Jenson Button, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

What did F1 fans like least about 2011? DRS

2011 F1 season reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Button using his DRS wing

The controversial Drag Reduction System was a running theme in F1 Fanatics’ worst moments of 2011.

DRS was blamed for making overtaking too easy, eroding the importance of defensive driving and diluting the spectacle of Grand Prix racing.

Here’s what F1 Fanatics had to say about it and the other worst moments of 2011.

DRS – Drag Reduction System

In 2011 we never seemed to get through a week without having at least one argument about DRS.

The system was not without its defenders, but when F1 Fanatics were asked to name the worst moments of the season it was striking how many times those three letters came up.

Here’s what you had to say about DRS:

Yes, OK, it’s not a secret that F1 has lacked overtaking in recent years but that doesn?t mean you have to take away the skill that requires you to defend a position.

I for one felt quite annoyed when drivers lost positions very easily to DRS when for 90% of the lap they were more than capable of defending against the driver attempting to overtake. It kind of makes the racing feel artificial.

I hope the DRS is gone. It?s had its chance and it failed miserably.

Not really a fan of it, lost its purity a bit.
James Brickles

The times that battles which had the potential to be great, were spoiled by DRS.

I can see the point, but the implementation feels far too false for my liking

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Montreal, 2011
DRS left Schumacher defenceless in Canada

Several races were identified as being conspicuous failures for DRS:

‘Honourable’ mentions to the zones in Turkey, Canada, Spa and Abu Dhabi. [Also] Schumacher losing a podium finish due to the DRS.

Turkish Grand Prix ?ǣ as mentioned above, so much overtaking, so little excitement. “Catching is one thing in Formula 1, passing is another” ?ǣ the FIA need to bear in mind that this should be the case when they choose their DRS zones next season.

The Turkish Grand Prix [was] DRS at its confusing worst.

Watching Webber get a poor run out of the hairpin and still glide by Schumacher using DRS in Canada
David A

Michael Schumacher [missed] out on a deserved podium in Canada ?ǣ thanks again, DRS.


Paul di Resta, Martin Brundle, Silverstone, 2011
BBC will show Formula One-half in 2011

One of the busiest days on the site this year came when the BBC announced they would not be showing all of next year’s races live.

F1 Fanatic was inundated with thousands of comments at the time, and more when readers were asked to name what was worst about 2011:

The one thing that sticks out in my mind is the BBC?s announcement that they will only be showing “Formula Half” next season.

Whether or not they really had to make such a deal, the way they handled publicising it was pitiful. There was one article on BBC Sport explaining it, which attracted thousands of comments, many containing legitimate points or questions, which were all ignored.

Then nothing is said about it for months until the final race of the season, when their on-screen coverage boasts of ??every race on the BBC?? next year, and when pretty much the same article is wheeled out on their website once more. It makes me pretty cross.

The BBC/Sky F1 deal reduced me to tears that Friday morning of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
James Brickles

BBC bending over for Sky.
Alex White

But it wasn’t just British fans who had cause to complain about the standard of F1 broadcasting:

For me the fact that the broadcast of F1 in Greece is facing at a dead end. No channel want to pay for the rights and I suspect that it will be the first season after many years that we won?t have live broadcast of Formula 1.
Dimitris 1395

And remember the race everyone raved about yesterday? Due to the rain delay some fans didn’t get to see it:

TF1 (French TV) [didn’t] show the end of the Canadian Grand Prix.

No Kubica

Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011
Robert Kubica's sole F1 outing of 2011 before his crash

The absence of one of the best drivers of recent years – and doubts over whether he will ever be able to return – cast a pall over the season for many:

Robert Kubica’s rally accident got the year off to a terrible start and Renault made a mess of the rest of the year.

Kubica missing the season. After Robert worked wonders with the Renault back in 2010 I was really looking forward to seeing what he could?ve been able to do in 2011. Sadly that wasn?t to be

More of your least favourite moments of 2011

Here are a few more of the moments that infuriated F1 fans in 2011:

The whole Massa vs Hamilton feud. I just hated to see them fighting like kids without trying to reconcile themselves. Fortunately Lewis ended this in Brazil.

The Canadian Grand Prix was great once it got going but the laps wasted behind the safety car aggravated many:

The safety car staying out in Canada until it was almost dry enough for intermediates.

Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Monaco, 2011
A three-way battle for the lead in Monaco was spoiled

The Monaco Grand Prix was building to a thrilling climax when a crash brought out the red flags:

The red flag at Monaco. Of course, it was the right decision, and I think drivers should be able to change tyres before the restart, but the last laps were totally anti-climactic.

I suspect Fer no.65 will have to put up with this one again in 2012:

All the uncertainty regarding the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was horrible news on its own right, and it was even worse when they announced the Grand Prix would be held during the year anyway.
Fer no.65

Team orders may be legal now but Phil9079 wasn’t the only person disappointed to see them make an appearance:

Team orders at Red Bull. I really, really am grateful that Sebastian Vettel has the drivers’ championship again but I just wanted to see some fights between the Red Bull drivers just like Hamilton and Button, what they can, every team can! We all know now that Vettel actually can overtake, he just needs to find that right moment of doing it and don?t get impatient.

And it wouldn’t be an F1 season without at least one FIA rules cock-up:

The FIA fiasco with the exhaust blown diffusers at Silverstone.

