DRS: How should it work in 2012?

Debates and polls

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2011

Schumacher using DRS at the Nurburgring

A year since its introduction in F1, the Drag Reduction System continues to inspire a mix of vehement criticism and steadfast defence from F1 fans.

Its detractors say DRS is fundamentally unfair because it robs the leading driver of the ability to defend their position. They add that Pirelli’s more challenging tyres and the reintroduction of KERS in 2011 proved overtaking can be made easier in F1 without resorting to artificial gimmicks.

DRS defenders insist that it has successfully increased overtaking, and that problems with its implementation can be solved by tweaking the rules and positioning of DRS zones.

The top ten passes nominated by F1 Fanatics last year did not contain any that were achieved using DRS. The move that was voted pass of the year – Mark Webber’s sensational move on Fernando Alonso at Eau Rouge in Spa – was reversed the following lap when Alonso used DRS to pass Webber on the straight.

The DRS debate is complex and highly-charged with shades of opinion which run the gamut from banning DRS entirely to subtly changing the rules.

With that in mind, I’ve set up two polls below in an effort to accurately reflect what F1 fans think of this controversial recent addition to the sport after the first full season with it.

How often should DRS be used in 2012?

There are no changes to the DRS rules for 2012, although the position of the DRS zones at some tracks may be altered.

Assuming the DRS rules for 2012 remain unchanged, how often would you like to see DRS available for drivers to use in races?

How often should DRS be used in 2012?

  • DRS should be available in all races throughout 2012 (45%)
  • DRS should be available in most but not all races (20%)
  • DRS should be available in around half of races (7%)
  • DRS should be available in less than half of races (4%)
  • DRS should not be allowed in any races in 2012 (24%)

Total Voters: 604

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How should DRS work in 2012?

In the many conversations we had about DRS during the course of 2011, various different rules were suggested. Here are a selection of some of the most popular alternatives.

But could the alternatives make it less useful for overtaking? Or might they encourage drivers to mainly use DRS on out- and in-laps to increase their chances of passing their rivals via the pits?

Cast your vote on what should be done with the DRS rules in 2012.

How should the DRS rules work in 2012?

  • Drivers can only use DRS when within a second of another car (in races)* (21%)
  • Drivers should have free use of DRS during the races (14%)
  • Drivers should have the opportunity to use DRS a certain number of times per lap (8%)
  • Drivers should have the opportunity to use DRS a certain number of times per race (35%)
  • DRS should stay, but using another different set of rules (6%)
  • DRS should not be allowed at all in 2012 (16%)

Total Voters: 573

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*i.e., the 2011 rules

How successful was DRS in 2011? Do you think it should be used at every track in 2012? And could rules changes improve it?

Cast your votes on DRS using the polls above and have your say in the comments.

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

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170 comments on DRS: How should it work in 2012?

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  1. magon4 (@magon4) said on 13th January 2012, 10:50

    Love the number of times per race solution. I would assign each driver a certain number of seconds to use DRS (and I would give 30-45 seconds do each), and they then use it as they please!

    • Mike (@mike) said on 13th January 2012, 14:23

      I think A1 did something like that, the whole push to pass thing. I love it, it’s fair for all drivers, and it should help passing at crucial moments.

      Honestly, this I think would turn DRS’s popularity around.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 13th January 2012, 14:26

        Other than that, I’d love DRS to be used on areas that are unlikely to create racing. Like the main straight in Australia (wink).

        • sato113 (@sato113) said on 14th January 2012, 14:08

          yes all that needs to happen is place drs zones in hard to overtake areas. ie. NOT on the back straight of istanbul or spa. make drs a catch-up device as much as an overtaking aid.

      • alfz said on 6th May 2012, 11:01

        Great idea. Current system makes fools of drivers in font. If only the front runners could also use it to defend…
        Will create a different dimension in race strategy without the rule being partial. Love it.

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 13th January 2012, 14:31

      Good idea

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 13th January 2012, 19:23

      I think a number of times per race is best, but i also want the drivers to be able to use it freely in quali and practice, and then for a duration during a race, which changes depending on the length of the race to the nearest minute.

      How to calculate it:

      The stewards take the average lap time from all quali sessions, and work out the total race time if that lap was the average lap time for all the laps.

      eg: in singapore, average lap time for all quali sessions is, for arguments sake, 1:50, and there are 61 laps.
      so assumed total race time is 112 minutes.
      The drivers can use the DRS for a maximum of 5% of the race, so that’s 5 mins or so

      (if the quali sessions are wet, then average times are taken from last years quali sessions, and that happens all the way up to 2009)

      Good idea or not?

      • Mike (@mike) said on 14th January 2012, 4:43

        I like the idea, but that’s a very complicated way of working it out.

      • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 16th January 2012, 15:25

        Yes, this is what I was thinking too. It’s not really that complicated, the FIA have a pretty good idea of how long each race should last, so it’s easy to just make DRS be available for 5% of the race in total time. I’ve always flet that would be a great way to treat KERS as well, since for most teams teh KERS never really gets “empty” anyways.

