DRS overtaking falls in first races of 2012

2012 F1 season

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2012F1 is seeing fewer passes with DRS in 2012 according to Mercedes.

Data produced by the team revealed over two thirds of passes this year were ‘normal’ overtakes where DRS was not being used.

However the total number of passes over the first four races was almost identical: 326 in 2011, 327 this year. Bahrain replaced Turkey in the first four races of this year.

Throughout 2011, 55% of passes were ‘normal’ overtakes, compared to 68% in the first four races of this year.

At Melbourne, where a second DRS zone was added for this year’s race, DRS passes increased from 30% to 35%. The total number of overtakes doubled from 17 to 34.

In China this year 41 out of 69 passes were DRS-free, compared to 30 out of 67 last year.

Last year’s Spanish Grand Prix saw 51 overtaking moves, 57% of which were accomplished by a driver using DRS.

2012 F1 season


Browse all 2012 F1 season articles

Image ?? Mercedes

Advert | Go Ad-free

79 comments on DRS overtaking falls in first races of 2012

  1. Rocky (@rocky) said on 9th May 2012, 11:46

    This is a good thing, looks like DRS is becoming what I believe it should be used for a way to pass slower cars that you should not be racing with but are behind due to a pit stop etc.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2012, 12:01

      @rocky

      a way to pass slower cars that you should not be racing with

      I don’t like the assumption that certain drivers “should” (or shouldn’t) be racing with certain other rivals. If a driver has made his tyres last longer and ended up in front of a driver who hasn’t, that doesn’t mean the driver who pitted should get a free and easy pass.

      We’ve had DRS for a year now and seeing a driver cruise up behind a rival and blast past them on the straight because they can use DRS and the defending driver can’t still feels plain wrong. This is not what racing is supposed to be about.

      It doesn’t matter to me if it happens in a battle for first or 21st, it’s an artificial interference. I can’t sympathise with those who whinge about the tyres yet are apparently happy to turn a blind eye to the DRS gimmick. Hopefully the decline in DRS passes will eventually lead the teams to the conclude that, thanks to the tyres, it isn’t needed at all and never was in the first place.

      • Arijit (@arijitmaniac) said on 9th May 2012, 12:33

        I think DRS in its current form isn’t fair to the defending driver. They have no way to prevent the pass.
        How would it be if the DRS rules are modified and made more like the KERS rules where a driver can use DRS for a set amount of time per lap and DRS usage should be allowed anywhere on the circuit except on sections where the FIA deems it would be too dangerous to enable it (like eau rouge in spa last year).
        Drivers still would have to get within one second of the car in front to use it.
        This would emphasize driver skill more combined with tactical thinking.

        Just a thought. :)

        • minnis (@minnis) said on 9th May 2012, 15:28

          I don’t think that the FIA should ever ban the use of DRS as it is too dangerous. The drivers have the sense to shut it if they won’t make the corner with it open. The FIA banning it in places like eau rouge is as silly as putting automatic brakes on the cars so that the drivers won’t out-brake themselves. Give the drivers a bit of credit, they know what they’re doing!

          • vjanik said on 9th May 2012, 21:41

            agree. its like banning drivers from taking certain corners flat out because its dangerous.

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 9th May 2012, 15:41

          A good thought too! FR 3.5 is using DRS on a time based system like that this year. I think it will be very interesting to analyze how that application of the DRS performs in comparison to F1’s application of it. Perhaps next year, F1 could switch to such a style.

        • Alfred (@afya) said on 9th May 2012, 18:06

          Can’t agree more. The current DRS is a no brainer. It also favors cars with faster straight line speed. I like a more diversity field, cars with different setups.

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 9th May 2012, 12:33

        yes but take paul diresta in Bahrain, he ran longer and didn’t fight faster cars on different strategies. Yes these faster cars will get ‘free and easy’ passes, but why should di resta lose time fighting them?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2012, 12:43

          @sato113 If a driver makes a decision not to defend a position then that’s up to them – and in Di Resta’s case it was probably a very astute decision.

          But that doesn’t mean they should have that decision made for them by not being able to use DRS when they are being attacked by another driver who has it.

