Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Suzuka, 2011

Ross Brawn questions need for DRS in F1

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Ross Brawn questions whether F1 needs DRS.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Brawn wants DRS reassessed (Autosport)

“I think tyres have been a major element. DRS, as far as we are concerned, was introduced to stop the racing being processional and it hasn’t been because of the tyres, so I think at the end of the season with the FIA we should take a step back, look at where it hurt, look at where it helped, and see what we gained, and see if it has achieved all of its objectives.”

Neale: F1 teams need to stick together (Crash)

“Quite understandably, many of the teams mask the way in which their public accounts are provided so that you can’t reverse engineer what’s going on. Formula 1 has for decades been surrounded with a bit of mistrust and rumour – allegations about what are they doing, are they cheating on the circuit, have they got some new wonder device etc… – and I think that’s all part of the sport. I think in reality the bigger prize is that Formula 1 does need to stick together.”

Exclusive Q&A with Lotus?s Tony Fernandes (F1)

“Emotionally, I’d like to see [Karun Chandhok] in the car [at the Indian Grand Prix], but practically there’s no point in putting him in just for the sake of it. We have two extremely experienced race drivers and I’ve got to do what?s right for them and for the team, not for Karun or for the Indian fans. But ultimately it’s not my decision. I’ve told the team it?s up to them.”

Alan Permane via Twitter

“Had a walk around the track today, good improvements in the last sector with the walls moved back a little. more run off at turn three and turn four too.”

The sale of Force India (Joe Saward)

“If it turns out that [Vijay] Mallya is now announcing the sale of a minority of the shares or some such arrangement no-one is going to believe anything that he says as he will already have told a whopping great lie, insisting that the team is not for sale.”

Vicky Chandhok via Twitter

“Its a good thing to have Sahara in F1, could now attract the other Indian bigwigs too soon. Could see some big deals happening soon in India!”

Paul di Resta via Twitter

“Of to Korea now. Feeling much better, been visiting Tokyo for three days. A mad city that never stops.”

Modern F1 Colouring Pages (Car colouring pages)

“These are Formula 1 car colouring pages from the last few years.”

McLaren celebrates 700 GPs – the 100th car (McLaren)

“By the time Emerson [Fittipaldi] finished second in the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix, our 100th race and the second round of the 1975 season, the M23 had notched up eight wins and 10 podium finishes.”

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Comment of the day

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From the forum

A handful of links from the new forums:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Randy Torres!

On this day in F1

Damon Hill won the world championship 15 years ago today at Suzuka.

Hill effectively became champion when team mate Jacques Villeneuve crashed in turn one when he lost a wheel, but Hill sealed the title with a victory in his final race for Williams.

Michael Schumacher finished second ahead of Mika Hakkinen.

Martin Brundle, fifth, scored points in his final F1 race, behind Gerhard Berger and in front of Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

86 comments on “Ross Brawn questions need for DRS in F1”

  1. DRS works unfairly for that rule saying just the chaser can use it. Probably the effect it has could be checked or simply banned. I don’t really like when it’s said something like “Pilot Z overtook many others” and watching the vedeo you don’t really know if it was for his skills but for the gadget. Just as an example, probably Lewis would really settle down and be better racer if he knew a big mistake would be harder to solve, His powerful McLaren cleans his mistakes so much. If overtaking would be JUST a little harder, he ‘d probably think twice before getting mad

    1. This is tactical by Brawn. He knows his car has the best straight line speed and DRS takes away what ever advantage that gives his team.

      Taking away the DRS would be unfair considering the freeze in engine development has given merc powered cars an unfair advantage.

      1. given merc powered cars an unfair advantage.

        Power isn’t the only measure of an engine’s performance – heat rejection, drive-ability, potential for exhaust-blowing and other factors are all significant.

        If Mercedes engines do have a power advantage it’s a small one, and I suspect it’s cancelled out by these and other factors.

        After all, it’s not as if they’re winning all the races is it?

        1. Does’nt the merc engine drink more then Renaults, so they need more fuel (more weight) which all effects the cars performance.

      2. As Keith said power isn’t the only measure of engine performance. I seem to recall that when Adrian Newey joined Red Bull he got them to change from Ferrari to Renault engines because the Renault engines performed better on the temperature side which allowed him to package the bodywork tighter.

        Also for all Red Bull’s comments about the Renault engine been down on power in recent years the Renault team are often near the top of the speed traps using the same engine, showing that all the down force that has helped Red Bull so much does not come for free and it has it’s downsides

        1. @pja yes, that was the prime reason, the better packaging they allowed. And maybe fuel efficciency was also a part of it.