    • foleyger (@foleyger) said on 14th January 2012, 14:04

      too complicated, a certain number of uses wud be the better option maybe 5

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 15th January 2012, 17:26

      And also, to save fuel, drivers can use the DRS in the pitlane, and on the inlap after the chequered flag and the outlap to the grid.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 17th January 2012, 16:47

      That’s how KERS works. It’s a fairer way because everyone can use it the same number of times, but if a defending driver uses it as someone is attacking him, using it, it destroys DRS’ purpose.
      I’d remove it, but we’d see no overtaking.
      I think the 2011 regulations worked well at times; the crucial part is the placing of the zone.

  2. Liam Stroud (@comabvbsixx) said on 13th January 2012, 10:52

    Definetly a certain amount of times in a race, at least that should moderate the useage of it.. It could be a new strategy, “OVERTAKE HIM NOW! BEFORE THE PITSTOP!”

    • DVC (@dvc) said on 13th January 2012, 22:14

      I still think it would be best to be able to use it whenever. Passes would come from when drivers made a mistake when trying to use it. Remember it wouldn’t just be possible to use it on the straights, but in all types of places including fast corners.

      I haven’t answered the first poll, as my answer to it depends on the mode of operation discussed in the second poll.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 13th January 2012, 22:20

      Well, I never suspected this, but at this moment @comabvbsixx you’re part of a big majority here on F1F.

      Which makes makes me reconsider.

      I voted to have DRS at less than half of the tracks, to make sure it adds to the suspension on those boring-but-not-to-be-deleted-from-the-schedule-because-of-money-tracks, while DRS makes for stupidity at great tracks (Montreal, Monza, Suzuka, Spa, Silverstone etc). And I also voted to keep the current rules.

      Your point about new strategies certainly is appealing.

      But still, I think DRS should really be about negating a little of the aero-wake of a car when following close. Not all, because then you get Turkey 2011 all over.

      A limited amount of using DRS is not about Aero-wake, but about strategy only. And this is, my dear fellow F1F’s what I don’t like about it.

  3. DRS should be used in every race but only if they scrap the rules as they are now. I can live with the zones (just about but I still loathe them) but what really irks me is that the defending driver can’t use it. Ideally, it should be used whenever by anyone but for strategic race craft then limiting it per lap could be fun like how kers is. The idea behind DRS is great but the rules surrounding it right now are terrible I feel.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th January 2012, 10:59

      The problem with giving DRS to a defending driver is that is completely cancels out the advantage given to the attacking driver, making it pointless.

      • Sean Newman said on 13th January 2012, 11:27

        Unless it can only be used a fixed number of times, but this is a better argument to get rid of it completely. It’s unnecessary and sometimes a faster car stuck behind a slower one is just as entertaining and can provide variety in the results.

      • The problem with giving DRS to a defending driver is that is completely cancels out the advantage given to the attacking driver, making it pointless.

        True but seeing the defending driver completely unable to do anything isn’t racing- it’s even less exciting than being on a motorway. It’s completely unfair to limit the guy ahead. From a race craft point of view it should be limited like kers where it’s up to the driver when to use it so at least it retains some use with overtaking.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th January 2012, 13:03

          True but seeing the defending driver completely unable to do anything isn’t racing- it’s even less exciting than being on a motorway.

          Then wouldn’t you agree that the proper placement of the DRS zone would fix this problem? The FIA got it very, very wrong in Turkey – but the zone was palced almost perfectly in China (I think the zone in Turkey was placed where it was because the distance had worked so well in Istanbul, and didn’t take the hill on the back straight into consideration). If the FIA can place the DRS zones so that they offer an attacking driver an advantage without being overwhelming, it should be fine.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th January 2012, 19:20

            Obviously, proper placement is better, but it is still against the spirit in a way that allowing it to be used like KERS isn’t.

          • sato113 (@sato113) said on 14th January 2012, 14:17

            @prisoner-monkeys yes better placement is key. in turkey it could’ve been on the straight after turn 8. ok still not much overtaking would happen there but it’d set you up better for a pass down the longer back straight.

            similarly, a zone on the start/finish straight or the run down to eau rogue at spa could work in the same way.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 13th January 2012, 12:53

        Which is why I don’t think the “using a certain times a race” rule is any good.

        If the DRS is such an advantage, then it should at least be used on a specific sector of the track, so it gives the leading driver a chance to work around it and try to defend intelligently. Like saving KERS to use it on the DRS area.

        Maybe DRS should be available not in the longest straight of the track, but somewhere else, maybe in consecutive small straights so overall it gives an advantage but not that much. Or something else.

        All in all, it should be there, but not in all races (I don’t see why Spa needs DRS…) and with a different set of rules.

