

      I totally agree

      what’s worst of all is the risk of missing the one genuine overtake amid the noise of DRS candy from baby passes.

    2. Duane says:

      I’d rather see 10 DRS overtakes than one more processional race with all the passing done in the pits.

      With all of the CFD, wind tunnel testing & ridiculous aerodynamic engineering we went form the glorious epic battles of the 80s & early 90s to the snooze-fests of the 2000s. DRS attempts to counter this. I think the dirty air behind a modern F1 car is just as artificial as finding a way to deal with a double DRS zone (and brilliantly succeeding as Button did this weekend)! Or failing as per Mark Webber.

      Technology got us into this mess, so right that it gets us out of it.

    3. audifan says:

      I see the tyre change as a winner , and DRS as a disaster

      surely the truth of the matter is that overtaking is inhibited by the aero , principally the front wing ; the FIA makes the rules , let them ban these monstrosities , allow a simpler form of limited width , how often have we seem a car come up behind another and get stuck , let them overtake by skill and craft , not pushing a button !

      and how often have we seen a good race ruined by a touch on a front wing if the front tyres were outside the front wing it wouldn’t happen !

      1. jjpm says:

        I agree 100% with your statement!

        Let’s the pilots do the racing and
        [mod]

  21. Barry says:

    added = aided

  22. Vinayak Pande says:

    What choice does the FIA have as long as teams refuse standard and minimal aero? Ideal case scenario would be standard aero package with single element front and rear wings with a predetermined range that they can be adjusted in depending on which track they go to.

    But as long this is not agreed upon by team principals – so many of whom just give the usual line of ‘F1 is the pinnacle of our sport’ – this is the best I feel the FIA can do.

    And while Luca di Monetezemolo’s methods of venting may be wrong (not to mention his assertion on 3 car teams), he has a point that the focus of F1 should be on mechanical and tyre technology, not to mention a focus on developing and testing alternative propulsion (only 42 years left before petroleum runs out).

  23. Chris Jordan says:

    I’m in favour of DRS, I think it’s been a great inovation this season, but I have one major problem, which time and time and time again seems to be rearing it’s head: DRS was brought in to assist in making an overtake, ie, getting someone up alongside heading into the braking zone. What actually happens is the pass is over and done with, and the overtaking car is back on the racing line before the braking zone.

    I think the DRS zones should be managed a lot more proactively, shorten them considerably where it becomes clear cars are passing prior to the braking zone, and increasing their length when it becomes clear the car behind cannot close enough to attempt a pass.

    I don’t like watching overtaking which I know has required zero skill and zero bravery, I would much rather see someone get alongside using DRS, then having to use their skill and bravery on the brakes to try make the pass stick

    1. Roberto says:

      I wrote sometime ago that the DRS have a good effect on some races and on others don´t, this weekedend was an example as we saw some moves were the car in front was like a “turtle” against the one using DRS, as a fan i prefer more wheel to wheel, the start of the race was very exciting, fast, clean but with lots of action, them the normal split started and when the DRS came in effect many racers were helpless, i agree with you that DRS zones should be modified, but the thing is what cars are going to be used to make the analisis during friday or saturday, it will work the same for all cars?

  24. RGV says:

    From a racer point of view, I think it was too artificial. From the fan point of view: IT WAS GREAT!

    Like Dmitry said: “love to see racing without DSR” just to see how the Pirellis improved the show. Sometimes, DSR, is to artificial simplifying too much overtaking.

    RGV

  25. Dave says:

    I don’t mind DRS – but having one zone right after the other seemed pointless, as it just meant the effect was largely negligible.

    If DRS is to be used to get you in a position to pass, then it’s effect needs to be limited or the length of the zone shorted, as the speed boost it is giving means you’ve got the job done before the breaking zone in most cases.

    Furthermore, if we want to see it helping drivers get past slower cars, we shouldn’t have 1 zone right after the other, as it means the faster car doesn’t get the opportunity to build a 1 second gap and prove that he was being held up. If the car can get past and pull out a second gap in a lap, then it justifies the use of the device. If the car doesn’t get the opportunity because he is immediately repassed, then it doesn’t seem to be working as intended.

    As Kevin said in post 1, people were using it down the first straight and then finding themselves defenceless on the second, and I guess this is where the system falls down. I’m sure I saw one driver (could have been Di Resta or Button? Can’t remember) who deliberately didn’t defend at the end of the first straight so that he could get the DRS boost to retake the place at the second one.

  26. Kris says:

    Is it not as simple as chasing cars restraining themselves to not pass during the first DRS and instead, hold off until the second, thereby increasing the chance that the move will stick? I’m sure it’s not as simple as that, but surely the principle should hold true?

  27. Ben says:

    My biggest issue with DRS is that the FIA determine it’s use from circuit to circuit. If there was just a set of criteria that determined its use this would therefore be free of interference from any outside source and would be a known variable and thus the same for everyone.

    I mean some sort of regulation of “all straights longer than 500m will have DRS deployable on for the final 400m of the straight with the detection point being on the apex of the preceding corner. Any car 1 second behind another will get use of it on the following straight”

    I would even consider a regulation such as “a driver may use his DRS for 10 seconds per lap” and just leave it up to the drivers like KERS. Or maybe “a driver may use his DRS for a total of 50km per race”

    Ideally, I would just like unlimited use of DRS as then it would not be subject to a controlled limitation, which is automatically imposing an artificial restriction (ie, the use is not a limited by the skill of the driver or the design of the car but rather just a quota that the FIA determines) however this would not really aid overtaking.

    However, even without DRS assisted overtaking there has been a huge increase in the number of on track passes and as such I would ask if we really need DRS as an overtaking aid?

    The use of DRS in qualifying is spectacular, you really get to see the confidence a driver has in his abilities and in his car as the only limiting factor as to when it can be deployed is the driver’s sense of when his car and skill level are able to keep it on the race track.

    1. wayne says:

      Nice post.

  28. Paul Lewis says:

    What seems to be overlooked here is the opportunity to defend by breaking the DRS gap, i.e. getting more than a second ahead.

    For years we’ve had cars being faster (and therefore able to get within a second of the car in front) but unable to overtake.

    One, Two or however many DRS zones ought to ensure that the faster car gets or stays ahead and i’m all for it, even the slightly gimmicky zones in Abu Dhabi. Better that than switching on to a procession every fortnight.

  29. Rein says:

    DRS = NO
    KERS = YES

  30. Rob Newman says:

    DRS overtaking makes the driver in the front car a sitting duck with no defence. Some smart drivers still manage to get away using KERS at the right place in the DRS zone. Driving defensively is a skill which is taken away by DRS.

    DRS should be scrapped and overtaking should be made possible by restricting aerodynamic developments on the car thus making a faster car to overtake the car in front by raw talent of the driver.

    DRS is not for F1.

  31. Paul H says:

    I think that the DRS just covers up the issues rather than fixing anything. The simple fact is that the wake of a car is too turbulent and cars following closely behind are too affected by this. Add in the lack of opportunities on Tilke tracks and a lack of passes is inevitable. The state of the tyres in the early part of the season offered some fun but either the teams have got a hold on making them last or Pirelli has made them more durable because that interest seems to have gone.

    Any driver worth his salt would rather overtake without the false gimmicks. The only way of doing this is ensuring that cars can closely follow one another and have enough room on a track to drive side when making a move. So many tracks have a narrow strip on the driving line and the moment a driver is off that he loses time that it removes a lot of opportunities. Just allowing the cars to remain close will create opportunities and then it will remain up to the drivers, as it should do.

    I realise I’m probably in the minority when i say this, but I think the best way overall would be a return to clutch pedal and gearsticks. Would create much more driver input/error resulting in more opportunistic passes and an increase in driver skill.

  32. Koopra says:

    There should be no zones and activation lines. That’s what makes it so ugly.

    It should work when you are withing a certain distance times speed directly behind a car anywhere on the track. Then you have a nice simulation of draft effect where you lose the advantage as soon as you pull alongside to overtake.

    This is how I assumed DRS would work when I first heard of it. Technology is there, so why won’t they do it properly. Money?

  33. AndyB says:

    I’m generally in favour of DRS during the race, as it does allow a limited performance boost.

    However, I’d like to see some changes.

    First up is getting rid of DRS in qualifying. Everyone has it, so why allow it? What it does do is create a lot of confusion and adds cost because of the qualy/race trade-offs.

    Secondly, it would be good IMO if DRS activations were limited to maybe 10 per race, so you have to choose exactly how to use it, against which drivers and at what stage of the race. It may even be a tweak to get rid of the 1 second rule and allow drivers to activate DRS in the allowed zone whenever they like up to the allowed limit, so drivers could also have a limited defence mechanism.

    This would then transform DRS into a mega strategy tool. In this era of standard engines and restrictive rules, this could really makes races spicy.

  34. Robert Leon Felix says:

    While I prefer overtakes which require more skill, I am extremely glad for DRS @ Yas Marina. The track is a borefest, needs a few walls or something to keep the drivers honest. It’s a shame the 2 DRS zones couldn’t have been further apart to give a drivers the chance to pass and escape.
    DRS is not the problem, track design is.

    1. mazirian says:

      I thought it was just as boring as always. DRS does not solve anything on these tracks.

  35. goferet says:

    Me, I fall in the artificial racing camp for I would rather have an artificial race any day in favour of no overtaking at all.

    The problem is people are too quick to throw DRS under the bus and yet it’s still a new invention.

    Now that the FIA have all the data & whatnot, they can tinker the DRS according to each track for instance reduce the DRS at Spa & maintain only one DRS at Abu-Dhabi seeing as the two DRS zones are right next to each other.