          • sato113 (@sato113) said on 9th May 2012, 13:24

            ok i get ya. The DRS zones either need to be shortened or the flap angle decreased. Sometimes the speed differential is too great, but of course that depends much on car setup.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 9th May 2012, 13:33

            I agree with Kieth, There is nothing I hate more than someone being criticized for defending his position.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th May 2012, 12:49

          At the end of the race it was a straight fight to the end though. Had the guy in 7th caught up he would have fought at that point as losing time wouldn’t matter any more. He’d got there off his own back, and wouldn’t have deserved to lose any more places just because somebody can cruise past with DRS.

      • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 9th May 2012, 12:55

        @keithcollantine drivers can defend, what did Shumi do at Monza when he had Lewis behind him armed with DRS ,twice ???

        That was the best battle of last year, and some of you people, convenently forget that.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 9th May 2012, 13:33

          @mattyno two That was more to do with Lewis having a low gear ratio and Schumacher having a higher top speed. Lewis’s car could not physically go fast enough to get passed, DRS or no DRS, 2 zones or 10! Not to mention other factors such as Schumacher’s blatent agressvie defense towards Lewis and not to Jenson & Lewis’s arguable over cautious attitude at that time. The straights at Monza are also quite narrow compared with some circuits which make it a bit easier to defend I think.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 9th May 2012, 13:36

            Blatantly aggressive? You are joking right? It wasn’t the nicest move in the books but he was far from aggressive towards Lewis.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 9th May 2012, 14:17

            See, some of you people, just can’t accept, that the battle at Monza last year, between Shumi and Lewis, where Lewis was armed with DRS twice per lap, rivals any of these mythical battles you people throw up, “ooh, Imola 2005, we will never see that again’
            Well guess what?
            You did.
            And DRS, was right in the heart of the action.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 9th May 2012, 21:23

            @mattynotwo
            Nothing to do with DRS everything to do with Gear ratios, you show a total lack of understanding in your comments.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 10th May 2012, 0:57

            @bbt Gear ratio’s are irrelevent in this current discussion as to weather a driver is able to defend against an attacking driver with DRS, but I’ll get to gear ratio’s later.

            But, that does raise the question, as to why MS was weaving across the track in both of the DRS zones, to defend his position, successfully, which, if you go by what the vocal anti-DRS minority say, is impossible, it is impossible to defend against a car that has DRS.
            MS ,was so succsessful infact at defending his position from Ham, which, remember, it is impossible to defend against a car that has DRS,
            that Ross Brawn told M.S to LET HAM PAST, or get a penalty.

            Now, this brings us back to gear ratio’s. Remember, that Ross Brawn told M.S to LET HAM PAST.
            So, was Shumi going to get penalized because Lewis’s gears wer’nt correct, and thus, simply just could’nt get past, & just deserved a , very easy, free pass

            or

            Did Shumi do the impossble? defend his position from a car with DRS. and this is why Ross Brawn told M.S to LET HAM PAST.

            Now, which is it?

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 10th May 2012, 8:32

            Gear ratio’s are irrelevent in this current discussion

            They are totally relevant as they set the top speed period, DRS does not change that. That is why MSC was so successful defending, the DRS of an attacking car only has an effect until the rev limiter it hit so in Hamilitons case the DRS effect was effectively reduced (compare with Button for example who had a longer top gear) BTW they may the same mistake in Spain which as stated but Hamilton is why he couldn’t get pass Vettel.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 10th May 2012, 8:40

            Hamilton’s chances of victory last year were hampered by his gear ratio choice – which failed to allow him enough straight-line speed to overtake Vettel in the DRS zone.

            Autosport 4th May 2012

            It was an Autosport comment, not sure it was a Hamilton quote.

            Also as Mike say below, you can’t do want Schmacher did then now so it is even more difficult to defend DRS.

            PS I never said it was impossible, you got to admit that in a majority of DRS overtakes (not all) the defending driver has hardly any chance in defending, the best chance is to use most of your KERS and hope they hit the limiter and you then hope you can defend the rest of the lap.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th May 2012, 10:23

            I remember both the McLaren drivers saying their gear ratios were too short in Spain last year.

          • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 10th May 2012, 18:23

            @bbt “you got to admit that in a majority of DRS overtakes (not all) the defending driver has hardly any chance in defending, ”
            No, sorry, nothing for me to admit.
            The great battle between Shumi & Hamilton last year at Monza proves, that a driver can defend thier position against a driver armed with DRS, and, produce some of the best racing ever witnessed in F1 .

            But, if anyone needs to admit anything, its the vocal Anti-DRS minority, who, try to tell us things like it is impossible to defend against a car that has DRS.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 9th May 2012, 13:35

          You’ll find the rules have been altered so that if he did it now, Schumacher would be penalized, not only that, but he only just got away with it then.

        • Alfred (@afya) said on 9th May 2012, 18:26

          Current rule states the defensive driver cannot move “back and forth” to defense. This rule in fact ruined many good battles. Plus the current DRS, it’s just a easy pass.

          It also makes the cars less diverse, as I mentioned in the comment above. The mclaren/mercedes at monza last year is a good example, LH having a larger wing and more drag is hard to pass the mercedes in straight line, even with DRS. So if you want to get some easy pass, a car with fast straight line speed is the way to go. The RB got away last year because of EBD. You heard vettel’s complain this year?

      • Rocky (@rocky) said on 9th May 2012, 13:15

        @kiethcollantine So you are saying when Alonso was trapped behind Petrov at Abu Dhabi for the Championship a few years back that was good racing, well I think that’s rubbish!

        • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 9th May 2012, 13:33

          Seeing a driver defend for that amount of time is much more exciting than seeing the guy behind blast past on the straight.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 9th May 2012, 13:41

          It wasn’t unfair was it? The Ferrari didn’t have enough speed the straight, maybe it was gear ratios or maybe it was aero… For whatever reason, that’s an issue to direct at Ferrari, and not the DRS rules.

          • favomodo (@favomodo) said on 9th May 2012, 14:34

            It was utterly boring and destroyed not only that race, but also the season. What an anti-climax was that! (And I’m a neutral watcher – no Ferrari fan).

            People seem to forget why DRS is introduced: to compensate for the dirty air a front car is producing, which prevents for a faster car to pass.

            Last year DRS was introduced, so it was difficult to set up on all the tracks for the first time. Now we see that in the second season, DRS works better.

          • rankx (@rankx22) said on 9th May 2012, 15:11

            @keithcollantine

            People seem to forget why DRS is introduced: to compensate for the dirty air a front car is producing, which prevents for a faster car to pass.

            very good point. a point necessarily to be mentioned in every discussion of that topic indeed.

          • rankx (@rankx22) said on 9th May 2012, 15:48

            @keithcollantine
            Alonso about the duell Villeneuve – Arnoux in Dijon 1979:
            “Today the cars are dominated by aerodynamics – passes like that are not possible any longer.”
            (http://www.motorsport-total.com/f1/news/2012/05/Alonso_Heute_fehlt_der_Respekt_zwischen_den_Piloten_12050911.html)

            how can you fail to mention the basic problem when criticizing the possible solution, keith? a car following another is deeply at a disadvantage, which ist not especially fair and can’t be a good thing for racing.

          • Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 9th May 2012, 17:48

            @rankx22

            This is the most important statement. All other arguments resulted from the initial dependency on aerodynamics, including the idea around the new “raw eggs” tyres or the “videogame-like” DRS.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2012, 21:16

            @rankx22

            how can you fail to mention the basic problem when criticising the possible solution, Keith?

            This was what I was referring to in the last sentence of my original comment. My point was that even without DRS the new tyres introduced in 2011 would have been sufficient to improve the quality of racing.

