Video guide to KERS and DRS with Sebastian Vettel

F1 video

Sebastian Vettel explains the basics behind Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems and Drag Reduction Systems (adjustable rear wings) in this video produced by Red Bull:

Update: You can also watch the Mark Webber version of this video.

F1 video

Browse all F1 videos

Advert | Go Ad-free


76 comments on Video guide to KERS and DRS with Sebastian Vettel

  1. Louis said on 14th March 2011, 17:59

    Wow, overtake zones, invisible distances, I’ve known about them, but seeing them depicted just made me realize how video-gamey the whole thing looks, which is awful for F1, imo.

    Cheap-shot: wow, 2 Red Bulls racing close to each other and not crashing?

    • unoc said on 15th March 2011, 1:42


      Where’s the God-mode cheat?

      KERS is ok as it is equal for all and you can put your car a bit closer in towards the car your following allowing you to then overtaker as per normal.

      DRS (the rear wing) is just stupid. No one cares about overtakes where you are way faster and just fly past down a striaght, people remember back and forths, eau rouge with hakkinen and schumacher etc…

      • studi06 said on 15th March 2011, 2:44

        I’m inclined to agree with you at this stage.. I will reserve my final judgement on DRS until I see it used in anger but my early impression, like yours, is that if it’s too easy to pass and the leading driver is akin to a sitting duck then nobody will care about the overtake..

      • JuanFanger said on 15th March 2011, 7:08

        There will be back and forths, it will just take exactly one lap for each.

        Picture two evenly matched cars who can manage to stay within a second of each other – say Webber and Vettel – Vettel overtakes Webber on lap N, then Webber gets back in front on lap N+1, then Vettel goes back in front on lap N+2 until the penultimate lap when one or the other overtakes for the win.

        I can see a driver refusing to overtake on the 3rd last lap to ensure they are in position to overtake on the penultimate lap.

        Or perhaps a leader will slow down to let a very close car overtake just before the one second measuring point on the penultimate lap…

        • Ady said on 15th March 2011, 9:21

          Or two drivers working as a team can use the two and fro of this to increase their overall combined speed over a race distance.

          You would need two drivers to work together, and how would the final result be determined (prior to the race)?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th March 2011, 9:56

            Like they do in cycling, or cross country skeeing to change who does the hard work up front?

      • Lopes said on 15th March 2011, 15:09

        Agree. The DRS looks like the “Catch Up” option on many racing games where the car behind (unfairly) runs faster to help it catch up with the car in front.
        I understand the idea of that option was to improve the show (or the gameplay, in this case) but I always turned it off when possible.

    • Hare said on 15th March 2011, 19:01

      Louis. My thoughts exactly. The Red Bull Drivers last year couldn’t do that for that long….. :)

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing these devices in action. I Thinking about it now, its a good thing that there are set places for the driver to deploy the rear wing. They will still have to make up time to be close enough to overtake. I apreciate that it’s only a computer generated video but I reckon there will still need to be some skill involved and that this overtaking business may not be “that” easy.

    But thats just my opinion, we’ll just have to wait and see I suppose.

  3. Whitty 123 said on 14th March 2011, 18:14

    Fans want a way of knowing when a driver is using KERS.

    Have the cars glow blue like in the video. Simple :)

    • Not unlike those GT cars, with the lights in the doors?? That would actually look very cool, probably not practical but very cool. :)

      • gabal said on 14th March 2011, 19:26

        They could make the tyres appear red in broadcast when cars are using KERS. I’m not sure how hard would be to implement something like that though.

        • Thats a great idea too. I dont know how difficult it would be but it would certainly look very cool.

          • Regis said on 14th March 2011, 23:00

            It wouldn’t be hard at all, but i doubt they would want to do it. F1 is missing a lot of the cool stuff you find in Nascar.

            I’m talking about digital on screen stuff, not actual racing. F1 is so much better than Nascar.

        • Onboard shots where we see the throttle/brake input could also have a Kers on/off indicator on-screen. Easiest solution.

          • Rob Haswell said on 15th March 2011, 12:49

            That’s what they did in 2009 – it was a little orange battery icon showing the KERS charge, that glowed yellow when it was pressed.

        • Damon said on 15th March 2011, 14:29

          Oh I hate those stupid graphics they smear all over the screen in NasCar! God no!

      • BasCB said on 15th March 2011, 7:29

        That would be great. Like the leds on the car in the SWIFT idea for next years Indy cars.

    • F1iLike said on 14th March 2011, 19:40

      Awesome! :D Cover the cars in blue LEDs and when they use KERS, they light up! Would look epic at Singapore! Maybe not so pleasant for other drivers though? xD

      • That would make for some fairly knarly slo mo photos too wouldn’t it. :D

        • BasCB said on 15th March 2011, 7:30

          Bring it on!

          I want to see that flash of light they showed in the rendered video here.

          • Louis said on 15th March 2011, 21:35

            Maybe they should just have pop-up infos like in the F1 2010 game, with “distance to next car”.. in fact, why not just make the drivers just play a 24-player network round of F1-2010?

