Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Montreal, 2012

Which races should DRS be used at?

Debates and PollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Montreal, 2012F1 is almost halfway through its second season using the Drag Reduction System.

DRS remains a bone of contention for many and is a frequent source of debate in our post-race ‘Rate the Race’ features.

F1 teams have indicated they’re willing to listen to fans on devices introduced to improve ‘the show’ such as DRS. With that in mind, is DRS needed at every track on the calendar?

Should F1 try running without DRS at some tracks? Is it not needed anywhere? Or does every F1 circuit need a DRS zone? Cast your vote below.

Which races should DRS be used at?

Take your pick of the current circuits which feature on the F1 calendar which have held at least one race. You can choose as many tracks as you prefer or select ‘none’ if you would rather not see DRS used at all:

Which races should DRS be used at?

  • Australia (Albert Park) (46%)
  • Malaysia (Sepang) (28%)
  • China (Shanghai) (27%)
  • Bahrain (BIC) (50%)
  • Spain (Catalunya) (58%)
  • Monaco (Monte-Carlo) (45%)
  • Canada (Circuit Villeneuve) (21%)
  • Europe (Valencia) (62%)
  • Britain (Silverstone) (36%)
  • Germany (Hockenheim) (30%)
  • Germany (Nurburgring) (35%)
  • Hungary (Hungaroring) (57%)
  • Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps) (18%)
  • Italy (Monza) (25%)
  • Singapore (Marina Bay) (56%)
  • Japan (Suzuka) (38%)
  • Korea (KIC) (39%)
  • India (Buddh) (41%)
  • Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina) (59%)
  • Brazil (Interlagos) (27%)
  • None (31%)

Total Voters: 381

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104 comments on “Which races should DRS be used at?”

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  1. In my view, the DRS is a stop-gap solution to a fundamental problem. As long as F1 cannot or will not fix the issue of aero-overdependence, because of which a trailing car can’t go around corners as quick because of the dirty air coming from ithe car in front, DRS is a necessary evil.

    I love what DRS does for (most of) the Grands Prix, though. :-)

  2. We needed DRS + Bridgestone tyres. It’s the pirellis that are problematic, not drs.

  3. I fear we could have an F1 closer to code masters new “stars of f1” game rather than the f1 2012, if drs continues to be used as it was in Canada.

  4. I’m saying none. DRS is a nice way for the teams to slap one another on the back and say, “Jolly good, we’ve fixed the overtaking problem. More gin?” but that’s about it. In addition, nobody who pays the blindest bit of attention has fallen for it.

    As others have said, the problem with overtaking is caused by the over-reliance of cars on overbody aerodynamics, creating the dreaded “dirty air.” Rewrite the rules to place a greater emphasis on ground effects, and restrict what the teams are allowed to do with overbody aero, and you’ve got a formula for cars that can follow one another more closely through fast corners, and therefore are more likely to be able to overtake one another.

    Of course, there was an agreement in principle for regulations just like this to be implemented. But some of the teams didn’t want to upset the status quo, so those plans were abandoned. Which – as a related point – is why getting the teams to write the rulebook isn’t actually a very good idea.

  5. What I like about DRS is that it creates the threat of overtaking, if one driver is closing on another, whereas in the past this didn’t necessarily generate much excitement, with passing being so difficult. Nevertheless I voted “none”, because it’s unfair and artificial. The latter reason is why I wouldn’t second any proposals like ‘enable DRS everywhere at the track, but limit its use to 90 seconds per race’ (what they have in FR3.5), as that just detracts from the purity of the sport without creating many overtaking opportunities. Finally, DRS is potentially dangerous. We have been ensured that the DRS cannot remain in the open position, but that’s exactly what happened to Schumacher in Canada. Fortunately, nothing has happened yet, but it’s still better to rule out one potential source of freak accidents.

    Finally, let me make it clear that I voted “none” based on what I would like to see, what is best for the sport is for someone else to worry about.

    1. davidnotcoulthard
      13th July 2012, 13:52

      Yes, artificial, spot on, although if all drivers are allowed to use it everywhere on the track at any time, regardless as to who/what is in front of him, not just the drivers overtaking, We’ll be in for a treat: The driver who is the best at deploying the DRS will win, and with more factors deciding one’s ability, the races shouldn’t be boring.

  6. davidnotcoulthard
    13th July 2012, 13:47

    At the tracks in the F1 2012 game. Not the ones in real life.