      • Rocky (@rocky) said on 15th January 2012, 13:07

        Hmm if both drivers had it would it cancel the added speed advantage but also cancel the aero wake disadvantage?
        There for allowing faster cars to pass slower cars and not be held up. This to me is what I like about DRS you can just pass the back marker and get on with racing cars of similar abilities.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 13th January 2012, 12:53

      The defending driver already has a massive advantage in keeping his position: the huge invisible wall of turbulance his car gives off. This means that, all else being equal, he doesn’t actually have to do *anything* to defend his position other than follow the racing line. This is why for years we have watched race-winning cars or drivers stuck behind backmarkers or midfield plodders for large portions of the race distance.

      That’s the whole point, and it’s why DRS is not “unfair” against the defending driver. It’s why KERS was a failure as an overtaking solution – both drivers could use it, all KERS units gave the same power, therefore the defending driver just had to use his as the same time as the attacking driver to cancel the whole thing out. Let both drivers use DRS and you have the same situation: No benefit.

      The argument is often trotted out: “DRS would have cost us great battles of the past like Bloggs vs. Joe at StrawBales, drivers can’t defend like that”, carefully ignoring that Turbulance has spent years costing us potentially great battles where drivers can’t *attack* like that, and that Bloggs and Joe had cars which were capable of following each other in the first place.

      DRS isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to create “once in a lifetime” overtakes we’re all going to watch again and again. It’s supposed to remove an unfair advantage which the defending driver has, and it does that. And still the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 13th January 2012, 13:01

        @Hairs Perfect comment. Says everything that I think myself about the subject.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th January 2012, 13:15

        @Hairs

        the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        Erm:

        Pirelli’s more challenging tyres and the reintroduction of KERS in 2011 proved overtaking can be made easier in F1 without resorting to artificial gimmicks.

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 13th January 2012, 13:41

          @Keith-Collantine I know you’re a big fan of Pirellis and so am I, but the fact is the tyres had such a minimal effect by the end of the season that the teams might as well have been using Bridgestones again. Thinking back to races like India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil – most of the overtaking moves we saw (especially at the Tilke tracks) came from DRS zones. I’m not saying that’s good, I’m saying the Pirelli factor was great at the start of the season but would not have worked to give us decent racing like at the start of the season just on its own.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th January 2012, 17:16

            might as well have been using Bridgestones again.

            That’s categorically incorrect. We never saw a driver do most the race on softs to pit because the rules say they have to.

        • Hairs (@hairs) said on 13th January 2012, 14:40

          @keithcollantine

          1) If KERS is responsible for the increase in overtaking, why didn’t it work in 2009? It doesn’t produce more power in 2011. Nor does that answer the point about both drivers having it.

          2) How is DRS an “artificial gimmick” but a button on the steering wheel that gives you a power boost by KERS or turbo for x number of seconds or y number of horsepower isn’t? All use regulated mechanical solutions to offset an aerodynamic deficit.

          3) Tyres worked for two thirds of the season. Then the teams defeated them. Next year it won’t take them so long.

          Neither tyres or KERS have solved the fundamental problem of aerodynamics. They help, but they don’t negate it. Drs does negate it, briefly, when we know it is at its worst.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th January 2012, 17:17

            You make some good points.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th January 2012, 19:26

            1) KERS wasn’t used by many teams in 2009. And it’s more the contribution of it than a suggestion just KERS is solely responsible.

            2) DRS is clearly artificial because the driver in front can’t defend. With turbo’s the and KERS the driver in front has access to the same tool as the trailing driver. It is artificial racing that people have the problem with, not that it’s artificial in the sense of a computer-game-like power boost.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 13th January 2012, 22:33

            KERS shouldn’t be limited either. The limit on KERS is stifling its development, and it is the most road relevant technology on the cars.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th January 2012, 4:47

            So “artificial” is when only the chasing driver can use it? Bah!

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 14th January 2012, 12:19

            @Mike @hairs

            Yes, that is exactly what ‘artificial’ is. It is when an advantage is limited to one driver in order to artificially create a pass. KERS isn’t artificial because all driver have the same usage of it- it is strategic. If it comes to a situation where one driver has it and one doesn’t (back of the grid aside admittedly) then the driver without it is either unlucky to have poor reliability that meant KERS broke (same as any element of the car), or should have been more strategic with its use. This can also be applied to turning up the engines- which happens today and when it had greater impact in the 80′s.

            DRS is not like this- the driver in front has no chance at access to the same advantage at the same time unless also running 1 second behind another car. Therefore, the rules force a clear advantage on one car with virtually no chance of the driver in front having access at the same time to defend. This fundamental, obvious difference is something Coulthard somehow failed to understand for most of the year, constantly bringing up the 80′s turbo case as though the two are the same, when they are actually completely different.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th January 2012, 12:42

            advantage is limited to one driver

            It’s limited to the chasing driver. Regardless of who it is, or where they are in the race.

            I don’t like DRS, but it’s not unfair.

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 15th January 2012, 12:22

            @matt90 @mike
            DRS is an attacking advantage which the following driver has, that the defending driver does not.

            aerodynamic Turbulence is an advantage the defending driver has that the attacking driver has no access to.

