Drivers call DRS “a big step forward”

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Yas Marina, 2011

Petrov: DRS fan

F1 drivers praised the Drag Reduction System, which is expected to increase overtaking at the Yas Marina circuit.

Last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix became a cause celebre for the problem of overtaking in Formula 1 as Fernando Alonso lost the world championship after spending most of the race stuck behind Vitaly Petrov.

Speaking in today’s press conference Petrov admitted it would be much harder to keep Alonso behind in similar circumstances this year with DRS and the 2011-specification tyres.

The Renault driver endorsed the introduction of the moveable rear wings this year, saying: “I think that it?s definitely a big step forward.

“I think we will keep this for many years, five or ten years. I think it?s a good chance for us to overtake and good for you to write something about overtaking, so I think it?s a good step.”

Sebastien Buemi agreed, saying: “I think it?s definitely a positive.

“We?ve seen a lot more overtaking; we?ve even seen some overtaking in Monaco. It?s definitely good.

“Sometimes it feels like the DRS zone is not long enough but I definitely think it?s going to help a lot this weekend.”

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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97 comments on Drivers call DRS “a big step forward”

  1. GT_Racer said on 11th November 2011, 0:08

    I spent several years working for FOM (From 97-06) & still have friends working there (Look out for an announcement from Sky this weekend regarding there coverage for 2012) & I have been told that there is far more negativity towards DRS within F1 than whats actually coming out.

    I was told back in March that people within F1 were asked not to critisise DRS or the Pirelli tyres in public & to discuss any critisisms in private in the drivers briefings. This is why Mark Webber hinted at disliking DRS after Shanghai but stopped short of actually saying it, Instead saying “I shoudn’t say anymore”.

    Something I have been frustrated with this year is how the F1 media have handled it. There is clearly an Anti-DRS argument which has sadly not been heard outside of places such as this. If you look at the FOTA fan forums there was never any Anti-DRS questions selected & never any real debate about it, It was all ‘DRS is great’ despite the fact that when fans were asked to raise there hands, Most went up for the ‘Don’t like DRS’ view.

    The bigger problem with DRS is that they risk becoming too reliant on DRS to provide overtaking & that will just see them unwilling to look at alternatives.

  2. Ian Wilkins said on 11th November 2011, 0:41

    The biggest flaw in using KERS and especially DRS is the arbitrary way it is used – only after two laps, only within a second of the car in front and only where we tell you to use it. How on earth is that real motorsport? This is interfering with races and makes a mockery of the sport.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th November 2011, 5:20

      Then how would you suggest introducing it in a way that is fair, but without compromising the point of it?

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th November 2011, 18:32

        I would eliminate it because I agree that it makes a mockery of the sport…keep them on grippy tires, and limit the amount of wing they can use such that dirty air has a far less negative factor on the performance of the trailing car.

        I’ll once again paraphrase JV’s opinion which actually he spoke on when he was calling the newly introduced grooved tires a joke and got hauled up on the carpet for it. He said, give us back the big fat slicks of the 70’s. They have a load of mechanical grip and they created so much drag that in order to keep up any kind of repectable speeds on the straightaways you had to run less wing. Thus killing two birds with one stone…mechanical grip and less aero dependancy for seat of the pants passing by the driver, not by the circumstance of a gadget.

  3. Dave_F1 said on 11th November 2011, 0:45

    these drivers only like drs so much because they are not very good at passing & drs offers there only chance to pass.

    they also obviously dont care about racing, they just want an easy guaranteed pass which is why buemi thinks the zones have not been long enough.

    i dont want to see drs passing, i want to see real racing with real passing and drs does not & never will provide this.

    if they keep drs then i can see many fans turning away, i may be one of them as i simply cannot stand this abomination!

  4. StefMeister said on 11th November 2011, 0:55

    I don’t actually have a problem with the actual DRS system, My problem stems from the regulations surrounding its use during a Gp.

    If they do insist on keeping DRS they should run it like the Push-2-Pass sysetm used successfully elsewhere.

    Give everyone something like 20 uses during a race & let them use it anywhere they want & let them use it to either attack or defend. This at least brings in some real racing strategy & gives the car infront some opportunity to defend against a DRS car behind.