    I mean just imagine how dull Monza would have been without DRS, hell we wouldn’t even have instances where Vettel panics & drops it at the last lap because he was worried of the DRS zone in Canada.

    The DRS should be given a chance for I can’t possibly imagine to going back to days of faster cars sitting 2 seconds behind the Truilli train on the main straight lap after lap.

    The only thing that would easy the pain pre-the-DRS-days, is that drivers were able to jump others in the pits.
    But in these days of refueling ban, we would all go to sleep, purist or no purist

  36. James encore says:

    It was entertaining
    And it was artificial.

    Kers is artificial – limiting the amount of energy that can be stored and how fast it can be put back.
    Rev limits are artificial – cars would be able to slipstream to higher speeds than they do now without a limit. [I'm absolutely against Dan's top speed limit idea, sorry Dan]
    Homologating engines so they are all 3 year old designs is artificial.
    Configuring the ECU so the engine blows the diffuser when the driver is off the throttle is artifical.
    Making cars run on both kinds of tyres is artificial.

    The list goes on and on. If we made it natural it would be a running race.

    When the new engines come in I’d like to see unlimitted Kers and drivers can use it with extra turbo boost to pass, knowing that excessive boost and revs will cost them in engine life and fuel. I’d keep the engine life rules but allow engine improvements during the season and scrap the rev limits.

    1. Steed says:

      DRS is only available to the following driver which is what makes the overtake artificial. All the things you mention are equally available to all drivers.

      Maybe we should use the word ‘unfair’ instead of ‘artificial’ with regard to DRS, to avoid this type of confusion.

      Personally, I would get rid of all the constructors rules but be rigid about keeping all teams to a fixed budget. That way it would be about the ingenuity of the designers and the talent of the drivers.

  37. Wouldn’t it be better to have a few more DRS zones, but positioned on shorter straights? This could aid the car behind in getting closer to attack and not just breeze pass down a long straight.

    For me it’s about getting the car behind closer during the twisty sections so he can have a chance of attacking at various corners through the circuit. Not just at the end of a straight.

  38. Ramshoek says:

    We have seen a number of cars overtaking quite easily on the first DRS zone. We’ve seen a number of cars that where able to get the position they lost in DRS 1 back in the second DRS zone.
    We have seen a number of occasions where the car running in front was able to stay there.
    I think overtaking in the DRS zones wasn’t to easy. The 2nd DRS zone was a nice addition which spiced things up even more.
    As long as overtaking without DRS is near impossible, we need this artificial system.

    I liked this race a lot better than the procession we’ve seen last year…

  39. Doc Ric says:

    Did the DRS improve the racing at Yas Marina?

    It’s a provisional patch to other shortcomings in my opinion!
    It improved the Abu Dhabi race as it allowed overtaking (with some logic, a driver could get close with first DRS, then overtake with the second..), so on that point it improved what is in my opinion a terrible track (layout-wise)
    On the other hand, fantastic tracks like Spa provide exciting races even without DRS. Short-lived tyres are enough to create differences in performance, in good tracks. I still think all the Tilke tracks (bar Turkey) are extremely poor and repetitive though. Even on a simulator the difference in track challenge is huge in my opinion!

  40. Armchair Critic says:

    The DRS for me is a cheap way of solving the overtaking problem. The best way in my opinion would be to make sure the tracks are designed with natural places to overtake, but of course this would cost more (especially in Monaco). I really despise the plasticine tyres though. To me they are totally artificial and not relevant to road cars. They also go against the green agenda in this respect as well as producing marbles which make it difficult to go off line.

  41. David Hamilton says:

    I do however think that there is probably one thing that we can blame on DRS this season: Vettel’s runaway championship win.

    Why? Well Vettel has played a high-stakes gamble all season: He has always geared his car to run in the lead. In other words he has gone for optimum lap-time and sacrificed overtaking ability. When he’s been in the lead this has left him with an advantage over everyone else, as they’re all been running compromised set-ups.

    To make this work, however, he has needed to qualify consistently at the front and lead almost all the time – which he has done exceptionally well. He has made the strategy work by both his qualifying and his racing:

    On those occasions he has been behind he has overtaken in the manner of someone who’s very life seemed to depend on it. Specifically I’m thinking of Australia and Monza. Both those overtakes were around the outside on corners, suggesting that Vettel knew very well that he understood that he wouldn’t be able to overtake on the straights.

    Indeed, it almost feels like he had decided, right at the start of the season, that to make this strategy work he would have to be exceptionally aggressive on those occasions that he lost track position.

    And, credit where credit is due, he has succeeded in executing his strategy in the most impressive way.

    However I do wonder if, without DRS this season, we would have seen a much closer championship and a wider distribution of race wins?

  42. Rich says:

    Were there any examples of drivers who were close enough to overtake choosing not to do so in the first zone, but overtake in the second zone instead? Thus giving them the rest of the lap to try and build some sort of gap. Perhaps using a few brain cells wouldn’t hurt.

  43. Ralf F says:

    I thought it was too gimmicky, not because of the DRS itself but because of the way it was implemented here with the super long dual zones. DRS was only a mediocre solution to the big underlying problem: the circuit is terrible. I’m surprised they haven’t tried any of the other layouts. On turns 5-6, it seems more overtaking friendly to me (in my humble and ultimately ignorant opinion) do away with them and use the straight layout. Also turns 8-9 and 11-12-13 are very poorly thought out. I have an idea, how about they ask a proper F1 driver what to do with it?

    Now that Pirelli know the circuit, they will probably bring the soft and super-soft tyres for next year. I hope the organisers don’t rely on that for spectacle and make the necessary changes though.

  44. DeadMeatGF says:

    I’m all for improving overtaking, especially when a faster car is stuck behind a slower car, whether that be a back marker or the car you’re racing for position, however, the use of DRS, especially double-DRS zones, makes the whole procedure nothing more than an arcade-game version of what should be a real spectacle.
    We can argue that “it’s the same for everybody” but actually it’s not – there’s a real “pot-luck” element to where the back-markers fall, and this can make or break a chase-down or getaway for the leading cars.
    Like KERS, the technology is fine, and should be allowed, but to be used as and when deemed appropriate by the team/driver (like DRS is in practice) as a demonstration of the engineering prowess of the teams, and in a way that would actually (unlike KERS) be applicable to a road car.
    In my opinion DRS technology on the road would not be used for a “turbo boost” setup, but reducing drag in a straight line would benefit by, for example, reducing fuel consumption – again, it’s as a fuel consumption reduction system that KERS should be used, as this is road-relevant, unlike the current booster system. As far as I’m aware it is a requirement that F1 technology is road relevant, so surely the FIA are forcing the teams to breach their own regulations?
    Anyway, ranty bit over:
    I believe that should the aero teams be allowed a free reign (within a defined box, as normal) to create the ultimate front wing, and if necessary giving access to undertray sculpting, they would be able to use the air no matter how “dirty” and get back to the nose-to-gearbox racing that led to races where overtaking was the norm, not the exception. With that in place then DRS would not be “necessary” and could either be dispensed with or used in a more road-relevant way.

  45. Jack says:

    The only thing I found frustrating about it was the drivers always overtaking in the first DRS zone. I began to wonder if some of the drivers have the lights on upstairs. I’m no fan of armchair experts, but as a driver myself, I found it really frustrating to watch and have to give my armchair expert opinion.

    It was clear that the second DRS zone was effective for passing. I would have been using the first DRS zone to get on to their gearbox in the chicane, and the second one to seal the pass.

    Yet lap after lap we saw cars diving down the inside at the first DRS zone only to be re-passed in the second zone. Not one driver, that I saw, thought to use the first one to unsettle their rival and the second one to complete the move.

    KERS, DRS, these are all tools to be used and it’s how you use them that makes the difference. It was the lack of foresight from the drivers that had me complaining, not the tools at their disposal. So from my view the re-passes were fair consequences for being short-sighted this time, and not silly at all.

  46. I voted No for this track.
    However I feel that DRS has been a good addition to the sport, it gives the driver both the knowledge and power that they can and will use a device that will allow them to pass a car that whilst they are faster than they simply cannot pass. If DRS only allowed the car to pass and the the following car could stay with it and then instantly repass then it would be defunct as it was at Abu Dhabi. But most other races this season it has allowed a driver to gain position and improve on his race.
    I’m for DRS

  47. knoxploration says:

    DRS has not made the racing even one iota better. The only improvement we’ve seen this year has been down to tires that initially–while the teams were learning how to use them–made the drivers’ job more challenging.

    That, at least, was not artificial and unfair. Every driver and team had the same challenge. Unfortunately, the effect has largely tapered off now, as Pirelli has largely lost its bottle for bringing edgier choices, and the teams better-know the strategy required to negate their difficulties.

    As for DRS, it has not given us better racing even once. What it has done is destroy the racing with some fair regularity, giving us endless, meaningless passes and immediate repasses purely because one driver briefly had a car that was light years ahead of his rival. That’s robbed us of truly tense, edge-of-the-seat racing between drivers at the top of their game, in favor of a Mickey Mouse gimmick.

    If ever something has tempted me to abandon F1 altogether, it is DRS. Anything that is available to one driver and not the other is inherently unfair, and does not belong in our sport.

    1. martin says:

      agreed!

  48. DB says:

    Wings (front and rear) should be single plane and the golden rule (no moveable aerodynamics) should be back.

    Best moves I saw (Alonso on Button and Schummacher Vs Rosberg) were off the DRS zone (granted: they were in the begining of the race).

    And I loved watching Petrov hold Alonso back. And not because I have anything against Alonso: I also loved watching him hold Schummacher back in Imola a few years ago. I just enjoy this piece of skill.