            DRS can result in a simple negation of the turbulence effect, as we saw at some races, or it can result in easy passes, as we saw in others.

            DRS can be tweaked. Turbulence cannot.

            KERS is entirely artificial, because its use does not come from a design imperative, it is a heavily crippled, brute force solution imposed on the cars not to improve the strategy or the racing, but to provide a veneer of ecology to the sport. If that were a genuine goal, then its use would not be so heavily, arbitrarily, and artificially restricted.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 15th January 2012, 12:55

            @Hairs

            DRS is an attacking advantage which the following driver has, that the defending driver does not.

            Well… Yeah it is.

            I’ll tell you what though. If anyone finds a way to increase overtaking without giving the following driver an advantage let me know. :D

            I agree about KERS btw.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th January 2012, 13:56

            We’re arguing over semantics with KERS. The way people accuse DRS of being artificial is not the same as how you call KERS artificial, for the reasons I explained. Your version of artificial depends on how/why something is designed, whereas the complaint people put on DRS is the artificial racing aspect.

            DRS can result in a simple negation of the turbulence effect, as we saw at some races, or it can result in easy passes, as we saw in others.

            I agree that it worked best when passing was still very difficult (Australia, Monaco etc.), but it still forces the laws of physics into submission- it is a solution, but a bad one.

            DRS can be tweaked. Turbulence cannot.

            Not tweaking exactly, but if they bring ground effects in (as originally planned) shortly after the new engines, that should provide a reasonable fix. Until then I’m happy to use DRS (as long at it’s used correctly), but it still an artificial solution and shouldn’t been seen as a long-term fix.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th January 2012, 14:00

            It’s limited to the chasing driver. Regardless of who it is, or where they are in the race.

            I don’t like DRS, but it’s not unfair.

            Of course it is, exactly for the reason you said. The driver in front has no equal defence once in that zone.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 15th January 2012, 21:34

            @Mike The thing about DRS is that it’s not just artificial, it’s also contrived. Turbulence and slip streaming are natural consequences of the cars going quickly; their affects can be reduced or strengthened depending upon the design limitations imposed on the cars, but they are still a natural consequence.

            The reason ground FX was seen as a good solution (as mentioned by @keithcollantine) is that it was a natural progression in the aerodynamic development of the cars. It came in at the time when slip streaming and turbulence were beginning to have an impact. The ban on ground FX as a big part of the present situation.

            I’m sympathetic to @Mike with his view on KERS. The way KERS is regulated now it is also extremely artificial. In the sense that a car designer may not choose to put it on the car if they were not forced to carry the weight of it any way. If on the other hand restrictions were taken off KERS and it was able to be used in the way it is in the auto industry – as an energy saving device – it would not likely be a tool of choice for a designer. As soon as the tipping point is reached where more energy can be saved out of a KERS than could be produced from an equivalent weight of fuel, KERS is an advantage. The development of a good road relevant KERS has the potential to be a performance differentiator. To me this seems like the ideal F1 technology: cutting edge, road relevant and a performance differentiator.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 15th January 2012, 21:36

            It would likely, not it would not likely. grr.

      • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 13th January 2012, 14:02

        And still the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        Selective memory, huh? I think we’ve already made countless suggestions on how the FIA should tackle this overtaking problem. Heck, Keith had an entire series of articles on the subject last year! I think I speak for many when I say that we want cars with more power than grip, cars that generate less aerodynamic wake and tyres that degrade faster (thanks for Pirelli we already have that). DRS was never mentioned.

        The 2014 rules included the return of ground effects, which would make cars much less sensitive to dirty air while retaining a good level of downforce, but the teams didn’t want that. Why spend millions developing a chassis under a completely different set of technical rules and, most importantly, risk upsetting the running order while they can simply settle for the cheap DRS?

        I’ll say this again: using the DRS as a solution to the aerodynamic sensitivty of the current cars is just like applying a bandage to a wound where a medical surgery is required.

        • Hairs (@hairs) said on 13th January 2012, 14:49

          @guilherme
          You’re complaining about the sport opting for the cheap solution. Yes they are. But the teams have proved that if you take their current aero generating devices away, they can replace them in 6 months and regain all the lost downforce. Aero is king. Unless you have a spec series, teams will chase aero performance over everything else. And that means turbulence.

          So while suggestions of more power are nice, a team with more downforce will win every time

          • vjanik said on 13th January 2012, 15:30

            If the cars have more power they will be more of a handful. this means it will not be so easy to drive them on the limit. we will therefore see more fatigue and mistakes throughout the race. This will contribute to more wheel to wheel racing.

            Of course more power is not the solution to everything but it is one of the reasons why F1 has become more predictable.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 13th January 2012, 22:34

            If you give teams more scope to develop moveable aero then they can develop systems that combat turbulence.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th January 2012, 4:51

            @vjanik These guys aren’t soccer mums or old ladies. If you give them a new higher limit, they’ll go for it.

