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Did the DRS wing make things too artificial in Turkey?
Did the DRS wing make things too artificial in Turkey?
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 May 2011   |  5:33 pm GMT  |  251 comments

As the fallout from Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix comes in, it’s clear that this race was a bit too much. It featured 82 pit stops and countless passes assisted by the Drag Reduction System wing which were too easy in the eyes of the fans and of the drivers as well.

I picked up a distinct undercurrent from drivers after the race that they hadn’t enjoyed being able to sail past each other in the DRS zone which was half way down the high speed straight leading to Turn 12. We saw many passes where the driver who was unable to activate the wing was powerless to defend and this doesn’t give drivers satisfaction.

Webber and Alonso passed each other (Red Bull)

Mark Webber said after the race that his run in China had made him aware that the tyre situation and the DRS was making things artificial, “You come up against drivers like Fernando, Jenson and Nico, you catch them at 2.5 seconds a lap it’s nice but it’s not rewarding because they’ve got nothing to fight back with.” He stopped there, not wanting to be too critical of the situation in public.

Williams’ Sam Michael said that the DRS making overtakes so easy meant, “you could run optimum strategy, you didn’t have to worry about traffic. That’s what the intention was. I still think it’s beneficial, but remember that when one car is on 15 lap older tyres, the other one is going to go past whether there’s DRS or not.”

The drivers aren’t along, we’ve had many fans commenting that this race was a bit too much, such as Dmitry who posted this comment:

“I am getting more and more sure with each race, that F1 became too artificial with DRS… of course, it is nice to watch, when one car passes another, but when it is performed in such a fashion as today – thanks, but no thanks.

“If F1 will follow this trend, then one day we will get rules, when a driver behind another will receive some other kind of performance boost, for example – additional “super engine mode”, gear, or just a hellfire land-to-land missile (why should we stop on DRS?).

“I am following F1 since 1991 (as a child, so it was just an interest…) and starting from 1998 – really serious. F1 cars always had some kind of funny devices or something giving them the edge over others, but never had rules allowed such performance boosts as we see with DRS…”

The FIA is still finding its way with DRS and in the first three races it managed it about right. The zone in which the DRS can be activated was not too far after a slowish corner and it helped drivers to get alongside but wasn’t the difference. The age of the tyres was the difference.

The problem in Turkey was that the DRS zone was placed half way along the straight from Turn 10 to Turn 12, where the cars are already travelling at around 180mph. Opening the DRS gives a sudden electric burst of speed, which took the car past its rival with no real problems. The car in front was a sitting duck.

So it was quite an extreme example of what DRS can do. In retrospect perhaps it would have been better to have it closer to the exit of Turn 10, which the cars exit at 100 mph.

In Barcelona, traditionally one of the hardest tracks of the season to overtake on, we should see it make a smaller difference.

I’m sure Pirelli would love to have a race without DRS to see how much overtaking is promoted by drivers being on tyres of varying ages. One suspects it might be enough and that the DRS is a step too far.

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Conrad M. Sathirweth

I think that they should just get rid of the DRS altogether because once a driver gets within the one second zone then it is very hard for the other driver to get back out of it because the car behind will always have a big speed advantage at one point of the track to stay close, so once they get within one second it seems a bit inevitable that the car will get passed. Another reason is that with KERS and the tyres I do not think it is even needed to help overtaking, all of the good overtakes have happend without the DRS, and especially today (where I think they got the DRS zone wrong) all of the DRS overtakes seemed a bit contrived.


as a show, . . . DRS is OK

as a racing, . . . DRS is fake.

as a performance driver, . . . There is no worthy overtake to be recognized.

as a viewer, . . . There is no overtake that worth the applaud.

The DRS is work overly perfect at istalbul. . . . to easy to completly pass before the corner.

turn 9 and 10 the car is easier to closely follow the car in front, so is quite easy to get close and overtake, even without DRS this is the overtake zone already when DRS plus right here, that made thing too easy.

Put DRS zone on the Pit straight from slow exit, it will make more chance to overtake but not too easy.

Like in China, not easy to get close on turn 13, so the DRS make the chance of overtake, but still not easier as Istalbul back straight

think about Interlagos Brazil, after turn 12 all of them were flatout , even without DRS the car still have a good tow, with DRS here there will be a lot overtake at the pit straight.


I have no quarrel with the use of DRS as in order to use it, the following driver has to get within one second of the car in front. It means there is still driver's skill involved. It does not appear any difference to me in getting a tow from the car in front when the following car gets into the slipstream in years past.

What I don't like is the degradation of the tires which interfers with driver's natural pace. It is too easy for a lesser driver to pass a better one with newer tires. It degraded the difference in the levels of skill of drivers and introduces an unnecessary artificial element to racing.


I think the problem is that the same thing can be said about the tyres. The problem with these rule changes is that they have no relationship to real life i.e. in real life tyres last for long because lasting long is a sign of quality. In real life all drivers would have DRS thus negating its usefullness unless there is a possibilty of one team making a better DRS than the other.

For me, the FOTA group working on overtaking should look for more natural and realistic solutions. The Webber on Alonso pass and vice versa and the Lewis on Rosberg pass were an absolute joke - i think i dozed off while they happened ;). And then the tyre difference between Lewis and Button brought absolutely no joy because you anticipated the pass even before Lewis pitted.

These rules have brought temporary entertainment. However as the season progresses us fans are getting quite good at predicting what is going to happen and that inevitably makes the races boring. Maybe they should bring in a second tyre manufacturer they way it used to be between Michelin and Bridgestone - the inevitable conceptual approach between the manufacturers should bring some unpredictability to performance. Or consider removing blue flags so that back markers can still have an impact on race results (this of course would inevitably require the elimination of teams that are effectively Team B's for front runners such as Torro Rosso for Red Bull and Sauber for Ferrari etc)

As for the DRS, this should be replaced by a power boost system that is technically challenging and therefore not easy to replicate. The system should be available to all drivers all the time. Is KERS good enough for this purpose - frankly i dont know simply because i am not an engineer. There is the usual engineering talk about aerodynamics being responsible for processional races in the past (i dont usually understand any of it) - so there is an opportunity for changes.


Remember, real life is tyres on your car for three or four years.

Everything has to happen in a GP in less than 2 hours. I think the tires last just the right amount if time myself.

What ends up happening is that even if you have a race with no change in first row quali to finish order, you have so much activity filling in the time of the GP that you are entertained. Plus whatever the case the drivers have to work for it.


I think that even though some of the overtakes were a bit silly, the DRS was better represented in the first stints. It was only once those other factors came into play, such as tyres and (imo) final gear ratios, that the DRS started to look extreme.


I agree. There were some "drive bys" but also some amazing wheel to wheel stuff.

If most of the "drive bys" involved cars with significantly different tyre wear or other problems then I think they are ok.


After years of cars being stuck within 1 second of each other, totally incapable of passing for position, I'm more than happy to hand this year over to DRS.

Maybe the tyres would fix the overtaking problem on their own, maybe they wouldn't. It's just a nice change not to see all the drivers finishing in the same order they started the race.


I agree Dan...I think that sometimes there is too big a performace advantage between the soft and harder tyres (ala Mark Webber in China). I also think the placing of the DRS zone is crucial, and in Turkey they got it wrong. The area they used it in would have provided great opportunties even WITHOUT the DRS. Its my opinion that the zone should have been on the straight. I have enjoyed the rule changes this year (and, yes, I am a long-time fan) but agree with most that it was all a bit over the top in Turkey.

This might be controversial, but what if they make the DRS zone only in long, high speed corners? Too dangerous? Perhaps. But it would make things fairer to the guy in front, and would require a great deal more skill for a pass to succeed. Just throwing it out there... 😉


DRS should be available to the driver all the time. It will increase the skill required to drive the car because he has to balance his speed in corners against the downforce -- more room for error and the most skilled drivers will shine through. I'd even go so far as to make the DRS variable, which would require even more skill.


Rodger, if you put DRS in the middle of a corner, it would make the whole system useless. You'd LOSE time by deploying a drag-reducing wing in a corner that requires high downforce!

I think they simply got the placement of the DRS a bit wrong - it should have activated after the kink on the back straight (turn 12?) , which would have made the fight more fair.

I also think that it's unfair for a team with a speed advantage (eg Red Bull) to also have the advantage of having an extra set of fresh tires. I don't think tires from qualifying should carry over to the race (have a tire allocation for the race separate from the qualifying tire allocation). If you want to throw a bone to drivers outside the top 10, allow them to have one extra fresh tire set of their choosing in the grand prix.


It's a difficult question for me. I like the changes and what they've done to the racing.

I do think, though, that several of the passes today were just silly. I don't think that the placement of it was correct.

In China it helped people get along side but they weren't able to just cruise past on the straight and have it all sewn up before even thinking about braking, and that's what I think people have a problem with.

I do also think they need to rethink the rules on traffic, and in the curious situations which have happened a couple of times where someone's in the zone, overtakes before the line and can then still pop the wing and just drive away.

If any UK viewers were watching the Forum after I think Martin Brundle had it pretty well nailed, for me.


I think the issue in Turkey was the location of the DRS activation zone, they put in a position that was already the best place on the track to overtake.

The point of DRS wasn't to make overtaking very easy in the normal locations, but to create new overtaking possibilities in areas where overtaking didn't traditionally take place. Thus I think it's placement in Turkey was inappropriate.

Additionally many will have noted that a good number of passes took place directly before the DRS zone. These passes were primarily to do with tyre traction, and we've seen them all season (e.g. LH on SV in China). Thus I'm left wondering if DRS is actually required and if it is I believe the activation zone should be considerably decreased.

Barcelona will prove an interesting test of the current regs given how in the past it's proven virtually impossible to pass. I personally think we'll see easy passes down the start/finish straight and the DRS activation zone should be on the smaller back straight to open that up into a new overtaking location.

Oh and driver of the day, easy peasy this week, Fernando Alonso. What a drive, a car that's probably not even as good as the Mercedes and certainly not as good as the McLaren & Red Bull yet he still hounded Webber. The best drive I've seen this season. Notable mention to SV, it's hard to tell if the cars real pace is that which Seb extracts or if he's managing to get something extra and Mark is just getting the cars real pace? Answers on a postcard to that un-answerable question!


I'm with you. I like the changes, and after only 5 races I think it is too early to dismiss them. Ok, they made the overtake zone too long in Turkey and the tires play a significant role, but they're still learning to adapt, and it was the same for every driver and team. For example, while Webber and Alonso easily passed each other, they still had to make the pass stick through the next two corners and then stay close enough behind in subsequent laps to try to take the position back. This was clearly not easy at all on degrading tires and a messy marble covered track, so the drivers earned their pay.


I voted yes but I am more than happy to watch half a season of races like this whilst they work out the optimum positioning of DRS zones.


They said it was trial and error. Well the first three races were trials and this was the error!


I too agree. DRS zone was a bit too long here, but the FIA needs time to get this right.

People who don't like DRS but like the old slipstreaming tracks of old (old Monza with banking) have some kind of conceptual disconnect. DRS and slipstreaming without high-drag wings is pretty much the same thing.


i agree with you

was interesting to hear alonso comment that most of the 'easy' overtakes where more to do with the tyre wear that the DRS - in his opinion. he took his battle with nico as an example as he couldn't get past until nico's tyres had gone off (thus loosing traction and braking performance and making the move in the drs zone more do-able).

i think overall, there has been too many things thrown at the idea of making passes easier - kers / drs / tyres - all in one go. they should have gone with just tyres and then added one of the others the year after if things still hadn't improved.

also interesting that pirelli have commented that a 4 stop strategy is too much for a race, so with any re-balancing of the tyre makeup along with the evolution of the drs system should prove to be a good season still.

Don't forget the fia and fota have said all along its a lerning cureve and things will need tweaking as they go track to track.


I agree: if DRS makes it to next year, I would assume that they would tweek the activation zones. Right now its a learning curve for everyone involved, race officials as well.


I did enjoy the first 3 races, but as everyone else said, this one was a bit too much... F1 should be the edge of motorsports, this means that drivers should be smart enough to be able to pass other drivers on pure talent... Hamilton for example, is the best on risking everything for a position, and even i dont support him (i'm a Ferrari fan), he makes racing more interesting, but now rules have been transformed into a safe and boring show (it's not bad to be safe, but drivers now what they are getting into), now you can't defend a position on the straight more than one time, every bump with other car is investigated, etc. and this creates the need for artificial ways to pass.. correct the problem of passing rules, and perhaps you can avoid the artificial methods... i support the idea of less wings and more engine power... imagine the 1980's f1, but with todays safety standards in the cars...


Yes the overtakes are a bit artificial but I'm just happy because thank God we don't have to face races like Abu Dhabi 2010 or Barcelona or Hungary. I'm ok with this kind of overtaking rather than "oh no not again. I know even Fernando or Lewis can't pass" scenarios. We've had countless cases in F1 where a driver was stuck behind another and lost his race, Lewis vs Nico Hulkenberg, Interlagos '10 springs to mind although Lewis had a far superior car at that stage. So DRS atleast doesn't spoil your afternoon/weekend.

I believe a few tweaks here and there should fix it. Remember guys Fernando couldn't have gone past Webber in that downforce monster without the aide of DRS today. And the battle between them really added a lot of interest to today's race. I support Alonso and I said to myself wow that's something I'd never ever expect in F1 earlier but now that's possible. so a great driver like Alonso made the difference but that last bit always went missing maybe because of double diffusers or rock hard Bridgestones but with Pirellis and DRS, we can look forward to fighters like Lewis and Alonso having a chance even in relatively slower cars.

And lets not forget that there are so many overtakes like there were today in motogp as well, riders overtaking each other multiple times so multiple overtakes are ok. Drivers breezing past is an issue with many fans but that's more to do with the DRS activation zone rather than concept of DRS altogether


"In Barcelona, traditionally one of the hardest tracks of the season to overtake on, we should see it make a smaller difference."

There's the problem, isn't it.

You want DRS giving you more overtaking on racetracks where there hasn't been much overtaking and a lot of processional races. You don't want DRS making it too easy on tracks where historically you have been able to overtake anyway.

If Barcelona is still a procession and, somewhere like, say, Interlagos was like Turkey, then the DRS experiment would surely be a miserable failure.