          The Renault seems to give their teams a tad better traction out of the corners, which (along with loads of downforce) help the Red Bulls get a head start on the straight after that corner (this was very nicely visible in Monaco with Vettel).

  2. Is it fair that leading cars can project a barrier of air behind them to slow down their pursuers?

    1. I don’t know… that “dirty air” was the main reason why DRS was created. If the aero oackager would be limited more (as old 70’s F1) overtaking would be easier. Once I gave my opinion about that and some people commented about my words as “that would set back F1 and f1 is all about evolution”, but in my opinion that work

    2. Yes, because that’s racing. It’s the reverse on the straight as one gets the slipstream.

      Two equal cars don’t need to have all the same qualities alll the time, but they need to have access to all qualities at their will.

      e.g. on a straight the back car is disadvantaged, but on a straight it’s the reverse.

      DRS gives the back car an extra advantage… for a short time whihc is stupid

      1. What about a tool which increases the effectiveness of the trailing car’s front wing when closely following the leading car? That would allow the second car to overcome the downforce reduction, so it can follow more closely, which increases the probability of a “natural” overtake.

        1. They tried that with the adjustable front wing they introduced in 2009 and scrapped at the end of last year. It made little difference and drivers mainly used it for set-up adjustments.

          1. Ok, thanks! I guess they did not use a DRS-like detection system, like an “adjustable front wing zone” or something like that? I don’t know whether the front wing’s effectiveness is affected in the same way as the rear wing, but otherwise a “reversed DRS”, or a “downforce increase system” could be a funny gadget for the 2012 season!

          2. Indeed Mr. Draw, the front wings were operated by a button to adjust them a certain amount of degrees a time but at the choice of the driver (or team instruction) without any limits for following a car close like DRS had.

            If I remember right, one of the reasons it was not all that effective was, the wing still sits in the middle of the turbulent air behind the car in front, hampering its potential and upsetting the precise balance teams want to get downforce exactly where they need it.

    3. Remember this solution: CDG

  3. “If it turns out that [Vijay] Mallya is now announcing the sale of a minority of the shares or some such arrangement no-one is going to believe anything that he says as he will already have told a whopping great lie, insisting that the team is not for sale.”

    Except that he very specifically stated that he was not selling the team. The direct connotation of this choice of words is that he would not be giving the entire team away – and he did not. He sold part-ownership of the team, which is a very different thing.

    1. and to add to it, it’s more like issuing fresh equity to raise more capital than a shareholder selling stake. the difference is that when fresh equity is raised the company gets the money for it’s expansion & when shareholder sells he walks away with the money and the company simply has change of ownership.

    2. @Prisoner-Monkeys My thoughts exactly. I can see why you don’t like this guy!

      1. Some people object to being lied to.

        I think Joe will manage without having PM as a fan. No shortage of people in the F1 paddock that respect his work, unlike PM.

        1. Let me give you an example, Huron: Lewis Hamilton says he is ‘cool’ with Massa

          This could be interpreted one of two ways – either he is somewhat cold to Massa, or he is okay with Massa. Now, I could criticise Hamilton for being cold towards Massa … but that’s not what Hamilton has done at all.

          Saward has attacked Vijay Mallya for selling a part of Force India after saying the team was not for sale. However, Mallya never actually ruled out the possibility of selling a stake in the team. He said the entire Force India operation was not for sale, and he has not sold the entire Force India operation. He sold a 42.5% stake to Sahara India Pariwar, equalling his own 42.5% stake. They would need 42.6% to have a controlling influence. And yet, Saward is attacking Mallya for “selling” the team after saying he would not – but the controlling ownership of the team has not been sold, and therefore Saward is in the wrong.

          1. Sahara arguably has more influence in the team than Mallya now and will almost certainly take formal control of the team within a few years, at most.

            That is how business works, PM. You can’t deny that just because you do not like Joe.

          2. @huron You are running on assumption there, not fact.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys But Saward is not reacting as much to Mallya selling, as he is to Mallya’s strongly worded denial – Mallya said:

            “I was shocked to read a media report that I am selling the Force India Formula 1 team.
            “This is completely untrue and without any basis whatsoever.

            Telling us there is no basis whatsoever for rumours about a sale, when just such a deal to sell a major stake in the team by one of the 50% owners is something I certainly do consider being in conflict with the truth, or simler – a lie

            Even Saward in his article and the comments to it clearly states, that he would understand a “no comment” statement. But not a lie.