  7. The things that should change in my opinion are:
    more fixed elements, such as wings, chassis, floor, diffuser => less focus on aero, less aero wake
    rock hard tyres => tyres are not punished for trying to overtake, just try again
    total free engines, with a limit on fuel(energy) consumed. Electric, diesel, hydrogen, rocketfuel etc. => more horse power, with less downforce and tyre-grip menas harder to drive cars, means more overtaking because of small errors.
    Also the combination of unlimted possibilities but a fixed amount of energy to be used in the F1 engineering environment, make F1 really the place to be for manufactors again.

    I know the teams won’t like it at first, but if F1 really wants to be the absolute pinnacle of both sport and development this should do the trick!

    @keithcollantine, maybe can you ask @JohnBeamer to write an article with all kinds of proposed/fantasy rules, like the ones I mention above and their possible impact on racing/overtaking? I’m no engineer, but to me my proposals make sense and other things I read here as well.

    1. davidnotcoulthard
      13th July 2012, 14:00

      No, I’d prefer having the FIA limit the space (Volume, for example in litres) of the engine+gearbox+fuel tank+KERS+all sort of other things bay. It’ll be a balancing competition, and it’ll be nice.

  8. I’m not sure that the current emphasis on overtaking is that useful anyway. It seems to be the flavour of the month, with the only factor in how exciting people (are told they should) find the race being the number of overtakes which are made. I cringe every time I hear a team boss talking about the “show” and the “spectacle”. If you want a show, go to the theatre, if you want a spectacle, go to specsavers. People who love racing love all aspects of racing, and trying to artificially enhance any element of it is only to the detriment of the sport as a whole. We don’t need a different winner every race to make the championship exciting. We don’t need every race to be the most incredible race in the history of the sport. F1 has been brilliant for the past decade, with great racing pretty much every season. I don’t think we need gimmicks like DRS, or even KERS (in its current guise, though I do think hybrid technology is the future of racing). If you don’t get excited just by seeing the fastest racing cars on earth being driven by some of the most skilful drivers, around some of the most challenging circuits, then you’re not a motorsports fan.

  9. *At which races should DRS be used?- FTFY

  10. I think that DRS should be used at all circuits however the way in which it is uesd should be changed.

    Get rid of the 1 second rule but keep the DRS zone, or on selected circuits add more than one. Instead of being available when the trailing car is 1 second behind the car in front, allow each driver x number of DRS uses per race. In a 50 lap race allow then to use DRS on 30 of the 50 laps with the driver being able to choose when they use it.

    Do they use all their DRS early in the race to try and build an early lead? Do they use it on their in-lap to try and find clear track to pull into? Do they use it to try and overtake? To tray and prevent a trailing car from overtaking?

    Letting the driver decide when and how to use it would provide another strategic element to the races.

    On circuits where overtaking it traditionally difficult allow each driver more DRS and on overtaking friendly circuits allow them to use it less.

  11. not really in favor of DRS, so chose None. But if its got to stay, i think it should be disabled for all those fast-track races.
    What i also think is tracks like Abu Dhabi and Korea can benefit more from a re-design than DRS, especially Abu Dhabi, which could use less perpendicular corners and hairpins and have more dynamic layout. that is my opinion.

  12. DRS leads to completely contrived racing, I hated the “car behind boost” in video games and I sure as hell hate it here.. None was my vote.. Manipulating the tyres is almost as bad and equivilent to Bernies fake rain solution so that good development goes to waste due to fake randomised conditions..

    I’m not one to complain without offering a solution however so I’ve come up with an alternative..

    Have two sets of races each weekend. One where the drivers battle all out in GoKarts which are designed to have identical performances. The other where they race cars developed by the teams with only a few restrictions and a strictly enforced budget cap.

    The points would be divided across both races each weekend..

    Practice sessions would be limited only to the teams own cars. Qualifying and the race would be reduced and divided between Go Karts and Team cars..

    That way we’d see great racing with the pure talent rising to the top in one race and a furious development race between the teams and great strategy in the other race.

    I’d watch that anyway

    1. I have no idea why by now we don’t have something like Start/Middle/End Season Karting race where all 24 Drives have to participate. That’s going to be a great show and will help young kids to connect with what actually happens in F1, get them interested and off the streets!

  13. DRS should be banned. It’s ridiculous.

  14. DRS should be banned.

    1. I’m so very sorry, double post. Delete this one, please.

  15. DRS itself isn’t the issue. I agree that it is artificial for specified zones and takes away from racing. My thought is that F1 should be about driver skill over all else. If the car is amazing, but drives itself…the drivers talent is minimized. To this, I suggest letting a driver use the DRS *anytime* they want. If they want to try it open on 130R, go for it. If they want to get alongside and try it in the Monaco tunnel, go nuts. This would bring racing back to the fundamental roots of driver talent. If the driver knows his car and can handle using DRS in places that another driver isn’t comfortable with, then you will see more “natural” overtaking.