        • F1_Dave1 said on 9th May 2012, 21:58

          The reason Alonso was stuck behind Petrov was because The Renualt had better traction out of the corners, had a higher top speed due to having a better setup & the renault having a more efficient F-duct.

          plus petrov ended up ahead of alonso as Renault got the strategy right & from there petrov made no mistakes.

          in that situation why should renault/petrov have been penalised (by alonso getting an easy drs pass) for getting everything right?

          drs is ruining the racing in f1, im sick & tired of watching boring/dull/unexciting easy Drs drive-by’s. that ain’t real racing & it certainly isn’t exciting to watch.

        • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 10th May 2012, 10:50

          @favamondo

          It was utterly boring

          It might have appeared that way on TV but I was at that race, in the grandstand at the end of the main straight, and I can assure you that the fans at the race were not at all bored by it. We were on our feet every lap, some cheering on Petrov, some cheering on Alonso but everyone entralled by the “will-he-won’t-he” battle.

          Re gear ratios… gear ratios are only a problem because of the rev limit. Its the rev limit rule that needs reform to allow greater diversity of strategy, provide for better overtaking opportunities and bring back an element of uncertain reliability.

        • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 10th May 2012, 10:52

          @favomondo

          It was utterly boring

          It might have appeared that way on TV but I was at that race, in the grandstand at the end of the main straight, and I can assure you that the fans at the race were not at all bored by it. We were on our feet every lap, some cheering on Petrov, some cheering on Alonso but everyone entralled by the “will-he-won’t-he” battle.

          Re gear ratios… gear ratios are only a problem because of the rev limit. Its the rev limit rule that needs reform to allow greater diversity of strategy, provide for better overtaking opportunities and bring back an element of uncertain reliability.

      • sid_prasher (@) said on 9th May 2012, 20:14

        I think the weather has played some part in these stats…plus one of the first 4 races last year was at Turkey which was a disaster in terms of DRS.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 9th May 2012, 12:16

      The fastest teams have the best drivers; so with better skill and machinery, drivers who end up behind lesser skilled drivers with slower machinery, should be able to get past with the need for DRS. Obviously it isn’t as simple as I make it sound, but for me, that’s how it should be.

    • thejudge13+ said on 9th May 2012, 15:44

      I may be wrong, but I believe the original working party on DRS was tasked to examine the issues around the “dirty” air produced by the rear wing of the F1 cars.

      Situations arose where one car that was much quicker than the next car up the road, would close very quickly, then the aerodynamic effect from the rear wing of the car in front would prevent the quicker car’s progress.

      So the rear wing was almost acting as a defensive aerodynamic tool. That clearly was not the intention and it inhibited racing compared to the days when the “dirty air” effect was non-existent or minimal.
      DRS was conceived to mitigate this “dirty air” situation and allow the normal progression of the quicker following car.

      DRS in a race can only be deployed when the car behind has progressed to within 1 second of the car in front. Evidently the 1 second rule for use of the DRS does not give the chasing car any advantage unless it is progressing more quickly than the car in front.

      Due to the fact DRS was introduced the same season as Pirelli tyres – which themselves have created more overtaking – appears to render the use of DRS less relevant than at the time it was conceived.

      • Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 9th May 2012, 18:03

        Ahhh but how do you know we aren’t seeing more passes because DRS allows a driver to get close enough to pass in the following corners? Remove DRS and you never know, total overtakes might go down. It’s too rash to say that we don’t need DRS any more because the tyres work better. It may be a combination of both.

      • Tricky (@tricky) said on 10th May 2012, 12:03

        When we consider what DRS was meant to help, i.e. a reduction in downforce when running close behind a rival, its quite clear why we don’t like the solution, i.e. shedding downforce in a straight line.
        So the better solution would be to allow MORE downforce to be added in the section before a straight, allowing the following car to get close enough for slip-streaming to be effective for a pass.
        That was probably the aim of the adjustable front wing, and it didn’t work

  2. Well, I couldn’t care less since this year has been the most exciting season thus far, since a LONG LONG time. DRS may not be a major contributing factor this year since the cars are considerably closer in performance terms, thus the need for DRS, outright, is negated. In any case, this is ultimately a good thing, since DRS should not be spammed, so coupled with closer performance, DRS provides an “edge” which should be used sparingly.

    We should not concentrate on stats but rather reflect that 4 different manufacturers have won the first four races. When has this last happened?

    • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 9th May 2012, 12:57

      We should not concentrate on stats but rather reflect that 4 different manufacturers have won the first four races. When has this last happened?

      Couldn’t that also be construed as a stat?

      Seriously though, I think it came up in a post a few days ago. It was in the early 80s.

      • Do you think DRS should be a primary means of overtaking or a secondary means of getting the edge? I think this season is absolutely fantastic! I’ve been a neutral observer for 20 decades and this season is sublime thus far since tyres are the primary focus and DRS is merely an option. The sport needs this and I for one think DRS is not an issue.

        • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 9th May 2012, 15:34

          DRS should definitely be the latter, a slight edge at best.

          I don’t like the way it’s presently done though, only certain (trailing) drivers are allowed to use it in a race. Either every driver gets to use it at the same time and place, or no driver does. This has been brought up a lot though.

          But as you said originally, the driving is so close now it’s questionable whether it is needed at all in its present form. The heavier cars (no refuelling) and limited tread tyres have made the racing better. DRS was just a poor attempt to overcome the turbulence problem which was/is making passing difficult. The tyres have improved on that situation, but not without introducing other artificial racing problems.

    • F1_Dave1 said on 9th May 2012, 22:00

      Well, I couldn’t care less since this year has been the most exciting season thus far, since a LONG LONG time.

      still dont see whats so exciting about this season?

      gimmicky racing, crap tyres, too many easy drs uinexciting passes, no real overtaking & very little proper racing battles.

      i can think of half dozen seasons over the past 15-20 years that were miles better.

  3. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 9th May 2012, 11:50

    That fits well with most of the overtaking coming from the Pirelli tyres rather than from having DRS, doesn’t it @keithcollantine? Even Melbourne is showing that, as the doubling of DRS overtakes was only enough for a 5% increase in DRS overtakes, and so accompanied by an even bigger amount of other overtakes (I get to 23 of them versus +17 DRS, so a total of 40 extra overtakes added to 57, working from this article).

  4. GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 9th May 2012, 12:06

    The combo of DRS, Pirellis & KERS is creating some great races, long may it continue!

    • nerf u (@nerf) said on 9th May 2012, 17:07

      bang on my man. Qualify order was race end order.

    • Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 9th May 2012, 19:12

      If it aint broke don’t fix it?

    • F1_Dave1 said on 9th May 2012, 22:04

      The combo of DRS, Pirellis & KERS is creating some great races, long may it continue!

      cant end soon enough as far as im concerned, im absolubly hating it!

      silly artificial gimmickey racing….well i woudn’t even call it racing.

      • Horacio said on 10th May 2012, 21:24

        Absolutely spot on.
        I will repeat it here so there is no doubt: “Silly artificial gimmickey racing… well i woudn’t even call it racing.”

        The combo DRS / Playstation KERS / and chewing gum tires is killing F1, creating artificial races. To me, it is shocking than some people still call it Formula 1.

  5. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 9th May 2012, 12:15

    The novelty of DRS has worn off for me, I think.

    I was open to the idea, even quite liked the idea. It worked a treat last year, but it doesn’t seem apt this year. I’m hoping this trend continues.

    I’d like to see it gone for 2013 and Pirelli adopt a similar stance as this year.

  6. iBlaze (@) said on 9th May 2012, 12:20

    “Data produced by the team revealed over two thirds of passes this year were ‘normal’ overtakes where DRS was not being used.”

    I wonder, of these ‘normal’ overtakes, how many were down to tyre degradation. It’s a pity there isn’t any data about this, although I guess we would open a can of worms trying to distinguish exactly when a tyre stops being ‘new’ and starts being ‘worn’ if we were to look into that. I like the new Pirelli style of Formula 1, it certainly produces some fantastic racing, but I just can’t help but feel that too many of these ‘normal’ passes are purely down to tyre degradation. Having said that, we are only in the second year of the DRS/Pirelli combination and, as we can see from these stats, Formula 1 is still adjusting. Maybe this time next year, the overtaking statistics will show something different again.