            Now we can find a nice example of how to better say it with fellow Asian entrepreneur/F1 team owner Fernandez in the interview in the roundup today, when asked about Caterham being on the grid next year:

            Unfortunately I can’t go into detail on that right now, but I do want to say that I am very proud of what we have achieved with Team Lotus since we brought it back into F1

            He nicely highlights to positive that has been done, and shows to be looking into the future.

            Or we can compare the far more carefully formulated reaction from GL on a possible sale to GenII

            “Proton hereby states that the alleged moves between Group Lotus and Genii Capital are untrue and that the reports are highly speculative in nature,”

      2. Joe has a penchant for being somewhat hysterical. I see he’s now closed his comments because he can’t be bothered with people being “disrespectful” (ie disagreeing/pointing out flaws in his logic). He’s a fantastic journalist, but he does have a few delusions of grandeur. He thinks because he’s in the paddock for years that everyone must listen to him and believe him. Do so much as demonstrate a flaw, he goes into some sort of crazy hyperbole about his experience in the paddock.

        I’m sort of glad he’s closed comments. It was pretty tiring reading his rants at anyone who would so dare as to try and enter an intelligent debate with him.

    3. A wise wording has saved him from accuses of lying and he also hid the truth.

  4. I like drs but it is unfair

    1. Then what would you propose as an alternative? If all drivers were given free use of the DRS at all times, it will only negate the purpose of the DRS because a defending driver will simply use it to hold position.

      1. I’m not against DRS and I never have been, but the way it has been implemented is wrong IMO. I think DRS should be run like KERS: use it anywhere you want, but only for up to a certain number of seconds per lap.

        This combined with KERS adds some complexity when working out how to use it effectively. Do you overtake with DRS and then use KERS to get away once in front? Do you use only enough DRS to get close, and then use KERS (and maybe the DRS you’ve got left) out of a corner to mount an attack? Do you use up both at the same time and leave yourself compromised until the next lap?

        1. As someone who likes the concept behind how DRS is being used this year (I do disagree with some of the positionings, though) I think you present an interesting alternative.

          I wouldn’t mind if they gave each driver a set number of DRS uses (three, say) a race and kept the one-second-behind rule. It’d still create overtaking while adding a greater element of strategy to the racing and (hopefully) pleasing all the whingers that moan about it being’ too easy’.

          1. I personally like DRS as I think its a tool to help prevent processions such as Abu Dhabi last year (although I do agree with Ross Brawn that its the tyres that have made the real difference).

            I don’t think it disadvantages the car in front unfairly as if that car was fundementally quick enough then it wouold be able to stay with the car that has just overtaken it and then use the DRS itself.

            I prefer to see racing than cars stuck behind each other.

            I don’t think the slip-stream balances out the dirty air effect as described above as the dirty air is approx within 1 second of the car infront which is too far to achieve the benefit of the slip-stream

          2. Great comment from paolo. I mean take out DRS, and make the aerodynamics simpler (not less effective or less ipmoprtant). That way slip streaming someone might be easier. Another alternative is take out DRS and increase the power of KERS, but they (people who make the rules) shouldn’t make it too strong.

  5. I think Joe Saward has lost his marbles, half the comments on that article are his and they come across as children arguing.

    I wonder what really happened in 2007???

    1. He has that habit.

  6. HAHAHA! Fastest COTD I will probably ever come up with. :D Thanks, Keith! :)

    1. Sometimes first hunches are best! Congratulations on that one Journeyer.

  7. Fifteen years since Damon won the title? I honestly refuse to believe I’ve been alive that long.

    1. Crazy but true. It’s also been:

      20 years since Senna won his last title.
      25 years since Mansell blew out his tyre in Adelaide.
      35 years since Lauda nearly lost his life at the Nurburgring.

      1. And nearly 5 years since Lewis Hamilton didn’t blame his team in F1.

  8. petrov/alonso is a good example of a worst-case scenario, since it addresses the delta in performance and the issue of “driver motivation” (which is a bunch of crap, imo). this situation, where the sport stifles itself, must not be allowed to exist. it must be physically possible for a faster car/driver combination to overtake a slower one. what good is a sport where 1 team may not score, and must hope for a self-goal from the opponent?

    the greatest performance differentiator this year has been the tires, due to their inefficiencies and inconsistencies compared to the bridgestones, and the teams making less efficient use of them. this won’t last, however. assuming the construction remains constant, the teams will quickly learn all they need to know regarding the pirellis, efficiency will go up, and the races will stagnate again.

    there has to be some means of mixing things up, because the natural tendency is to settle into a very predictable and boring sequence of events. i think drs as we know it feels tacked-on and gimmicky, and will have a limited lifespan. the challenge to the sport is to find a mechanism that springs a fast car, without special circumstances and equal application to passer and passee.