    1. Completely agree!!!

    2. It makes sense.

    3. @gdenton Tempted to say the same myself but the safety boffins would allow it. Someone who isn’t up to it will go for it and inevitably wall it.

    4. Agree.

      I’m already imagining new Perez vs Maldonado moment :D

  16. I voted to keep it at all tracks.

    The reason is down to what I think could be an ugly situation if you start picking which tracks should and shouldn’t have DRS. Probably not as applicable this year, owing to an extremely competitive grid but if you go back to 2011 it could be very different. Take the RB7 for example, fast through the corners, slow on the straights. That in theory gave other teams at least a chance to catch Vettel with the aid of DRS. If you then remove that advantage you’re reducing another teams shot at success which could be misconstrued as a political move, especially if you ask the teams for their opinion. It might sound far fetched, but a tenth is a tenth in this sport.

    I think the system should stay as far as the mechanics of it are concerned but the application needs reviewing. Limiting it to a specific area makes it predictable. Expand it to more of the circuit where possible and devise a limitation on it’s activation. Turn it into something to get excited about, not sterile.

    1. NONE….





  17. I have voted for Aus, Bah, Spain, Mon, GB, Hun, Sing, Jap and Abu Dhabi which seems to be pretty common with other voters as well.

    I personally don’t support a DRS zone in Valencia while other 60% voters think so. Agreed, Valencia gave duds in previous years but I believe that with the closeness of the field and KERS, it will make a decent GP. It’s a track with high tire wear and that spices up even further. It will be a challenge for drivers as to on which straight to use KERS and in what percentage.

    Similarly, Korea and India don’t need DRS. They have long straights to slipstream and with tire wear being an issue, the exit onto the straight makes a difference as well.

    Whereas India has prepared a track in such a way that it can encourage overtaking with it’s huge width on the entry and exit before a straight.

  18. If the (aero) rules stay the same, I’d say the following tracks need DRS zone(s):
    – Melbourne. Just doesn’t have long enough straight to do it otherwise.
    – Bahrain.
    – Catalunya. Must have at this track.
    – Valencia. See above.
    – Nürburgring. The corners leading onto the long-ish back straight are too fast, so a DRS zone “must” be there.
    – Hungaroring. Unless it rains, there’s no way past on this track without DRS.
    – Monza. Say what you want, but the somewhat tactical element that DRS brought to this track was pretty fascinating last year (and the year before that with the F duct).
    – Singapore. Doesn’t have to be as long as last year, nor even at the same place.
    – Suzuka. The ultimate aero track.
    – Abu Dhabi. I’d rather have this off the calendar.

  19. I guess it has already been suggested before, so I’m not boasting about bringing a new idea here, just giving my own opinion.

    First of all I think the on-track action has been great so far this year, and that almost every GP is interesting to follow. So thinks my old dad who follows F1 since the late 60’S.

    But I agree also when people say that DRS gievs an unfair advantage to attacking drivers, and therefore making most of the battles artificial. I also agree that dirty air is artificially reducing chances for any driver who tries to overtake.

    This leaves us with the following question : how to improve overtaking possibilities without giving unfair advantage to the attacker?

    I think the key is that driving must be overall more challenging. It seems that every driver with the right concentration level & set up can make a perfect lap nowadays. I would suggest to make driving more difficult than it is. Here are a few ideas :

    1 – Let kers and DRS available all time. That would allow drivers who feel confident to use it in tricky corners, when following other cars. The most daring would get the better exit and get a chance to overtake or increase its advantage when leading.

    2 – Replace tarmac run-off areas with the surface they have at Paul Ricard, which is abrasive enough to punish any driver that ventures off-track. Combined with point 1, this will advantage drivers with both reliability and skill.

    3- Get rid of the ‘must use both type of tyres in the race’ rule, and encourage tyre suppliers to make tyres that last more than one GP. Not forbid to change tyres, but making it irrelevant strategy-wise. So that drivers will not be afraid of pushing all GP through and locking their tyres attempting to overtake.

    Actually I think everything must be made so that driving get more difficult that it is today, and spare us the “be gentle on the tyres / engine / gearbox” syndrome. It will make us recognise which driver has the best skills and fitness level.

    What is your opinion ?

    1. I am not sure it would get rid of saving tyres, gearboxes, engines etc, as those have been part of the sport right from the onset over a century ago @wilhelm

      But I think that what you propose could work pretty good for racing.

  20. Looking forward a little bit… If a new fan’s first introduction to F1 comes through the new (and awesome looking) F1 Race Stars game… I think nothing would shock them more than to watch their first actual race and find out the DRS and KERS options are actually real things!

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