    I do think it’s a good thing that DRS overtaking has been brought down, I think 30% is a good target for DRS-assisted overtakes in a race. I am actually a fan of the DRS, although I do think that the rules should be made slightly different and that DRS should have a time-limit whereby a driver can use it for a total of, let’s say 200 seconds, over the course of the race. I’m sure FOM could include some sort of on-screen graphic to inform the viewer of exactly how much DRS time a driver has left. And I think this type of implementation would encourage more strategic battling throughout the race. Rather than saving the tyres, drivers could save the DRS instead (which would keep Schumacher happy I guess). This would still lead to the exciting finishes we are seeing now, as some drivers would have more DRS than others come the end of the race, some may be completely out. But by changing the rules on DRS use and then scrapping the rules on using qualifying tyres to start the race and on using both compounds during the race, I believe Formula 1 would be better off, with the racing as close as it is now, but with a new dimension brought to the race that doesn’t rely on tyres.

  7. Bazil (@bazil) said on 9th May 2012, 12:23

    Do these percentages have any consideration for DRS assists? Not straight DRS passes, but putting a driver in a position to pass in next few corners, without DRS? For example, in Bahrain, we saw lots of passing at/on the run up to turn 4 because DRS enabled the overtaker to get close at turn 1 (arguably recovering lost position due to driving in the dirty air of the car ahead) and then attempt a pass at the corner. Thus I believe doing away with DRS would have a detrimental knock-on effect to the non-DRS overtaking percentage.

    Sure, nobody wants to see cars simply driving around the car ahead, with the latter having absolutely no way to defend his position, but DRS is welcome to me when it enables the above, that to me is its clear and logical upshot

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 12:27

      nobody wants to see cars simply driving around the car ahead, with the latter having absolutely no way to defend his position

      The defending driver arguably has a defence against DRS that is stronger than DRS itself: track position. As the first driver to arrive at a corner, the defending driver gets to pick his line through it. The attacking driver often has to try and anticipate where the driver in front will go before making his move. We’ve seen countless examples of drivers opening the DRS flap, but being unable to pass, even when the cars are nose-to-tail. If we counted up the total number of DRS activations and compared it to the total number of DRS passes, I’m certain that we would find the former vastly out-numbers the latter.

    • Puffy (@puffy) said on 9th May 2012, 12:33

      Indeed. Trying to jump to conclusions based on such limited data, is naive. A proper study needs to be done on the effectiveness of DRS which takes into account that DRS might be helping to close the gap in order to overtake elsewhere. It also needs to consider whether a driver was likely to get passed anyways, but decided to use DRS as an easier and less risky option. Comparing it to last year, I would conjecture that the severe tyre wear we’ve seen has contributed to “normal” passes this year. Whether this is desirable has been a matter of much debate recently. Unfortunately, as much as I dislike the way DRS is currently implemented, I don’t think we can assume that it is becoming less needed based on this data.

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 12:24

    I’d say the difference is down to the way DRS was largely experimental last year. If I recall correctly, China and Turkey had a DRS zone of a similar length. However, Turkey produced substantially more overtaking because the straight where the activation zone was positioned had a large hill in the middle of it. This hill – which is actually quite steep – had a considerable effect on the behaviour of the cars, which clearly affected the use of DRS. By comparison, the back straight in Shanghai is almost perfectly flat. Thus, the behaviour of the cars was different to the Turkish Grand Prix, producing different amounts of overtaking.

    One year on, the FIA knows more about DRS than they did in 2011, and so they can place the zones more accurately. I think it is quite clear they want DRS to be an aide to overtaking, rather than a replacement for it, and so the placement of the zones reflect this. This was demonstrated most plainly in Bahrain; with no data on the use of DRS at the circuit, the FIA largely had to guess where the best place for the activation point was. By all accounts, the DRS zone was perhaps a bit too long. It will be interesting to see where they place it at Hockenheim and at the Circuit of the Americas.