            The only thing more powerful cars will do is increase straight line speeds and make it more dangerous. The FIA has been limiting speeds for years for that very reason.

      • Ragerod said on 13th January 2012, 15:09

        I strongly disagree. The biggest problem with drs now is that it is being viewed as the solution which it shouldn’t be and it’s worrying when the likes of Paddy Lowe are commenting that there is no need to change aerodynamics.

        The solution lies somewhere between aerodynamics, tyres and track design (hairpin-long straight-hairpin is not the definitive solution Mr. Tilke) but it’s unfair to ask the detractors amongst us to propose solutions, we aren’t engineers and we don’t know enough to propose viable solutions.

        Finding said solution requires time and effort by the teams and the FIA to not only develop it but identify and close the loop holes F1 engineers are so good at exploiting. It won’t be easy but it’s necessary.

        I’m against the notion for letting both cars use it, may as well remove it if that is the case. As it stands the defending driver does have an unfair advantage as the effect of turbulence outweighs the additional speed of the following car. A problem is that drs has rarely been placed correctly and I don’t see that ever happening on a regular basis. The problems may get ironed out but cars evolve every year and every car is different, drs will always be adjusting and getting it spot on will remain a fluke. Not to mention that circuits and the calendar change every year.

        An F1 race is 24 cars trying to get into order of fastest car first, slowest car last and drs either makes it too easy or doesn’t do its job (there isn’t a middle ground). DRS hasn’t been helped by a clear running order amongst the top cars but how many podium spots since tyres settled down have been unclear entering the second half of the race? I don’t know if this has been worse than season past but I don’t want to sacrifice the great late race battles of joe vs bloggs only to see a procession amongst the top positions in the second half of a race. If position battles are still going on it’s generally because drs hasn’t done its job.

        There are those that will claim drs as responsible for the improvement of races this year but I think that Pirelli tyres have had a much bigger impact than drs and it’s no coincidence that race entertainment has declined as teams have figured out the tyres.

        I would have preferred 2011 to have been a Pirelli only season so that it was possible to determine the effect more accurately and if racing didn’t improve then introduce a version of drs but as it stands the whole system is a gimmick that I don’t think suits the image of F1 and its benefits to entertainment remain unclear.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th January 2012, 16:25

        the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        Ground effect aero.

      • Banburyhammer1 said on 13th January 2012, 19:56

        And still the detrators have yet to make a single suggestion that removes the Wall of Downforce effect, so it’s the best we’ve got.

        What about the proposed return to limited ground effects in 2014? The whole arguement towards bringing it back was the fact that the cars would be less dependant on downforce from the wings. I mean, please correct me if Im wrong, but the whole idea for DRS was as a stop gap measure until the new regs came in, after which it would be scrapped. I would say Im of a majority that doesnt like DRS but could live with it as a temporary measure. Now its basically permanat im sick at the sight of it.

        I also disagree that the wall of downforce is fake racing. Its certaing detrimental to the following driver, and is a problem that needs to be solved, but its not artificial like DRS. KERS is fine as its down to the driver when he chooses to deploy it, but DRS is such a blunt force weapon to the problem that is so over regulated, even for todays increably stingent F1 it goes against all my ideas of fair racing. Its nealy like the stupid ‘spitting the corner into two lanes’ piece of rubbish TGBB was enforcing in Indycar.

        The reason the ‘wall of downforce’ effect isnt fake racing is because its a purely passive effect of driving closely behind the defending car – and is only detrimental in the corners. Nobody who claims that the dirty air affect is fake racing would say the tow drivers use to pass on the straights is fake racing – even though they are one and the same thing!

        Its almost like claiming that having a power advantage is fake racing, because even though the car in front may have a horrible chassis and is slow in the corners, but on the straight its blasting away with its greater power. Im sorry, but no.

        • Banburyhammer1 said on 13th January 2012, 19:59

          In fact whats really preventing overtaking on the straights is a move towards ultimate lap gearing, coupled with limiting engine revs.

      • Warren2185 (@warren2185) said on 14th January 2012, 18:12

        Hairs: I agree as well with your original comment about the wall of turbulence being the already-in-place advantage. You explained it well and I agree completely.

      • Rocky (@rocky) said on 15th January 2012, 23:14

        Everything Hairs said perfect.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 13th January 2012, 13:00

      @Steph Wouldn’t giving drivers free reign of when to use it mean that they’ll only use it in the places where it will be most effective and therefore guarantee that every DRS pass will be a ‘motorway’ one?

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 13th January 2012, 17:17

      as @magon4 said, there should be the possibility to use it for, let’s say, 3 minutes in all race (the driver chooses whenever he thinks it’s necessary) and for both challenger and defender. … What I hate is to know that no matter how much fans complaint about DRS or other things, we never know if FIA or Bernie is reading our comments. There should be a way to promote Keith as F1 Fanclub PR director so he can shut Bernie’s up (when necessary) but most of all , communicate what us fans think

  4. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 13th January 2012, 10:55

    Voted for “DRS should be available in all races throughout 2012″ and “Drivers should have the opportunity to use DRS a certain number of times per race”. The latter sounds like very interesting idea.