    1. @f1yankee its already noticable how the teams are getting to grips with tuning in to the Pirelli tyres. I gather that’s why Pirelli wants to keep developing tyres to change constantly and offer new factors to keep it interesting.

      I think that view on DRS is pretty well balanced. Although I do feel the FIA might get it optimized better next year from experience at the tracks this year hopefully making it less of an obvious passing aid (like we had in Turkey and to a tad lesser extent at Spa)

    2. Something to remember about Petrov/Alonso at Abu-Dhabi last year is that Renault were significantly faster than anyone else down the straghts because they had a better F-Duct & had gambled on a lower downforce setting & had run a better pit strategy than Ferrari.

      In that case why should a team that did a better job be penalised unfairly by the car behind having something like DRS?

  9. Completely agree with Ross Brawn. I do feel as though DRS has “dummed down” Formula 1 this year. I hear all of the arguments about improving overtaking, but ultimately giving your pursuer a 10k speed advantage to make an overtake takes some of the contest away for me. I’d rather see a driver fight tooth and nail to get past a slower driver ahead using KERS and tyre tactics rather than allowing him to effectively hit a boost button which isn’t available to the car in front. Ultimately the car is in front for a reason and it’s up to the driver behind to find a way past on equal terms.

    That said i’m a big fan of KERS. It’s available to everyone (well almost everyone…), requires driver skill and when employed cleverly can really help overtaking. Hamilton’s overtake on Vettel this year was a perfect example of driver skill using gadgets to overtake – not just gadgets doing the overtake.

    Ultimately, I just can’t get excited by a DRS assisted overtake, and that’s the problem.

    1. Totally agree with you. The best passes of this year have been non DRS. In my opinion, DRS belongs to the same category as reverse grids or ballast system or even worse. I’ve never been a fan of this gimmick and I really hope that it will disappear after this season.

    2. I can’t be bothered to write out a massive response to this debate once again, so I’m going to be lazy and copy and paste something I’ve already said on the forum because I feel the arguments apply here too.


      I challenge that argument. First of all, the majority of the spectacular passes I can remember this season have taken place outside of DRS zones. I think I can remember more passes into Turn 1 at the Nurburgring a few months ago than into the Chicane at the end of the DRS zone. This is a good thing. It also means that the art of race craft and overtaking ability is no less important in the DRS era than it was before it, which I agree is an important thing for the pinnacle of motorsport. “But Geoffrey, what about Istanbul? DRS it WAY too easy to overtake at the end of the straight!” Yes. I agree. I can’t argue against you there. However, DRS is a unique and completely brand new concept. It’s bound to take a bit of time for the FIA to tweak it and to discover where it does and where it doesn’t work so effectively. I agree to an extent that it’s unnecessary to place DRS zones on long straights where lots of overtaking has always tended to occur. I’m also not convinced about the idea of double DRS zones. But it’s good that the FIA are clearly learning about what’s working and what isn’t and are adjusting the use of DRS accordingly.

      I’m very much for the retention of DRS. I believe it can be an effective tool for equalising the playing field like I outlined earlier. I also disagree that it’s ‘destroyed the art of defensive driving’. I’ve watched every race this season and the majority of DRS ‘attempts’ I’ve seen throughout the season have not resulted in overtakes. You still have to be in a good position to make the maximum use of it and get passed. Button didn’t simply drive around Massa in Melbourne did he? And on the other hand, if it wasn’t for DRS, I doubt Alonso would’ve ever made that move on Webber in Valencia. So to say that it’s spoiling F1 racing or whatever is just bizarre to me.

      I also think the DRS factor adds a whole new unique, exciting element to racing. Remember when Hamilton was chasing down Vettel in Barcelona towards the end of the race? I remember everyone saying that as soon as Lewis was within 1 second, it was on like Donkey Kong. I think it’s both cool and exciting when you see a car get within 1 second of a rival and you see that DRS graphic start flashing. It’s like it’s the F1 equivalent of a fighter pilot getting a lock-on on a target. You think “oh my, here we go!” and you just know that something dramatic is about to occur. I also like the fact it’s an element that’s unique to F1. It helps to differentiate Formula 1 racing from the other single-seater series as well as illustrating just how important the physics of downforce and aerodynamics are to F1 cars.


      Totally agree with you. The best passes of this year have been non DRS. In my opinion, DRS belongs to the same category as reverse grids or ballast system or even worse. I’ve never been a fan of this gimmick and I really hope that it will disappear after this season.