Just “discovering” midway through the year that the teams were using this technology and that it was deemed illegal was disingenuous and the utmost in stupidity knowing it backdated to the previous season. The interpretation of the rule is still suspect.

What were your least favourite moments of the 2011 season? Have your say in the comments.

2011 F1 season review

Browse all 2011 F1 season review articles

Images ?? McLaren, Force India/Sutton, Julien Leroy /, Red Bull/Getty images

149 comments on “What did F1 fans like least about 2011? DRS”

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  1. I still believe that DRS is useful and good. It is better to have the possibility to pass once you reach a slower car than basically not having any chance at all. This should be refined to make it not as easy, but it actually worked well in quite a few races.
    So it is a case of refining it, not getting rid of it again and seeing cars without real passing chances in certain circuits.

    1. How about mking the slot gap between the gurney flap and the mainplane smaller, for example now, with the DRS open, it’s 50mm, so next season, why not make it 40mm?

    2. How about this as an idea? Give every driver 45 seconds of DRS for the entire race? They can deploy it at any point after the first two laps in either an offensive or defensive manner. They would have to think tactically about how and when to use it. We would get some interesting interpretations and certainly some overtaking.

    3. Good if you want only the top three cars to occupy all of the podiums! I felt DRS destroyed defensive driving and marginalised good strategies. If you have to have the DRS I do like the idea of ” Give every driver 45 seconds of DRS for the entire race”

      1. In 2012 the DRS-system will be better than in 2011. The effect of the drag-reduction system can be reduced in various ways, but the easiest way is to enable it at a further point down the straight.

  2. DRS Helped a lot of drivers overtake, for example Button without out DRS would not have been able to overtake at Canada or Spa.
    Moves made by Alonso on Button and Webber on Alonso were real skill.

    1. I agree, had it not been for DRS in Canada then Button would never have got anywhere near the front.

    2. Button couldn’t overtake at Canada without DRS? You’re mad, or you were one of the people who missed out on the end of the race.

      Alonso on Button at…. Brazil? Button was on the wrong side of the track and dawdling. Webber on Alonso at… ? Spa? In a car with less downforce, or against a less skilful opponent he wouldn’t have even considered it.

      1. He would have been overtake without it just would not have made it right through the field.

      2. I watched the whole race and a number of factors were in Buttons favour.
        1. Alonso had the pace to win the race but Button took him out. Hamilton was also taken out.

        2. A lot of cars dropped out of the field helping Button in the process.

        3. Most of the cars he overtook were all on used rubber
        He over took those cars using DRS, and having a safety car helped him.

        4. Schumacher and Webber battling helped Button gain sector time.

        5. Vettel was on older tyres than Button so he had less grip causing him to slide and gift the victory Button.

        1. 1. Alonso turned in on Button, and took himself out. Button was much faster which is why he was overtaking in the first place.

          2. Most of the retirements happened before the last safety car.

          3. he overtook every single car with drs? No other driver Changed tyres under the safety car? That’s stretching credibility.

          4. the two cars in front made his car faster? You’re bending the laws of physics now. button was gaining time on vettel, and he wasn’t battling with anyone.

          5. Not what vettel said, i seem to remember he said he made a small mistake…

          1. What im trying to say is that had it not been for DRS Buttons progress would probably been slower, and he would therefore have been unable to catch Vettel at the end of the race, creating the best moment of the season.

    3. And that’s the reason I don’t see that drive of his as good as many others think, I was much more impressed by Schumi climbing up to 2nd without any DRS except on Heidfeld, and then losing a podium place because of DRS

      1. Unless the three of you have access to FOM footage, I doubt you can say with any degree of credibility that all button’s passes were down to drs and none of Schumacher’s were. if you expect me to believe that Schumacher in a slower car was overtaking in places where button wasn’t, given some of the incredible on-camera moves we saw him pull off in that race alone, then bluntly I don’t believe you.

        1. The DRS had been inactive because of the rain

          1. Reading the summation of MS’s race in Montreal reminds me why I wondered why everyone thought it was so special…aside from the crapshoot that came from incredibly variable conditions including rain, pace cars, and red flags, MS benefitted from many drivers making mistakes in front of him, so I think it is quite folly to suggest MS earned a podium that day and/or was screwed by DRS in the end…he shouldn’t have even been up there to begin with other than for the abnormal conditions of how he got there. He also used DRS himself, so to say he fell victim to it is to ignore that so did NH and many other drivers besides him.

  3. What do I like least about DRS? The way fans complain for years about the lack of overtaking, and when they finally get something designed to aid overtaking, they complain about it. It’s like the fans have gone to a bakery and ordered a cake. They get a carrot cake, but they wanted a chocolate cake, and criticise the bakery for it. They never speciically said that they wanted a chocolate cake; they just expected the bakery to instinctively know what they wanted. It’s the same thing here – despite opportunities like the FOTA fan forums, I cannot recall a single instance of anyone offering suggestions as to how to fix the problem posed by a lack of overtaking. Given the way GP2 made for an exciting race in Abu Dhabi, part of me wonders if a semi-spec series isn’t the way to go, with the major aerodynamic devices being strictly controlled.