For what it's worth, I'll add that one big problem is that we have no relevant baseline what a GP would look like with this seasons Pirelli tyres and KERS but no DRS. If we saw that and there was sufficient overtaking without artificial elements then perhaps DRS would need to be rethought.

I still prefer the idea of "give everyone X pushes of DRS to use when they want" - so that sometimes you use it to defend, but you don't have enough pushes to use it every lap.


Maybe Monaco will be that DRS-less race?


No they've confirmed they are using it. I dont actually think it will work.

Who is going to want to take the tunnel flat with the wing open...


Absolutely correct. And if we can't get rid of DRS, then 'X' pushes per race is a good idea.

Richard Hartley

What I don't understand is why the same two cars aren't just re-overtaking each other lap in lap out. Surely if a car has such a speed advantage artificial interference such as DRS becomes obsolete? Thoughts please.


If the driver of car 'A' is faster than driver of car 'B', once car 'A' has passed 'B' using DRS, 'A' will be able to pull away,leaving 'B' more than one second behind which precludes the use of DRS. This is usually the case.

If both drivers are equally fast and the driver in front cannot pull out a one second advantage, then there may be overtaking again by the following driver using DRS.


Daniel's comment cuts to the heart of this. The DRS is designed to allow a substantially faster car to overtake. And that's what it is doing. So far we haven't seen too many swap places every laps, sort of battles. I think the DRS is working quite well, but as mentioned earlier, the tyre situation is clouding the issue.


Just coming back to this conversation quickly - I think the race in Barcelona proved this to be correct; that the tyres are making far more difference than DRS.

Have written a blog post about it: http://www.roadlesstravelledf1.co.uk/2011/05/tyres-drs-the-overtakers-eager-eye/


This is a great point. It just suggests that one car was genuinely faster than the other at that part of the race, so there was no need to re-overtake (with exception of the early Button/Hamilton battle). I think it was Brawn who said that the tyres and varying strategies had meant the pace of battling drivers differed greatly and then made overtaking look very easy - so not necessarily down to DRS. And for every overtake that appeared "too easy" there were other battles that we may not have had with three cars abreast into one corner situations, and Button going round the outside of Rosberg. I still love DRS as part of the new rules package - the zone could be tweaked slightly, but I'm dismayed that there as so many core F1 fans that are anti-DRS.


I absolutely agree with your points Daniel. If DRS is such an artificial tool, then why don't 2 cars keep swapping the positions? It is because the pursuing car is faster and thus DRS provides advantage to it.

Moreover DRS doesn't necessarily help to that degree in the first stint but as the race progresses it becomes pretty easy to sail by using DRS I think primarily because of the tyres.

And yes I think there should be at least a couple races without DRS this season to highlight the contribution of tyres, DRS and kers.


I think people need to also consider that the very nature of the Istanbul circuit would amplify the effect of the DRS wing because the track just lends the trailing driver into an overtaking position.

Whilst I also heard that some people thought the DRS zone may have been better off between turns 8 and 9 I personally thought if it was purely between turns 11 and 12 it might have been sufficient to only provide a chance.

Another thing some people didn't quite take as much note of (and I suspect this may have been because they didn't have access to live timing screens) the wind speed and direction. For a large portion of the race it was at 6m/s (or around 13.5mph) as a tailwind into the already tricky braking zone for turn 12 with tha massive bump so yes the DRS wing made it easier for the trailing driver, but there still had to be some skill in getting the car slowed down properly to make the move stick.

It may not have been quite as evident today because of how long the DRS zone was, but we saw flashes of it with Button overtaking Hamilton on the pitstraight and his overtake on the OUTSIDE of Rosberg at turn 14. We also saw Rosberg managing to still make use of track position at the Mickey Mouse final corners to hold off Alonso for a few laps and similarly with Webber using it to great effect to steal 2nd place from Alonso.

I'm becoming more accepting of DRS, but it's a work in progress for the FIA and it's working towards ensuring the device only provides a CHANCE of overtaking much like KERS and not a guaranteed invitation to breeze past and the trailing driver RSVP-ing immediately (to use words like Martin Brundle).

I have a feeling that FIA will be more wary of the length of the DRS zone at Catalunya given that we have the chicane now instead of the previous fast right hander before New Holland and New Holland becoming just an acceleration zone. Add that to the high downforce levels used at the track because of its nature and the DRS effect will be quite a large one again.

As I have already said, I am warming to DRS, it's just now trying to set it up right at the tracks now.


In the first 3 races, I was pretty pro DRS.

But after today I reckon the anti's have got a point.

But if I was a betting man,I reckon DRS is here to stay until the new areo rules come in 2013.


I know it was an overdose of DRS but with the Pirellis dying too quicker, I wonder if it would ever help the faster car which is held up. The performance drop in dirty air seems huge and once the tires are eaten, we won't see any squabble for positions.

If people really need to see a change, it ought to be the way the car is built. Less number of Aero and disadvantage to the following car. Then maybe we could avoid DRS. Just the tires won't give any advantage, since the drivers seem to be following the strategy of the cars they chase. If he pits, I pit a lap later. Where would you see the advantage of tires here?

Maybe we would see the effect of tires + KERS in Monaco if they plan to ban DRS there. It will be clear to all on whether DRS promotes racing or gives an unfair advantage.

I would rather see cars flying by than see them lie as pieces of debris after crashing into one other out of frustration.


They should either get rid of DRS altogether or remove the restrictions and let the drivers all use whenever and wherever they want.


The races this year have obviously been non-stop action (compared with the past few years, apparently) but to be honest I have to say that I don't find it as satisfying. I've been sitting here trying to put into words why not, but I can't really put my finger on it!

I'll be honest, I am one of these people who has always thought that there is nothing wrong with F1. I don't believe in the need to make it more of a "show", although apparently this is the only way for it to survive, so we are told. The recent News/Corp-Rupert-Murdoch-pay-per-view stories are beginning to make me wonder if F1 will eventually become a victim of its own desire to be more of a spectacle and end up catering fully for casual tv audiences.


You make a good point that there may be too much importance given to casual (fair weather) audiences, but then again F1 isn't exactly the news. It is sport, and sport has always been nothing more than a form of entertainment.


I was surprised that the DRS zone was placed in an area where overtaking is known to be achievable, so I was not surprised when drivers were sailing past each other for the most part. Perhaps it would have been more sensible on the start/finish straight, or the run to turn 3 or 7. This would have given the drivers more overtaking options and perhaps made the race even more exciting. The other option would have been to reduce the length of the DRS zone itself, as was the case in China, making overtaking less easy.

While it may have made the racing appear artificial, the rule still has only had four races and the FIA will tweak the regulation over most of the season until they fully understand the system.


Exactly. It immediately struck me as strange (and a little deflating) given the passing that was taking place in that spot last year.

I'm usually the first to give the Tilke tracks the middle finger, but that 10-12 section is really well designed: the tricky uphill chicane followed by the suspension-compressing kink (which I'm sure helps the trailing driver stay close to the guy in front) and then the bumpy, downhill braking zone.


The Chinese GP was fantastic; the Malaysian GP enjoyable, and Australia satisfying for a season opener. However, this race was not a match for last year's Turkish GP. I felt that there was no tension in the race as after the first corner the race winner was a foregone conclusion and although there was action behind there was not a great deal of unpredictability as the overtaking was far too easy.

Conversely, though, let's look forward to Barcelona. We have not had a good race there for years, the only races of note sticking in my mind being '91 and '97.


"No tension" ... that's it exactly, but not just because it was likely Seb was going to win.

When you see a move now, it's usually down to the fact that the overtaker's

a. tyres were in better condition

b. KERS was used differently, or

c. DRS was activated

or a combination of all these. Doesn't make you want to leap up and down as much.


What are you saying, jonas? You'd rather have everyone in a spec car, same strategy for everyone and see maybe 1 overtake a race?


I love that the tyres degrade quickly and don't come back; that if a driver pushes too hard they get punished by having their tyres go off; that KERS can be deployed differently based on a driver/car characteristic determining.

I would have liked to have seen no DRS this season to see what the new tyres and KERS bring to the sport, but I'm willing to give it more time before denouncing it.


I fear that F1 is being degraded into a 'Show' rather than a outright normal motor-race, such as you might see at Oulton Park on a Club Saturday. All this to jazz-up the show for the casual TV viewer, who is just as likely to switch over to football or snooker.

The irony of this is that the result on Sunday was exactly what it would have been in a 'normal' race without all the bells & whistles. A very good man won in the best car and the best drivers/cars came in behind him in something like the right order. None of the gimmicks changed the result massively. It dismays me greatly to read a comment from you, Lycra, that you were pleased that a driver was punished for pushing too hard (by his tyres going off). What is racing supposed to be about, if not about drivers pushing too hard? Are we to settle for a Mobil Economy Run, where the engines, the fuel, the tyres are all nursed along to the finish? Don't accelerate or brake too hard, isn't that straight out of the Highway Code book?

Actually, most of the DRS problem was caused by the activation zone being too long and in an area where the cars were already travelling very fast; since drag increases as the square of the speed, it follows that the effect will be massively greater when it's activated at 180mph, rather than 120. Perhaps had the zone been closed before the r/h kink on that straight, the drivers would merely have been assisted to be in contention for a move at Turn 12, an effect that most of us would have preferred.

Anyway, as many have pointed out, DRS is a work in progress and we have plenty of chances to get it right, though I can see places like Spa, Silverstone & Monza being a bit of a puzzle for the placement of it.



No, I don't really know what I am saying, except that I don't find this form of racing as satisfying as what we had last year. But I seem to be a minority!


Agree with most of what you say, except about the tyres. I want to see drivers, especially the more 'explosive' ones like Hamilton, drive flat out on the edge for as long as possible, preferably the whole race. Pirelli should design tyres so that if they're driven flat out a driver would need two stops per race (and a 'careful' driver maybe, maybe, would need just one stop per race). This three/four-stop BS is just too much - back to the wheelnuts being the deciding factor. I can see that, if taken in moderation, pitstops do add the spectacle, but, honestly, the idea of deliberately shafting the faster (ie better)drivers and favouring the more tactical (slower) ones is absurd - they are racing drivers after all. It isn't a time-trial. And I don't just say this as a Hamilton supporter (though I admit I am) - with today's tyres, what would have happened back in France 79? Both Gilles and Arnoux would have pitted about six times each during their famous duel. No, the tyres just have to be a tad more longer-lasting to allow the racers to race...


"No tension"?

I can't remember the last time I saw a race with so many cars racing wheel to wheel for two or three consecutive corners.


Let's not jump to a hasty reaction against the new rules. I would rather have the odd race where DRS is too extreme than season after season of the old snore-fests we used to get.

The new races are exciting and constantly changing. It makes me weep to think of all those wasted years, especially under refuelling, where nothing ever happened in races.


Weep!? What an accurate way to sum it up. It wasn't all wasted years, but there were some serious snorefests that made to check out for the next race.

What I think many are overlooking is that regardless of the fact that there were too many passes and plenty o pit stops it was a run away victory and no change in the Red Bull 1-2.


Today, it was just like using Ecclestone's proposed shortcut idea... I'm becoming more skeptical towards DRS, I think the tyres alone make the racing interesting.


I think we should be prepared to look back at why DRS was introduced in the first place. Last year (and several years before) we had situations where clearly faster cars could not overtake the car in front. As soon as they got within ~1 second, they lost downforce and hence could not carry their speed differential and create a passing opportunity with it. The thinking behind DRS was to reduce the drag of the trailing car and counterbalance this lost downforce.

What we're clearly seeing this year is cars easily being able to stay within ~0.5 seconds of the car in front round most of the lap. The DRS then translates into a "pass now" button if only those two cars are considered.

However, what complicates the issue is where you have a "train" of fast(er) cars following a slow(er) one at the head. Here, all the cars in the train except for the lead one are getting the DRS boost and hence can't overtake each other easily.

I hope Turkey is a blip, I'm generally in favour of DRS (and KERS and the new Pirelli tyres) as it has previously given a talented driver enough boost and confidence to attempt an overtake where previously he may just have backed off and waited for a (rare) mistake.

It's interesting to see that those drivers with a talent for overtaking are making good use of it, but those who have historically struggled (Massa being the one that springs to mind) are not necessarily finding it any easier.

If anything should be banned, it should be Adrian Newey! We are in real danger of falling into the Schumacher boredom years again with a single dominant team and driver. If this season is over by 2/3rds distance I won't bother watching 2012...


Lose the aero. Gain the racing.


System just needs a bit of tweaking.

Even with DRS, Massa took his time getting passed Rosberg.


I think Dimitry is mistaken, I remember the 'push to pass' button on the turbo cars in the 80's for a bit more boost. Just like Kers or DRS

The 'problem' if you see it as such is that unles cars always run against each other at the same stage of tyre life then there is always going to be a big differential in performance because these tyres have a shorter life, this is unfortunate if you dont like it, but it sure as hell beats everyone driving round in 65 circles on one set of tyres unable to overtake because of the aero.

I think with these tyres the rules could be tweaked.....maybe ditch kers as if everyone has it its no longer an assistance to pass? This takes away from the 'green' credentials of the sport though so that leaves DRS, maybe ditch it, maybe let the attacked use it as well as the attacker?

I still think that DRS is not the defining problem though as if all overtakes are due to DRS then when an overtake happens the overtaken will just follow and claim the place back next lap.

The percieved large differentials in performance are a function of tyres at different stages of their 'life'.

Its much more interesting this year and you bet you wont hear Vettell moaning about it, if you get strategy right whatever the equipment you'll have an advantage and this season is no different


i have been saying for a few years that f1 has become a tv show. So i rather have a show that's easy to watch. So i go for the drs.

The last time a watched a race live was in 2009, and i think it could have been my last. Unless they change f1 back to 1000 bhp engines, thing very unlikely, i will watch f1 on tv, and do my traveling to watch motorbike racing.


I would blame too excessive tyre wear for the less entertaining show. 4 pit stops is at least 1 too much.

It's the tyres wear that allowed cars swap each other so easily, spoiling DRS/KERS effect along the way.

DRS (and KERS) works is it should. With better performing tyres (2-3 pits on average) it would be a great show on par with China but unfortunately, we could see too much irrelevant overtakings like in Malaysia.


Don't agree that '4 pit stops is at least 1 too much.'

Prost stopped 7 times in Donnington 1993 vs. Senna's 4 stop. Still considered all-time classic.

Some of the comments here suggesting it's hard to follow the race with pit stops - come on guys!