      That’s the point In my opinion, having the majority of overtaking moves in the sport being DRS related would be a terrible thing. That’s not what it’s designed for. As you don’t need me to remind you, the DRS was born out of the desire to counter the ‘dirty air’ effect. How many times have we seen genuinely faster cars or drivers close up to a slower rival and then struggle to find any way passed as soon as they get within 1-2 seconds behind? The disturbance to the aero balance of the cars would make it just too difficult for even the best drivers in the world to actually get into a position to make a move in the first place. The idea of the DRS is not to produce easy ‘slam-dunk’ overtaking opportunities but to allow drivers to get into positions to overtake where they have usually been unfairly disadvantaged by dirty air. I hear a lot about how DRS gives the attacking driver an unfair advantage but I disagree. DRS is an equaliser. It helps to take away the disadvantage of dirty air and give drivers a chance to pass.

      So, yeah. I’m a fan of DRS and while I agree it’s not yet been ‘perfected’ I hope the sport doesn’t discard the idea too quickly because it’s played a significant role in shaping the truly exceptional action we’ve seen so far this season.

      1. @Magnificent Geoffrey

        Thanks MG, great comment as always. DRS hasn’t, of course, destroyed F1 or the art of defensive driving. We have seen a lot of great and long fights for positions despite quickest driver using the DRS. But we have also seen a lot of cases where it has acted as a push-to-pass button and where I personally would have loved to see fiercer fights instead.

        For sure, DRS is an equaliser as well; I just ain’t sure that such an equaliser is needed in F1. It isn’t like overtaking was impossible in times before DRS; actually I think the number of passes increased quite remarkably already in 2010. Another problem is that it’s very hard to adjust the DRS so that it acts only as equaliser but doesn’t give an unfair advantage to the pursuing car. This setting of unique DRS detection points & zones on each track, adjusting, deciding between 1 & 2 zones… It all just seems too artificial for me.

      2. @magnificent-geoffrey reacted to that in the forum already. In short:
        – No, I do not like the concept of DRS
        – I agree with you on how it should work like it did in Barcelona and some other tracks
        – Yes, DRS did work as the stopgap is was supposed to be on several occasions and when properly optimised it should be able to do so on all tracks.

        Therefore, i agree with Brawn that its necissary to get clear what the target for the DRS is and optimize it for that.
        So NO, DRS passes are not exiting to see most do not fancy seeing many of these Ross.
        Yes, optimise it to keep it as a possibility to catch back and be able to follow close to make a move after losing DF in the corners.

  10. I think it’s a shame we didn’t have DRS last year, it might have got a better reputation and spared us some pretty dull processions, not to mention probably prevented the whole “faster than you” saga.

    I think there’s a lot of myths about the Pirellis. China showed us a world of potential with contrary strategies, but the rest of the season has rarely turned out anything like it. When you consider all the different kinds of passing we’ve had because of the tyres – passing someone you’ve just come out of the pits behind because they haven’t stopped, cars falling into other’s clutches because they are harder on their tyres, the massive myth about drivers preserving tyres which has a LOT to do with set-up and less to do with drivers taking too much life out too early – in the end we still have little driver input into a move, almost as little as DRS, which in some races we’ve seen it been possible to defend from.

    We’ve seen more moves, mostly due to the tyres but really they’re barely any less artificial than DRS has been, the only real difference being that one is “the same” (which isn’t that true) for everyone and the other isn’t (and that’s before we get down to the dirty air argument). In a way we’ve been lucky to have a competent organisation in Pirelli managing the tyres and doing a far better job with their allocation than the FIA has done with the DRS placements, or we’d be having Turkeys every three races.

    I have enjoyed the new F1 greatly and it would be too much to ask it to be perfectly balanced every race (though I fear little will have been learned for next year). But just as less aero-sensitive cars would be preferable to needing DRS, tyres that genuinely lose performance according to heaviness of use (and proper trade-offs between use/saving) and not be a ticking time-bomb whose fuse length can be slightly tinkered with would also be preferable. That is, if purity is your main concern.

  11. As Martin Brundle said during the Japanese GP, DRS is great since it allows cars that are fundamentally faster to get by. Unless there’s a better solution that caters to this issue, DRS is the only way. I’m sure we have seen more cases of cars that are fundamentally faster using DRS to overtake than we’ve seen unfair passes. Even so, drivers will push harder on the rest of the track to avoid being vulnerable in the DRS zone.

    1. Unless there’s a better solution that caters to this issue, DRS is the only way.

      Yes: ban aerodynamics outright. But the teams will never agree to it because they know aerodynamics give them more grip, and therefore more speed.