    The other low point of the season for me was Bahrain. Particuarly the hypocritical attitude of fans. It’s been almost a year now, and I am still yet to hear a reasonable explanation as to why it is not okay to race in Bahrain because of their human rights violations, but it is okay to race in China despite their human rights violations. I still suspect many fans leapt on the protests as an excuse to leave Bahrain entirely, simply because the circuit is unpopular. The only reason why a race should be cancelled is because it is unsafe for the teams, drivers, media and spectators to be present. Not because of some foolish socially-conscious moral statement. Formula 1 has no business meddling in local politics.

    1. I agree. Despite all the moaning all year, I have yet to see a single Fanatic suggest anything that might replace it.

      DRS made passes too easy in some places and made no difference in others.

      Yes Schumacher lost out on a podium at Canada. But you know what? I prefer that, to having Button stuck behind the much slower Mercedes for endless laps behind an invisible wall of disturbed air, unable to make a pass stick. Better to miss that than the sight of the impervious Vettel cracking on the final lap.

      1. DRS made passes too easy in some places and made no difference in others.

        I think that’s mostly down to the placement of the DRS being something of a black art – in other words, guesswork. Istanbul stands out in my mind as the prime example of this: the activation point was placed at a similar distance from the next braking point as it had been in Melbourne, Malaysia and Shanghai, and as the fourth race of the season, we didn’t understand too much about the effects of the DRS. This manifested in the way there was one key difference between Turkey and the other three races – the back straight in Istanbul is on a hill, and quite a steep one at that. The behaviour of a racing car changes with inclines; I’m pretty sure that going up a hill makes a car lighter. Cancelling out all the drag flowing over the rear wing doubles the effect. So we were seeing cars go from being a second behind the driver in front to blasting past at half the speed of light in the space of about two hundred metres. The individual characteristics of circuits made the placement of the ideal zone difficult to judge. It wasn’t just a case of saying “This is the longest straight, so the DRS zone goes here”; it was a case of judging the ideal point for the placement of the zone on that circuit. Hopefully it will be something the FIA works on for next season, now that they know how DRS behaves. To their credit, the placements of the DRS got better and better. I thought they had the activation points perfectly positioned in Belgium and Brazil, and to a lesser extent, India (at the same time, Korea and Suzuka were low points).

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          Additionally regarding Istanbul is the kink in the straight. A driver (I think Webber) made a comment that the effect a slight corner has when following a car on a straight like that greatly increases the drag reduction and you gain a lot more.

      2. I have changed my mind on the issue and no longer agree with DRS.

        The reason? It makes it absolutely impossible for a proper surprise result. And I don’t mean Button at Canada. I mean real surprise. With DRS we will never see a Damon Hill at Hungary, or a Fisi at Spa.

        Ok, both of those are bad examples but my point is obvious. Yes DRS has some features that improve racing. But those features fall a long way short of making F1 better.

        In my opinion, F1 would be wise to scrap it as a failed, yet not completely invalidated idea.

      3. @hairs – I remember Button getting a great run out of the hairpin, and believe he would have passed Schumacher regardless- he passed Webber who was also using DRS at the time, and after all, he caught Vettel.

        The problem I and probably others had was Schumacher missing out on 3rd, not on 2nd. The DRS effect when Mark Webber passed him bordered on ridiculous and took away the potential for a surprise on the podium, like those @mike mentioned.

    2. Same goes with the diffusers, viewers were whining because Vettel was winning and was seemingly on course to win the title, so the sporting aspect of F1 had to suffer by hindering Red Bull’s performance in order to bunch them up. I dislike what F1 has come to be, because for the viewers, it now bears resemblance to a TV show, as it must have a plot, spicy characters, good vs. evil and an unpredictable denouement, otherwise it’s “boring” and the races are “rated” poorly.

      1. @glue – So you’d prefer a repeat of the 1999 Spanish Grand Prix, where there was just one recorded on-track overtake, then?

        1. Yes, I would, actually, because I have not been watching F1 just to count overtakes and give the race Nielsen ratings

          1. Well, more fool you, because I remember the 1999 Spanish Grand Prix as being one of the most boring in Formula 1 history. I don’t mind a race without overtaking if there is close racing. Spain ’99 had none of that. It was just a procession. Even the drivers hated it.

          2. That doesn’t make it less of an integral part of Formula 1. It didn’t have me jumping around, granted, but it didn’t have me raving about how ‘boring’ it was.

            I watched the cars being driven, I still appreciated the level of commitment and skill of most of the drivers, I tried to figure out how they would know when to brake if the weather would change, I was following the speed trap to see how fast they would go, kept it in mind and tried it on whichever F1 game I was playing then, I was hoping for more flattering camera angles, (which are still needed today actually), I was trying to figure whether anyone could try a different strategy.
            And finally, I was happy Schumacher had kept his championship lead, and laughed at Irvine’s request to have a stereo put in his car

          3. Well, I’m sorry we can’t all be as purist as you are.

            Let me guess, this year’s European Grand Prix (the lowest-rated of the season) was an excellent race because it happened?

          4. I don’t get why you are still arguing, and in a petulant and puerile manner at that.

            At the risk of repeating myself, these ‘ratings’ ring nothing with me, because I don’t watch F1 to count and measure the number of ‘exciting’ moments so that I could scale them and make a spectacle-related verdict. The European Grand Prix was a Grand Prix of the 2011 season, which had as much a contribution to the championship tables as the Italian Grand Prix.