  5. Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 13th January 2012, 11:03

    I disliked the DRS system the moment I saw it “perform”.
    Today’s F1 has become too restricted, too artificial, too political, too monotone and…, well sooo boooring!!! :(

    I think I’ll be better of watching random chess matches this year, if season 2012 is anything like 2011 was…

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 13th January 2012, 11:54

      same thing to me i hate this DRS the FIA think that they solved the problem of overtaking but in reality they made it even worse
      at least the few overtaking maneuvers that we have seen before were not so artificial
      F1 need a radical change because with all these stupid rules & regulations the performances of the driver is only 5 to 10 % of the total performance it’s all about the car
      Why the DRS was not introduced before when racing drivers were real men when Mansel & Senna were Wheel to Wheel at 300 km when Piquet overtakes Senna at full locks of the brakes when Prost & Senna were like soldiers fighting in war
      i think the regulations should give more space to the driver’s contribution so we can see more racing driver in F1 not just “PlayStation Boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” because i think that today
      there is only a few real racing drivers that remains on the grid (maybe 3 or 4)

      • Klon (@klon) said on 13th January 2012, 12:11

        The only thing making that comment more ridiculous would be a “Thumbs up if you agree”, so I am calling Poe’s Law on this.

      • DVC (@dvc) said on 13th January 2012, 22:44

        Motor racing and grand prix racing in particular was started so car makers could prove whose car was best. It is not about the driver as much as it is the car.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 14th January 2012, 8:53

          That’s how it started. But that names like Nuvolari and Fangio are still remembered shows how important drivers are to the sport.

          With competition comes heroes.

          • The drivers could not have been heroes without their cars. The early drivers were heroes because they brought honour to their cars and their makers.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 13th January 2012, 13:11

      @Commendatore Too political? Probably. Too restricted, artificial, monotone? Seriously? You genuinely think F1 is really that bad right now? I honestly cannot understand why anyone would think like this. F1 is as good right now as it has ever been.

      @Tifoso1989 You’re being over the top.

      • Ian Wilkins said on 13th January 2012, 19:46

        It is too restricted – hence why everything innovative gets banned (F-Duct, Blown defusers, double defusers etc.), engines are limited to 18000 rpm, penalties are dissed out constantly and mostly with little consistency and we have artifical gimmics like DRS and KERS.

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 13th January 2012, 21:27

          Too restricted, for me, would be budget caps, standardised chassis, a single engine provider and things like that. Things we’re not even close to having. Formula 1 is still about the best car and the best driver winning on the day. If F1 is too restricted, how do you explain a team like Red Bull comprehensively owning the field for the last two seasons? Or how the new teams are so rubbish in comparison to the rest of the grid? If things are too restrictive, everyone should be virtually identical performance-wise, should they not?

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 14th January 2012, 3:16

            The current engine restrictions sure are pretty close to a single engine formula in effect.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th January 2012, 8:56

            The engines are actually remarkably different. But things have to be restricted otherwise costs get out of hand. Engines are the single biggest money sink if you let it be.

          • I understand that they are different, but with development restricted many of the same characteristics of a one engine formula are achieved.

  6. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 13th January 2012, 11:04

    I’m quite happy with the rules as they have been in 2011. I think it’s the best compromise to have a significant ammount of passes without changing the aerodynamics too much (a costly, long and difficult move).

    The only think they should change is the DRS zones in some circuits.
    Like for example, they should avoid putting them on a straight before a slow chicane (Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, Canada for one of the zones, Nurburgring…) : it would make overtaking either as difficult as without DRS, or much too easy (with passes done before the braking point). And they shouldn’t put the DRS zones in places where it’s possible to overtake without DRS (I’m thinking of the Spa zone of course) : they should put in a zone, where it’s hard to overtake, but not impossible, like at the end of a medium long straight which has a slow or medium speed corner at the end of it, where there is just enough room for 2 cars (for example the hangar straight in Silverstone, the main straight in the Hungaroring, the start-finish straight in Montreal…).

    And I like the idea of not putting DRS at all races (Spa could use that).

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th January 2012, 11:05

    I don’t think the rules need to be tweaked. I think DRS can exist perfectly well as it is. But I also think that the FIA need to figure out where the optimal place for each activation point is, relative to the next corner. I seem to recall that they got it almost spot on in China, but they blew it in Turkey. The DRS zones need to be put in places where the drivers can use them in such a way that DRS itself is not the defining factor in the pass. It should just offer enough speed for an attacking driver to get his front wing alongside the rear wheels of the car in front. Everything else should be down to the driver.

  8. For me DRS should only be used in the race, the DRS is a devise to aid overtaking, so why they decided drivers can use it anywhere in quali I never understood.
    I think it has worked well in places but not in others. The best example is Ham vs Web at korea that was perfect, not too easy to get by. however with turkey and spa it really was not needed where the DRS was placed.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th January 2012, 11:29

      For me DRS should only be used in the race, the DRS is a devise to aid overtaking, so why they decided drivers can use it anywhere in quali I never understood.