  49. Andy C says:

    To be honest I was skeptical about a push to pass button, but the reality is it has allowed races like Abu Dhabi to at least stop being a borefest.

    One of the key issues I have at the moment is the tracks. DRS would not be required at Abu Dhabi if the track was not a collection of 90 degree corners and slow chicances. to say they had a blank sheet of paper, the format Mr Tilke came up with is nowhere near in terms of producing exciting racing.

    Somewhere along the line, the new tracks need to provide the product people want to watch. The facility is amazing, the track is boring.

    1. christos pallis says:

      I agree in the regard that Tilke circuits seem to be hit and miss. Turkey is a perfect example of a good Tilke track that always produces a good race, similarly Shanghi… Abu Dhabi is just a duff track that needs the help DRS offers to avoid the snore fest!

      Tilke should be better than this given his plank sheet, budget and eperience in circuit design.

  50. Bec says:

    @ 22. Vinayak Pande

    DRS (as we see it) was FOTA’s idea, and was presented to the FIA in June 2010. It took a lot of hard lobbying of the FIA by FOTA for it to be accepted.

    An alternate DRS, that FOTA rejected, was to allow its free use in the race, as seen in qualifying, to allow cars to catch one another, but once within a second of the car in front it would then be disabled.

  51. Cameron Isles says:

    I broke a streak of consecutive races going back to Hockenheim 1994 this year (Berger won by the way, if you’re interested). I’ve watched little of the end of season and skipped Singapore altogether; The idea of watching a qualifying session now seems utterly absurd.

    It has nothing to do with Vettel’s dominance either — I’ve sat through Schumacher in that time. Rather, it’s the very idea of Formula 1 that seems inconsequential to me now and if I’m being honest it’s been that way for a while. There just appears to be little reason for any of it any more. There’s nothing happening ‘underneath’.

    At the end of the Senna film John Bisignano gets introspective for a moment and asks himself if all his years in the sport were worth it and he concludes they probably were. Today I can’t see how it possibly can be. Go ride a bike, create a garden or spend some more time with your family people. Leave the KERs reboots, double DRS, Tilkedromes and glorified commuting to the emerging market technogeeks Bernie loves now. Until they too realize the Emperor has nout on.

    When it all comes crashing down and we can finally get all post-modern, I suggest we meet up at the corner formerly known as Tamburello — where it all started to go wrong.

  52. Rudy says:

    Since the inception of DRS we knew this was artificial. Depending on track layout and downforce it was going to be an issue. It is no surprise now that more viewers feel it is too much. The concept of pure racing is lost. We have witnessed how track and sector times have decreased, thus creating alternate and artificial records. If these electronic gizmos are to stay for a while then police a way to make clever use of them like limiting the number of DRS activations during a race. Even more, it should be banned to activate simultaneously the KERS and DRS. The KERS is seen as something “green” so I suspect it won’t disappear or its use limited. What I begin to feel is that F-1 is taking a show path, like Indy cars in the form of DRS, tyre compounds, engine development freeze, safety cars, excess of penalties and inconsistent steward calls. F-1 was supposed to be the pinnacle of motor racing. No more.

  53. Dmitry says:

    “Too artificial” for me.

    Sometime in the beginning of this season I already wrote here that DRS is something utterly artificial. If I really take this race as the acid test, then all my doubts are totally cleared and I became even more sure in my initial view.
    I know that at least until 2013 there won’t be any changes to that, so there’s no point in complaining, moaning and arguing. I really can only hope that after next season DRS will be killed off and forgotten as a nightmare.

  54. RomeoG says:

    Artificial or not. I prefer to see this versus a parade. I want more passing. I want the gap increased to 2 seconds. I am tired of Red Bull running “away” by skirting the rules. I want the gap closed between the top 6 cars and the rest. The race was quite entertaining in “peloton”. I want more pit stops. I am a fan for more than 40 years. I want more tire degradation, perhaps less aero effects. Slower curves to have more late backing passes like in the past. I tired of dreaming for the “better next season”.

  55. RomeoG says:

    ups sorry. More late BRAKING passes and yes I AM tired of waiting for a better future. Maybe we need GP2 style racing with the inverted starting grid.

  56. Nilesh says:

    A question to everyone: Which top three overtaking moves do you remember from the past year and the past decade?

    Follow-up question: Which of these memorable moves from the past year involved the use of DRS?

    The DRS has been quite successful over a short term for the casual fans, but what the DRS provides for in quantity does not measure up in its quality.

    The DRS is what is traditionally known in technical circles as a ‘hack’, a temporary patch to alleviate the problem while avoiding a major fix. What is needed is a change of track layouts. The good tracks on the calendar provide a lot of passing irrespective of the tyre and race conditions.

  57. Andras F. says:

    I like DRS when my favourite driver can get by with it and hate it when he is being passed the same way. :)

    Seriously here is my idea to change the DRS system:
    Sensors to be fitted into the cars to sense their position when DRS is activated. When the two cars are reaching a certain position relative to each other the DRS would be de-activated automaticly. From that de-activation point the speed differrence would be smaller and this would open up the opportunity to have a great battle until the braking point.
    I think everybody would welcome a Senna-Mansell 1991 Barcelona like wheel to wheel battle.
    All in all the DRS is not a bad idea in that respect that the car behind can get into the position of attacking but the opportunity of defense must be left open too for the other driver.

  58. Matt says:

    DRS only increases the incidence of overtaking among the mid-field teams and lower; its impact amongst the top four teams has been virtually nil. Eighteen races in and how many were won by a driver who overtook the previous race leader by means of the DRS?

    The crux of the biscuit is that F1 now is a spec racing series. The FIA have spent two decades+ dreaming up increasingly restrictive car design rules in an effort to mitigate the influence of big money in the sport in the belief this would make the less well funded teams more competitive. They have succeeded in narrowing the performance differential but the teams at the top of the time sheet remain those with the deep pockets. And the unintended consequence is the performance differential between cars now is _so_ narrow, and that huge front wing is _so_ finicky in the draft, competitive overtaking between the top flight teams remains so rare as to be highlight-worthy on the news.

    The FIA’s solution has been to fabricate even more silly rules (DRS, CURSE, no in-race refueling, and disintegrating tyres …and 2009′s driver adjustable front wing) to restore the overtaking their first set of silly rules took away. They remain in denial that the cause of the problem is the draconian TR, which has been exacerbated by all the Tilke-dromes.

    It was the innovations produced by the great constructors, like Colin Chapman, Ken Tyrrell and Bruce McLaren, that made F1 the preeminent motor racing sport in the world. H-16 engines, four wheel drive gas turbines, ground effects and active suspension. Some were loony and some were brilliant but all were banned. What now passes for innovation is merely the quest for loopholes in the TR. And each new development/loophole typically is met with still more rules to ban it before the following season. G-d forbid any team should manage a performance advantage.

    The FIA need to unshackle the designers and create sensible construction rules. Then the overtaking problem will right itself. And just imagine what an Adrian Newey could create if he weren’t so hemmed in.

  59. dan b says:

    Unfortunately the question posed is really difficult to answer, hence I think you will get about a 50/50 split decision. It made for a better race compared to last year and the frustrations of not being able to pass, but it was also too artificial, making it too easy and hard to defend from. I agree it is work in progress this year, and we may see some teaks to it generally in all circuits in 2012, but as for this circuit, to answer the question above, it would be to make some alterations to the layout.

  60. Jon says:

    The problem with the modern F1 car is that it relies too much on the aero package. So when 2 cars are racing too close to second car is disadvantaged due to the ‘dirty air’. To counteract this DRS is used to balance out the 2 cars.
    I would rather see a reduction in the amount of downforce generated by the car, thus reducing the problem of ‘dirty air’.

    The main problem I have is the use of DRS in qualifying. Red Bull appear to gain most from the DRS in Quali. They have a car which is set up for high downforce for the corners, but with DRS the drag due the high downforce is reduced for the accelleration zones and straights, so they do not pay the price of a high downfoce set up in quali. Red Bull have had a the lap times in quali on a Saturday, but when it come to race day the gap is always less to McLaren & Ferrari.

  61. Gene says:

    I’m generally against DRS, but I’m willing to wait one more year now that we’ve got data regarding how effective it was on the various tracks on the calendar. I’d be way more pro-DRS if they didn’t put the zones on the longest straights of the track. I think they’d be more effective on shorter and medium straights, but put the activation line immediately out of the prior corner to maximize its use.

    Australia: Deemed to be ‘not effective’. Overtaking on the straight was only marginally easier. However, some would say that’s exactly how the DRS should be set up!

    Malaysia: Too easy. Probably overcompensating for what happened in Australia.

    China: Seemed to get this one right, although again, I wish they just left the straight alone and put it in another area of the track.

    Turkey: WAY too easy. Leave that straight alone!

    Spain: Not effective. We’re seeing that long, medium speed corners leading onto the DRS zones (like Australia and here) are making it less effective. To maximize DRS, it’s better to have a wide turn leading onto the zone, with multiple racing lines available.

    Monaco: If DRS produced just one extra pass here I’d say it was a success, and it did. I’d actually like a continuous DRS zone in Monaco, completely around the track. (Sure, prevent them from using it in the tunnel if you have to on safety grounds)

    Canada: A complete joke. Again, keep the DRS away from that straight! It’s a fine overtaking spot as-is! Put the zone somewhere else, maybe leading into the hairpin.

    Valencia: Eh… who knows. I’m at a loss when it comes to that track.

    Silverstone: Seemed ok. Wet race, so hard to judge. I like the placement of the zone though.

    Germany: Seemed ok.