    2. If cars are fundamentally faster, they should be able to get by anyway, shouldn’t they?

      DRS is a sticking plaster, that’s all, to cover up (with varying effectiveness) the fundamental problem that overbody aerodynamics are too prominent in F1. The teams had a chance to correct that properly by reintroducing ground effect, but chose not to, because the big teams are afraid of levelling the playing field – which shows the utter folly of having the sport’s rules set by its competitors. But there you go.

      1. Exactly, you’re right. The clean air for the car in front will give them an advantage over the car behind. DRS simply gives the car behind that advantage back on the straights. The problem with DRS is it removes the role of driver skill in the overtake. This is what I don’t like.

    3. As Martin Brundle said during the Japanese GP, DRS is great since it allows cars that are fundamentally faster to get by.


      I disagree vehemently with this. What’s wrong with having a fundamentally faster car stuck behind another car? It adds unpredictability to a race and helps to showcase defensive and offensive driving skills.

      This season, when a driver finds himself out of position relative to his car’s performance you just know that it’ll be a few laps, max, before he gets past.

      I’ve no doubt that Vettel would still be on for another title this year, but without DRS would he have walked away with it in the fashion that he has done? I suspect not, but unfortunately we will never know and the questions that have hung over his racecraft remain disappointingly unanswered thanks to this arbitrary gimmick.

      1. @graham228221

        I disagree vehemently with this. What’s wrong with having a fundamentally faster car stuck behind another car?

        Given that they’re more likely to be able to pass this year anyway because of the new tyres, I agree with you.

        I’ve no doubt that Vettel would still be on for another title this year, but without DRS would he have walked away with it in the fashion that he has done?

        Absolutely – he’s rarely been behind anyone in the first place anyway. And his best passes – on Rosberg at Spa, on Alonso at Monza – were accomplished without DRS.

        1. Absolutely – he’s rarely been behind anyone in the first place anyway. And his best passes – on Rosberg at Spa, on Alonso at Monza – were accomplished without DRS.

          Fair point, maybe I should have been paying more attention to Vettel after all :(

          1. Fair point, maybe I should have been paying more attention to Vettel after all

            Admitedly, this year, paying close attention to Vettel was a case of : “How far in front is he? Oh, that much? Oh all right then”.

          2. In my defence, I was actually at Monza for the Alonso/Vettel battle but on the opposite side of the circuit :)

        2. Definitely agree there. The best overtakes this year were done outside the DRS zones.

    4. I agree with most of you. I’m actually against DRS overall. But as a solution to a lack of overtaking it is working. It’s just that if we look at Abu Dhabi, I did not find Alonso struggling behind Petrov to be entertaining at all. The Renault was simply faster on the straights. I actually found it quite funny that the basic element of racing which is overtaking was lacking in the highest category of the sport.

  12. They could try with no DRS zone at some of the grand prix after Korea. After all, both championships will surely be decided a couple of GP before Brazil, and they tried 2 zones before.

    I think the DRS is good, and it gives another dimension to racing, specially the use of KERS for defending. But it needs tweaking, because at some of the Grand Prix the DRS-zone was very long, or it was determined at the wrong bit of the circuits.

    After the season finishes, the FIA will have all the parameters from each grand prix, so they’ll know what to expect next year. For example, I doubt FIA will make the same mistake and give the drivers free use of the DRS for the whole back straight at China, or use 2 DRS zones at Canada only separated by a chicane (which already was a good overtaking spot before the introduction of the DRS).

    F1 should keep going with this solution, improving it year after year.

    1. Actually, they could have done that here in Korea, with the big straight.

  13. Niki Lauda , me and now Ross Brawn feel the same way about DRS….I think it should be renamed the “Dumb Racing System”.

    1. +1
      something had to be done , and pirelli were brave enough to do it

      scrap DRS

    2. Niki Lauda , me and now Ross Brawn feel the same way about DRS….I think it should be renamed the “Dumb Racing System”.

      hahaha… or maybe better “Delightful Racing System” ;)

  14. No one wants to see a DRS overtake. All the best racing is done where there is no DRS. It takes away entertaining battles by automatically letting the faster car through. And it isn’t fair that it works better at some races than others.