          5. *That was still me, I forgot to log onto this different computer

          6. PM, honestly, as boring as the 99 Spanish GP was, if fails to feel as lifeless as the passes we get now at tracks like Turkey.

          7. I don’t get why you are still arguing, and in a petulant and puerile manner at that.

            So first of all, the European Grand Prix was an excellent race simply because it happened. Now my arguments hold no water simply because I’m disagreeing with you. How about you check your ego at the door before posting? We all watch Formula 1 for our own reasons, and none of those reasons are any better than the others, so please, stop implying that your reasons for watching are better simply because you’re a purist. It would also probably help to actually know what you’re talking about – despite your accusations that Formula 1 is making cheap grabs for Nielsen ratings, the Niesen ratings are only applied to American netowrk television. They’re not used in England or Australia or anywhere else.

          8. You are the one provoking an argument based on words you’ve put in my mouth/keyboard. You mentioned and insisted upon Spain 99 and Valencia last year, I never attributed any level of quality to either race (neither ‘boring’ nor ‘excellent’), I stated what are the reasons why I didn’t think of them any less than any other Grand Prix. I never sustained I was a purist either, nor the superiority of whichever view I have on F1.

            And the Nielsen thing was ironic, but your ostentatious pedantry must have deterred you from seeing that.

          9. @glue I agree with you, I’ve never moaned about the lack of overtaking, I’d rather have little or no overtaking rather than DRS. Yes we had the odd dull race in the past but so what, it made the fights and overtakes more valuable when they did happen IMO. I’d rather have 20 laps of someone trying to get past even if they fail than the 1s of a breeze past overtake.

    3. Agreed on both counts PM. The most disappointing thing of the season for me (I think it was announced this season?) was that we’re not getting ground effects in the next technical overhaul, which is realistically the only thing that can replace DRS.

      1. @george I’m a fan of DRS for what it’s trying to achieve, but ground effect sounds like a far more effective solution.

        1. The teams felt it was too effective.

    4. I am still yet to hear a reasonable explanation as to why it is not okay to race in Bahrain because of their human rights violations, but it is okay to race in China despite their human rights violations.

      How bout an UNreasonable one? lol Bernie and oil money. But I’m pretty sure we all figured that one out long ago. ;) Sorry, PM couldn’t resist :)

    5. I think a better analogy would be F1 fans going to an internationally famous bakery, ordering a cake, and being given a plastic toy cake in return. It’s still a cake of sorts, and as the fans didn’t specify exactly what they wanted, you could say that it was their fault, but they had assumed that a bakery, with the best tools and expertise in the world available to them, would know how to produce a delicious, real cake. The fans are obviously disappointed, as they can get virtually no enjoyment out of their “cake”, but some people still tell them it was their fault, and that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

      1. Lolll excellent.

      2. Ah, you went for a similar counter-argument to me. My cake wasn’t as nice as yours though.

    6. Agree with you @PrisonerMonkeys 100% on your first post.You can’t expect to get everything you want in Life and relating this to the Racing we’ve seen this year,Yes DRS has partly ruined the requirement of a Driver’s ability to overtake an opposition but who knows what would’ve happened in some races had it not been for the Device.

      I find it really irritating that Fanatics here hope everything single gimmick that is brought forward in F1 is to be perfect to the exact detail,There are bound to be Pros and Cons.What also baffles me completely is that it doesn’t look like there’s a single positive mentioned about DRS(not that i fully support the system) from anyone here.We wanted that SOMETHING that would make overtaking easier and we’ve got it.

      Personally,DRS just ruins the use of a Driver’s natural talent to overtake,limiting the understandable excitement for us Fanatics that is all although it has made a almost impossible,Possible!!!(take Button in Canada for example).Furthermore,DRS has demonstrated in some situations like Australia & Spain with Button & Hamilton respectively that although its closed the gap to their opposition(Massa & Vettel respectively),it also requires the Driver stuck to show more Bravery by going down the outside or braking much later & making the pass stick.That’s how DRS should be like.

      Another thing,I think we should just stick with KERS like in 2009,although it has the same aim as DRS but it’s how you used KERS throughout the entire lap to your own advantage which requires Intelligence & Skill.

      Keith,I wonder if its possible if you can do a article about the percentage or amount of Passes done this season with DRS or No DRS.

      P.S. If this doesnt get COTD then i dont know what would! hehe

    7. I recall many, many people being against DRS from the start and saying they wanted overtaking, but not DRS-style overtaking. So your analogy is flawed to say the least.

      1. @icthyes – They said they wanted overtaking. They didn’t offer up any ideas on how that could be achieved. “DRS overtaking” is still overtaking.

    8. I’m sorry @prisoner-monkeys but that was just nonsense. What you’re saying is that is doesn’t matter how something is achieved, as long as it is achieved. But when we’re talking about a sport where skill has a very high value, we can’t just accept a snoopy band-aid where a medical surgery is required. I’ve been visiting this site since 2008 and I can’t count how many times fans have expressed their true desire: regulations that make cars less sensitive to dirty air. The teams and the FIA tried it in 2009 and the result was an utter failure, and then they went for the convinient and cheap DRS, without even touching on the actual source of the problem. Is that right? Of course it’s not.