    Hungary: Wet race. Tough to judge. Again though, my suggestion is to have another continuous DRS zone here. :)

    Spa: A joke. I’d actually call this DRS zone placement vandalism. Put the zones away for one race all year… please?

    Italy: This was interesting. People want more overtaking right? So did they want Lewis to sail past Michael immediately and drive off into the distance? Instead, we got lap after lap of close battling on the straights. I thought it was great. Could you imagine if that was the battle for the lead? This is more of an argument against DRS than anything in my opinion. The fight to get by should be just that… a fight! DRS should NEVER just let you sail past.

    Singapore: Sure, I think it was fine.

    Japan: Not effective.

    Korea: Placing DRS directly following an overtaking spot is a perfect way to keep someone in a faster car from making a pass stick. But then again, maybe this is what they wanted. 2 overtakes, but no position changed. Perfect ammo for those on the ‘this is artificial’ side of the argument.

    India: Didn’t seem effective, but it was almost like a wet race though with the dust offline, so hard to judge.

    Abu Dhabi: Again, we have the situation where the car behind can’t make the pass stick, this time due to consecutive DRS zones. 2 passes, no position changed.

    Typing this up, I’m getting more disillusioned with the whole thing.

  62. Well says:

    Both DRS and Pirelli tyres are a disgrace for true racing.

    I can’t imagine a true racing fan being happy with these gimmicks.

    It is only a good thing for the lowest common denominator…they should go watch American wrestling and leave F1 alone.

    1. ajay says:

      absolutely with DRS. It is part of the strategy now and I am sure it will be better managed now they have some more experience with it. How soon we forget, the great Fernando Alonso and I mean it:-) – I do not recall him even trying to make a pass on and it was the world championship on the line.

      1. Huh? says:

        You did not watch the race then, he tried many times, including almost running into Petrov and going off track trying to overtake….THAT was exciting to watch…not seeing cars just stroll by like they are lapping cars.

        Real racing also includes great defending. DRS and these Pirelli tyres, take all that way.

        Senna winning in Monaco against Mansell would not have happened with these 2 gimmicks.

        Faster car needs to be inf ront? Says who? Maybe they should have done a better job with qualifying or team strategy? You are penalizing the guy who did a better job because he is in a slower car?

        World upside down…but then again, that is the McDonalds world we live in.

  63. jpinx says:

    DRS seems to go against all the talk about trying to reduce the sports dependence on aero-engineering rather than mechanical engineering. Surely a reduction in aero-dependence will make following easier, overtaking more in the control of the driver anywhere he wants on any circuit, and will hand a big opportunity for Pirelli to shine at what they do best — make really sticky tires that last half a race. I voted no and always will be against DRS. Spend the money on KERS and allow the drivers free use….

  64. Adam Taylor says:

    I am very much torn on the issue of DRS. It is a good way to increase entertainment but not to the extent of it being artificial. It is entirely up the team/driver how best to set up the car to use this in the most efficient way (ie Red Bull/Toro Rosso) but I think this should be scrapped.

    I liked what they did in Indy Car when they were only allowed a certain amount of power boosts every lap and not to have it recharged at the beginning of each lap (this is counter productive), but with the limited boosts it makes racing less predictable and brings a bit of strategy into it.

  65. Grabyrdy says:

    The racing in Abu Dhabi was better this year than last, so I’m in favour. And as Brundle said yesterday, whatever else you think about it, it enables cars which are out of place to get back into the contest. Webber and Alonso may as well have packed up and gone home halfway thru the race last year.

    2 other points :

    - When Webbo finally got Jenson, he did it without DRS. And I wondered if the fact that he seemed so unconfident on the brakes yesterday had something to do with how his DRS was functioning.

    - I heard that they were going to try to make Yas Marina a better circuit for driving and overtaking this year, but didn’t do anything because there was DRS. I’m sure we all agree that they have to make it better anyway, DRS or no DRS.

    I thought the cars getting their rivals back in the next straight rather amusing. And isn’t it what went on in the slipstreaming days ?

  66. Richard says:

    There are obviously some advantages to the DRS system, and yes, it allows the faster driver to pass (Coulthard would have loved it in Monaco 2001 to get past Bernoldi’s Arrows). But, in my opinion that is racing, real racing. DC was quicker, in a quicker car, but if that’s all that we want to see, the quickest car winning, then we might as well just simulate the entire race on computers and not watch it. There’s so much more, and when stuck behind a slow car, one needs to try something new, like Red Bull tried with Webber yesterday, changing to a 3 stopper.

    Personally, I love the Pirelli’s (the one’s that didn’t last from the start of the season) and I really think that they alone are enough, however if we want some more overtaking, then why not bring back re-fueling rather than DRS? Prime tire low fuel run vs Options with heavy fuel… if you can’t pass then, well, then even DRS can’t help you, but at least it’s real racing.

  67. irish con says:

    the moves are boring. we all agree i think but they let faster cars move forward. i like that part but with drs we will never have a race like susuka 2005 again.

    1. mo kahn says:

      I remember that race which was being commentated by James Allen for ITV and it was the best race I’ve ever seen… the race, the guts by Kimi and Alonso were phenomenal… and yes I agree with you… races like those will never be seen again… in the era of DRS and KERS.

  68. Werewolf says:

    DRS is a relatively inexpensive and largely successful, ie at most circuits, solution to the problems of overtaking in F1. The technological alternatives would likely be very expensive, extremely difficult if not impossible to find a consensus upon which to implement – a draconian, unilateral imposition would never work in practice – and risk the position of F1 as the fastest and post advanced level of motorsport, the pinnacle it should be.

    I have said before that about the only (non-virtual) thing more artificial than a racing car is an F1 racing car, so what’s a little more artifice in the mix, providing it is the same for everybody; by which I mean no success ballast, etc, which hinders different cars at different times? There is no such thing as pure motor racing.

    Would those so upset by Sunday’s GP, which admittedly wasn’t DRS’ finest hour, really rather a repeat of the miserable excuse for a race we suffered last year and at one or two other circuits that would otherwise remain simply wrong for F1 in the racing sense?

    We are never going to return to Maserati 250Fs, Cooper-Climaxes, Lotus 49s, Lotus 72s or turbo-era McLarens, etc; nor are we going to return to the days when tracks were chosen for their suitability for racing rather than as showpiece event venues for media and VIPs. We need advanced technological solutions because low-tech is gone forever.

    F1 racing 2011 has been the best in years and DRS is part of that.

  69. Richard says:

    There’s no doubt that DRS works given the right circumstances, but it is a little artificial which was demonstrated at Abu Dhabi in the two zones. On the plus side it is a performance enhancer which I’m in favour of, but it does leave a leading driver defenceless which is the negative aspect. In reality I think it probably over compensates for dirty air in the slipstream of a leading car.

    High degradation or short life tyres I’m really against because they stymie performance throughout the grid where it is most needed.
    Yes it provides overtaking, but for the wrong reasons again leaving the driver with worn tyres defenceless, and requires a controlled drive to achieve a race win.

  70. bones says:

    How can anyone like this joke??
    Not only is artificial,is PREDICTABLE because you KNOW WHERE is going to be activated.
    A real car racing fan can’t support this.

  71. Rob says:

    Nothing wrong with DRS. It does the job it needs to do.

    I’d like to see Pirelli be a little more aggressive with the tyres though; when they are a little marginal, you get some great strategy splits. China was a particular highlight – Vettel’s 2-stop was just barely beaten by Hamilton’s 3-stop, and given a few more laps Webber would have won due to his saving tyres from qualifying.

  72. Tim Parry says:

    It’s one of those “6 of one, half a dozen of the other” conundrums (I’ve been waitin’ 10 years to use that word in a sentence – thanks James). The whole concept seems a little like a Rube Goldberg solution though.

  73. USARalph says:

    Why are aids like DRS and KERS acceptable, but launch control and traction control and power steering unacceptable?

    1. gonzeche says:

      This is because launch control and traction control are considered driver aids (meaning a driver needs less driving skills!) while DRS is a moveable device to intentionally give a specific advantage only to one of two contenders in a specific situation for the pure sake of racing (understood as opposed to the poor spectacle of last years race, rather damaging the sport’s image in what should have been an audiece-winning climax to a thrilling season). As for KERS it means just more power gained and made available through a promising technology in terms of ‘green-development’ and the sport being relevant to the outside world, so justifying a role in society. KERS is pursued just for this reason and is yet to be devoloped to reach cost-efficiency.

  74. Anil says:

    There are a lot of posts here, with many against DRS. I’ve got to say I used to think the DRS was a great idea, especially for tracks where overtaking hasn’t worked in the past. Unfortunately, it has ruined FAR too many races this season, it’s become a joke.

    Firstly, at Abu Dhabi, they should have just had a longer first DRS zone and NO second one. The argument of ‘the driver shouldn’t have overtaken in the first zone’ makes no sense if you think about it, because that in itself is anti-racing. If it gets to a point where it is an ADVANTAGE to be overtaken, you know something is wrong. That said, the main problem was the track itself. It’s a joke considering how much money they have to spend on it. I watched the race yesterday with casual F1 fans; 2 of them spent most of the race talking/on their phones because nothing happened and my girlfriend fell asleep. They aren’t fans of DRS at all and compared it to giving a losing football team an extra player. Says it all really.

    Unfortunately, DRS has ruined too many races this season and the tyres have had enough of an effect. China, Turkey, Spa and Canada were just ridiculous in terms of overtaking. Spa and Canada in particular we had slower cars in higher positions (something we all love to see) but for the DRS zones being too big and giving the advantage back to the faster cars.