  15. Though i thought DRS was a good idea cause it would aid overtake in tight tracks, that failed in Valencia, and i realised DRS was a bad idea and now the whole tyre issue, well I dont think i like degrading tyres that much anymore. Everyone was happy refuelling was banned cause back then no one would race on track and all the drama takes place in the pits. But then now it’s boiled down to everyone just taking care of their tyres and whoever stays out longest on one set, wins. Its not really important to pass someone immediately cause if you stay out long enough and manage your tyres, the guy ahead will eventually struggle and you will pass him. The skill has gone down from raw overtaking to management and driving style change. I was reading an article on on what happened to lewis in 2011 and it showed this video of lewis passing kimi at monza 07 at turn 1 by braking late and locking his tyres and then brushing off the understeer by simply turning his wheels while still locked and passing him. And I realized he cant do that anymore cause if he does, he will flat spot the tyres and his car will vibrate and his lap times will fall and he will have to limp back to the pits for tyre change and if he happens to clip the wing then he will be penalised for dangerous maneuver. Sad.

  16. @keithcollantine On the homepage, in today’s f1 fanatic roundup summary, I think you meant assess? :D

    1. I certainly did – thanks!

  17. I think this is just spin from Brawn. Of course you want to say DRS is bad because if you are the guy in front, you want every advantage to stay in front easily and not have to battle to keep your position.

  18. Joe Saward is one of my favourite F1 journalists but this time I don’t agree with him. In January, Joe himself republished an old article where he ironically looks at the way F1 people often deny the truth:

    I know that Joe doesn’t like the way Mallya does business and I’m sure he knows much more about that than I do but his reaction seems inadequate anyway.

    1. It’s not just Joe. Many in the paddock, and in the business world beyond, do not like the way Mallya does business.

      And some of us just don’t like a team owner that settles for a mediocre team.

      1. @huron

        2008: 10th
        2009: 9th
        2010: 7th
        2011: 6th (so far)

        That doesn’t look like “settling” to me.

        1. I disagree. This time last year, they had finished in the points 14 times, compared to only 11 this year.

          In 2009, there were only ten teams. And they have been aided greatly in 2011 by an absurdly weak Williams. 2010 was their best year, but I’d argue that can be attributed to a weak showing by Sauber in the first half of the season and a weakening Williams.

          They have settled into the role of permanent midfield team, much like Sauber and Toro Rosso. Basically, any advancement of Force India can be attributed to other teams falling back, rather than Force India moving forward.

          1. That’s harsh. Force India are now a strong midfield team. That’s quite a difficult task. When you see where they come from, it’s an achievement. They don’t have pay drivers, they have a solid car, strong relations with main motor (Merc) and parts builders, and have recruited known figures from the paddock. If a force India finishes 6th or 7th (in front of, say, a Renault or a Williams), it’s no more a surprise. I wouldn’t call the past 3 years going back, but rather steadingly going forward.

          2. they are clearly moving forward over last few years. As spyker they were pretty much last. Its a tough sport, and to challenge & beat world champions such as williams and renault is very impressive by anyones standards.

          3. Would you say that Red Bull is faster because Mclaren and Ferrari are going backward?

            Everything in F1 is relative.

  19. I’m not sure about DRS. Lots of times the driver with DRS activated just blazes past, which is boring and something I can see all day if I just go and stand next to a local highway. But sometimes there is some skill involved in making sure you are right behind the guy in front when you activate it because otherwise it still has no effect. Set up is also a big part of it ofcourse. Like in Spain where Vettel was so much faster trough the final corners his pursuers could not overtake him because they were to far behind at the start of the straight.

    If only they had just introduced the new tires this year and see what they do. If that didn’t have the desired effect they could’ve added DRS for next year.

  20. I do agree with Brawn on DRS. I find it difficult to comprehend how people have become so aggressive despite it being announced as only an experiment for this season.

    They would do well to address fans also, considering it’s the fans they’re trying to please. There are a couple of good suggestions above from @magnificent-geoffrey and @xxiinophobia

  21. What Neale says is absolutely correct.

    And I think those rumours of discontent, or even a “fight” or falling out between Ferrari/McLaren on one side and Red Bull with Mercedes on the opposite withing FOTA are largely brought up by people who want to break FOTA’s unity in the ongoing “discussions” about a follow up to the Concorde Agreement.
    Especially as last time there was something it was Brawn saying how he did think it was needed to look into how the RRA works and that it should be stricter descirbed for more trust, but denying they were even thinking of accusing RBR of anything.

  22. all they have to do is limit the amount the wing can open, depending on the Grand Prix, for instance valencia it didnt work where as turkey it needed to be much less.

    DRS as far as i was aware was designed to allow the driver behind to be in a position to attack on the brakes(so right on the guy’s tail), Not just breeze past long before the braking zone.

  23. Now the novelty of 500 overtakes a race has worn off, what is actually that good about this season’s racing?

    There are nowhere near as many retirements, on-track wheel-bangs (apart from Massa and Hamilton obviously) or memorable overtakes as previous years. Yes each race has had lots happening and lots to talk about, but the vast majority of it has been far from noteworthy.