It's not like you're sitting an exam - slightly more thinking than last year to keep up with who's on what tyre, how long it'll last, who's due to come in.. Who's potentially making the strategy work (opting 1 stop less) - How good/bad the undercut is to them..

Part of the fun for me! Presumably many others, too.

I'm also glad for more pit stops - increases the role/importance of the pit crew/ strategy boffins.

We talk about fastest qualifying pace, fastest race trim, this year we'll talk about fastest pit stops (believe Mercedes at the mo) and who's bravest on strategy.


This is a Grand Prix after all yes?

A GP shouldn't consist of five seperate sprint races. We might aswell revert to the refuelling days.

Tooo many pits stops.


Billy I'm definitely in agreement with you there, we want to see racing on the track.

And by gosh, haven't we seen a lot of that this year.

Under the current regs, the more we want to see overtaking (through the degrading tyres) the more we're going to have to accept the greater pit stops to achieve that.

I can't think of many examples this year where pit stops have resulted in an 'overtake' that couldn't be achieved on track - apart from errors with Hamilton and Button.


Edit: After all we want to see racing ON THE TRACK, not in the pitlane.


You mean 'different performing tyre' not 'better', Pirelli have made the tyres perform exactly as specced by the FIA


Why can't we go back to H box manual gear boxes? I mean then at least we'd have some driver error thrown into the mix which would make it much more interesting.

I would MUCH rather watch a race where driver 1 stalks driver 2 for many laps waiting for him to miss a shift, or blow a corner.

As it is now - it's click shifting, which takes away that avenue of potential driver mistake.


I'd bet that if they went to H-pattern 'boxes, you might see one missed shift a season, likely from a back-of-the-pack pay driver (even they are quite talented, when it comes right down to it). Shifting isn't all that hard.

However, give the cars 900-1000 bhp, wider tires and less-effective wings, and you'd sort the wheat from the chaff rather quickly.


I agree with your and Eddie Jordons comments on DRS James.

Today was far to easy for cars to overtake.

I dont understand why drivers are allowed to use DRS anywhere on the track in qualifying as well, it makes pole position just a matter of who has got the best aero/DRS system package


I think I'd rather watch a race with too much overtaking than not enough. Still, I think things got a bit silly today. I found myself rueing the days where a chasing car would wait for the guy in front to make a mistake and look to capitalise on that.

I think DRS has the potential to make a dull race great and a great race farcical. On balance I don't think we need it. KERS and the wear rate of the Pirellis together give enough to make racing interesting in 2011.

An aside, is it possible to buy the 2010 book still? I bought the 2009 one, flicked through after the season, which was still fresh in my mind, and having read the blog too I thought "hmm, yeah. Ok." I took another look this morning and it's SO much better 18 months on. Have I missed the boat? Thanks!


What the FIA needs to understand that the fans don't get frustrated with the lack of overtaking - we get frustrated with the lack of a CHALLENGE!

With that said, I prefer a DRS-heavy setup with a lot of artificial passes than a race where not a single pass attempt is given.

DRS should allow a car to get almost-alongside the car in front and then after that it should be completely up to the driver to complete the pass under braking.

And I think that the FIA sort of gets it...after all prior to this DRS wasn't a complete failure in my opinion. I actually liked it quite a bit in China from what I remember. It was on the border, but enjoyable. Turkey was just a bit much.

However, I must say that this was the first race that my friend watched and she seemed to rather enjoy it. So it seems to be doing it's job in getting non-F1 fans interested but it must be careful not to alienate the established fans. There is a middle ground and I trust the FIA to find it.

DRS is good - we just need to show a little patience to let the FIA find the middle ground most of us want.


It's destroying what F1 should be, to see car's even the leader lapping slower cars using his 'drs' is bonkers, Senna never had a problem with backpackers, can anyone her imagine what he'd have to say.

If 'drs' is to stay it should be allowed to be used as the drivers see fit, both attacking and defending!


I have never sat through two consecutive Formula 1 races that were so exciting. Real wheel to wheel action all the way through the field. The hypocrisy of those who for years whinged and whined about the lack of overtaking, and the inability of cars to get in the 'dirty air' is simply jaw dropping. DRS has finally given cars the opportunity to get close and pass one another, whilst maintaining edge of the seat action, which we saw on so many occasions.

If you do NOT like racing with drivers fighting tooth and nail from the beginning of the race to the end, then fine. For everyone else, just marvel at the racing spectacle we now have.


I would also like to point out that it is not as if this favours one particular driver or team. Everyone knows the rules when the start the race. The fact that one car can sometimes breeze past another might mean he is pushing his tyres too hard, or he is on a different strategy. This means races go down to the wire, the result is unpredictable until they cross the line.

I'm amazed by some of the scathing criticism this racing is getting. I've been watching F1 for 10 years now, and this season is the first that I can openly recommend it to other people as a sport that can interest everyone, rather than a small niche following. That surely has to be good for the sport.

The best driver still wins, we get more overtaking, some fascinating wheel to wheel action and an utterly compelling spectacle from start to finish. I would like to congratulate the FIA on a job well done.

Victor Winarto

I agree with Robert McKay. DRS is definitely useful to enhance overtaking, but it will be more appropriately if the location and how long DRS zone is adjusted with each circuit history by looking at F1's archives for circuits where heroic overtakings were taken in the past, the difficulty level, which turn will gives better challenge for drivers but within more opportunity and also more entertain for audiences.

The idea of DRS wing may also come from incomplete innovation because 1.other than from screen, no audience can see whether the car uses DRS or not-which means F1 needs bigger or more innovative look wing to make it more visible (take a look on F1's old proposal for double wing but smaller, think DRS to split the wing into right and left side-more visible and entertain); and 2. DRS can be designed not only to reduce drag but also add downforce if applied for both front-rear wings-benefit overtaker car to brake later.

Also I do share same though with Robert to give drivers numbers of possible DRS being used in one circuit (vary according to overtaking difficulty level) and driver is allowed to use it anywhere but for max given number in one lap.

Anyway, a new idea and only for few races, those F1 guys may have also prepared different setting to solve it.

Victor Winarto

I mean, adding another button to do the otherwise-moving all wings/aero to produce more downforce. However this opportunity has to be limited to prevent overuse and vice versa-too artificial after driver will use and think it as standard operation-not thinking about whether it is really needed and advantage if deploy for next turn.


I think had they been able to run DRS on Friday then the activation zone may of been changed and it would've proved more of a challenge. The tires have produced great racing and overtakes out of the DRS zone though, so lets just drop DRS.


I commented after the China GP that whilst I enjoyed the race I could not make up my mind about both the tyres and DRS. After today I cannot help but feel in a state of confusion. I read and hear the comments of boring past championships but in my mind the last three championships at least have been brilliant.

During today's race I could not help but feel rather empty. At times I felt that there was so much cutting from one move or incident/pit stop that I could not really get into the rhythm of the race. Moreover at times I thought the 'action' resembled a British Touring Car race than a Grand Prix. My father used to use the saying "Be careful what you wish for" and I fear this might just be one of those instances.

Seán Craddock

This weekend was a brilliant example that you can have too much of a "good" thing. Overtaking was a joke, too easy!

I watched the GP2 races this weekend and they were brilliant, (it was my first time watching GP2), but there were great battles up and down the field, and people attacked into turn 1 because it's their greatest opportunity!

But most of all, what made the racing brilliant was, yes you've guessed it, tyres! It was clear that tyre management was key. Why can't we have it in F1? Because it's overshadowed by silly toys!

The DRS zone was ridiculous, it was way too easy for the attacker, the defending car might as well have been driving a GP2 car, it wouldn't make any difference


I am totally anti DRS (fake, advantaging 1 driver, handicapping the other, blahblah, you heard it all).

One thing I would accept is this though:

- All drivers can use it in the DRS zone, attacking or defending, BUT have a limited amount of number during the race they can use it (10-15 times).

Then you would take away the fakeness a bit, namely, both drivers can use it for defending and attacking, and the same amount of time BUT they have to strategically use it because there is a limited amount of times they are allowed to use it.

As a total anti-DRS F1 fan, I would accept this as legitimate.

Now then, the quality lowered Pirellis for entertainment purposes......


Pirelli's willingness to make tyres good for racing rather than their marketing image is the best thing to happen in F1 for years.

Their impact is masked slightly by both DRS and the learning curve to define exactly what the optimal tyre solution is - but their willingness to explore and develop that should be applauded.


That is not F1 though, which is about producing the best and fastest materials.

Pirelli is lowering the quality for entertainment purposes to please the lowest common denominator who want to see fake passing.

American wrestling.


I do prefer this "American Wrestling" instead of race distance lasting "soft" tyres...


I understand the American Wrestling analogy, but it doesn't quite hold true in this case.

If they gave Ferrari one compound and Red Bull another to fabricate a contrived result then I'd agree. But tyre compounds are uniform across the teams. How they choose to use them is up to them - which is why we now have a strategic element missing since the refuelling ban. Strategy is one of the factors lifting F1 above other formulae.

I do agree though, the current tyre situation isn't yet perfect, but that's both understandable and expected at this stage.

I also agree in part with your view that F1 is about producing the very best. But I think this the teams' responsibility to produce the best race car and strategy on the day around the materials and variables in play (driver, track, weather, fuel consumption, aero and tyres). None of that is Pirelli's job.


>the quality lowered Pirellis

They are NOT "quality-lowered" ! That is simply slander.

They are "design-lowered" by F1 edict if you must use the phrase.



For quite a few of us who have been following Formula 1 for years, it didn't take until Turkey to figure out that DRS is artificial. We knew it when the current regs were released. The race today was just a sad climax of sorts. Truth be told, Formula 1 has been growing more and more artificial in the last several years, and DRS is just the latest notch on a growing list of artificial developments.

This needs to be said again: In F1's desperate effort to attract new fans and teams, it's turning off the traditional fan base. They're turning F1 into a circus for casual, uninformed TV/internet fans who are likely never to spend the money to go to a race.

“Formula 1” is intended to imply the pinnacle of motorsport—achieving the highest possible performance in all categories. But today we have a prime tire (conceivably the manufacturer’s best effort) and an option tire (intended to be a disadvantage) in order to artificially replace the aspect of competition lost when Michelin pounded sand. We have artificial development barriers in place (time and money) and artificial driver passing aids (DRS). By 2013 we'll end up with hybrid four-bangers with KERS that simply don’t imply the pinnacle of motorsport to many of us—they imply Prius. I can't imagine putting a Mercedes, McLaren or (forgive me) a Ferrari badge on such a thing. Honda and Toyota left too soon! PLEASE start a new series for those interested in such stuff and let Formula 1 return to what it should be!

I usually find my way to at least one venue a year and follow the rest of the season diligently through other means. I'm losing my interest in what used to be Formula 1 and may not attend a race in 2012 or the years following until it regains its identity. For fans like me, passing is not the holy grail—watching motorsport at the highest level in all categories is. Otherwise I’d be a NASCAR fan.



As for 4 cylinder engines, I'd suggest you go back to the early 90's of IMSA GT prototype racing when Dan Gurney's Toyota Eagles ran twin turbo 2.0 liter 4 cylinder motors against the Nissan V6 and the Jaguar V12. Toyota went on to dominate the series to the point that Jaguar and Nissan pulled out. And if you were in attendance at any of the races, you would have also heard the roar of those motors.

Ultimately racing is about the performances, not simply about the equipment.



New Audi R18 just dropped from V10 to V6 engine, and one of the key benefits was fuel consumption. Is it still a race car? Without a doubt!

F1 can't appear to be behind other series.


Of motorsport is the reflection of our motoring life you have to accept the reality that it must evolve. There may be some 70 year old fan reading this saying these kids now adays with their helmets and aero and carbon...

I love trains personally. I bought a whole collection to build up with my kids. Most of what I bought are various steam engines. When we think of a train set we still dream of steam, but those are long gone. We have to recognize that F1 has to move past the V12, V10, V8 and down to what most of us drive - a 4 cyl. I for one want to see what a fourbanger is capable of doing. I wish they would lift the reliability restrictions on those so that they could just make crazy single race use turbo fours.


Say what you want, but a solenoid operated moveable flap and hybrid technology does not speak supercar to me. If I REALLY want to see what a 4-banger like my Honda Civic can do, there are appropriate venues out there already.


I know it doesn't speak super car, but this is just old thinking. I'm in an industry where people too often focus on "specification" and not on "what will it do for me" . Perhaps our definition of Supercar needs reviewing going forward?

What's the point of having that $10K power amplifier that pulls 3000W from your outlet, when most of the time you listen at 1W or 10W level? What's the point of having 8 cores in your computer, when most of the time we surf James' site? (Sorry James, it's just that we don't need to real time render complex 3D textures on your fine website). What's the point of a V12, or V10, or V8 when our roads have limits of 130km or less and we drive to work and to pick up the kids? (OK Germans - don't brag here 🙂

At some point we have to move past the numbers, the specification, the big V12 decal on the side of the AMG. Common sense must prevail. If an Enzo meets an Atom at a traffic light - and the $70K Atom smokes the $1M Enzo - what is the result? It is that efficiency and value can be achieved in addition to the Enzo owner turning Ferrari red himself. Wasteful engineering is just that - offers the sense of "we can do it", but without asking why. And we can no longer afford to not be practical in the future of F1. We can't afford to not ask "why" a V10 or V8 engine is needed in F1. No car manufacturer wants to be associated with a marketing show that's outdated or does not communicate their needs.


You have to get a 2 second plus lead on the guy behind you so he has not chance to use his DRS.... even a back marker can get a top car when it can pick up 16 mph down the straight


I agree DRS made the overtakes seem artificial today. However, the problem is not the technology - it's the rules.

Outside of any saftey concerns, allow each driver to use the DRS once per lap (or for set number of seconds per lap) anywhere suitable.

This use can be 'reset' at the begining of esch lap, controlled by the FIA.

This would allow a driver to defend once per lap with DRS and then it would be up to each driver to time the use of DRS to his advantage.


I think the DRS has definitely brought more dynamic in the racing. Prior to the season I was against it, but now I would like it to stay, but perhaps 1 modification is needed. I wonder how technically it is feasible.

Car A = lead car

Car B = trailing DRS using car

The modification is: when Car B with the DRS active, pulls aside Car A... it should become equal.

