What did F1 fans like least about 2011? DRS

2011 F1 season review

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 / firstlap.be, Red Bull/Getty images

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

  1. HRT Fan said on 18th December 2011, 22:08

    DRS is artificial racing, People need to remember that this is Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport, where we now reward the driver who is behind.

    DRS is not Formula One.

    • Matty no.2 said on 19th December 2011, 19:45

      If DRS really was rewarding the driver’s who are behind then we would have seen HRT’s passing Vettel all year long, Not Vettel lapping HRT’s all year long.

  2. GT_Racer said on 18th December 2011, 22:10

    Something to think about regarding DRS is that we saw through 2011 how teams brought new rear wings which dumped more drag & gave them more speed with DRS enabled.

    The FIA can tweak the zones but teams will still bring out new DRS wings which drops more drag & brings more speed when open & this will just make passing even easier.

    DRS is a gimmick, Its artificial & has no place in F1. It doesn’t make racing better, It makes it worse because with DRS there is no racing there is just a lot of soul-less, boring passing which any true racer/racing fan should be totally againt.

  3. Jake (@jleigh) said on 18th December 2011, 22:18

    My problem with DRS is that there was no need to introduce it this year, and doing so meant we couldn’t really see its real effect. What I mean is, as someone who has undertaken many experiments, one important thing I’ve learnt is that too many erroneous variables is not good. So to have DRS, KERS and Pirelli tyres all introduced in one year is a bad move.

    We saw in China with Hamilton that KERS and Pirelli tyres produced great racing; none of his moves were in the DRS zone. We also saw in the same race that DRS was too much (Button being utterly defenceless against Webber).

    From this and many other incidents (Nurburgring to name just one), I believe that KERS and Pirellis would have been enough to make great racing. In fact I believe KERS is the answer to F1’s overtaking problems but, because the unnecessary variable of DRS has been introduced, the effect of KERS has been judged as insignificant.

  4. StefMeister said on 18th December 2011, 22:29

    I really don’t like DRS, Didn’t like the sound of it when it was proposed & didn’t like the way it worked through the year.

    DRS really harmed by enjoyment of the racing through the year, I didn’t see a single DRS assisted pass which got me excited or which I found fun or enjoyed seeing, Just got me frustrated.

    Seeing Michael Schumacher’s brilliant drive to 2nd at Montreal basically come to nothing thanks to DRS was probably the lowest DRS related moment for me. Im not a big Schumacher fan or anything but I do like seeing great drives get rewarded & in that case I felt DRS completely ruined that race.

    I think it speaks volumes that all the best racing moments & all the best overtaking occured outside of DRS zones & I actually think the racing would have been much better without DRS this year.

  5. F1_Dave said on 18th December 2011, 22:41

    Mark Webber-

    “Some people will like to see cars passing and re-passing all the time. Nascar stock-car racing in America is founded on that. But for some who have a more purist point of view about F1 – like me – overtaking should mean more than that.”

    “I’m still not a huge fan of how it is; sometimes the overtakes are not all that genuine because the guys don’t have anything to fight back with.”

    Jenson Button-

    it’s more fun to pass someone without using DRS.

    don’t like drs, want it banned!

    something drs does which people dont mention much is that it basically puts cars in there natural order, you don’t see the smaller teams punching above there weight anymore because as soon as they do they get drs-ed.

    if you want the races be like that (cars finish in natural order) then why bother racing, just takes the results from qualifying.

  6. Windowlicker said on 18th December 2011, 22:55

    The low point for me was an off form Hamilton , for me he’s the best driver on the grid and an immense overtaker , but seeing him under perform and his spats with massa got me down ! But I have a feeling he’ll be bk with a bang next year , come on Lewis come on maclaren !!

  7. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 18th December 2011, 23:30

    You have overtaking with DRS, or little or no overtaking

    Keep DRS until or unless something better comes along

  8. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 19th December 2011, 5:10

    For most of the races it was rather too obvious who will be swallowed up except for a few tracks. Overall I was not impress at all.

    It’s either a procession or rampant amount of overtaking. We need to be somewhere in the middle I guess.