      We’re not complaining just for the sake of it, we’re complaining because the DRS is flawed, it’s implementation is unfair, it diminished defensive driving to almost zero and took away the excitement of most battles. The fact that the most lengthy or thilling battles this season happened out of DRS zones, or went the zone was too small, or when the attacking driver had too short gear ratios to make any ground with the DRS rings thousands of bells to me.

      I wanted drivers to be able to overtake fairly. Not a rushed-up gimmick that is more of a field equalizer (just look at Rosberg and Schumacher to see what I mean) than a overtake-aiding device.

      1. typo: “when the zone was too small”

        1. @Guilherme
          Totally agree. The over-reliance on aero over mechanical grip and flawed circuit designs have been cited innumerable times on these message boards as the primary culprits of the overtaking issues. So I agree, it is certainly not the case of people engaging in “slash and burn” criticism without offering constructive ideas/solutions to the problem.

      2. If you really wanted fairness you would want all driver’s to have RB7’s because some people might say ” you know what, it does’nt seem fair that that kid Vettel has the fast car, and others have crap. Would it be fair that some people see that as ‘not fair’ ?

    9. Q:What do I like the least about DRS?

      A:Its existence…

    10. @prisonermonkeys

      I think a better analogy would be…
      It’s like the fans have gone to a bakery and ordered a cake. They get a cake filled with excrement, but they wanted a chocolate cake, and criticise the bakery for it. They never speciically said that they wanted a chocolate cake; they just expected the bakery to instinctively know that they didn’t want filled with human (or otherwise) waste. It’s the same thing here.

      1. That’s unnecessary, @matt90

        1. I don’t think so. It’s a joke, but also makes my point. Yes it’s a cake, but not one that particularly… appeals.

          Okay, if you wanted one less vulgar:
          It’s like the fans have gone to a bakery and ordered a cake. They get a cake filled with nuts, but they wanted a chocolate cake, and criticise the bakery for it. They never speciically said that they wanted a chocolate cake; they just expected the bakery to instinctively know that they didn’t want filled with nuts. It’s the same thing here. Except in this case, the majority of the population (or at least a significant proportion) have a sever nut allergy, so the baker not checking and assuming otherwise was foolish.

    11. Sounds like selective amnesia to me, many of us have been saying for years that we should have less downforce ( wing-area) and more mechanical grip (tyre- contact area) in order to make passing and nose to tail driving through corners. I don’t recall anyone calling for a way to make passing on the straights easier.

      1. many of us have been saying for years that we should have less downforce ( wing-area) and more mechanical grip (tyre- contact area) in order to make passing and nose to tail driving through corners

        As I said earlier, the teams will not willingly give up on aerodynamic grip, because they know it can make them go faster.

        1. That’s why the regulations should be more restrictive, and possibly introduce ground effects, as I believe was planned. Of course the teams aren’t going to reduce downforce as a good-will gesture, nobody’s suggesting they should anyway.

    12. @prisoner-monkeys I’m replying to you a lot recently! I agree with both of your points. DRS for me is a step in the right direction. It needs tweaking, quite severely, but I’m positive it has a purpose to serve. I really do not understand a lot of the frustration either. If you don’t like it, fair enough, but be realistic. The fans asked for it. People calling for it to be ‘banned’ showed a severe lack of understanding. To ban something implies that there has been a circumvention of the rules or other foul play. The introduction came from the FIA and FOTA who are the rule makers.

    13. It’s like the fans have gone to a bakery and ordered a cake. They get a carrot cake, but they wanted a chocolate cake, and criticise the bakery for it. They never speciically said that they wanted a chocolate cake; they just expected the bakery to instinctively know what they wanted.

      I think I can offer a better analogy….

      It’s as if the fans went to a bakery and attempted to order a chocolate cake. However, the bakers never heard the order from the fans, partly because they were too busy bickering amongst themselves about how difficult it had become to make any good-tasting cake that in such an icing-intensive era, and partly because the owner of the bakery had such contempt for the fans that the establishment was built without a door or even a window through which the fans could place their order for a chocolate cake. Then, after finally noticing the disenchantment of the fans mulling around outside, the bakers produce the same plain white cake that they’ve made year after year, only this time it is frosted with Chocolate-scented candle wax. The fans complain that it tastes artificial, and the bakers respond by stating, “You asked for chocolate cake, this is the closest thing we could make to chocolate cake. Give it a try for a bit, and we’ll continuously change the ratio of cake to wax throughout the year in hopes of making it somewhat pallatable.” The fans grudgingly eat the cake, and eventually surrender to the reality that they’ll keep getting this cake, year after year, until they lose their appetite for cake altogether.

  4. DRS was a total mess. Initially it looked very promising cause there were a lot of passes and then it just got monotonous. Everyone just passing by while the slower car waves out and says hello to them.

    This is my opinion, and a lot of people will probably disagree, but I dont like the new pirelliis either. They don’t lay any rubber on the track, but instead, simply throws around pieces of rubber off the racing line making the rest of the track useless. No one could take a wide entry into a corner and take a fast exit cause the turn was littered with chunks of old tyre.

    1. The concept of having tyres which go off quickly was doomed to fail from the start, because it ranks among everything else it’s been thrown at F1 teams which they’ve been able to cope with. Less potent fuel, ban on turbos, grooved tyres, narrower cars, higher front wings, wider front wings and narrower rear wings, whichever it was, the teams have been able to learn and regain the lost performance. It’s the same with the Pirelli tyres, they have learned to make them last longer and, however soft and mushy they might make them to overcome this, the engineers will still find a way around it.