So either once both cars are side by side Car B's DRS disactivates, or Car A's DRS activates as well... so that there are 2 DRS activated cars side by side.

This will give Car A something to counter.


perhaps easier solution... there needs to be more DRS evaluation during the end of FP1. Where all the cars go into DRS simulation for 10 minutes.. and the FIA can determine where the activation zone should be.

BUT going back to old boring F1... I dont want that.


Absolutely, that's exactly what I was thinking. When two cars get side by side and one of 'em is still using DRS, thats when the breezing/sailing past effect comes into play and apparently hardcore fans don't like it including me. So a very good point made.

Moreover I want to know one important thing from James or anyone else willing to answer. Why is it this year that the cars can follow each other closely through the corners wherein in previous years, it was visibly noticeable that the following car suffered from lost downforce.


I think that the only bad point re DRS today was that the overtaking area was far too long.

I am really enjoying this season. Obviously the tires wear off very fast... and it could be maybe too fast, but anyway it's much better than those races last year, when a set of softs (?) could last for the whole race.

IMO, the system needs some fine tuning, but it has increased the interest of races.

Now I'm reading that FIA says DRS will not be banned in Montecarlo, as some teams have asked. Not sure if this is a good idea, maybe it's too risky on that track, isn't it?



Mostly I support someone's idea that the activation zone should have been on the start/finish straight, after the really slow section. It would have provided a chance to help get alongside, while not turning the slipstream effect into a full on rocket boost.


The thing is we don't need DRS. We didn't even REALLY need degradable tyres. In the opening races of 2009, cars were able to get close to, and pass, each other - so long as the car in front didn't have a double diffuser! It was only when the diffusers were (reluctantly) embraced by all the teams that cars began to have serious following issues. As the diffusers became more complex, so the problem became larger. We've seen this year that, without the double diffusers, cars have been able to follow each other very closely, even without DRS.

The tyres do, to be fair, make the strategy side of things a lot more interesting; something that the sport desperately needed after the loss of refulling. DRS brings nothing to the table. I give it another 3 races until the teams come up with a gentleman's agreement to discard it.


so after all these years in the baron wasteland of little or no overtaking, making some of yester years GP's sooo boring they'd send me to sleep...

we're now seriously complaining all the new found excitement is "too much" i hear the journos complaing the loudest because now they have to actually follow the race and make sense of it where as before they could wander round drinking tea, then when the race finished report that schumacher had won yet again by a country mile....this went on for year after year!

the new F1 is fantastic...if you want to watch paint dry go to B&Q on a sunday afternoon with the wife 🙂


I am all for this style of racing but this race was an extreme version of it being too easy to pass. Everyone watching wants to see drivers defending as well when you have the combination of Kers, tyres and the wing its starting to tip the other way in being artificial.

I thought a good example of the racing we could have when one of the factors was taken away, was when Webber caught Heidfeld in Malaysia. With Webber having no Kers and Heidfeld's tyres fading it made it possible for Webber to possibly catch and pass or Heidfeld to defend. For me this is what good pure racing is. So after watching the first few races I would like one of the factors removed and in this case the DRS wing would be the one for me. Or at the least lessen its benefits.

One other thing I am enjoying this season and I know the drivers are not so happy about this is all the functions they need to use while in the car. I think its nice to see the drivers really having to work inside of the cockpit to get the maximum speed. When qualifying was on Schumacher was for ever tweaking dials and pulling a leaver next to him. For the past ten years all we see are them holding the wheel. It brings back memories of times gone past when the drivers were forever changing gears and making adjustments. Its a skill for me I appreciate because if I was driving at 300km an hour and pulling 5g in a bend I could never do it!


DRS plus the Pirelli tires has turned F1 into NASCAR, where artificial passing is king. Where's the skill in blowing past an opponent who is artificially hampered by DRS and/or worn tires? Who can we judge to be the next overtaker kings ala Montoya, Kobayashi, Hamilton, etc. if no extra skill/creativity/bravado is necessary to make passes?


China was spot on but this is a work in progress and although it was somewhat artificial I'd much prefer that than abu dhabi last year.

My real problem this season is I find it next to impossible to keep on top of whats going on with the graphics and times that FOM give us. Without the commentary it would be impossible! On top of that in qualifying with the on board shots the list of times obscured the cars whenever they turned left!


I think DRS may need its settings changing, but I reckon there will be a setting that pleases most people.


Its not about changing settings. The very concept is just wrong. Its contrived, its artificial, its not sport. It can not be racing to give the driver who is on the offense a piece of technology to use that is not also open to the driver trying to defend. You can’t tweak a fundamentally unfair and unsporting gimmick.


It makes thing fair, if you are faster, then you overtake but you still need to risk. I agree that today there was too much DRS zone, but something like Australia is excellent for me. I prefer by far this kind of races with chaos strategies of 4 pit stops and "easy" overtakes than the boring one-stop-and-follow-the-leader races that we had last year where you could miss 20 laps and nothing had changed.

Anatoly Nechaev

I completely agrtee with Alonso on that one - all those "easy" overtakings were due to tyre degradation not the drs.

If you want proof, look at third stint of pack of four cars: PET, MAS, ROS, HEI. Different tyres, all within one second of each other, NO overtaking for more than 10 laps.


I think the readers are getting confused here. While the title and the pole clearly ask whether DRS made things too easy in THIS race, the rest of the article bemoans about DRS in general.

Lets make one thing clear, DRS was a failure today, yes. But only today. In the other 3 races, the chasing driver was able to draw alongside the driver ahead and it was down to skill to find out who came out ahead. Today, the zone was wrongly placed.

But one bad race is far too early to give up on DRS. The DRS is THE ONLY TOOL which nullifies the dirty air advantage that the car ahead has. When the zone is set correctly, DRS nullifies this advantage of the driver in front and gives a fair chance to the chasing driver. And it has done that well in 75% of the races.


Its not about tweaking the system. The very concept is just wrong. Its contrived, its artificial, its not sport. It can not be racing to give the driver who is on the offense a piece of technology to use that is not also open to the driver trying to defend. You can’t tweak a fundamentally unfair and unsporting gimmick. If you want to see artificial racing then go and watch NASCAR with the rednecks!


I would much rather tham just get rid of DRS.

Even in the 1st 3 races there was several instances of DRS making passing too easy, Only differences at Istanbul today was that we saw more of it.

I've got several clips from Melbourne, Sepang & Shanghai of cars using DRS to simply drive past the other car way before they got to any braking zone.

I didn't like DRS as a concept & all the 1st 4 races have done is make me hate the stupid thing even more.

There's been several times this year where I've started to get excited over a potentially good scrap for position only to have the car behind hit DRS & simply breeze by with no difficulty. From that standpoint DRS has done nothing but harm my enjoyment of the races.

Having such a big advantage avaliable only to the following car in a specific zone under specific conditions is in my view nothing but an artificial gimmick.

Only way I would even begin to think about supporting DRS is if they made it avaliable to everyone, everywhere so it can be used to both attack & defend.


F1 Fans are so whiny - it's either too fast or too slow, too hard or too easy...either one driver is too dominant or there is "no real champion" because nobody dominates...for years everybody complained that there was not enough overtaking and now that they solved the problem people start too cry that it's too easy to overtake and there is too much overtaking going on! No matter what - there is always something F1 fans will complain about.


The DRS was a bit too much of an advantage today, drivers could only defend the inside line and push the passing car wide. Rosberg did this a few times.

It may be better if there are several detection points/zones per lap and you need to be within one second for a few consecutive laps before your DRS is activated not just at the detection point immediately before the DRS straight. I thought the McLarens were deliberately taking it in turns to use DRS to gain an advantage until Hamilton lost his tyres.

Still a very good race, Bulls still on parade.


If you watched the midfield battle (i.e. Button, Massa, Rosberg and the two Renaults), it wasn't as easy to overtake as is being made out.

Still, I think the DRS activation zone was in the right place but a bit too early. Barcelona will be a bit test for how successful the DRS will be, because turn 1 is very similar to the 1st corner in Australia where DRS wasn't that effective.

Another point that hasn't been brought up is that DRS has done an excellent job in catching some of the drivers off guard. We have seen drivers really try and overtake in other parts of the track because they know the driver in front is going to defend the inside line of the corner following the DRS zone quite hard. Look at Hamilton passing Button, Rosberg and Vettel in China - he made those passes stick because the driver in front was expecting the move at the DRS zone, but the corner where Hamilton passed.

I still think there is scope to give a small number of DRS assists, say 5 throughout the race, so the driver in front can try to protect their position.


"I still think there is scope to give a small number of DRS assists, say 5 throughout the race, so the driver in front can try to protect their position."

Are you serious??? Just go and play your video games!


No DRS in Monaco so we can see what that works out like. How about allowing DRS or KERS by lottery and seeing what that does half the teams DRS half KERS ?


DRS will be used at Monaco, On the pit straght.


F1 fans are funny animals: no overtaking - bad, too many overtaking moves - bad. Why did FOTA bother with surveys and all? I say if the DRS gets the chop, the teams should stop listeting to what the the fans are saying and do their own thing regardless. You can't please everybody.

This race was fairly easy to follow with a little help from simple Live Timing on formula1.com and I personally think it was the best Turkish Grand Prix ever. What's the point of catching your rival ahead of you if you can't overtake? Many moves weren't even DRS-assisted. All's cool, no need to change things.


I'm with you, mate!


Wrong. You are just plain wrong.


Your nickname would suggest your age and why you don't like F1 circa 2011. I watched Nige too but now we have Our Seb, KERS and DRS instead of active suspension. I think most F1 people have already approved what they saw yesterday. I'd rather watch artificial F1 racing than processional F1 racing. In any case, most overtaking is now aided by Pirelli tyres and not the DRS/KERS. No problem.

On the subject of F1 fans, I think they can be divided into forum-based F1 fans who rarely attend real life F1 events and F1 Hooray Henries who like to wave a flag in the grandstands and scream their favourite driver's name while consuming large quantities of beer. I don't see how these guys are qualified to comment on the sport. I'm neither of those, by the way. F1 is just a part-time thing.


F1 always had more viewers than bike racing, so why make the sport more like it?

It's the old basketball issue again. Now we can see why some of us were nervous about going too far in encouraging overtaking.


here here! I agree entirely. View my post 86 below and please comment. If we can make a big enough stink perhaps we can get the sport we used to love back!


Think it was a bit to easy to overtake to day but DRS on the hole has been rely good. no more is a much faster car stuck behind a slower one for a hole race how can any one say that that would be better. Also its given the teams more canse to try diffent strategies because they can overtake slower traffic although to be honest that's manly down to the tyers Wich have made the races so much better. think the hard tyer needs to be a bit more durable tho because as far as I can see there no benefit to having hard tyers over soft they last the same but hard ones are a sec slower then the softs it's just the tyer evey one has to put up with for a stint


Of the four races so far only today was OTT for DRS. It doesn't need to be taken away just good thought put into the DRS zone.

China was the perfect advert for DRS. It is too reactionary to say that today shows it should be removed.

F1 fans are a strange bunch. For years they moan about processions and all the surveys call for mire overtaking and then as soon as the teams and FIA deliver they want to go back to the bad old days.

F1 now has the right balance in my view. The fans just need to keep up with the races which as far as I can see have delivered mostly the same results as previous year but being much more exciting along the way.


I think it was a bit too easy today. That said there was plenty of overtaking outside "the zone". As the FIA have said all along it will be a work in progress, they need to find the optimum place for the activations. The only fear I have is that if they take it too far and we end up with another Alonso at Abu Dhabi situation there will be all the cries of "if it was earlier in the season he would have passed" and won the championship, they have to be careful. I think MArtin Brundle summed it up nicely on BBCs F1 Forum, it needs to put them alongside so they can duel it out on the brakes but not a breeze past on the straight itself.

4 pit stops is too much, 2 or 3 is the right amount I would say. There was too much happening making it a bit confusing and we missed a lot of the good scraps down the field. I loved some of the 3 way battles though, its been a while.

A thought I had was, instead of DRS why dont they have a rev limit remover that they are free to use. Both the attacking and defending car would use it but they couldnt use it all the time as they would either trash the engine or run out of fuel, a bit like the good old turbo boost buttons. With these V8 engines I think it would work. They are capable of revving up to ~20k as remember these are basically the same engines as they were using in 06/07 when they were regularly hitting 20k. The 18k limit was introduced in 2009 (I think). On most of the big straights the cars are sitting in 7th gear on or near the limiter for quite a while, an extra 2000 revs would give them quite a few mph extra I think.

What does everyone think? I dont dislike DRS as I think it has brought some much needed spice to the races but I always have the niggling "its artificial" thought in the back of my mind. Cranking the engine up to 11 is a pretty non contrived way of doing it.

On the other hand I think clever use of KERS is a good tool, I think we saw a few overtakes today where the guy behind was clearly faster and so saved up all his KERS for one big blast down a straight. Of course the tyres played a huge part.

On another note I am glad to see they are considering reintroducing in season testing. I totally understand why they banned it but the whole notion of a company building a motor car but not being allowed to take it for a spin before a GP is silly. They will need to regulate it though because it got totally out of hand before.

Il bring up again somthing I have said on previous posts, why dont they have an allocation of fuel and tyres for the whole season? Enough for the 20 races plus a few thousand miles testing. That way it is environmentally and economically sustainable but allows the teams to do what they want. Like the engine rule dish out big penalties if they exceed the limit. Simple, no probably not...

I'll shut up now 🙂


james can you explain why they close the grandstand right on the straight where they can use the drs? The best place on the circuit, and nobody can see it. Smart.


See what? There is nothing to see! why would you even want to see a non event! The system is retarded!


It just needs a little tweak:

What if the chasing driver is not allowed to use DRS and KERS simultaneously? This way the defending driver can fend off the DRS attack with his KERS?!


I think the DRS needs to go. It's unnecessary now with these tyres. With DRS gone we'll have proper wheel-to-wheel racing into the braking zones, which is what we really want to see!


On the bright side, with Vettel steamrolling the field at least we won't have to say that DRS intro tainted the 2011 championship.


DRS should stay of course, but not as an overtaking tool. It means, make it available for every driver, regardless of their track position. Just like qualifying regulations.

I love how DRS ridicules KERS(and power race in general). DRS is low weight and super effective technical solution. Dropping drag is green too, right? How much was minimum weigt raised to make KERS feasible for F1?