    I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the combination of the DRS, the fragile tyres and a car/driver combination that has been light years ahead has made for an wholly unsatisfying season. Admirably, Lewis seems to have taking it upon himself to introduce some element of risktaking back into the sport, but on the whole races have been reduced to 20-odd drivers tiptoeing around trying not to rip apart their tyres.

    “oh whoops, I’ve found myself stuck behind a slow car and I’m in a Red Bull/Mclaren/Ferrari. Ah well, at least there are the Designated Formula 1 Overtaking Areas™ where I can breeze past. And If I find myself not talented and/or brave enough to get within one second of the car in front, there’s always 3-5 pit stops where I’ll be able to pull an exciting Formula 1 Undercut™ on that lowly Sauber/Toro Rosso/Mercedes.”

    What’s been the battle of the season so far? I’d say Schumacher vs Hamilton at Monza and Hamilton vs Massa over the course of the season. And I think this shows that if we’re going to keep DRS for 2012, then please please please can we get rid of the farcical “one move” rules around defending moves and the automatic penalties for any sort of contact. If we give the attacking car an advantage, at least allow the defending driver more freedom to actually defend himself.

    Keep KERS for 2012, ditch DRS, bring back ground-effects now. Bring back the rewards for risk taking. Sorted.

  24. I agree with Fernandes on that one. As much as I like Karun Chandhok for his personality, as much as I like him for his knowledge and enthusiasm about formula one, there’s just no points putting him in the car just because he’s Indian. Kovalainen and Trulli are both doing a good job and I can’t imagine him being better, especially since he hasn’t driven the car all that much.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Enigma.

  25. As I said on Twitter, the only good thing for me about Damon Hill winning the championship was how happy it made Murray Walker.

    I think Brawn has a point about DRS. The biggest thing that’s led to wheel to wheel racing has by far and away been the tyres. The way DRS is used hasn’t been the best either.

    1. why you say that about damon? front row of grid in every race. you cant argue with that sort of performance.

      has seb been on the front row every race? The current red bull is more dominant than the 96 williams was.

      Damon turned himself and team round amazingly after the hangover from 94. the 95 williams was a good car but their pit crew was years behind benetton. usually about 3 seconds a stop slower. Damon couldnt compete with that. no driver would of. and their strategy was terrible. Monaco rings a bell.

      Damon gets a hard time, dont know why. Cant see the difference between his achievements and that of Mika. Mika only won with a mega car. damon won in a jordan and nearly an arrows. it took mika 5yrs to win a race for mclaren.

  26. Just to comment on something I’ve seen posted here & elsewhere & thats the argument that DRS came in because of Petrov-Alonso at Abu Dhabi in 2010.

    The situation between Alonso been unable to pass Petrov at Abu Dhabi actually had nothing to do with turbulant air, It was simply a case of the Renault engine having more driveability out of the slow corners, Having a better F-Duct & having a setup whihc gave them more straght line speed on top of the fact they were running a better pit strategy.

    So in that situation for basically doing a better job on strategy, setup & having an engine better suited to exiting slow corners, Why should Renault/petrov have been penalised by allowing Alonso DRS to make the pass?

    Something I would also point out is that I think DRS has lost a fair bit of support from fans now based on comments on message boards, blogs & internet poll numbers.
    Pre-Season I would say the majority wanted to see how it worked before casting judgement, After the inital races it was about 50/50 but since then its popularity has slid & I’d say its now perhaps 80/20 against.

    If FOTA put forward a sensibly worded survey to fans regarding DRS & then either kept or dropped DRS based on the results I’d pretty much guarentee DRS wouldn’t be around next year.

    1. DRS was thought up long before Nov 2010.

      It had nothing to do with ferrari vs renault

  27. Not a fan of DRS whatsoever…I do not consider the passes made using DRS as anything special…it is only because of F1’s resistance to limit the cars’ aero dependancy by restricting the amount of wing they can use that they brought in DRS, but as some have suggested, perhaps the soft Pirelli’s have done enough to bring mechanical grip into play to overcome the aero dependancy. Not convinced of that though.

    Bring back the big fat slicks they had in the 70’s and you kill two birds with one stone…those fatties created so much drag down the straightaways that if you wanted to carry any kind of respectable speed you had to run less wing…therefore big fat slicks provide more mechanical grip while forcing the use of less wing which in turn means cars are less changed by being in dirty air as they approach a car from behind, and therefore can actually pull off a skillful pass by the seat of the pants with mechanical grip available, and less disturbance to the passing car.

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