      That’s why I loved the direction the Bridgestones were heading, towards having soft tyres able to last a full race distance, and I was hoping they would banish the two types of tyres per race rule. Thus, the drivers would not need to pit, they could push their tyres as hard as they wanted, with only the fuel to burn off and the cars getting lighter and faster, and they would have to gain positions on the track with no pit stops to help them.

      It’s difficult to draw a line between which conservative aspects should and shouldn’t be required for driving in F1, but I believe tyres should not be one of them.

      1. The Bridgestones were conservative in every sense of the word. I’d much rather it resemble tyres of old where the wear was due to the manufacturers pushing the limits rather then just trying to make themselves look good.

  5. I’d like to see DRS being used within a second of the car infront, anywhere on track.

    Bare with me.

    I don’t buy the whole ‘we don’t have the technology for that’ argument. This is F1. Of course they do.

    Secondly, the idea of perhaps limiting it slightly. Don’t ‘open’ the DRS completely, maybe just allow it to open to 3/4s of what it opens to now. It seemed to be too much of an advantage this year, to the point where it didn’t simulate a slipstream. And that was the whole point, wasn’t it?!

    1. I like that idea!
      The longest straight should not have the DRS, or if so, only limited for a short distance. Too many cars were bouncing off the rev limiter, and this was the main case where DRS was useless.
      And everyone complains about how in some cases DRS makes passing too easy. But did you notice that the easy passes were actually by a much faster car (lap time wise)? Notice how Massa always found it difficult to pass with the DRS? These things are never mentioned.

      Maybe someone can come up with the opposite of DRS. How about a DIS (downforce increasing system)? Somehow if they could allow the car behind to increase wing angle when within one second of the car in front.

      1. They had the adjustable front wing for 2009 and 2010, which was useless in that respect and it was used for setup purposes

        1. Not just a small change, but something more.
          Not sure what they could do, but if there was a way that it could be done.

          1. I like this idea. I think an adjustable-frontwing zone is the fairest way to increase overtaking. If the second car is compensated for its loss of downforce, overtaking will be in a natural way. Unfortunately some time ago some people here refuted this idea rather convincingly.

  6. I’ve been watching F1 for 20 odd years, & I loved every moment of DRS. The drivers have to race now instead of just lap time battles every race, all season long. The worst moment for me was definatly the Lewis/Massa fewd, just did’nt make sense, added a storyline tho.

    1. The Lewis/Massa feud? Lol, what is this? WWE?

  7. I’d rather have DRS than have cars stuck behind each other with no chance of overtaking for 30+ laps every race.

    1. so instead of 30 laps of close racing, you’ve got the overtake done swiftly, and then 29 laps of the car pulling away

      1. Close racing? You call one car following another racing? I call that a train.
        How often would we see cars pass in the pits? At least this year there was more on track passing, all be it artificial.
        Only one way you are going to make the racing REAL. Give them all the same car, but oh wait, it wouldn’t be F1 then would it!?

        1. The only way of making racing REAL and not artificial is to have the drivers jump out of their cars and have a sprint around the track.

          How is having the fastest cars at the front and the slowest cars at the rear with no chance of passing, because DRS got them in that order in the first half of the race, not a train?

      2. But you don’ get 30 laps of close racing, they just sit in their position far enough away not to be in dirty air, and then if or when the guy in front makes a mistake, their not even close enough to get by anyway, so they wait until pitstop’s, look for empty track, try to get in a couple of fast laps and hope to pass that way. I like strategy racing, BUT, I like seeing both strategy racing & on track action .

  8. Just “discovering” midway through the year that the teams were using this technology

    I don’t think it was a case of the FIA only learning about off-throttle blown diffusers for the first time in the middle of the season. They would have been well aware of the practice. I think they were in the dark about just how extensive the use of OTBDs were, and the incremental ban certainly suggested as much – the first phase of the ban stopped the teams from using extreme engine maps, the kind of engine maps that they were only using in qualifying because prologned use would physically damage the engine.

    The problem with the OTBD ban wasn’t the FIA. It was the teams. The ban would have, and by rights should have, worked. But because the teams are unwilling to give up half a point of downforce without a fight, they started looking for loopholes in the regulations, and claimed that the ban would damage their engines because the engines were designed to be run with throttle maps. I very much doubt that the engines would have been damaged, and if they had been, then the damage almost certainly would not have been as extensive as the teams claimed it would be. The FIA’s mistake was in listening to this rubbish and handing out concessions to the ban.

    I for one thought the stand-off between Christian Horner and Martin Whitmarsh at Silverstone was downright embarrassing, because every time one of them said “We can’t understand why you were given these exemptions”, I heard “We can’t understand why you were given these exemptions and we were not”.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys

      The biggest problem, I think, is messing with the regulations midway through a season. That would be excusable if it was a safety problem, but the OTBD ban was only a performance matter. What’s the point of having a set of rules for all teams if the ruling body is going to change them at will after all cars have been design around the concepts they are trying to ban?

      The use of exhaust gasses had been in practice in the previous season, so when they annouced the ban mid-season it looked nothing more than an attempt to hold Red Bull and Vettel back, which did nothing to help the FIA’s credibility with the fans or the average viewer understanding of a sport that is complex enough as it is.