    The best use of DRS this year imo has been Germany. It didn’t promise passing at all, but just gave the guys behind a chance at getting close, negating the aero effect. It was fair and didn’t give a driver behind a massive disadvantage. Australia was the same but could probably have used a double zone like Canada did.

    That said, the main issue is that DRS has been brought in because of the aero dependence of these cars. If they just severely cut down on aerodynamics without finding all these loopholes it’d be so much better. I

  75. Dave Aston says:

    I don’t like the DRS.

  76. Peter Scandlyn says:

    Bring back the ‘F’ duct.
    Engineer it in so drivers do not have to make like Mickey Mouse to use it, then overtaking’s truly going to be up to the drivers.

  77. Jodum5 says:

    DRS doesn’t facilitate racing, it facilitates overtaking. I’ve never found it particularly exciting as it nearly makes an overtaking move inevitable.

  78. pjkirkwood says:

    After the first 5 races of seeing artificial pass after pass I’ve only watched a few races since and have little desire to do so anymore. I typically only watch the qualifying anymore and just read up on the race results. I’m hoping they get rid of it for 2012 or just let the drivers use it anywhere they want as they can in qualifying. There seems to be less “chess games” as there use to be in race strategy.

    Bring back refueling and let the guys that want to sprint the entire race sprint and those that want to play the tortoise play the tortoise. Just my opinions of course.

  79. Andrew Carter says:

    I think the DRS was a stretch too far this time, compounded by drivers who didnt seem to learn. Its also rather telling that when drivers are asked about the track, they talk about the facilities instead, a diplomatic way of saying “its shit”.

  80. Andy says:

    James,

    Some of these comments seem a little misplaced.

    Which is better:

    1. Have F1 cars where the faster car behind a slower car simply CANNOT get past due to the complexities of modern aerodynamics? (eg. Alonso loosing the title in Abu Dhabi last year).

    OR

    2. Have DRS which is a little artificial but ENABLES the faster car to get by the slower car.

    I for one would say that the first situation which we have had for some years, is the more ridiculous and least credible.

    Why can’t more people see this?

    Andy from Ireland.

    1. Brisbane Bill says:

      Andy – I share that view. Whilst cars are able to utilise their high levels of downforce and spoil the air flow for following cars, non-DRS racing will now, and forever more, be processional. It is compounded by the use of carbon brakes and sticky tyres that do two things, increase the breaking force (and thus shorten the breaking distance) and create tyre debris (those damned marbles) off-line that make the race track essentially one car wide.

      For overtaking to become more commonplace without such aids as DRS you need to create a bigger margin of error in braking and cornering. Then the straight-line speed differential becomes less of a requirement. How do you increase the margin of error? You actually have to go back in time a little and take away some of the current developments.

      Get rid of carbon brakes and return to steel ones – that will dramatically increase the stopping distances and provide drivers with more than a quarter second margin within which they must decide whether to attempt a move or bail out safely and without causing “an avoidable incident”.

      Make the tyres more durable to reduce the marbles so that drivers can actually go off-line and still attempt a move. This generally means harder tyres which also gives less grip under braking and acceleration, thus increasing the stopping distance greater, provide more lateral movement in the execution of the turns (the slide – something that made previous eras such exciting times) and requires some delicate application of the throttle.

      Drastically reduce wing sizes (both front and rear) – even take them away altogether and allow non-mechanically aided ground effects. That would reduce the impact of disturbed airflow on following cars so that they are in the right zone to attack in the braking and cornering zones. This would give a new challenge to the designers to make the cars as slippery as they can but use ground-effects to increase cornering ability to counter some of the effect of running harder tyres.

      I would probably vote for keeping KERS but there would be no need for DRS due to skinny or non-existent wings. But it isn’t up to me, so I may take the time to watch the Brazilian GP but the weather here is just fantastic so I may rather spend my time on the beach and forget all about this F1 nonsense.

    2. Ayron says:

      The problem is a situation like Webber and Button, where Webber got past Button just before the DRS zone and was then immediately overtaken again by Button due to that DRS zone.

      He had made a move on the track against a car/driver that wasn’t as good as he was, only to have the position handed straight back because the rules deemed the overtaken car should be given a 10 mile per hour speed advantage.

      That isn’t the spirit behind the introduction of DRS. DRS is supposed to make it easier for a car that is 3 or 4 tenths of a second faster to get past the slower car, not to allow a car overtaken at certain points of the track have a “get out of jail free” card.

      Webber suffered the same issue in Korea when he overtook a car that had gotten a little wide into the first corner only to lose out down the long straight’s DRS zone between 2 and 3. He wasn’t the only one in either case, but they stood out for me.

      Certainly it has been a new technology with some teething problems, some real successes and some abject failures. Melbourne saw only a couple of overtakes in the DRS zone, but driver feedback suggested that it gave them a better chance of effecting an overtake in the follow-up region after the pit straight. Turkey was ridiculous with some overtakes over about the same time the DRS activated. Other tracks have seen some great racing as a result, but the biggest problem I have with this technology is when I see a driver lose a position taken through real racecraft due to a penalty being applied for leading at that particular time. This has to be fixed for the technology to retain a viable position in the sport.

  81. Alexis says:

    Everybody complains when the DRS zone(s) do nothing for overtaking. And when they offer some action everybody complains again.

    I was thoroughly entertained on Sunday. If people want to watch races with no overtaking, go and watch some season reviews of 2002 – 2004.

    We also saw some good fightbacks in the second DRS zone. If a driver was breezed past at the first zone, they could defend at the end of the second zone if they were good enough. We saw some skillful driving, whereas those that were not confident enough on the brakes were punished. I thought it highlighted talent.

    So what if it’s ‘artificial’? Nobody whinges that the drivers don’t have gearsticks and change gear ‘artificially’.

  82. ESLKid75 says:

    I thought DRS was brought in because faster cars couldn’t pass slower cars. That, to me, was artificial. Now with DRS, passes are do-able. DRS basically negates the dirty air from these very aerodynamically sophisticated cars… Is it artificial? Sure, but then so are aerodynamically sophisticated cars… We need passing, and as long as slower cars can’t pass faster cars, then it’s still fair. Loved yesterday’s GP. Hated last year’s.

  83. Richard says:

    I hate the concept of DRS in the way that it has been implemented. If it has got to be there, it should be available all the time and not designed to advantage the driver behind. If the driver behind is faster, he should be able to get past without artificial aids. F1 has become way too complicated in its restrictions. Many of them are cited to reduce costs but surely gizmos like KERS and DRS must cost a fortune to design and maintain. Let’s get back to basics and have some real racing.

    1. ajay says:

      Go watch karting then:-)

      1. Brisbane Bill says:

        Agree – kart racing is way more exciting. Even better, why not get in there and give it a go yourself? You won’t want to sit and watch a processional F1 race for a long time after that.

  84. mo kahn says:

    DRS is good for racing, it improves overtaking, for years F1 was looking to encourage overtaking, and yes they seem to have found a holy grail for overtaking in DRS. Atleast we have not been subjected to the term ‘Procession’ this year and DRS is largely responsible for it.

    However, Double DRS zones in close proximity as was the case in Abu Dhabi and short DRS zones like the one in Korea are counterproductive and redundant. So a fine tune in use of DRS should be worked on, though still in its early years DRS should definitely stay for keeps in F1.

  85. Lopek says:

    It’s a shame that as part of the DRS experimenting this season – 1 zone, 2 zones, different length etc – they did not try a no DRS race or two. I think the tyres alone could have done the job at most races but we never got to see that.

    If DRS has to stay they need to learn how to use it better – cars cruising past on the straight has zero excitement. Abu Dhabi is always rubbish so no big loss, but it completely ruined Spa for me.

    1. jonas says:

      That’s a really good point … they should try Brazil without DRS

    2. Brisbane Bill says:

      Yes, very good point. Let’s try Brazil without DRS.

  86. Its fake, artificial and false. The tyres are a sucess in themself’s, I do not think DRS is needed and for those who say it is perhaps we should be looking at the tracks instead?

    Remember Zonta with one mirror full of ferarri and another full of a determined Maclaren, I do and that move required guts and laps worth of planning, Mikka didn’t just press a button.

  87. Simon Donald says:

    I don’t like the infinite use of DRS in practise / qualy then not in the race, there is no explanation for this.

    2012 – ban kers, drs,current tyre rule of using each compound, give teams a qualy tyre and bring back refuelling – job done

  88. mazirian says:

    I think it is a red herring.

    The borefest tracks (Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Singapore I am looking at you) is as boring as always – no matter what has been done. We’ve had

    KERS
    DRS
    Refueling/No refueling
    Different tire regulations
    Changes to aero

    None of this has resulted in anything. The same tracks are entertaining and the same ones are boring. Why is there still even a discussion about this now? How much more clear can it possibly be? The crap tracks are crap no matter the color of the lighting.

    The emperor is naked and I think it is time for the media to dare to say so!

    1. Matthew says:

      Despite my post below +1!

  89. jmv says:

    is just an aid… drivers still need to use their brains. it became very evident who did and who didn’t.

    in the end seeing cars side by side better than procession all the way.

    having said that.. no DRS distinguishes the Hamiltons, Montoyas, Alonsos etc from the rest.

  90. Pete Barter says:

    I’m sorry by I am not a fan of DRS. It is artificial as are a lot of aids in F1 these days. As an older fan of F1 who has followed the sport since the 60′s, I would rather see more driver talent in overtaking. Give me the 60′s – 80′s decades. I would rather see driver talent such as Clark, Hill, Brabham, Mansell,Senna,Prost. Who can forget those epic British GP’s where Mansell chased down Piquet with a 22 second deficit?