By 40 kg (since 2009)! Real anchor, mainly to give cars more power to overcome air drag...which you can elegantly reduce with those smart wings. Great.

But the current "1 sec gap..." regulation...

After Shanghai I took the risk and didnt share the enthusiasm about 100plus overtakings. Somebody here said that DRS(as an overtaking aid), is only there to reduce effects of dirty air/turbulence. True, but isnt interfering with laws of physics artificial? It reminds me this almighty plan of fighting against mother nature, the sprinkler idea. So to answer your question James, DRS make things too artificial indeed.

If most of the blame for little overtaking was addressed to "dirty air" problem, probably a completely different aerodynamical conception should finally be implemented(wingless f1 or "wing" cars maybe?). Adding another button only to please fans seems too convenient to me.


Here Here! read my post 86 and let me know what you think. If we can kick up enough stink perhaps we might get our sport back for the people who love real racing and real racers!


Sorry I don't agree. I'll concede that the DRS was too long but that was it. The rest is fine.


I dont support it. The reality is simple, in turkey there has always been plently of overtaking in particular within the DRS zone. Would have been good to see alonso and webber fight it out without that advantage. I think they should get rid of it. I believe the tyres make the racing not the DRS.


DRS in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, I think. But in Turkey it far was too much. You want overtaking, sure, but you also want to see feats of skill, not what amounted almost to an overtake button. At Turkey it went too far toward the artificial racing that many were afraid of.

I'd rather see the DRS be more like KERS, where drivers can use it for x seconds per lap. Failing that, you need to ensure that it provides only the possibility of the pass, and doesn't just hand the position over.

The tyres, on the other hand, make things interesting as we see the different strategies that teams adopt. Forcing teams and drivers to gamble is a good thing, in my book, since it adds to the unpredictability of the racing.


Boy we are a hard crowd to please.

Why dont they take two cars to each track and run them

on varying fuel loads and tyres etc and see where the best place to activate DRS is to suit that track.

I think we need DRS. I dont want to watch cars go around all day in a procession.

Gee the broadcast director has a busy job now.

It seems they missed a few live events and had to replay a lot.


I would accept that DRS assisted overtakes were probably a bit too easy. I agree that the system was better utilised in the first 3 races.

I also believe that a lot of the difference is caused by the tyres and the respective drop off in performance and probably this race without the DRS would have been a great one.

However, I am not criticising. It must be remembered that so far this season all we have seen is action and there is a massive Irony in the fact that all we have heard about in the past is lack of overtaking and now we have too much!

Finally, I am even looking forward to Hungary/Valencia as I am sure that combined with Strategy and the DRS/Kers additions I think even they will be a good race. This in my view must not be forgotten.


Those of us with longer memories can remember what used to happen if a car got in anothers slipstream, non of this dirty air rubbish then.

The DRS is a device to negate the effects of dirty air, aerodynamics are what they are. DRS reinvents the slipstream and just need to managed properly to get cars side by side in braking zones.

In principal its a genius idea, by the way who's on this OWG. Racers by chance!


As I've been saying all along, the drivers should be able to use DRS all the time during the race (same as qualifying), whatever position they're in in relation to other cars -- as with KERS. It's still a useful device as it loads the drivers up with more things to do and so should create the chance of error.

'Love the tyres!


Everyone was saying how wonderful things were with DRS in China while I stayed in the "it's too artifical corner". Today in Turkey we saw many overtaking moves without the benefit of DRS only for the place to be taken back courtesy of artificial DRS overtakes. Nice try, but please let's get rid of DRS and get back to simple driver skill. While we're at it, lets get rid of these nonsense Pirelli tyres and have a tyre that can last a race so races are not decided on strategies and gizmos.


I partly agree with you; on DRS certainly but I do believe that the more marginal Pirelli tyres have added to the racing this year. View and please comment on my post 86 bellow in the hope that if we can kick up enough stink, perhaps we can get our sport back!


4 pitstops each is just too many now, I cant imagine how a casual viewer would have kept up with the race today.

DRS was too effective today but we have to remember its only 4 races old. Once it has been perfected for each circuit I suspect we will all wonder how F1 managed for so long without it.

As for people bored with Seb winning, you cannot have close title battles every season, its simply not possible.

When one car is so dominant you can only hope the teammates are close but unfortunately i dont see Webber coming to terms with Vettel this season like last year.

I cant help but wonder how close it would be if Alonso or Hamilton were in the second Red Bull. It would be a crying shame if neither has a car with which to challenge Seb over the next couple of years


DRS blatantly disadvantages the guy in front. How would you feel if instead of DRS the following driver was able to disable 2 cylinders on the car in front?

Same result as DRS...


Couldn't we tweak the wings to open only a half of what they currently do. On the surface, that should give an advantage of approx 6kpm, making it not so easy.

Richard Jackson, New Zealand.

Something to think about:

"Part of the magic of the original SEGA Rally was the catch up logic, which always assured tense neck-and-neck races, by keeping a check on the distance between the leader and the tailing cars."

I think the DRS is here to stay as it's great to PR to show we're driving hybrids. It's all a bit of a joke from many angles. It's a racing series that flies all around the world and we're now swapping burning of fossil fuels to carrying around lead and acid batteries of limited life....

I personally think the tyres and the KERS is sufficient. Either that or make the DRS available to the drivers around the entire track, to be used at their discretion.


I voted yes in the poll, as in Turkey it was too easy. But by next year the FIA will have had one go at each track and know if it worked or not, so next year they move the activation zone and all should be good.

I really think it's adding to the excitment of races and don't want to see it go, as it's the combination of KERS, the tyres and DRS that are making the racing so good this year, not just one them (we know KERS on it's own doesn't add much).Shame we've had one guy win 75% of the races though.


My interest in the race result drops by 1% every time I see a DRS pass. So it is now...zero.

I agree processions are boring, but so is this. Like a cake with too much sugar, it's inedible.


I love all the overtaking but I do worry about how too easy it has become in Turkey due to DRS. I think, as other contributors have pointed out, we either need to let it function like KERS in terms of letting the drivers decide tactically where and when to use it, or do away with it for now and see how KERS and Pirelli do? Like many, I do miss the outright overtaking and defending skills of certain drivers.


Hearing Mark Webber complain that his 3rd place finish in China was artificial, from his 18th grid place start, tells us things are not quite right in F1 at the moment.

I think the problem is merely one of calibrating DRS correctly and of course it's untested at each track this year. Hopefully next year it will be fully calibrated as each track will have been tested by then and we'll see a more balanced race.

For my money, I'd rather watch a few whacky races than a series of processional Bahrain 2010's.

We should definitely give it more time to prove itself


You know been completely honest, I don't like the new F1.

The DRS, KERS & Pirelli tyres have taken a lot of the excitement away for me because were no longer getting a great deal of actual racing.

Most the time one car gets up behind another & is either past quickly/easily because of DRS or is past fairly quickly/simply because hes got better tyres.

Were no longer seeing any fantastic scraps over many laps or any truly brilliant & exciting overtaking moves.

What we have now has to me taken a lot of the tension away & therefore a lot of the building excitement.

There was nothing more exciting to me than watching a car catch another & then watching them fighting hard for that place (Think Schumi/Alonso @ Imola 2005/2006 or Mansell/Senna @ Monaco '92), One car defending & the other desperately tyring to find a way past.

It was then even more exciting if the car behind managed to pull off a truly brilliant overtaking move, As a fan there was nothing more exciting to watch than a truly hard fought & brilliant overtaking move (Thats why I was such a big Montoya fan).

This year there has not really been either. The overtaking moves have been dull & there hasn't been any really great racing.

Too many times I've found myself starting to get excited as one car has started to catch another hoping to see a great fight/race between them only to be dissapointed when he eventually catches him & were treated to a dull overtake because the car ahead can't use DRS or has no grip from worn tyres so can't defend.

Im just not finding what we have in 2011 exciting, I feel its almost more a show now & less a race & Im for the 1st time im not enjoying watching it.



While I agree with your legitimate concerns re: how 'real' the racing this year is, you've sort of answered your own problem.

'There was nothing more exciting to me than watching a car catch another & then watching them fighting hard for that place (Think Schumi/Alonso @ Imola 2005/2006 or Mansell/Senna @ Monaco ‘92)'

>> The fact that you can only recall a few instances of 'real racing' over the last two decades suggests that urgent changes were needed to liven things up! (Of course there are others, my point being it's not like there are TOO many to list) We shouldn't have to remember back years/decades to recall 'amazing' overtakes - they should be happening in each race.

F1 has always been about strategy - if you want to see 'out and out speed' and no artifical interference through strategy/technology - check out the 100 metres.

Over the years, different regulations have brought into play different strategies - remember the tyre war - We had 'Bridgestone' circuits and 'Michelin' circuits. The BMW engine favoured the high-speed circuits. Every regulation/technological component favoured some over the others - DRS / tyre wear is universal.

I appreciate your concern that the 'excitement' of an overtake is taken away by tyres/DRS - but what about Mansell on Piquet in 1987 - he overtook because his tyres were fresher - it's still remembered as a classic.

As for DRS - as soon as a guy is past - he can then use DRS. Look at Button taking back Hamilton this weekend - DRS doesn't decide the final race result - it's a tool to help overtaking.


he fact that you can only recall a few instances of ‘real racing’ over the last two decades suggests that urgent changes were needed to liven things up!


I could have listed many, many more, I just selected the one's which get talked about the most.

Yes Mansell/Piquet at Silverstone 1987 is remembered as a classic, But the reason its remembered is because of the way it was done & not simply that he got by.

It was not a straght forward pass on a straght or simple up the inside move. Nigel set Piquet up, He pretended to go left but then suddenly jinked to the right.

Had Nigel simply cruised past on a straght or breezed past up the inside nobody would remember it as anything too special.


I definitely agree with you Stefmeister that it was an all-time classic move.

I'm not suggesting the overtakes we've seen this year with KERS/DRS/Pirellis are anything like comparable with that move, it was the context of Mansell's overtake I was comparing:

Mansell came in for fresh tyres while Piquet stayed out. Mansell subsequently caught him at a ridiculous pace breaking the lap record a dozen or so times and then made a great pass.

If you look at China this year - think of Webber/Hamilton - took another pit stop and then caught the leaders at a ridiculous pace.

Sure, Hamilton going past Vettel as a move won't be talked about as much as the end result.

My point is that the 'classic' overtakes came about because of the difference in tyres - much like today.

Our Nige :

Surely you accept that some of the great racing you talk about came about precisely because there was such a drop off in tyre performance. This is now the case this year too - but now all of a sudden it's artificial?


'Were no longer seeing any fantastic scraps over many laps or any truly brilliant & exciting overtaking moves.'

>> I can't see how the DRS would stop what you describe here. If someone is overtaken - they can then use DRS to try and get the place back. It's up to the driver to stay 1 second behind the guy in front. DRS doesn't allow you to blast past forever - it aids an overtaking move.

>> Martin Brundle has suggested that drivers be given a limit on how many 'goes' they have with DRS, this might get some fans back on side.


Yes I see what you mean about Schumi / Alonso at Imola etc, that was pretty exciting to watch. Monaco doesnt count as its impossible to overtake there anyway but at Imola Schumi was waaaaay faster and should have been able to overtake but couldnt because of the dirty air.

I think we saw some pretty epic overtakes today, ones that werent in the DRS zone. The zones need to be altered but this is the first year they are still learning, the activation at Turkey should have been after the kink on the straight not before. Another alternative that some people have mentioned is to have it after turn 8 to allow people to catch right up at the turn 10 chicane.

Yes its a bit artificial but I would rather have it than last year, although the running was close which was good last years race at Turkey was pretty boring tbh, apart from that crash the only notable overtake was the 2 Mclarens, and as we later learnt that was due to JB being on a max power setting rather than LHs fuel save.

It always was a work in progress, lets give it time.


I am with you all the way. I too was a great Montoya fan, as I was a Mansell fan before that. I like real racing and real racers. What we have today is a very pale imitation of the great sport we used to enjoy in the 1980s and 90s. Unfortunately it seems we are a dyeing breed, in the face of a new generation of 'video game' fans who seem to need to see passing every lap no matter how artificial or how contrived. Read my post at post 86 below for my complete analysis of what is wrong with our sport today.


I agree it seemed to be a bit much - but I don't _think_ we saw any cases of someone overtaking with the DRS and being overtaken by the victim, with the DRS, on the next lap, which is what you would expect if the DRS was the sole reason they could overtake. It certainly didn't seem to get like Formula Ford where you want to be in 2nd heading into the straight on the last lap 🙂 I do think they should tune it back a little at this track next time (if there is a next time...)


During the race I did think to myself that the DRS passes were a bit too easy this race. But on reflection I think its still a good system, and I’m sure it will be refined further yet.

The thing that makes if OK for me is that the car/driver behind still has to be faster to get within the 1 second zone. Pre-DRS a car/driver that was only slightly faster, could get in the zone, but then not be able to pass, get stuck there and loose touch with the cars ahead that he might otherwise be able to compete with. With the DRS, as we say yesterday, cars/drivers/tyres that are slightly faster at different stages of the race can pass during that that phase, and keep touch in closer touch with the leaders – making the whole race much more enjoyable.

Take the Alonso pass on Webber and Webber pass on Alonso example. Pre-DRS, at the phase when Alonso was quicker than Webber he would have been stuck there, they both would have lost time to Vettel until perhaps a pit stop allowed a ‘pass’. By that time they might both have been 10+ seconds behind Vettel instead of 5. Likewise in the later phase of the race when Webber was quicker on the hard tyres, if he gets stuck behind Alonso to the end of the race, they might both loose another 5+ seconds to Vettel, and by now they are both 15 seconds behind. Instead we got to enjoy the wheel to wheel action of the 2 passes, but also, they both stayed close enough to Vettel to maintain some level of interest that if he were to make a mistake it could effect the race outcome.

Were the passes assisted by DRS? – sure, but in each case the pass could still only happen after car/driver/tyres of the car behind had managed to close down a gap to the guy ahead.

For me it was very frustrating to watch a clearly quicker car stuck up behind someone slower for lap after lap, while they lost touch with cars ahead that they could otherwise have competed with.

Take that Webber-Alonso example, apply it to 10+ other scenarios during the race – and it’s an exciting race.