    Alternatively they could just drop DRS & run KERS in that way.

    The problem with DRS is that its the easiest solution to simply create passing, However for actual racing the way its been implemented its the worst solution they could have gone with.

    DRS has generated more passing, However I would argue that the actual quality of the racing has decreased as a result & I would rather see better racing than simply more passing, Especially if many of those passes are not that great to watch.

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th November 2011, 2:54

    No comments,I don’t like it but the drivers do so tough to judge.

  6. Guelph (@guelph) said on 11th November 2011, 3:22

    I like the DRS, it does exactly what it was designed to do.

    It helps a faster car get past a slower car. Instead of needing to be 1.5 seconds faster to get by, a car only needs to be 0.5 seconds faster to make the pass.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th November 2011, 3:30

    Petrov is a fan of DRS? if Alonso had DRS last year, you cannot say such way! :D

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th November 2011, 5:21

      Alonso had an F-duct – which operated on the same principle, and was unrestricted in its use.

      • Enigma (@enigma) said on 11th November 2011, 5:58

        @prisoner-monkeys So did Petrov.

        And from how I understand it, DRS is about reducing drag on the straights whereas F-Duct was more about adding downforce in the corners.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th November 2011, 6:07

          The DRS and the F-duct work on the same principle: they change the airflow over the rear wing to negate drag on the straights. They just do it in slightly different ways, but the effect of both is identical.

          And Renault were one of the last teams to introduce an F-duct. They only had a passive system, where changes in the air pressure altered the flow of air over the rear wing, so the car had to be travelling at a certain speed before the passage of the air changed. Ferrari’s system was much more developed; it worked sooner than Renault’s.

        • Wooolfy said on 11th November 2011, 6:10

          The F-Duct is very similar to the DRS as they both reduce drag and down force on the rear wing.

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 13th November 2011, 7:20

        Yeah, but if it was DRS not F-duct and the rule was same, Petrov definitely could’t defend his position right?

    • Matty said on 11th November 2011, 8:34

      Alonso being unable to pass Petrov last year is a clear example of what I’m talking about. But that gets spun as a pit stratagy blunder by Ferrari. That is not racing.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th November 2011, 7:26

    Always good to hear some driver opinions on this controversial DRS. I think some sort of end of season review on F1 Fanatic would be brilliant. Some real discussions, not some disgruntled one-posters who aren’t interested in a debate.

  9. Alain (@paganbasque) said on 11th November 2011, 8:01

    The DRS system is the easy solution to lack of chances to overtake, but we all know that the true solution is to reduce the aerodynamic downforce and turbulences. This will really bring us back the true F1 again but unfortunately it seems that they will never do this.

    Moreover, the drivers never critize anything related to the rules, or anything related to Bernie, he is the boss and they know it, I think that they are a little bit cowards in this aspect. :(

  10. antonyob (@) said on 11th November 2011, 12:29

    DRS is not a gimmick, and as MG said it negates the aero loss. Its more effective on some tracks than others and its really just re-allowing slipstreaming which your much hailed Fangio, Stewart and to a lesser extent Senna won many races with. Senna also had a turbo boost button..but its ok if everyone has it- thats nonsense. Cars used to have many different tricks to winning. The Williams fw (something) that Mansell won the WDC had more electronics than a branch of Dixons and certainly more than anyone else. As did, in all probablilty, Scumachers Benetton.

    Plus this mythical time when Fangio raced – if you really knew your stuff you’d know that drivers used to get out of the way of a faster driver, so an overtake wasnt that bigger deal. The real gimmick is thinking only lots of overtakes can make a decent race. Not so!

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 11th November 2011, 13:00

      Lots of passes or lots of overtakes ?

      There is a significant difference in my view between a car simply passing another, and a driver overtaking the car in front…

      It simply is NOT racing for a driver to be overtaken because the regulations force them to be overtaken (by the blue flag rule or the following car’s DRS).

  11. Horacio said on 11th November 2011, 15:50

    DRS? Nah, I despise it. A resource that only one out of two drivers can use is, by principle, rubbish, IMHO.
    And until when are we all going to will say that Alonso lost a world title, when in fact he was unable to pass a slower car?

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