  9. Chris Goldsmith said on 9th May 2012, 12:51

    Don’t forget the other great effect of DRS; the impact it has on qualifying. When it was first announced that they would use it in qually I couldn’t understand it, but now I think that’s probably the best thing about it. It means that certain cars which react better with the DRS (Mercedes for instance) can use that advantage in qualifying, but then may find their race pace doesn’t match up, giving you these intriguing battles between cars which are naturally low drag, and those which are trimmed heavily in DRS.

    Perhaps a better implementation would be to allow the use of DRS as a means of catching someone up. Say if you’re in a 5 second window behind them, you get to use it, but once you’re within a second, you have to use your own ability to get past. I agree with Keith – why should a driver have to effectively yeild to someone in a ‘faster’ car? Surely some of the greatest battles in the past have been those where someone with inferior machinery uses their defending ability to hold off an attack from a faster car? There have been several occasions where DRS has replaced such a battle with an easy ‘slam dunk’ pass, and I think the racing is generally poorer for it.

  10. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 9th May 2012, 12:58

    Disappointing that they’re not applying last year’s knowledge of DRS in some cases. In China there were too many easy passes for me – the driver behind flew past, didn’t have to brake late or off-line, and the other guy didn’t even put up a fight. I’d like to have seen a shorter zone than last year there, and I hope they do that in Barcelona.

    The “train” behind Raikkonen late in the race was a special set of circumstances – a car on knackered tyres followed by a car (Vettel) too slow on the straight to pass him – but able to use his DRS to defend his place, just like the ten guys behind him…

  11. Girts (@girts) said on 9th May 2012, 13:21

    I believe that Pirelli should be encouraged to keep producing ‘raw eggs’, while the effect of DRS should be minimised as much as possible. I enjoy this season much more than I enjoyed 2011 because of the tight competition and unpredictability of the races. If more vulnerable tyres and less effective DRS have helped to ensure this, then this is the right way to go.

  12. Nick.UK (@) said on 9th May 2012, 13:27

    I think China was the perfect example of how DRS should work. It gave no guarantees at all. Drivers had to make sure they had a good exit, saved some KERS boost, made the move confidently and went late on the brakes without locking up. Commentators only ever seem to say; ‘It’s too easy’ or ‘It’s not working too well here’.

    It really annoys me how not one person has said this on the TV (that I’ve seen).

  13. ivz (@ivz) said on 9th May 2012, 13:35

    There is a lot of arguments for and against DRS, but at the end of the day, its there because at the moment there is no other solution. If it wasn’t for the cars having such aero dependency, DRS would never even have been thought of. But what is the fix? The FIA aren’t going to all of a sudden put huge restrictions on wings etc to try and half downforce (although could you imagine how good the racing would be if they did and increased the width of the tyres?). DRS is just another ‘part’ of F1. Drivers and teams just have to learn how to maximise it, the same as every other element. And we have seen plenty of times where even with DRS an overtake is very difficult (particularly if 7th gear does not favour it). The real easy passes come when the car in front has less grip exiting the corner, generally due to tyre wear.

  14. DavidJH (@davidjh) said on 9th May 2012, 14:18

    There’s a lot to be said on both sides of the DRS debate. I think it’s worth distinguishing between two sorts of criticism. One is that it’s a gimmick, by which most people seem to mean that it is ‘artificial,’ in the same way as perhaps KERS is, and therefore detracts from the purity of traditional motor racing. The second is that it is unfair, since unlike say KERS only the following driver has the opportunity to use it. It seems to me that arguments from unfairness are generally stronger than those from artificiality, however I am not completely convinced that DRS is really unfair. After all, at the moment the car in front has an ‘unfair’ advantage in that it creates a backwash that interferes with and degrades the follow car’s aerodynamics. In this light, DRS could be viewed as simply a way of levelling the playing field, and reducing the unfairness caused by the dirty air. The key thing then is to tweak the size of the effect so as to counter the dirty air problem and no more. I think we are seeing some of this tweaking this year, which is why the number of DRS passes is relatively down.

  15. dkpioe said on 9th May 2012, 14:47

    good, i hate artificial overtaking. this year has been more interesting anyway, and overtakings are still occuring because some drivers cant manage their tyres (ie schumacher!)

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.