Having said all that – there was perhaps a little too much going on in the race, and I can see why some are suggesting that the build up of tension and suspense that can also be part of a great race has suffered a little as the balance has shifted somewhat towards instant gratification.

So I also agree with the comments here about it being only the first test of DRS at each track – I’m sure (I hope) they will ‘tune it down’ a little at this track next year. China was a pretty good balance on reflection. DRS assisted the passes but drivers still had to work for them a little more.


It's amazing how fickle we all are. In the past few years, we'd have long discussions trying to think of ways to artificially boost overtaking. Then before the season several drivers and fans assumed that DRS wouldn't make any difference. Then it created a few absoluetly cracking races, and was the best rule change ever. Now it APPEARED to make too much of a difference in one race - when in actual fact it was mostly the tyres and strategy that played a part in the couple of easy moves the cameras happened to catch, and so now we want to get rid of it! This is something that's easily solved anyway by tweaking the length of the zone, so this race has done nothing to change my high opinion of DRS.


Well said.

Jake Pattison

Maybe they should make the DRS available for 10sec on/10 sec off. Or randmomly throughout the race. Could make things interesting.

The way it is now is a bit silly.


I agree, maybe 60 seconds of usage per race wherever the driver's want to open the flap - would add a strategic element and not as artificial as the car in front is not necessarily at a disadvantage. DRS could also be used to defend.


Good point, Jake.

i think the idea of having a timed DRS, say 10secs per lap, to be deployed as and when, rther like KERS, would be better. Give the chap in front a chance.

When drivers criticise, albeit circumspectly, something which allows them to overtake then we fans should take notice.


I think DRS is Good. My point is

1.If front car don't want to be overtake, they should try go fast, if they slow DRS will get them.

2.Don't think front car just weaving to defend their position and call it "talent". If they good enough, they should wait and overtake back.

Is this easy to do? I don't think so.

3.Use DRS artificial overtake and overtake back was more exciting than just see a lot of car follow each other until the racing end if they just not "talent" enough.


Wouldn't it be possible to just open the DRS and keep it open? Not long ago the problem was too much downforce. So take it away. In the long term, rewrite the rules so that the wings give that level of downforce.


I really like DRS, I do agree that they did not get it right for this race. Why not just let them use it were ever they want on the track but have a limit to how many times they can use it. Racing is not just about offencive driving.You need to be able to have a fair crack at defending your position, you don't at the moment.

Maybe we are just spoilt after China.

What I would like changed is Team orders, I think Webber is the only driver in a car fast enough to challenge Vettel. It is so clear they will not allow Webber to get close enough to Vettel so he can use DRS to challange him.

After the first pit stop Webber closed on Vettel from around 5.5 seconds to just 2.5 seconds. Then he just stopped dead at that point.


Interesting idea ie. the limited usage allocation. Could be worth more investigation and debate.


Obviously they got the DRS zones a little wrong today, but it's a work in progress. All I know is the DRS and tyres are stopping me from falling alseep in front of the telly (Australian late night viewer), and that's a good thing.


DRS only amplifies overtaking ability.

We are in a year where two overtaking contributors are at play: tyres and DRS. Added together, spectacular overtaking is what we're witnessing.

Is this bad? Is it artificial? Before we answer, let's consider a point: if DRS is artificial, we should see the mid-field cars overtaking Red Bull in the next lap, but we don't. Why? Because DRS is only activated if a car is within a second of the car in front, so this means that the Red bull or the overtaking car was able to extend its lead to over a second by the next lap.

Ultimately, it's due to other factors (of which tyres are the most notable). In DRS' defence, it merely contributes to these set of factors and when we put all of it together, we get the kind of racing we saw at Turkey.

When Ferrari & Schumi dominated for 5 years straight, many people turned away because they said it was too boring; now, the same people are saying it's too artificial? Pls reconsider.


I really think that KERS and the new tyres are enough to improve racing without making things too artificial.

DRS just adds an extra layer of complexity (I've already had enough of commentators having to explain the detection point, activation zone and distance from the car in front..) and is making passing a little too easy. KERS and varying tyre wear have been creating enough overtaking as it is, in different parts of the circuit, without cars shooting past each other.


I voted "no", because I'm inclined to think the passing issue described above is exagerated by the tyres, such a big variation from car to car, not to mention some had the Curse working and some didn't, so we can't apportion all the blame on the wing thing. Basically there's so many combinations of variables that I dunno wots goin' on! Then there's the cars that are running with th engine "turned down"! Talk about "confusing"!!



While I see the point...to a point.. I also find the complaints completely absurd... everyone cried and whined about the lack of overtaking and now here we have pass after pass and now there is something else to complain about. The playing field is level...so what if one car can zoom right by the car in front.. guess what? The very next lap the passed car has the same opportunity if he can stay within a second. How is that artificial? Hearing all the complaining from the fans makes me realize F1 will never make everyone happy. Just watch the race and enjoy the engineering fest that F1 is.

Michael Prestia

I disagree with you James... if DRS is okay for 1 track it is okay for them all. How can a DRS assisted pass be more artificial at one track but not another?

My second point is... remember when Schumacher was dominating with Ferrari everyone was complaining it was boring... well where are the complaints that Vettel is dominating and its boring? I think by mid season he should have the championship wrapped up!


Well it's obvious isn't it? Once you accept it as a device, you need to use it in such a way that it helps but isn't a slam dunk. But the FIa needs to get the zone location right. I think between Turkey and Melbourne they now have a good idea of the ideal location for it. The tyres are the same. It's up to people to use them the best way, same for everyone.


James James James! What Michael is saying is spot on. If DRS is artificial at one track it is at them all. Just because at some tracks the 'zones' are such that it doesn't scream out "ARTIFICIAL" quite as loudly doesn't mean it isn't artificial. All Turkey did was highlight and underline the completely PATHETIC and ARTIFICIAL nature of current F1. From what I understand James, you have been utterly immersed in F1 for two decades. Quite how you of all people can't see that DRS is a problem for the credibility of F1 as a sport baffles me completely.........


No what James is saying makes perfect sense. You can't disagree with the logic just because you don't agree with the result.


"same for everyone" as is the DRS. Exactly.


There is nothing wrong with DRS other than the rules on using it. Why limit it for crying out loud? If the car behind can use it then let the car in front to use it as well. This limitation [mod - idea] is just stupid.

Michael Prestia

If the car infront uses the device too then the device is useless as the effect is cancelled out.


Not exactly. The car behind still gets a slipstream.


I am happy with the level iof overtaking, only due to the fact in previous years there has been no overtaking.

The technical design on the cars in previous years produced boring races as it was virtually impossible for a car to close the gap through dirty air.


I have said it before and I will say it again; DRS is PATHETIC. It baffles me absolutely that the powers that be in F1 cannot see what a complete mess they are making of this once great sport. I used to love Grand Prix racing, I would never miss a race because the whole thing felt significant and of some import. However the changes that have been brought in over the past decade and a half have incrementally reduced F1 to a pantomime. It can no longer be viewed as a serious sporting event.

Getting rid of the ridiculous DRS alone would in no way restore the sport to anything like its former glory but it would represent a first step. James, even now you still don't seem to get it; the problem isn't about the technicalities of the 'DRS zone' (even just writing that feels pathetic) its the very principal of the thing. All today did was highlight for all to see, even the most shortsighted, what a joke it actually is. But it doesn't matter how easy the passing looks on any given day, the principal remains the same; DRS is not sport. It is not in the spirit of sport to give a piece of technology to a driver on the offense which is withheld from the driver trying to defend. That is WRONG. That is PATHETIC. And it makes F1 a JOKE.

It is also quite clearly unnecessary. With the new, more marginal Pirelli tyres (which I have been wanting to see for a number of years) we don't need DRS or any other gimmick to spice up the racing it will take care of itself. However I can't write about tyres without mentioning another piece of PATHETIC, UNNECESSARY GIMMICKRY; the 'must use both tyre compound' rule. Why is it there other than to add yet another air of artificiality and contrivance? Supply the teams with a choice of two tyre compounds; one that is grippy but less durable and one more durable bu less grippy and let them use whatever combination and whatever strategy they want. SIMPLE. EXCITING. VARIED.

In addition to the abolition of DRS and the tyre compound rule, if F1 were to implement the following changes we might have a sport on our hands once again:

1) A return to a simple Qualifying format of either one or two sessions as was used prior to 2002. Some of the great, memorable Saturdays occurred under this system.

2) Simple front and rear wings aimed at reducing the available downforce to just 25% of current levels. Making the cars less reliant on aero grip and more on mechanical grip would allow cars to race in closer proximity and therefore promote better racing without the need for gimmicks such as DRS.

3) Allow teams to start developing engines freely once more. In doing so you will see engines pushed to the limits each weekend and the attrition rates rise. One of the great elements of the sport in the past was sitting watching your guy lead a race with your fingers crossed in the hope that his engine would not go up in a cloud of smoke!

4) Stop the live broadcast of pit to car radio. Again, bring the element of surprise and suspense back to F1.

5)Stop commissioning that dreadful Herman Tilke to design future racing circuits. His dreary, uninspired 'cookie cutter' attitude to track design is a key reason the sport is in the pathetic state it is. Either go back and upgrade traditional circuits with greater run off areas or if the future really is in the emerging Far East then model new tracks on some of the great classics such as The Österreichring, Watkins Glen or Zandvoort. Circuits with great corners, gradients and character.

6) Also on the subject of Circuits, replace these PATHETIC great big tarmac run off areas with gravel traps or grass or something that will at least punish mistakes NATURALLY. This will reward talented drivers and at the same time get rid of the endless need for stewards decisions on whether or not a driver derived a benefit from cutting a chicane; clearly he will not because he will be beached in gravel! No more need for silly drive through penalties.

7)Allow testing throughout the season again. I suspect had that been allowed these past two seasons Michael Schumacher would have benefited greatly in his comeback efforts. F1 is about development so let the teams test and develop their cars.

8) Revert back to the old 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 points system. A world Championship Point was once upon a time a very sought after and prestigious commodity. Now you have drivers having terrible races but still finishing tenth and 'in the points'. PATHETIC.

9)On the subject of Gearboxes I am of two minds. I can appreciate that Paddle shifting semi automatic gearboxes are so widely available on road cars now that to ban them form F1 might make it look rather old fashioned however I can't help think that by making the drivers shift themselves with a traditional three pedal layout would add to the spectacle of the sport a great deal. It would add to the challenge and would aid close and exciting racing by making missed shifts and mistakes more likely.

What really baffles me about the way the sport is run is that all of these supposedly great minds we have in the sport are seemingly incapable of joining the dots together. It is widely accepted that the heyday of F1 was in the eighties and nineties. Since that time the powers that be have made endless rule changes and yet the sport has steadily lost its allure. You would think that would tell them something???


Seems like you belong to the old days of racing.

F1 is about technology and move forward to be honest. Let's say it does go back to where you said you wanted, others would probably say go back to 50s or 60s to wingless cars.

Why not look forward to things?


Reliability is much better now, so a mid-field team finishing in the points in 10th is probably on a par with finishing 6th ten years ago. So I have no issues with points going down to 10th these days.


"It is widely accepted that the heyday of F1 was in the eighties and nineties." - By who?

This reads more like the time you enjoyed watching F1 most, which is fine. With my rose tinted spectacles of history I too would say I loved the days of Senna/Prost/Mansell, Hill/Schumacher, Schumacher/Hakkinen. But I also vaguely remember "die hard" fans complaining that F1 was being ruined by traction control, black boxes, special fuel, active suspension, back-markers, etc.

Let's be honest, F1 fans are whiners. We should take a step back some time and chuckle at ourselves. The reality though is F1 reinvents, creates and moves forward. If you don't like F1 now you certainly won't in another 10 years - but there'll be plenty who will.

It's niaive to think the "core" fan base should have a bigger say than the casual or new observer. You only have to look at the increased TV viewing figures to know the sport is moving in the right direction commercially. All they need to do is adjust and refine which was always part of the plan from day 1 anyway.


You couldn't be more wrong. The 'sport' is vastly more popular now than ever before, precisely because of the way the rules have been constantly evolving. You have to remember, at the end of the day F1 is a SHOW not a SPORT, if it was a SPORT it'd be in the Olympics and that certainly ain't gonna be happenin!

I watched F1 all the way through 70's 80's and 90's and god were the races mostly so dull!

The only thing that gave them excitement and tension was the very real element of danger that existed then, which has largely been eliminated with all the better safety regulations and, as you point out, the large run off areas.

Personally, give me the racing we've had over the last few years, and this year in particular, any day.



I think I agree with your points in general.


Can't say I told you so, but I did protest this 'movable wing'. You can look it up.

It still sux. But yes, let's do go with the missiles bit. Artificiality to the max - no half measures for the most technically sophisticated racing in the world.

So who is going to pay to watch this stuff? I just watched FIM at Monza - much better...


I've been an F1 fan for quite some time now, 18 years, and I have to say I don't understand the fuss about DRS. I think it has been fine this year. In this particular race it was more accentuated, but I believe that is also due to the difference in tires and strategy, not simply the DRS. Everyone was on a level playing field in terms of DRS, so even if some of the moves were 'artificial', everyone had a fair shot at it.

I know there are several races in the last few years that are downright dead boring. Every F1 fan knows these tracks as the ones where it is simply a procession. I'd much rather have some DRS aided overtaking on those than no ability to overtake at all. Like most fans, I was aware that DRS is new and that there might be a handful of races where it became more pronounced, but I'm fine with that because everyone has a fair shot at an advantage from it and the FIA is still ironing out the kinks. Big deal. Maybe they should make it such that each driver can only use DRS ten times during a race...that way it really is limited and will force some non-aided overtaking also.


Ive got an idea, instead of rushing in such drastic changes why don't they trial them in GP2 first. An analysis of the impact can be conducted there before bringing in these changes to the F1. Of course there will be changes that are not relevant to F1 but of the ones that are it is worth a try.



Sounds good to me.


Did the DRS wing make things too artificial in Turkey?

I think we previously agreed on this forum that everything in Formula 1 is artificial, with aerodynamics, KERS, engine mapping, etc.

DRS was the answer to the FIA regulation failing to address this overtaking issue. In short, DRS is supposed to equalise the cars by allowing the following car not to be hampered by the wake of the preceeding car. DRS was not created to advantage the driver behind.

As far as I am concerned, I voted Yes but would argue it is more of a case that the FIA just got it wrong in setting up the DRS zone at Istanbul Park. It was just too long.