      The DRS rules in practice and qualifying are framed as they precisely to encourage teams to use DRS as an overtaking aid in the race.

      If they did not have free use of DRS in qualifying and practice, then they would have insufficient incentive to run longer gear ratios. So, when they came to use it in the race, their shorter top gear ratio would make it far less useful for overtaking.

      (Even so the teams cut it as fine as they dared – after Barcelona the McLaren drivers complained their top gear ratio had been too short to do any overtaking.)

      I don’t blame anyone for not realising this as it’s not exactly obvious. It serves to illustrate why there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the DRS rules.

      The best example is Ham vs Web at korea that was perfect, not too easy to get by.

      I disagree – at one point Webber overtook Hamilton at turn one, but then Hamilton was very easily able to re-pass him using DRS. It’s likely Hamilton could have made the re-pass stick without DRS, but it would have been closer and more exciting.

  9. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th January 2012, 11:18

    I’m a bit torn to be honest, because really I think half of the races don’t need DRS at all, plenty of races made that obvious in 2011.

    But for the teams to go through the effort of designing the cars and the DRS systems, it’d seem a bit silly to use it only half of the time.

    But we should wait and see. Obviously 2011 was the first year. At certain tracks they got the zone completely wrong (Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, for example, just my opinion) and they can only learn from these mistakes. So it should work better this time round.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th January 2012, 11:40

      I really dislike DRS on its principle, but I would say they could keep it as it was last year (but optimise the zones to only give just enough te get close) and use it only at a few tracks where overtaking is hard because of a misguided thinking in its design.

  10. Girts (@girts) said on 13th January 2012, 11:18

    I believe that DRS should go so I voted for the last option in both polls. Restricting the usage of it to a certain number of times per race would also be a welcome improvement. I could also tolerate the current DRS rules in snoozefests like Valencia.

    So much has already been said about this tool. I think the opinion on it depends on what the fan expects from F1 and what are the main reasons for his obsession. F1 has never been about overtaking for me. For sure, I want to see some but if I see on average 30 passes per race it’s enough. I hate it when overtaking is simple, easily predictable and when I have no idea whether I’m watching a great drive or just a great DRS-ing. I also think that defensive driving is a beautiful art.

    What is more, I think that people simply demand too much show these days. Not just in F1 but everywhere. But you cannot have a thriller all the time, boring races have to be there so that we can appropriately evaluate the great ones.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 13th January 2012, 17:56

      Did the same as you Girts, as I don’t like DRS at all. I vote for no DRS, emphasis on mechanical grip through the tires, and less emphasis on downforce by restricting their wing and diffuser usage so that when we see a pass it is do-able because of the reduction in aero dependancy, and is by the driver, by the seat of his pants, not because it was ‘great DRS-ing’ as you well put it.

      Seeing the options put forth to vote on, even though they were just there for the purpose of feeling people out as to what they think, made my head swim and made me feel even moreso how artificial it seems. How arbitrary it would be if they could use it only here or there depending on the track, the DRS zone, the this, the that, and I guess the velocity of an English or African sparrow.

      Simplify please. Put it back in the hands of the driver, not the device. It’s the pinnacle of RACING. Being able to push the equivalent of a ‘turbo button’ and making a leading car look silly and defenceless doesn’t impress me. It does the opposite. It takes away from it.

  11. Ryan Williams (@) said on 13th January 2012, 11:21

    I like the idea of only being able to use it a certain number of times per race. Drivers would have to choose optimum times to use it, rather than just having to be within 1 second of the car in front. It adds a new element of strategy to the race

  12. Kiril Varbanov (@kiril-varbanov) said on 13th January 2012, 11:35

    Isn’t it too late to talk about DRS usage? I mean, FIA looks adamant …

    In my view, tracks have to be redesigned – yes, I know, this is the most expensive solution, but there are other motor machines racing on those (or most of them) tracks – they don’t have DRS.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th January 2012, 11:52

      @Kiril-Varbanov DRS was introduced because of concern over the difficulty of overtaking affecting the popularity of the sport. So if this isn’t a suitable subject for debate then nothing is!

      • Kiril Varbanov (@kiril-varbanov) said on 13th January 2012, 14:11

        @Keith Collantine Yes, I get that, my point was that it’s too late to change any rules for 2012 in particular.
        And actually overall (as you mentioned): what kind of problem we’re trying to solve?
        Answer: overtaking difficulty.
        The solution: DRS.
        Do the people like it? No, not really. Are we going to vote for more challenging tracks? Me? Certainly.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th January 2012, 22:00

          India was an interesting track, certainly challenging (ask Massa) but one of the dullest races. Brazil this year was not as good as normal. There are certainly a lot of identikit circuits around, but they can barely be blamed for lack of overtaking (a couple of exceptions aside).