  91. C.George says:

    Very keen to watch Sauber vs TR finale

  92. stuart briggs says:

    Well how about opening up the DRS in the race as it is in qualy.Then you could have all cars using it for the hole lap and when the car behind gets into the 1 sec aera as now the car in front loses the use of DRS.More wheel to wheel racing more risk and of course more drivers running out of talent.

  93. HFEVO2 says:

    I completely agree with Mazirian : it’s the poor tracks plus the over-reliance on Aero that are causing the problems.

    F1 aerodynamics contribute little to road car development and the rules could easily be designed to reduce the effect and allow cars to closely approach and pass without losing grip.

    This would be far more useful than sticking with an artificial device such as DRS.

  94. Matthew says:

    James -

    What’s your opinion on dropping DRS for certain GP’s where it just isn’t needed?

    For instance, there has never been a problem overtaking at Spa, Montreal, Silverstone or Interlagos.

    Wouldn’t it help appease the purists if we limited DRS just to tracks that really need it?

    Abu Dhabi has been a pretty boring race-track since it arrived on the calendar (despite being a spectacle for other reasons), so I had no problem with DRS on Sunday.

    I thought it was ludicrous at Spa and Montreal.

    It should be viewed as an imperfect solution to a major problem in F1 and used sparingly until we eventually fix the aero reliance, in my opinion.

    1. James Allen says:

      Wouldn’t that make it more artificial?

      1. anil says:

        Honestly James, they really should try the Brazilian race without drs. It will be a good measure of how successful the tyres have been and it doesn’t need drs anyway. They will inevitably make it to too long or just put it on the main straight.

        Besides i think us fans would love a race without it.

      2. Matthew says:

        Sorry James, I’m not sure I follow?

        Would limiting DRS to certain tracks make it seem more artificial?

        Not in my opinion.

        I think we need to acknowledge that it is ‘artificial’ in the first place – there’s no point arguing otherwise. It’s just whether it’s worth impacting the integrity of the racing to improve the spectacle, or more importantly, remove the disadvantage of following a slower car.

        I’m not totally against DRS. I raised the point last year that the aerodynamic disadvantage of following a car infront is also ‘artificial’ i.e. the guy in front isn’t faster on raw pace, so his advantage is ‘artificial’ – it’s just permanently on!

        I genuinely believe that some circuits don’t need DRS – surely to remove it would make it less artificial?

  95. Malcolm46 says:

    Way to artificial for me.

    I think what would be better would be allowing the KERS to be used for longer throughout the lap and more power – plus this would improve the technology to then filter down to the road cars.

    DRS is too fake, its like a reversed grid, not real.

    1. Douglas says:

      I like the DRS. It is a tangible thing you can see in action. Results are pretty immediate.

      Now the Pirelli cartoon tires…that is another matter.

  96. Chris Severin says:

    Artificially what? Artificially exciting?

    Which race was better, last year’s or this year’s? The answer is quite simple and clear. Yes some work needs to be done to perfect it but it’s certainly one answer to allow drivers to be able to close in on those infront rather than hit the 1 second barrier and have their progress brought to an immediate halt.

    One consistency in most of the complaints is the lack of a viable alternative to solve this problem. Was last year’s race real racing? The modern tracks are what they are and they are not changing any time soon so we make the best of them or carry with what we saw last year.

    Continue to be scared of change or do something that can provide wheel to wheel racing like we saw yesterday? It’s a no brainer for me.

  97. jonas says:

    There is no excitement to an overtake using DRS … its just sitting there staring at the screen thinking, “ah yeah” … instead of edge of the seat shouting “GOOD GOD!”

    I personally dislike it intensely, and the worry is that they will never go back from this … so what will be next?

  98. KerbRider says:

    It adds excitement. Keep it. It allows cars we know are quicker to pass and make a more exciting race, rather than being stuck behind a car for a whole race.

    at least now, we and the drivers can live in hope that a pass (may be) is possible.

    Very simple.

    1. Richard says:

      But if all you want to see if the quicker car pass the slower car, then why even race? The best a driver can then hope for is to be + or – 1, maybe 2 positions from where the speed of his car is. You’ll never see races where you have an epic challenge for the win by 2 guys where the slower car is in front on strategy, and the quicker guy can’t get past because the front guy is defending better. Now it will just be, ok, back guy has a quicker car, so on that merit he deserves to win. Which is absolutely not racing.

  99. Glen says:

    I like DRS and KERs. They are a refreshing change.

    I reckon it’s time for reverse grids!

    1. Brisbane Bill says:

      Reverse grids produce overtaking but they also often produce lots of carnage. Yes, they help develop a drivers race craft and overtaking ability but ultimately you need a fairer way of assigning grid positions otherwise you take away the incentive to qualify well. Would we have a scenario where you try and qualify as the slowest driver?

      Another option (as we had in some karting series I have competed in) is that drivers’ grid positions are drawn by lottery and you not only get points for your finishing position but additional points for how many other karts you overtake during the race. That way, if you are drawn last on the grid you can pick up some worthwhile points overtaking other drivers and not lose out in the championship race to equally fast drivers starting near the front of the grid who get points for a good finishing position but haven’t overtaken any/many karts.

      So generally you are not worried about your grid position but focus on maximising your speed so that you can either maintain a good position or overtake a shed-load of other competitors. Now think of the strategy options for drivers close on points towards the end of the season – you want a low grid position out of the lottery and you will drive like a maniac to overtake. Won’t that produce some exciting racing?

  100. Tom in Adelaide says:

    Simple solution – each driver gets 5 uses within the DRS zone per race, regardless of the proximity of other cars. Can be used to attack or defend. It would allow out of position drivers an opportunity to get past slower cars. Put the tools in the drivers hands and let them decide how to use it, that’s what we all want to see.

    1. john says:

      that my friend, is a great idea!

  101. Bullish says:

    DRS provides an advantage for those cars with straight line speed. We have seen a number of races where Webber has been faster than the car in front yet cannot overtake on the straights even with DRS.

    I would prefer to see more KERS as you can apply it to any part of the track. It would be great to see more overtaking in tigh sections of tracks rather than just on straights/first corners.

  102. john says:

    Hi James
    I would like to read the comments of all drivers on the grid on their thoughts on DRS and KERS.It’s great to listen to the audience and fans of F1 but really what do the drivers really think? Mark Webber always is out spoken and I wish more drivers would give their honest opinion on which direction we should take with racing? I personnally love the overtaking but would prefer this to happen by driver skill and not artifical means. If it works well for Australian V8 Supercars ,I am sure that it will also can be achieved again in F1.

  103. Alex says:

    reverse the top 10 with the bottom 10? oh and china has to be one of the best races this year. i can’t comment on canada because i live in perth western australia so it is on at 1:00 am. bring back refuelling AND KIMI RAIKONEN

    1. Richard says:

      KIMI!!!!!

      Agreed, bring back re-fueling, get rid of DRS and we would have much better, REAL racing!

  104. monktonnik says:

    DRS, KERS and Pirelli’s tyres are all combining to make this a very good year for overtaking.

    Yes, some of the overtaking is “artificial”, and I don’t really understand why you need two DRS zones which allow the overtaken car a chance to repass, but apart from that it has been a success in my view. When the DRS works just enough to get the chasing car alongside into the braking zone it creates a lot of genuine and exciting action.

    I would not want to lose any of these tools completely as I think that this would signal a return to the majority of races being processional. I suggest that now we have a season (almost) under our belts the FIA should review where the DRS made passing too easy (Turkey?) and where it didn’t really work enough and tweak the areas for those circuits. Then, with respect, the FIA should leave it alone as long as it is producing racing like this over the course of a whole season.

  105. Methusalem says:

    Everyone seems to be quiet on the current scoring system, lately. I would be glad to hear from James, whether this system works optimally. I think this 25 – 18 system is killing the motivation of the challengers once the first-placed is ahead by 50 or so points. Why can’t there be a simple 10,9.8….1 scoring system?

    1. Michele says:

      +1

      They need to revert the points system back to the old one or they can have it like: 1st 10, 2nd 8, 3rd 7, 4th 6, 5th 5, 6th 4, 7th 3, 8th 2, 9th 2 & 10th 1. That looks much better than the current system

  106. Tim B says:

    Just to give some context to my remarks, I’ve been following F1 since the early 70s, and I compete at the lowest level of amateur track-based motorsport here in Australia, club sprints.

    When I started following F1, cars moving through the field rarely got stuck behind a much slower car. Between cars of similar pace, duels were more of the pass/repass variety – you rarely got the aggressive blocking and turning in that has become the norm today. There were some exceptions of course – the famous collision between Andretti and Hunt at Zandvoort springs to mind, but for the most part drivers gave each other room.

    Of course racing was a lot more dangerous back then, which undoubtedly had an effect. The cars were also more fragile, so drivers were often nursing brakes, tyres, engine or gearbox at different parts of the race, which made for speed differentials at different parts of the race. Speaking of gearboxes, lots of passes were made when a driver missed a gear. Even the very best did that from time to time – even Senna in his prime.

    None of those factors applies any more. Of course racing is still dangerous, as we saw with the injury to Massa in 2009. However, it’s a lot safer than it was, and few drivers have any compunction about banging wheels if they feel it’s to their advantage (a distinct contrast with most amateur motorsport, where the safety level is lower and the driver pays his own repair bills!). The cars are almost bulletproof, especially those running at the front, and the driver can’t miss a gear anymore unless there’s a technical problem.

    When you add to that the evolutions in track layout, overall speed, aero and rubber, passing through the mid to late 90s and 2000s became a much harder proposition, to the extent that a much faster car caught out of position often couldn’t pass a slower one.