      I don’t think it was a mistake by the FIA to give away the concessions. It was their fault to impose a unjustifiable ban to begin with.

      1. I think far too many people automatically side with the teams simply because they are the teams and not the FIA. The OTBD was deemed to be a moveable aerodynamic part. It used the moving parts of the engine to generate more downforce. Therefore, it was illegal – and the teams knew it. If the teams designed their cars around an illegal part and were forced to change it, then that’s their fault. Both of us know that the teams would have happily kept quiet about it if they felt the FIA had no idea it was going on.

        1. Ruling that the engine valves are moveable aerodynamic devices is akin to the mass damper debacle of 2006. And anyway, I think that it doesn’t even matter what they ruled it to be. The teams sought clarification from Charlie Whitting before the season started and he said that the devices were legal, so how can the FIA state otherwise nine races later?

        2. Was it actually deemed to be a moveable aero device? Was that really their argument?

          1. Yes, it was. Even though many, many other things on a car would also be moveable aero devices by the definition in Article 3.15 (which was what the FIA used), ranging from drivers’ heads to the bodies of the cars. Note that the article didn’t have a tolerance attached to it; its only exemption was for sprung mass (i.e. the suspensions and the bits attached to them).

  9. @Phil9079

    Team orders at Red Bull. I really, really am grateful that Sebastian Vettel has the drivers’ championship again but I just wanted to see some fights between the Red Bull drivers

    It only happened in Silverstone and Webber admitted he ignored them. And we did see a fight between them, but Vettel kept his position. The reason we didn’t see the two Red Bulls race very often is that one of them was usually miles ahead…

    1. It only happened in Silverstone

      Some people think it happened in Brazil, too, in order to give Mark Webber a win.

    2. Webber was told to hold back towards the end of the Japanese GP too. That and Silverstone are the only one’s we know of… of course.

  10. It’s easy to forget that they were experimenting with the DRS zones this year.

    One would hope that next year, those tracks where it did nothing will see a larger zone; and those tracks where it guaranteed a pass will be cut back a bit.

    When the DRS zones are tuned so that a faster car might just get ‘in the mix’ by the braking zone, then they help racing.

    1. so that a faster car might just get ‘in the mix’ by the braking zone, then they help racing.

      Yeah that would be optimum. You know for sure they tried all the tracks on simulators and still couldn’t pinpoint it. Will probably be a couple years before they do just by fiddling.

  11. I think DRS will only get better as the FOTA or FIA can look at how DRS was used this year and adjust the detection and activation zones accordingly.

    This year was all pure guess work – at some tracks DRS would only allow the car following to get a little closer where at other tracks it enabled an easy, effortless overtake.

    I don’t necessarily think DRS is a bad thing, but it’s all about balance. I personally think most of the longer DRS zones should only allow the cars to get a little closer and not allow them to overtake so easily. Then it would come down to a driver’s ability to overtake and cleverly use KERS to make the move or defend their position.

    1. Agree, it’s all about getting the DRS zone length right. In China, Schumacher held Alonso for 8 laps with a slower Mercedes because FIA got the length right.

      In Turkey apparently they forgot to take into account a rise in gradient around the activation point which is why it was so bad.

      Some very poor choices of DRS zone placement and length in Spa, Abu Dhabi, Canada etc gained greater attention than the races which had “good” DRS zone placement and length like Nurburgring, Britain, Sepang and even Monaco.

      The changes to aero and tyres people are asking for will never happen, and the teams would find away to get back to previous levels sooner or later anyway.

  12. Another thing F1 lovers enjoyed this year? F1 Fanatic’s new layout! (Da Daaaa!)

  13. I consider DRS as ‘outside assistance’ to the car with a touch of ‘the mysterious man behind the curtain’. Anybody ever notice if the wing is actually opening PRECISELY at the mark on every car and every lap? On some of those races just a few milliseconds discrepancy would have made the difference between a pass and not. We wouldn’t have to worry about uncertain ‘out of the car and drivers control’ discrepancies if.. ‘the mysterious man behind the curtain’ wasn’t there.

    Also, everybody chooses to pretend they don’t see the pink elephant in the corner (wing downforce assist). The powers to be (and the rest of the free world) have acknowledged time and time again, that the dependence on downforce is whats causing the passing problem. Which means the solution to fixing F1’s passing problem is simple. Get rid of the wings (and the millions of dollars associated with building and flowing them. It’s 2fer). Yet the sharpest minds in the world prefer to spend the millions and have no passing, then spend millions more to get passing back (DSR), in an effort to ignore the pink elephant. This typifies ‘more money than brains’. But I will not go there. Because we all have went there over and over and over. Yet, we would rather see the pink elephant. The elephant is the one and only thing has F1 against the ropes. They complain about the cost and the lack of passing, yet, they just luvvv the pink elephant much much more. They feel lonely with out him.. or something. How many years can you shoot yourself in the foot, and not notice that all you have to do is move your arm away from your leg? It’s that simple.

    And yet, to continue to stare at the pink elephant, makes sharpest minds in the world, seem like the dumbest kids on a playground.