Hopefully, the FIA will get the DRS zone in Barcelona and we can resume proper racing. Very much a case of learning as you go along.


I meant "Hopefully, the FIA will get the DRS zone RIGHT in Barcelona and we can resume proper racing. Very much a case of learning as you go along."


Simple fact, Alonso couldn't have taken the fight to the RedBulls if it wasn't for DRS. Full stop.

And it made the race exciting


James, my understanding it that DRS is meant to be a leveller - i.e. if applied correctly it neutralises the advantage a lead driver has by virtue of his wake, theoretically leaving both drivers to duel it out on an even keel.

But what I don't understand is whether giving both drivers the chance to use DRS would still remove the aero-dynamic advantage? If it does then that genuinely leaves us with the faster car still having to slug it out based on horse-power, design, track position, driver skill, tyre degradation, etc. That would then be racing.

At the moment I can't help but feel it's an artificially applied advantage, not a leveller.

Would giving it to both drivers still break the aero issue of dirty air or would it simply create dirty air in a different shape?


I think the DRS system is helping the 'dirty air' problem, but not seeing enough of practice and qualifying has lead me to this question hopefully someone can answer (specifically given Turkey's DRS setup): Was there much slip-streaming and/or overtaking during non-restricted practice in the DRS zone - was the lead car being able to use the DRS also shown against a trailing car to any extent, and if so, what was the usual result? Or are teams simply not brave enough to try this stuff in the current regulations?

I still see slipstreaming in MotoGP practice and quali, and recall a bit from F1 past in pre quali, so I was wondering if the sessions @ Turkey was seeing this action to see if would effect lap times.

Everyone seems to require a clear 'zone' in which to run their quali laps these days, as a hangover from dirty air problems that should now be irrelevant at least in one section of the track. Have the rules specifically awarded this an interference penalty and therefore can't be implemented?


It's still predictable with the DRS. We all know who's going to pass who. Definitely kills the excitement. Played the recording immediately after the race to console myself that it was a good race and it didn't help at all.

Only consolation for me were Webber and Alonso on the podium.

FIA should disable the DRS for a few races and see how it goes.

The tires degradation should be enough for overtaking, which is still quite artificial, but at least drivers have a chance to proof themselves. DRS has no mercy at all.

History will be made from the countless pit stops and overtaking but does not have value. This is not basketball.


If more of the cars downforce can be generated from the underside there would be less need for complicated front and rear wings. Could this make the cars less sensitive to turbulence thus allowing more overtaking without the need for DRS?


I voted Yes. It was too artificial - I was listening to local TV coverage, and the commentator was stunned to see how Alonso overtook Webber (the ease of the move) and the rebound of Webber, having in mind the terminal max speed that Red Bulls usually achieve, allegedly about 10 km/h less than the opponent front runners.

I would appreciate DRS ban and more KERS power. And less pit stops please - at some certain point I lost track who was doing what, and I started looking only at the front three drivers. I know Pirelli plan to introduce harder compound, just my 2 cents.


Good article James, I think Sam Michael's comment was the most illuminating.

This year is all about tyres, DRS just seems to me to be a plum for the technophiles, a bit like KERS was 2 years ago. If your tyres are shot it's going to make not a diddle of difference if the car behind has working KERS or DRS or not, as long as they have fresh rubber.

I distinctly remember in Australia Brundle and Coulthard were saying; 'Let's see how effective this new DRS is... [dozen laps later] It doesn't seem very useful.. Does it work!?'

There were loud clamours from fans to have more than one DRS zone in the race to encourage more overtaking, with the extreme position advocated being that it should be used like qualifying, available for the whole lap.

Now a few races in the pendulum appears to have swung entirely the other way. Racing is too 'artificial' and it's not much fun being sailed past. I am inclined to agree with this view - but what about as soon as the trailing car has overtaken - the advantage swings right back to the overtaken car - HE can now use DRS! Think Jenson taking Lewis back, one example.

E.g. if Massa overtook Rosberg with DRS - Rosberg behind him can now use DRS - he's got the momemtum - If Massa ran off into the distance it's not solely DRS - must be the car as well / tyres/ strategy / set-up etc.

So far, we've had a race where the role of DRS was barely noticed (Aus) and now one where it was too pronounced (Turkey) The FIA are still fiddling with the technology so I'm sure there'll be a happy compromise. Let's just see if the pendulum swings back again in the next couple of races (bearing in mind the use of new tyre compounds, hard/supersoft etc.)


Just focussing on DRS as the reason there were so many overtakes.

Watching the race yesterday, yes the DRS zone allowed people to get very close going onto the straight.

So many of the overtakes yesterday happened outside of the DRS zone....

For me the pirelli tyres are a great success, and kers has its place.

I am fully in favour of limiting the number of DRS uses to say (20 on a 60 lap race). this would introduce tactics and a bit of thinking rather than a push to pass system.

I simply think the DRS zone was too long in Turkey, and as such the overtaking in that zone was too easy.


I have already mentioned once in comments, I think it was after the Chinese race, that it would be worth trying a race without DRS considering that tyres provide plenty of excitement as it is and especially considering that FIA themselves said they would have an open mind about the device. It is quite possible that the tyres generate enough overtaking and no other artificial means are needed to spice up the show. In Turkey, I was particularly unhappy with the use of DRS in a duel between Massa and I think it was Button. Massa spent some time attacking the other car, prepared well, did the overtaking without the DRS but just in front of the DRS zone. All his hard work got undone because Button was close enough after being overtaken that he was able to use DRS immediately and gave Massa no chance.


Can I just say as well, as a McLaren fan, I was delighted to see Lewis and Jenson having a good old go at each other yesterday.

Thats what teammates should be allowed to do. I had my heart in mouth, but what a great battle.

And I'm personally happy to see Jenson remind lewis that he wont be moving out of the way for him (unlike some others) to drive past.

I'd have loved to hear the incar commentary from JB and Lewis at that point. I heard Martin was heard to say just calm it a little bit lads... 🙂

Great job by McLaren, just tempered by the wrong strategy for Jenson and a bad pitstop for Lewis.


"Did the DRS wing make things too artificial in Turkey?" In my opinion... no!

I think the FIA might tweak their settings for any future Turkish GP's though - either have it in a different place or move the activation point slightly closer to turn 12 (if possible).

It was the condition of the tyres that was the main contributor to the over-taking; even the drivers have said this. Differing traction out of turn 10 meant that on some occasions an over-take was in process or even completed before the DRS activation line had been reached - something we've never seen at Istanbul Park before (usually it's all about Turn 12 and then maybe Turn 1, if the battle from 12, thru 13 and 14 has continued a la Hamilton vs Button both last year and during Sunday's event). We saw overtakes in other parts of the track too (non-DRS) - turn 7 for example; heck I even saw someone try to stick their nose up the inside of someone at turn 8 - the mind boggles on that one!!!

Heaven help us in Canada!!! If we have the same tyre combination as in Turkey. I'm predicting a minimum of 6 stops - ha ha 🙂



Reading the comments posted on a daily basis and with particular regards to the likes of 'drs' it's clear that many here are far younger than me (been an avid F1 supporter since the late 60's).

Watching this race with overtaking being so false and for drivers such as Webber getting no joy in overtaking the likes of Alonso says it all for me, this is not what F1 should be.

F1 should be about the best of the best and defending is a fine art as is overtaking, as such if 'drs' and other gadgets are allowed then they should be allowed to be used freely by the driver as he sees fit.

It's a shame you don't have a profile of the ages of those contributing on your blog as I'm sure many longer term supporters would share my view and I can just imagine what many fo the older greats would say about being a sitting duct as the car behind uses his 'drs' to overtake.

F1 is not NASCAR.

The real key to exciting F1 is the track design and nothintg will ever replace that.


"Opening the DRS gives a sudden electric burst of speed" - no, that would be KERS that gives an electric burst of speed.


..always work with a drummer...


DRS this weekend I think made the overtaking easier than it should have been with many of the DRS zone passes being done on the straight - DRS should allow the following driver the chance to close in to the driver in front going into the braking zone of the next corner not allow drivers to just sail past with nor effort.

I understand that at the start of the season the FIA and the teams have said that DRS may take some time to understand and tweek as the season progresses I dont think we should be calling for DRS to be scrapped but that the FIA try to understand better how the placement of the DRS will affect the race.

how does the FIA currently decide where the DRS zone at each circuit should be? do the teams or the ex driver stewarts at each event have an input?


What disappoints me more than DRS, and has surprised me that there has not been more comment on, is the lack of durability of the hard tyre. What's the point of having a harder tyre that is slower, if it doesn't last much longer than the soft? For me, that would make the tactical side more exciting. In the case of DRS, I think the FIA just got the activation point wrong for this race. I had no grievances with it prior this race.


Yep, that's a really good point Martin, the harder tyre seems to have the same durability in terms of mileage as the softer tyre. Button alluded to this with his "I should have stayed out longer" comments i.e., his "softs" had not quite gone off and he should have stayed on them a lap or two longer on each stint as when he switched to the "hards" he had no pace (relative to those not on the hards).

Jake Pattison

The FIA are painting themselves into a corner with DRS. They may get it right for several more races this season and no doubt they will be great races, but I doubt they will nail it all the time.

So they will be left with a flawed system that sees them constantly chasing their tail. How many more races will they spend "dialing" it in?

I say change it to a strict timed allowance of say 10 seconds every lap, to be deployed whenever they like. Then we will see heroics, mistakes and brilliance from the drivers, not the FIA.


The other problem with DRS is that it's use in qualifying (anytime during lap) differs to the race (once per lap). As an earlier James posting pointed out, some of the teams have the DRS wing setup differently, giving them enhanced performance in qualifying that they can't match in the race (Rosberg). What this does is mixes up the grid and causes the cars with true race pace to be held up. If I were Redbull, I'd be happy because all this seems to be doing is giving them a gap as their car has the performance regardless of DRS use. If the DRS stays they should change the qualifying use to only one lap as well.


I meant, they should change DRS use in qualifying so that they can use it only ONCE PER lap..

Steve Selasky

James, the race in Turkey was a joke. I really don't care for the following:

* 2 tyre rule

* Pirelli, short-lived product



Overtaking, should be an art and not a given. The problem is two fold: need to return to the wing car design of the early 80's, change the tracks where a turn onto a long straight is followed by a same directional turn (Zandvoort), and go to manual gearboxes.

William McCone

Yes it made it a tad too easy on this occasion but that's only 1 race in 4. The FIA aren't going to get it right every time but at least they can learn from this.


Seriously folks, who cares? People complained about no overtaking, now about too much overtaking.

What made this race unexciting was the total Red Bull dominance; it's a throwback to the old Schumacher days when you always knew he was going to win.

Unless one or more of the other teams starts to make serious inroads to catching Red Bull (and especially Vettel) I predict that a lot of viewers and F1 fans will start complaining about a boring season.


I thought I was watching a video game by mistake. Pathetic. The pinnacle of motorsport, it was laughable.


Well - in one word - without bitterness, sweetness is not as sweet as it should.

I watched Turkish GP and I have strange feeling.

Before 2011 , when one driver overtook another it was sweet as candy for the viewer (and for the driver). Now I felt like a child who got the jar of candy and ate them all at once. It was far too much, but I think it was the case of bad placing of the DRS zone.


Was the last race i watched i think.

The reason is that real life doesn't allow me most of the time to watch a full race. It is like being interupted every 10 minutes for 5 minutes - think of it that we watch the races at the club house of local volunteer firefighters. To bring some money for new equipment we sell beer and snacks while watching Formula1 or soccer on a big screen.

But yesterday: i was bringing some beer to the tables of guests, returned and couldn't fetch up what happened meanwhile. My oldest daughter who was cleaning glasses tried to say it to me, but it was like: "Rosberg 4 seconds in front of Schuhmacher, both 4 stops, i think, but maybe Schumachers repair counted for one of them, don't know how old the tyres are, they are showing pit stops all the time instead racing, and if they show racing then they show boring DRS overtakings, ..."

Yes, i have to admit, a 4 stop race kills part time watching. There is way too much information needed to keep uptodate.

But perhaps Formula-1 is only for young people now and i am past 40 and mentally no longer fit enough.


DRS needs tweaking not banning.

Even Alonso is saying overtaking is NOT too easy…

We have not had the traditional boring tracks yet where overtaking is impossible… Bahrain, Barcelona, Valencia, Hungary…

(But I hope we never go back to Bahrain in respect to the citizens that have been killed there)

Lets see if DRS helps at those tracks.

Quite honestly I'm loving F1 more than ever this season because of the DRS, Pirelli tyres and KERS.

Its great, entertaining and so much better than before.


Well said!


Overtaking has become devalued.

In the first 4 races of this year there have been more on track passes than the whole of 2009.

Australia had 29, Malaysia 56, China, 85. We're still counting Turkey and should be publishing the figures later.

Overtaking should be difficult, just like it is difficult to score a goal in football.

Would football fans be happy if they started getting scores similar to those in basketball?

For those who are interested, there is overtaking data on every race back to 1982 here (registration required but it's free): http://cliptheapex.com/community/pages/formula-one-overtaking/


The DRS has obviated the use of explicit team orders to let a faster following teammate through.


I think that (in retrospect)the change to the Pirelli tyre may have been enough this season. The DRS is an interesting idea and has provided fans and drivers with entertainment but is denying the teams the ability to take advantage of pure pace. In Australia's V8 Supercar series, the teams are required to use both soft & hard control tyres at particular events. This has provided some very exciting racing and overtaking without any other performance gaining technology. The tyres, and when to change onto them has made the difference.


Another strand to this story is that the teams are proposing to torpedo the plans to reintroduce limited ground effect via a shaped underbody as proposed by Patrick Head & Rory Byrne as a means to enable cars to follow each other more easily.

I would have preferred the adoption of this which may have reduced the need for DRS or four-pit-stop-tyres. Whilst I did bemoan the lack of overtaking previously and processional races - having cars simply blow by each other or wait to pass a "sitting duck" by making an extra stop for tyres isn't addressing the fundamental problem of a lack of overtaking in a way true to the spirit of F1 in my book...

Surely the skill of overtaking is being devalued if everyone can do it easily


DRS is a joke and should be eliminated. Turkey isa track that was designed to give great overtaking moves already and now they just sail past....Overtaking is not just in the braking zone but from the whole lead up. Cars need to dice all the way and this is contrived. You can't serioulsy make a car faster than the other and call it racing.