          That tracks don’t need to be redisgned is obvious because of the number of other series that produce exciting races on the same tracks. The issue is dirty air, not circuit design (although obviously some circuits are better suited to overtaking, fundamentally great racing should be capable on any race on the F1 calender).

  13. scribbler (@scribbler) said on 13th January 2012, 11:36

    Why not link the DRS to the KERS button and have it regulated by time to match that available from kers. For example they get a certain amount of Kers per lap and they choose where to use it. Typically this is in the overtaking zones where one assumes they would also use the DRS. Therefor its just one button to overtake or defend. This means less driver operated controls. more racecraft controlling the outcome. For example a simple dummy manouver on the first straight could lead the car in front to use their DRS and kers to defenc leaving them vulnerable on the next straight from the car behind who actually saved their KERS and DRS.

    • scribbler (@scribbler) said on 13th January 2012, 11:44

      P.S. Keith can you add this choice as a radio button to vote. as the other options are not to my liking or to the benefit of the sport i feel as its too artificial. ;-)

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th January 2012, 11:51

        @scribbler No, because if I add every slightly different alternative everyone suggests the poll will have a thousand options. There is already an option for keeping DRS under some other set of rules. And it sounds like your suggestion is very similar to the “limited uses per lap” option.

        • scribbler (@scribbler) said on 13th January 2012, 11:56

          I know keith, it was tounge in cheek comment although no smiley for this i though the wink smiley would show that i wasn’t serious. Thanks for commenting though i think my idea would work well and i am open to the teams aproaching me for my impelementation designs also. ;-)

  14. F1 is more and more like super Mario. Several “Mushrooms” are available, because without them, F1 can only become a procession due to safety reasons and complex regulations, enclosed in a “need to be” green behaviour.
    Drivers uses simulators which should be something like Gran Turismo. They just use these skills on a perfect machine when it is race time, F1 never brake nowadays.
    All the drivers are split by tenths or hundreds of seconds and surprised are normally almost impossible. There are not enough natural chaotic parameters, then F1 invent necessity to change rubbers, DRS and KERS.
    Then it is boring because quite nothing can happen ; in 2011 F1 was saved with the help of the weather and the mushrooms.
    It is almost time to have a competition where the F1 are without regulations and driven by remote. F1 would be then safe, and incredibly fast, with accident incredible, like before, but with no harm.
    The day we have this, old F1 would be seen as an abacus when we have super computer. I will miss this possible exciting future.
    The real F1 stopped when the turbo was banned in 1988-89 (?), like for the rally car when the B-Group was banned (who care about rally today ?, even if it looks like very difficult) ; from before until these days, we felt the death, the human uncontrol, etc…

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th January 2012, 11:47

      Mario? They should have three different categories of cars ;)

      1.) Light ones with good acceleration and poor top speed
      2.) Good all rounders
      3.) Great top speed, lots of weight for shunting, yet corners like a dog.

      I’d watch that.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 13th January 2012, 13:52

      The real F1 stopped when the turbo was banned in 1988-89 (?), like for the rally car when the B-Group was banned (who care about rally today ?, even if it looks like very difficult) ; from before until these days, we felt the death, the human uncontrol, etc…

      While I agree with most of your post, I have to say that you should remember 1994 when commenting on the good old days. You’ll no doubt remember there was a push to remove all the gizmos on the cars that season, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. This year shaped F1 into what it is today and to be honest some would say it’s just great that F1 is still as quick as it ever has been.

      I agree with getting rid of the mushrooms, but let’s still keep the things that keep F1 reasonably safe in the event of ‘human uncontrol’.

  15. BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th January 2012, 11:46

    To me the idea of using DRS a limited amount of times per race does not really solve the issue of it.
    It does adress the mail point of unfairness (as its use will be available to both defending and attacking driver), so it makes it better suited to sport as such.

    But I really hate it when in series like Indy you hear the commenters talking about how many pressing of the button drivers have left. And more importantly, it then does nothing to adress the problem with running close behind another car, so why even have it there?

    In that case I think it would be better to just allow it altogether (because it gives drivers more options to differentiate) without limitations, save safety areas where the FIA and the drivers agree its too risky to allow.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th January 2012, 11:48

      sry typo – … main point of unfairness

    • mole (@mole) said on 13th January 2012, 12:18

      +1.
      I really agree with your point on how it doesnt help with the running behind thing.

      However, I think it should stay as it is and hope that the powers that be get better with DRS zones due to the experience in 2011.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 13th January 2012, 16:38

      The IndyCar thing I completely agree with. To be honest, I’d just get rid of DRS altogether. In my opinion, there was nothing wrong with the racing pre-2011. We did get processions occasionally, but I still enjoyed the vast majority of races. There’s much more to a race than overtaking.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th January 2012, 22:05

      I think I prefer that idea actually. If DRS must stay and will only be used as an overtaking device then x times per race is best. Otherwise, I’d give it a miss or allow it unlimited.

    • Nice to find someone else who understands why unlimited use of DRS is a good idea.

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