    For me that made F1 a lot less interesting, because often the race was over after qualifying. Competition became strategic, and passing more often than not happened during pit stops. Some of the highlights (e.g. Schumacher/Hakkinen at Spa in 2000) were still breathtaking, but they were few and far between, and the average was very dull indeed.

    For me this year has been a big improvement. The tyres are undoubtedly a big part of that (with the caveat that the marbles often seem to be worse, reducing the opportunity to go off line), but so is the DRS.

    When the DRS is working well, faster cars coming through the field can get by the much slower cars. This opens up the strategic options, and encourages teams to use different pitstop windows, knowing that it isn’t fatal if there’s some traffic.

    Evenly matched cars still tend to have some trouble getting by, especially if the leading driver drives intelligently, and we’re also starting to see a return to the pass/repass type of duel. This is often actually better for the drivers involved, because if they leave room, and aim to repass either immediately or next lap, it can result in the loss of less laptime than blocking would.

    So for me, DRS is a win. Faster cars can usually (although not always, if the slower driver works extra hard and/or has a tyre advantage) pass slower cars, evenly matched cars still duel (albeit in a different way to the recent past, but one which reminds me of the period when F1 first caught my interest), and there is more strategic variety because it is no longer definitively fatal to drop a car back behind some traffic after a pitstop.

    I’ll venture a further opinion – I don’t really buy the “artificial” argument. Modern circuit racing is by definition completely artificial – the constraints on everything are incredibly tight. What I think people mean when they say DRS is artificial, is that it leads to racing that is either too different from what they’re used to, or too different in style to what they enjoy.

    Those are valid opinions – after all I like DRS because (so far) it has helped return the racing to something closer to how it was when I first really enjoyed F1 – but I don’t think they make DRS any more artificial than the rest of F1.

  107. Jeremy Smith says:

    I think DRS is for race car constructors that don’t know how to fix the real problem with their race cars..

    It looks like race fixing to me…

  108. Umais says:

    My problem isn’t that it’s artificial, but the fact that it takes away the only interesting thing in a race – overtaking. Think back to Abu Dhabi, how many good overtakes do you remember? I don’t want to see overtaking because I want car A to get ahead of car B, I want to see it because it’s thrilling. Now it’s boring as hell. I’d rather have refueling.

    DRS has turned F1 so boring I am thinking of stopping following it.

  109. Umais says:

    For those saying it “aids” overtaking, that’s patently wrong. It effectively gives you a power boost. Overtaking a car on a straight requires zero skill.

  110. StefMeister says:

    DRS is a dumb, artificial gimmick which has done nothing to make races more exciting this season in my opinion & is coming close to killing my 22 year intrest in F1. I went into this season against the idea of DRS & have just been getting more & more frustrated with the stupid thing as each race has gone by.

    Every time I’ve seen a DRS pass I’ve just been angry, I’ve found none of them intresting, extertaining or exciting.

    In the 22 years I’ve loved F1 I’ve seen things come in I’ve not liked (Refueling, Driver aids, grooved tyres, Rev-Limits) yet I’ve never hated anything anywhere close to as much I hate the Dumb Racing Solution.

    1. StefMeister says:

      TO add to that I will put forward my proposal.

      The way I look at it the current DRS regulations are the worst solution to the problems regarding overtaking. I see the current DRS regs as the laziest option they had avaliable.

      So if they do insist in keeping DRS they should run it like the Push-2-Pass system used successfully elsewhere.

      Give every driver something like 20 uses during a race, Let them use it anywhere they like & let them use it to attack & defend. This brings in some actual strategy.

      Alternatively just remove DRS & run KERS in that way, 20 uses during a race & you get 6 seconds of KERS Per-use.

      There are other options avaliable using DRS, KERS & even Rev-Limit increases which brings in driver strategy, allows drivers to defend & makes things less artificial.

      1. glen says:

        I think that they should be able to use DRS for 7.7 seconds per lap, anywhere, like KERS, which would add a greater strategic element to the race. I would imagine people would argue that this would still be artificial.

        For many years I have watched cars stuck behind cars for whole races. If I was a designer I would not want to make it easy for the car behind to overtake. KERS and DRS for me make a welcome change.

  111. Jiri says:

    I do not agree that DRS ruines F1… the thing is that it must be properly adjusted after the season. It was not working at all at some tracks while on others it was clear cut pass with the driver in front like sitting duck… namely Turkey, where we will probably not go next year, and Montreal… honestly, it should aid to overtaking not guarantee and with double RDS zones and counter attacks I think it worked well at Yas Marina… what I definitely don’t want to see is something like last year when Alonso and Webber were not able to overtake much slower cars due nature of the track.

  112. K says:

    Thanks to JA for quoting my previous comment on defending the DRS.

    It’s really funny reading people’s comments here, I mean c’mon! Lack of overtaking everyone complains, now there is overtaking everyone complains. LOL!! People are hard to please these days!

    Getting back to the topic and talk seriously, DRS, racing, artificial overtaking, etc. It’s pretty easy to pin point to the problem here:

    Tires – short life, drivers have to nurse and manage them, which means drivers cannot just go out to push and fight. You push, you kill the tires. You fight, you kill the tires. I honestly don’t understand the rationale behind this from the beginning of the season. If I was one of the drivers and I want to race, I don’t want my hands tied by having to nurse something and prevent me from challenging someone, I want to be able to trust my car that can allow me to fight anytime anywhere on track. Why the heck did the teams or Pirelli think it’s a good idea to have short-life tires? It takes a no brainer to conclude that this will sway the game towards a more strategic one than simple pure racing. To be completely honest, at the start of the season when Pirelli announced they were to make short-life tires and set the reason as being the teams’ request, I thought it’s more like Pirellis were unable to create tires as strong and long lasting as the old Bridgestones, and used the teams as excuse to prevent their brand name from being tainted, a reason which the teams happily accepted to take on.

    DRS – Personally, I think it’s a good thing. What’s making this artificial is the limited placed by the FIA. Why limit it for goodness sake? Limiting to the use creates a consequence you see now: inability to defend! No problem with this thing, but just let drivers use it!

    Problems left from previous decades – restricting mechanical grip which made teams to look at aero more and more. For example, fan car. It was designed to create more mechanical grip, which was re-created with Newey’s Red Bull X2010; other examples are mass dampers, active suspension, these are mechanical stuff which were suppose to help prevent F1 from going too aero dependent. For crying out loud, FIA will you please stop banning something just because one team has a louder voice than the rest?

    I think FIA have themselves to blame for the problem we are facing.

    1. audifan says:

      the easiest tyres for pirelli to make would be long life tyres , anyone who has been in the tyre industry on the technical side would tell you that

      the difficult bit is to make the tyres that have just the required life/grip combination and pirelli have had a pretty good result for their first season

      however , the teams have learned how to use these tyres , so pirelli will be making some changes for next year , eg at the last race they tested a slightly improved SOFT tyre , not that is what they needed , but next year that tyre will become the MEDIUM , so the medium will have it’s life CUT next year

      get rid of DRS , a combination of pirelli and aero rukle changes will produce the racing we want to see

  113. Wombat says:

    Tilke Toy Track entertainment but – waste of space as the one serious attempted ‘user’ (Webber) found out. Petrov would have still been able to spoil Alonso’s day. The only ‘significant’ overtaking was by Alonso in the old fashioned way taking risks at the start. As for the rest, well yes it was fun, but was it motor racing? Maybe we should have randomly timed pit stops (with tyre changes allowed) for each driver to mix the field, it would work just as well.

  114. Dave says:

    It’s tricky to get the length of the zone(s) right. They should ideally set up the drivers so that they’re challenging going into the following corner, then it’s still down to driver skill to make a pass.

    Used correctly DRS can overcome the age-old problem of not being able to follow a car because of dirty air, but it should never become a simple “Push-to-Pass” gimmick.

    When a car can simply breeze past a rival on a straight that’s too artificial.

  115. Andy Bird says:

    As a purist I’m not keen on the DRS concept in general, but I have to say that it’s better than having no overtaking at all.

    Until F1 decides to concentrate on addressing the one fundamental issue that mitigates against overtaking (the huge aerodynamic sensitivity of the cars to running in another’s wake), they will have to rely on artificial means instead.

  116. Lynn says:

    Off topic.
    James, what is your opinion about Raikkonen coming back in a Willaims IF it happens? Thanks.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think if it happens it will be great. He’s a fantastic character, even though he doesn’t say much. He’s got a massive fan base and he brings something different to the show.

      It’s a bit hard to imagine with Williams as they are at the moment, but they’re pushing really hard to get back into the top ten for next year. Will the new technical team get it right first time? It’s a tall order.

      But I think the team accepts that if Kimi comes back and flies and then a more competitive team picks him up for 2012 then it would still have been worth it.

      There is some scepticism about him and his commitment however, as stories of what he does away from the track are legendary in F1 circles!

      So if he comes back he needs to show that he’s back for the right reasons. And it would be good to know what the reasons really are.

      1. Lynn says:

        Haha I agree his is quite a different character from most F1 drivers. Not sure if Bernie would like him to come back. Bernie & most team principals would prefer a more PR-savy type of driver.

        Thanks for your thoughts James.

  117. Simon says:

    1) DRS
    2) Top 10 starting on tyres they qualified on
    3) Two different tyres to be used in the race
    4) Penalties for using too many engines / gearbox’s

    Q. What do they all have in common?
    A. It’s all a bodge isn’t it?

    All I want to see is out-and-out racing, a sprint from start to finish.

    I’m not interested in who can look after their tyres best, or who can overtake as they are in the 1 second zone.