  9. steco (@steco) said on 19th December 2011, 14:44

    pirelli & kers should be enough, drs makes it too easy sometimes.
    sadly whole art of defence has been destroyed
    very often drs zones were too long, or totally not needed like in turkey.
    alternate solution is to reduce aerodynamics, cut off those wings and other bits…

  10. themagicofspeed (@) said on 19th December 2011, 16:30

    I too think DRS has done its job..a little too well. The racing has been artificially manufactured this year at times. It seems to me that the overtaking problem is like trying to find the answer to the holy grail.

    It seems to be a balance – too little overtaking and its a ‘procession’.
    Too much overtaking and it ruins the racing.

    It’s an equation they still havent solved.

    Maybe if they kept KERS, but make it available only in ‘KERS activation zones’ like we have seen DRS use this year, and make it available for a maximum of 10s, while either scrapping or toning down DRS. However, KERS is persistently unreliable, and i think i read that it’s being dropped anyway.

  11. tEQUILLA sLAMMER said on 19th December 2011, 18:10

    DRS sux….A sudden 80 hp advantage when you are only 1 second behind has made overtaking soooo easy its a joke!! Nobody can defend from DRS and KERS deployed together! The only reason Im still watching is because its the same for every driver on the track. They should downsize the wings and increase dependency on mechanical grip. Even smaller wings will still disturb the air for the chasing driver, so maybe this problem will always exist whilst wings are used. Maybe its time to get rid of wings altogether, and get designers to start thinking more along the lines of F1 Stealth. Cars that are almost whiper quiet as they glide thru the air disturbing not even the daisies along the trackside! #:)

  12. jgroves1996 (@jgroves1996) said on 19th December 2011, 22:33

    how about, your allowed to use DRS when ever your within one second, and as soon as you get overtaken you can use it straight away

    Obviously places like Eau Rouge are off limits

  13. Riffa (@) said on 20th December 2011, 11:00

    I know the topic has pretty much ran it’s course, but how bout this guys?

    Adjust the front wing according to airflow at the nose in relation to the rotation of the tires.

    At any tire speed, there is going to be a linear correlation of the airspeed at the nose. When the airspeed drops but the tire speed doesn’t, then hike the wing for more downforce. As when a car is following another through a turn. When in turns, the follower will have more downforce. On straights it probably wont slow the car down that much cause there is no air on it anyways. However, should that be the case, then don’t hike it unless the steering pinion is off the center mark, and in fact, tailor the amount of downforce to the angle of steering input, the nose airspeed and the tire speed if needed.

    It is still kind of an artificial fudge, but at least the track wont be deciding how the car reacts, only the cars will.

    I have seen some really good ideas on the board here, so hope you guys don’t mind if I throw my hat in there too. ;)

    • Riffa (@) said on 20th December 2011, 11:05

      Oh, and another benefit of that system would be that it takes not driver input. Driver can concentrate on driving.

  14. Riffa (@) said on 20th December 2011, 11:06

    it takes not driver input. – oops typo.

    it takes no driver input. – sry bout that.

  15. antonyob (@) said on 20th December 2011, 15:59

    people will whinge whatever day it is. DRS was and is fantastic. i suspect alot of the complainants think there was a mythical time when racing was so pure you could call it driven snow but that is of course nonsense. the combined years that myself and my dad have been watching grand prix racing is 93 years and my dad knows best!

    Kers was probably more like a dud though that just needs some tweaking.

    i think what f1 needs more of is massive rule changes. it seems to mix up tactics for a while until everyone agrees on the quickest solution and then the big teams hoover up again. so F1 should agree to a “Bonkers Bernie” every 2nd year. maybe limit downforce to x times gravity or handicap the tyres so those at the back get super stickies and those at the front harder compounds..but based on last years grid or they will of course cheat! hmm not so easy this.

    • Riffa (@) said on 20th December 2011, 17:05

      my dad have been watching grand prix racing is 93 years

      Oh wow, congrats on that Anthony. That’s a milestone age to be at. Most of us would be so lucky :)

      DRS was and is fantastic.

      I hate to sound like a purist Ant, and with all due respect, but the problem I have with it is, I used to work all week on my bike (motocross) and then I paid my entry fees to race. If someone was able to just pass me as if they rolled a double on a board game to double jump me, I would be rather upset. That’s not racing, that’s charity. Unearned charity. But F1 is in the position where aero has taken away the ability to get close. People like DRS cause it shakes it up. But it’s a facade and racers don’t like it cause they know they didn’t earn the position. As someone who has worked their butt every week, I will never be in favor of it. And as I said, with all due respect ;)

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