DRS should first be removed for qualifying. All it does is stretch the gaps between the big and small teams.

I don't think it really improves the racing either. We saw from the amount of overtaking moves at Turn 1 and Turn 9 in Turkey that even without DRS, there would still have been plenty of overtaking in the race.

I also think that 4 pitstops as standard is too many. I remember how special it was when Schumacher used a 4-stop strategy at Magny-Cours in 2004, and yesterday it became common place.

I found it a bit of an overload, and that while the race had a lot of action, it had little substance.


I tend to agree with the comments that most of the passing is due to different tires and tire strategies. I think that's good; let them RACE.


i think the tyres are great, its equal for all teams.

DRS, i think they got the concept backwards, they should of made it so the wing gives more downforce & the DRS zones should be in the twisty parts of the track.

i think that would of answered the issue drivers had with following cars. they would have to use their skills instead of pressing a button & holding on.


I sense this season is not going to be as excited as the last simply because the Bulls are too dominant. ironically, Vettel got very little attention during the whole race on TV.

The DRS in Turkey made the race easy as video game. I have to admit that I started to skip watching races this year. The main reason is the RBR is too quick for other teams to catch. The most artificial thing now is Vettel keep saying it's not easy to win after every win.


I have watched F1 now for nearly 20 years (that makes me feel old!), so not as much as some, but enough that I have seen a few changes over the years.

I think this year has been the best for racing I have ever seen. I think that the tyres, KERS and DRS have made the show amazing; the only shame is we have what is looking like a runaway leader in the championship!

I think the overtaking was perhaps a little too easy at some points on Sunday, but who cares? We've been used to having either no overtaking or just enough (with the most likely being no overtaking). Now it would appear we will get just enough or too much... is that so bad?

Compare the race on Sunday to Bahrain in 2010.

On Sunday the overtaking was perhaps too easy, but 1st place a side, all positions were pretty much up for grabs with 10 laps to go. So, yes it lost a little excitement as the cars appeared (in some cases) to pass too easily, but at least you felt compelled to watch it all the way through!

Bahrain 2010 on the other hand was awful. I have never turned off a GP in the 20 years I've watched F1, but in Bahrain 2010 I came very close... it would be interesting if we go back this year as we can get a comparison...

... having said that, there were plenty of other boring races last year, not least Barcelona, so we will get a comparison pretty soon!

Overall I think F1 should perhaps tweak the DRS a little if they feel the need - but not much; the occasional race with too much overtaking is okay for me!


Rather than tweaking the DRS zone length, a far better solution is to get DRS to cancel when the car gets alongside the one it is overtaking.

Hey presto, DRS zone never too long.

Personally I think with this year's tyres DRS is simply not needed. We had plenty of overtakes without DRS. But if they are going to keep it, make the DRS zones shorter and have it cancel once the driver is level so he doesn't sail right past so easily.

Philip Iszatt

The test for the correct setting at each individual track should be this:

What setting when two cars enter a DRS deployment zone with one car 1 second behind, results in the two cars being side by side at the end of the zone, all else being equal (car type, engine setting, Kers availability etc).

THis would retain race purity while maximising entertainment.

So a key part of practice 1 on each race weekend woud be the DRS Setting test.

What do you think?


I've got mixed feelings. In theory, it's great idea. Some have posted that it's just a matter of tweaking the 'zones' and such but I'm not convinced. It transforms an F1 race into a wholly different animal. DRS and KERS turn an F1 car into a Rube Goldberg contraption. That being said, if it wasn't for them both, Turkey would have been an absolute snoozer.

Dominic Beesley

I've kind of reluctantly enjoyed these DRS races but can see that this will soon devalue the sport. If more or less any idiot can overtake once they get within one second due to newer tyres then where's the skill gone.

Yes overtaking is good but it is the build up to the overtake, the hunting down, the probing different moves at different corners that make the final overtake satisfying. What we have with DRS is all organsm and no foreplay!


Put like that DRS sounds like every man's dream. 😉


I'd guess that the FIA didn't expect so many cars to have the downforce be able to run through Turn 11, with DRS activated, in a car's slipstream, on full throttle, even with quite well-worn tyres.


If DRS is available through practice and qualifying, why not throughout the race as well? Discuss!


James, I'd refer again to the piece you featured a while ago (last season I think) where someone involved in Toyota's F1 team pointed to mechanical grip being the main issue in stimulating overtaking, not aero grip.

With this year's Pirelli tyres that theory would seem to be proved correct. So why do we persist with aero changes like DRS?


I want to witness close and exciting racing which isn’t always demonstrated by overtaking. I’m sure plenty of factors play their part in stopping this but as I understand it, today’s aero packages are such that the resulting dirty air makes close racing nigh on impossible.

DRS will generate better racing provided that the benefit to the attacker is set at such a level that just negates the penalty he is facing from the defender’s aero. Of course DRS will be an epic failure if that benefit is either to strong or too weak.

I hope that the learning curve is quick and that we don’t see too many “candy from a baby” overtakes whilst the FIA learn how to set up the system.


Can anyone remember why we had the "no movable aerodynamic devices" rule in the first place? Was it safety, cost, other?


People posed the question "what would it be like with no DRS and just the Pirelli tires?"

Simple answer: look at the non-DRS zones.

The DRS Zone was between turns 10 and 12.

There were lots of passes and re-passes in the following sections: into turn 1, turn 3, turn 5, 7, drafting out of turn 8 and out-braking into turn 9*, and battles through the last two corners and onto the front straight.

*(This goes to show the theory from the 70's that a fast corner onto a straight producing more overtaking is perhaps a better ideology than the current Tilke theory of a sharp corner, long straight and another sharp corner)

Basically, there was lots of overtaking in all other areas. Verdict? DRS not needed.


Regarding the Pirellis wearing out too quickly and having too many pitstops, I agree. I think for them to be perfectly engineered, they would have two options of tire: one hard compound that would get you through the race, but is slower and would taper off in the last 10 laps, and a soft tire that would last around 15 laps.

The key point is that a whole race distance on hard tires would take the same amount of time as a most of the race on hards, plus a pitstop and the remainder of the race on softs, whereas just running on softs and changing them every 15 laps would be slower. The hards need to be slower than the softs, but not so slow that just using five sets of softs would be faster than one set of hards.

Personally, I would like to see one or two pitstops. That's all that is needed. Any more than that is just getting to be a bit much. I personally thought the Bridgestones falling apart at Montreal was not an "amazing" race; it was too extreme. Pirelli needs to aim for the middle. A fast tire that doesn't last, and a hard, slow tire that does last. Two basic options, and teams can use them however they like (two sets of hards over the race distance? Sure! Five sets of softs? OK! Hards then softs? Go for it! Softs then hards? Do it! Open up the strategy...).


I disagree. DRS and KERS are excellent additions to F1 and give the cars enough variability to not get jammed up with one another, like year's gone past. I believe it's the tyres and the 81 resultant pit-stops that are distracting and confusing and causing the huge discrepancies in speed under passing. History will show, that when the lunatics take over the asylum, the asylum cannot be the same.

All you F1 fans that were moaning and crying for more passing, just stop it already and let F1 be F1. There are more reflective forms of motorsport you can follow and will remind you of the scripted 'reality' tv and phony virtual world that most of you people spend your lives within. F1 is a sport built on ethical and moral principles by risk-takers, vanguards, in search of technical excellence, artistry and the challenge of attaining ultimate speed.

What we've seen this year has been a video game representation of what was once a proud sport. Monza 2010, for example, was classic F1 racing, not these contrived events like Turkey where in spite of 'all the action' the final results were essentially the same as the qualifying order. That's F1 racing, mates. Yet now, like medicine for lunatics, it only fools you into thinking that something is happening while underneath it's still exactly the same.

Oh, ain't life grand!


The problem is the tyres. These things kill the racing. FOUR stops is over the limit of insanity. It kills real racing. While Bridgestone tyres were a bit too dependable, Pirelli is gone too much in the other direction, leaving no racing. DRS and KERS are fine for me, but have them on all the time. That, with decent, no Mickey-Mouse tyres will bring racing back. How can you race with a tyre that's falling apart all the time. The season is already over with Vettel's super RB7. With Kers, decent tyres and continious DRS it might not be that easy for Red Bull. Now it's a walkover, with no future real battles. There is no battle now, how much you cry 'fantastic'. It SEEMS to be, with the bloody thing called 'Pirelli'. DRS and KERS were introduced (re, for Kers). Why add a thirth, self-desintegrating tyre? Make'm softer, not so good, but this is over the line for every racer. And a, congratiolations to Seb for his back to back WDC's. That is the only centainty.


Just to follow up on my previous post, there were 113 on-track overtakes in Turkey.

That's the highest number since records began in 1982.

The full breakdown is here (registration required, but it's free): http://cliptheapex.com/community/threads/f1-2011-overtaking-analysis.2349/page-7#post-46304


I think the DRS activation zone should have started after the right hand curve on the back straight rather than before it. In previous races, DRS has only mainly allowed drivers to get side by side before the braking zone, but most of the time in Turkey drivers using the DRS had got the move complete before they hit the brakes. I think we were always going to see this scenario eventually as there is still an element of trial and error with what is a new system.


I'd have to say the same thing. DRS wasn't the issue at Turkey more so where the activation zone was... but we all need to remember DRS will be trial and error and they can't get it right all the time - its a work in progress and the first three GP's were OK (maybe, haha)!


No, I don't think DRS made the race artificial. It's just that at times it seems we're watching a tyre changing competition that gets interrupted every ten laps or so by a race.


A few lines to try and tie up the debate so far:

In this 'artificial' vs. 'real' debate some fans seem to have this objective, 'appropriate' level of overtaking that the sport should try and reach.

We are all in agreement (almost..) that there was too little overtaking in seasons past.

We all agree that there is a lot of overtaking this year, some say too much.

Fans seem to want to strike a balance between the two - but how do you do it? Where does this 'appropriate' amount of overtaking come in? Like the 'appropriate' amount of pit stops?

We've got used to little overtaking and 2 stoppers. That's our norm, our average. That's why we have been shocked that there are lots of overtaking moves and many more pit stops.

This year requires a lot more mental gymnastics. Strategy, tyre wear, undercut - these have always been there, but never as prominent. Last year during the fall-out from Hockenheim people were quick to say F1 is a team game, not just a singles contest.

Now the call should be that it is a strategic game, not just an out and out sprint - you've got the 100 metres for that.

Do we want qualifying to determine race order - and have a season full of Monacos, Hungarys, Barcelonas? Of course not - strategy gives teams the impetus to go from zero to hero - Webber, Kobayashi.

That can only be good for the sport.

Of course, refinements are needed - but they will come.


We've now seen where the balance lies for DRS zones. I believe it is too easy for DRS zones to turn a competitive race into a farce. Keep DRS but get rid of the zones.

And make the cars shorter next year - less rear wing == closer racing.


James et al, honestly, I think the media and fans have been misleading / misled the idea here. Go to YouTube and you can find many amazing "overtakes" as fans, media and F1 insiders call it. However, go back many years of F1 history, yes, there were "overtakes", but is "overtaking" really what we are looking for? I think the word here should be "fights".

We enjoy cars having a fight over positions. Think back Turkey 2010, Webber vs Vettel (although ended up in tears), Hamilton vs Button (pass, repass and another repass). Yes it had overtaking, but it is this continual FIGHT that we enjoyed! This happened again for a brief moment between Hamilton and Button again this year in Turkey. People are calling it as "overtake", because that is what it lacked on the skin of it (i.e. Alonso vs Petrov in Abu Dhabi 2010), but it's actually the action of fight that we really enjoy, not simply overtake.

This DRS wing idea is good, personally I like it and it's something I want in F1 actually, it makes technology go forward, add more to F1. However, it should be understood that it is not simply "overtakes" that we want, it is "fights".

Go back to school years when we were still kids and had fights with fellow schoolmates, people would gather around and enjoy it, shouting "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!"; think of a boxing match, what do we enjoy? A fight! Not a straight knock-out! Think of something else like Tennis, what do we enjoy? Seeing two sides trying equally hard for that win, not the disadvantaged side getting some sort of aid in order to help him/her win!

Lets get the wording right here. You can't get the idea right without getting the correct word in place. James, I guess you are the best placed person to get this right for those people that decides things.


You just talked yourself out of supporting DRS (your tennis analogy just about finished it off).


There is nothing contradictory, you can still use DRS to allow them to fight, but make it work in a way that allow drivers to fight, not easy overtaking. As someone mentioned somewhere on this page, it needs tweaks, not ban. I have longed for something like DRS to appear for many years actually.


I read on another site that the FIA believed the DRS was right and that:

"In many cases, the car behind was already much faster than the car in front, even before the driver could activate his DRS - indicating that he would likely have overtaken even without the help of the extra speed boost."

...so why do we need it if they were going to overtake anyway?


Hi James,

The last paragraph of your piece is what I have been writting after every race this year. Using the DRS on top of KERS and the new tyre regulations is overkill.

We must consider whether F1 is a sport or entertainment.

I guess we can put yesterday in the "teething problems" bucket and assume that by mid-season the FIA will have optimised the use of DRS, so overtaking moves may require more skill, though in the eyes of the fans and broader audience, the overtake will still be assisted and artificial (even if great skill is required and is applied).

I personally think that those fans that keep asking for more overtaking are the same ones that enjoy the crashing (didn't Martin Brundle narate for something like "great escapes" for UK TV, some years ago?).

By the way, in the midst of this all, where does KERS stand in public perception? Did it make F1 greener? Did it have an effect on fuel consumption? Is there an increased likelihood for technology transfer to industry? Is it a useless gimmick that wasted a lot of money?

Marcus Redivo

Well, I finally managed to drag myself around to making a comment on this topic.

I can't get excited about arbitrary boosts to performance (KERS, DRS) that leave some competitors defenceless at the hands of others. This isn't a video game, this is supposed to be competition at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Let the engineers design the most effective KERS they are capable of, and let the drivers wield it commensurate with their skill. Arbitrary power limits and arbitrary deployment duration limits are stupid.

The same comments would apply to DRS, were it not a more egregious assault to the concepts of fair play and battle of equals.

I don't see much reason to watch the rest of the season, and I probably won't. It's a shame; I love the sound of the engines.

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