    I feel robbed when a driver is given a 10 place penalty for needing to use a new engine (if any penalty should be applied, surely it should be that the constructor looses points?)

    Rant ends!

  118. Mohd Azrul says:

    I’m against DRS. Its too artificial. Not a genuine racing at all.

    I understand the intention to introduce DRS – to add excitement on F1 via more overtaking.

    DRS is one of the ‘solution’ to add more excitement to F1, but too artificial.

    To add excitement to F1, the car need to be fragile.

    But F1 nowadays lack of technical failure compared to the old days. Still remember on 2001 when Hakkinen’s car blown out on the very last lap?

    Just my humble opinion

  119. Robin Schneider says:

    I agree that DRS is maybe artificial however I don’t think the fact that in some cases it is a straight forward overtake is due to DRS. By saying that you are ignoring different aero set ups, more powerful engines and of course variations in the effect of KERS.

    add all those things together and you have a straight forward overtake with or wthout DRS.

    Red Bull gets it’s advantage due to superior grip and stability-among other things.

    Some teams notably Mercedes seem to be finding a little advantage in their use of the above mentioned variables to try limit their lack of cornering speed.

    I think it’s just F1 engineers doing what they do best! exploiting rules! Not DRS.

  120. James says:

    Some excitement was maintained in the race because of DRS, (not just the random passing further down the field)

    1. Alonso would have had a chance of passing Lewis if he could have caught him. This made the chase exciting, without the chance to pass we would know the chase was futile and the interest is lost at a much earlier point in the race.

    2. Webber was able to try a 3 stop as he knew it was possible to pass Button and Rosberg to make the strategy work. Without the chance to pass he would have just sat behind Massa to the flag.

    So the DRS may make passing “fake” but at least it is possible, and that is essential to maintain excitement in the final outcome. “Real” processions are about as dull as it gets, and the “realness” doesn’t add to the racing one little bit.

    1. audifan says:

      alonso did well to hang on to hamilton , fine drive ; I know hamilton was nursing his car , but still credit to alonso ,even though personally I don’t find a driver hanging on very exciting

      as alonso said after the race , even if he could have passed hamilton in the pits he could not have stayed ahead , hamilton just had too much in hand , especially on the prime tyre

  121. Simon Donald says:

    Thank you for using the comments that I made in that previous post James. It is great to know that you read them all.

    Another idea about how to improve DRS would be to allow it at any point on the circuit for say 5 seconds like with KERS whilst within 1 second trying to overtake a car. Obviously you would need to have certain safety features like not allowing it be deployed whilst braking which could be programmed into the on-board computer controlling the DRS. This would re-enter some skill in the use of DRS in a similar manner to KERS to put the onus back on the driver to use it to their advantage rather than as a kind of reflex. I think this combined with the use of variable DRS which I mentioned in my previous post (varying the degree to which the DRS opens per circuit to optimise its use) would be a good compromise with this new wave of driver passing aids.

    I’m not anti-change in F1. F1 has always been constantly evolving – whether that be from rear-engined to front-engined cars, with ground effects, turbo engines, launch control or DRS. However, what we cannot loose sight of is that F1 is a unique mix of entertainment, technology and sport. It is important that we get a gripping mix of these and not one over the other.

  122. mad79 says:

    when the fans wanted more interesting races,the teams from F1 heard there voices and came up with thisgizmo called DRS and suddnely it was more overtaking in F1!Now its to much and to easy!Well,make up your minds once and for all!!!!
    You dont like this,you dont like that,it sounds to meall of you are womens!!!

  123. terryshep says:

    DRS?
    Why should one driver be given an advantage over another? How does this concept creep into any part of racing? If you can get yourself into the one second zone, why can’t you get into the slipstreaming zone and pass in a normal, racing fashion? On the other hand, if you can’t make a pass when you are that close, do you deserve to be given a lift? If we’d had DRS last season, we would almost certainly have had a different World Champion. Is it right that the title should be decided by a gimmick? No, the fact is, that as good as Fernando undoubtedly is, or Webber, they couldn’t overtake, they couldn’t solve the problem. Why should either of them, unable to pass as they were, be gifted the championship over Vettel?

    The way this supposedly pure racing formula is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the races being stopped every 15 laps or so and the cars put back on the grid, so TV can have another sprint race. Of course, the safety car is there to do this at the moment, but it will need to be spiced up a bit more in the future to keep the increasingly jaded viewers engaged.

    Another year or two and the distinction between racing and entertainment will be more and more blurred and those fools like me who are happy watching 55 laps of relentless pursuit and equally tenacious defence will have to look elsewhere to see actual racing.

  124. kevsuths says:

    from what I understand the DRS and KERS are there to aid overtaking because the cars aerodynamics won’t really allow drivers to get close enough to pass

    I know it seems artifical but do we really want go back to the days when cars can’t pass each other, unless they can come up with other ways I think this is the best way to go

  125. Robert says:

    Just think, if DRS existed in 2000 we would never have seen Hakkinen’s mega overtake of Schumi at Spa. He would have just pushed his button instead and sailed past easily. DRS is actually depriving us of great moves. Should be got rid of as it is bad enough to make me stop watching

    1. Koopra says:

      Schumacher was set up for wet and so had more wing than Häkkinen. So in fact it was a bit like a DRS overtake.

      Also, he was going to make the pass sooner or later anyway. And the kind of blocking Schumi did to prevent a pass earlier would not go unpenalized these days.

  126. ROBERTO MARQUEZ says:

    For me there are two rules that must be changed to make the sport more competitive from the drivers point of view:THE BLUE FLAG RULE , it is not logicall that you have Hamilton or Alonso going behind somebody wiht a car that has enough power to gain distance on straights ,even though that driver is taking 2 or 3 seconds more on each lap. In that situation the blue flag should automatic.THE EMERGENCY CAR ON A RED FLAG for me the approximate distances that there were between cars before the red flag should be kept on restarting the race.With all the electronic we have nowadays these two points should not be hard to put in practice.¨Please excuse my English if I made some mistakes ,I am from Venezuela and Spanisn is my mother tongue.

  127. ROBERTO MARQUEZ says:

    To complete my thoughts with changes on these two rules I do not care what happens to DRS , KERS, etc.

  128. Anup Kadam says:

    Hey hie James..
    If we see now the Pirelli tyres are more or less behaving the same way as the bridgestone tyres did in the last year…if we take the abudabi GP..then the 1st pit stop window was in between 17-20 laps and it was the same case this yr…so it is making racing again boring…according to me the supersofts should last for 7-10 laps max the soft 13-16 medium 19-21 and hard 23-25 this will make racing more fascinating because there will be more pitstops as we did see during the start of the 2011 season…

    1. audifan says:

      as ever , the teams have learned how to best use the tyres and we are almost back to the bridgestones which did no favours to F1

      but at the last race pirelli were testing a new version of the soft tyre …to make it just a touch more durable …..bad news ? exactly the opposite …..next year this tyre will become the medium !!! 2 softer tyres slotted in under them

      new rear tyres are already designed and coming up for testing

      1. James Allen says:

        We are a long way from Bridgestones, these tyres behave completely differently

  129. martin says:

    DRS creates false racing. How is it that the car behind gets a speed advantage over the other. You don’t see that in any sport.
    In addition the zones are just picked to create however many passes the organisers want to see.
    Passes now seem really contrived, not earnt wheel to wheel, you just feel the driver looking in his mirrors knowing a faster car is coming through.
    Surely they can come up with something else, that is not just a leg up for the car behind and can’t be defended from.

  130. L33t_Of_Lag says:

    Sorry to say, but the more they stuff with F1, the more and more boring it will get.

    What ever happened to racers being, well, racers? Give the damn drivers a car, and engine, 4 wheels and tell them to GO!

    ATTENTION silly F1 people. STOP MESSING WITH THE SPORT.

    Although its good to see some more overtaking with not just DRS but with kers also. I say remove them off the cars. I say it is FALSE racing. It is not the driver being good at racing, its not even about the car being good. Its about opening a rear wing which gives you more speed. FALSE.

    Conclusion. Leave F1 alone, let the cars be standard and let the damn drivers to THEIR jobs.

  131. Ronald says:

    Need to lower downforce to reasonable levels. Need to see four wheel drifts through turns. :=))

  132. audifan says:

    whether or not DRS does the job or not is surely not the point
    as we all know the real problem is aero , stops cars overtaking as they cannot get close enough in the vortex principally due to effect on the front wing

    so , a standard simple front wing ; the big teams spend a fortune on front wings , the smaller teams simply cannot keep up with them

    so a standard simple front wing would

    help overtaking
    help the smaller teams become more competitive

    both of which would improve the racing …isn’t that what we all want ?

    we have standard tyres , standard engines , standard ECU’s …why not standard front wings ?

  133. Silverelise says:

    Ok… Here’s my take, loose the fancy material brake disks, and put steel ones on. Lose the silly automatic flappy paddle gear boxes, and give them manual boxes, ditch the silly aero dependant front and rear wings, make them much simpler, apply more emphasis on mechanical grip, or to make life simpler give them cars from the 80s but with HANS and seatbelts but make the tubs out of whatever to make them safe!
    Sorted. Can I have a cheque now? I’ve saved F1….

  134. V8 Fan says:

    I think DRS is just there to put on good show for spectators. F1 should be about racecraft.
    Give all drivers 1 set of qualifying tyres that can be used in Q1/Q2 and another set for those who make it to Q3. Every driver should be able to start on fresh tyres of their choice. Teams should be allowed 1000km’s of private testing per season by a driver of their choice (main driver or test driver). Finally, I think the freeze on engine devolopment should be removed. However, teams should be allowed only 1 major engine upgrade per season to be taken at their discretion.

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