  4. marc connell said on 14th March 2011, 18:15

    I wonder what the DRS and KERS at same time would do to you at end of the straight…kers effects the braking so, faster speed, less downforce and crappy brakes…clearly recipe for disaster

    • George (@george) said on 14th March 2011, 20:47

      Not really, although I’m not sure how KERS effects braking (from what they were saying in ’09 it sounded more than a simple reduction) but the difference in speed isn’t likely to be too high due to gearing, probably 15kph max. I wouldn’t expect the FIA to make the rear wing zone go right up to the braking zone either, and even if they did it reverts to the standard position as soon as you touch the brakes.

      I think an F1 driver would probably realise they have to break 10m earlier or whatever in any case, and most heavy braking zones lead into a fairly wide corner in case you outbrake yourself.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 15th March 2011, 10:12

        The cars would have to brake earlier? Well that’s going to kill overtaking.

        God, if only they’d just let the impact of the new tyres be measured independently first instead of slapping on 3 different changes in one go.

    • the wing would be put back to normal position for the corners though and the kers would not be used right before a corner

  5. Always nice to see these video’s from red bull.

    Love Kers, good tech that can be used freely. Really hate the DRS, dumb tech constrainted to rediculous restrictions.

  6. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 14th March 2011, 18:18

    Love these little vids Red Bull make! They should make an “F1 for Dummies” series to introduce people to the sport!

  7. David-A (@david-a) said on 14th March 2011, 18:29

    What an inaccurate video. The cars didn’t even crash into each other once…

  8. ImFasterThanTheStig (@imfasterthanthestig) said on 14th March 2011, 18:32

    Come on guys, since Istanbul we all know that these two can’t race that close to each other without crashing :-P

  9. Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th March 2011, 18:47

    These simulations are more realistic than F1 videogames.

  10. If a driver uses the ARW outside an overtaking zone, would he get penalised?

  11. Prof Kirk said on 14th March 2011, 19:59

    Great production by RedBull as always,
    Favourite part was at the end where it showed the drafting.

    I think I remember RedBulls 2009 video production had Webber and Vettel spinning into each other all the time? No Joke. I must find it to see if my memory is still what it use to be!

    @Spud – You should send an email to Bernie, because Blue lights on the sides when they engage KERS is the best idea I have heard for a long time! Imagine the photo’s at the night races in Singapore and Abu Dhabi!

  12. sato113 (@sato113) said on 14th March 2011, 20:23

    i see a problem: if a driver is very close behind another driver, and uses his DRS on a long straight like in china, he could pass the other car with half the straight still to go! and the other driver can’t possibly counter attack.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th March 2011, 20:42

      But if he goes into the slipstream of the car that just passed him, he may be able to use the tow and his own DRS button to counter attack.

    • George (@george) said on 14th March 2011, 20:49

      I seem to remember some side-by-side action half way down the straight at china last year?

    • thestig84 said on 14th March 2011, 21:03

      This is unlikely to happen due to the FIA and where they position the overtaking zone. They are likely to be towards the end of straights so there is still some skill required and some late braking.

      That is the hope and its all in the FIA hands. They can tweak it either way. My opinion is give each car 20/30 movements during the race and let them do what they want during the race. Have the remaining numbers next to the drivers name on screen.

      This gets rid of all the complicated rules, timings and most importantly wont limit passing to the ARW zone. having one zone will be the easiest and least risky place to pass meaning if your not sitting there your not likely to see and overtaking attempts at all.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 14th March 2011, 21:05

      Technically.. shouldn’t the driver who has just been overtaken halfway through the straight, be able to activate his DRS as well? (He is now within 1 second of the car in front)

      • thestig84 said on 14th March 2011, 21:17

        No. Look at the video again. There will be a designated timing zone. Lines painted on the track, this will be where the gap is measured and ARW activated or not for the following car.

        Way to complicated, fake and rubbish for people sitting at the track on an old overtaking spot where now no drivers will bother risking it…maybe.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 15th March 2011, 5:44

      The drivers will ONLY be able to use the DRS at the very end of the main straight. Currently the final 600m of the straight. The FIA may choose to adjust that if there’s too much/not enough overtaking, but currently the length of the straight at the circuits will have no bearing on the length of the overtaking zone where the DRS can be used, as it will be a standard 600m at all circuits.

  13. How bout instead of all this gimmickry, we just stop letting tilke design tracks….

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th March 2011, 21:47

    Anyone who takes this video as gospel needs to take it with a pinch of salt. Everyone (except a couple of teams) is running both KERS and DRS. Levels the playing field.

    • Alistair Nieuwoudt said on 15th March 2011, 0:29

      They both clearly state in their videos that most teams have KERS and all have DRS. But your untamed hatred of Red Bull is to be commended. :)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th March 2011, 8:37

      They do say so with the KERS being best for the start to go forward of defense position (Webber even says this is because most cars have it)

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 15th March 2011, 10:14

        Maybe this will increase the value of getting a good start. Either you’re on pole so you can save some KERS to pull away, or you’re rocketing through the grid and then get an even better boost (e.g. Hamilton Nurburgring ’09)

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.