    1. Pink elephants have a lot of space – perfect for corporate sponsors making them millions of money. ;)

      1. Loll good point Journeyer. In fact, now that you mention it, I’ll bet that’s probably the #1 reason why they resist getting rid of em. Very astute. ;)

    2. F1 cars are the fastest in the world. Taking the ways away would damage that a fair bit. The FIA are slowing the cars down anyway. We don’t need passing, particularly not like what happened in Turkey. 2009 and 2010 were fine without it!

    3. from ESPNF1.. “Aerodynamics mean 80-90% of the performance of the car, this is too much. We don’t do planes or satellites, we do cars.” — Luca di Montezemolo

      I hate beating a dead horse, but then again, I am not the head of the most powerful team in F1.

  14. DRS in theory was a good thing, but the execution of it was flawed. Too many times this year we saw passes that should not have happened. One particularly egregious time was Schumi loosing his first return podium. I hate processions as much as anyone, but DRS should be dialed down or replaced with ground effect cars and smaller wings. At least I can hope so anyway. In the mean time, the FIA needs to tweak the DRS zones at several tracks to make things less artificial.

    BTW: I agree with Rifa’s comment about the Pink Elephant. :)

    1. Why thank you Christopher. But try not to stare, he’s still there and looking this way now ;) Which is why everybody probably agrees with you (I sure do). The thing needs dialing. But for me it will always be a.. meh.

      1. Exactly. As long as F1 opts for DRS, I hope they are able to refine it so passing is within acceptable boundaries. In the long term however, I hope this is just a stop-gap for a better and more durable solution.

        1. Really. We can always hope.

  15. What if the DRS zone was one and shorter,say between 300m-500m (and not two 1km massive zones like Abu Dhabi) , then maybe the ovetaking would become a bit harder than 2011 but still easier than previous years.That way we would still watch some overtaking but the attacking driver should have more skill in order to pass in a shorter distance than before
    OR instead of that ,the same effect would have reducing the activation time (from 1sec to 0.5sec or 0.75sec – anyway less than 1sec).The drivers would need to stuck behind the defending car in order to pass it and not just get 1sec behind and the use DRS

    1. Wow so many good ideas from quite a few people. I bet if they make the F1 game with player adjustable zones and wing criteria, one of you guys would figure it out better than the FIM minds have.

      I’m gonna have to come out of the cold and register here, but gotta go for now so probably tomorrow. What a great site with great and smart informative people (yeah I have no shame) Laterz all.

  16. DRS is only good in video game..or Monaco or Valencia?

  17. I didn’t really miss Kubica. I’ve never been a fan of him and I felt his awful his career has been damaged so badly but I didn’t miss him. I’ve never really got the hype about him and the grid is so full of talent anyway.

    My only problem with DRS is the stupid rules. I wish defending drivers could use it more than anything and I’m not really a fan of the zones. Maybe it could be limited like kers so drivers had to use it strategically and at their own desire.

    1. I think it would be easier just to get rid of it. And it works differently for different cars, so while it may work perfectly for one team, it’s going to be completely insufficient for another and overly powerful for someone else.

      Save wasting time and money (and possibly fans) and just get rid of it while they’re ahead.

      1. And it works differently for different cars, so while it may work perfectly for one team, it’s going to be completely insufficient for another and overly powerful for someone else.

        That doesn’t bother me. It’s the same for every element of every F1 car. Some have better developed rear wings for example yet others don’t but that’s the point. It’s the best designers. I like that part of it. The part I don’t like mostly is that defending drivers can’t use it but I think the actual device is a cracking idea.

        1. @Steph

          The part I don’t like mostly is that defending drivers can’t use it but I think the actual device is a cracking idea.

          What do you mean, exactly? The device is intended to let the car behind pass the car in front. I actually enjoy seeing the drivers use DRS in qualifying as I think it adds another element of skill and we get to see how brave the drivers can get. If it were to stay, I’d want to see it allowed at any time and scrapped as purely an overtaking aid.

          1. What do you mean, exactly? The device is intended to let the car behind pass the car in front

            The device is intended to make the cars go faster, but the rules make it so the attacking driver has an easier time. If the rules were changed then it wouldn’t be a problem and both cars could use it to attack/defend.

    2. My only problem with DRS is the stupid rules. I wish defending drivers could use it more than anything and I’m not really a fan of the zones. Maybe it could be limited like kers so drivers had to use it strategically and at their own desire.

      Agree, that would be good, like x seconds per race any time the driver likes (even after the 1st lap but not on the first)

  18. I don’t know if anyone has already brought this up but i like the DRS and think it’s a great innovation but the rules regarding the DRS should be reviewed in my opinion, the thing I don’t like about the DRS is that the driver has to use it on a given section on track I would like to see the drivers choose for themselves where they want to use it, one or two times per lap. The rules make the DRS feel artificial because the use of it is too limited, to use the DRS drivers has to be 1sec behind and they have to use it at a certain stretch on the track. More freedom, let the racers be racers.

  19. DRS turned F1 into a fast lane / slow lane, form of motoring. As exciting as watching the family car overtaking a truck.

  20. I’m not a fan of the DRS and I can’t see why KERS isn’t used in a similar fashion to push-to-pass in indycar. F1 already has an overtaking aid, its just used in a poorly. By changing KERS use from 6 seconds a lap to x number of times per race, we could see more strategy and bring back proper defensive driving. This would allow DRS to be dumped.

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