Which races should DRS be used at?

Debates and Polls

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?

  1. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 13th July 2012, 11:33

    I voted Australia, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Valencia, Hungary, Singapore, Abu Dhabi.

  2. James (@jamesf1) said on 13th July 2012, 11:36

    There’s only two answers to this question. All of them or none of them. What’s the point in having this device available for only a certain, select number of races?

    People complain about the lack of transparency in the sport, how things are chopped and changed. I hardly see how this is going to help. The casual viewer wont understand the reasons entirely. Even when you try to explain it, some still wont get it.

  3. If it’s going to be a part of the rules, it should be used for all races. That’s all really.

  4. SubSailorFl said on 13th July 2012, 12:01

    The reduction in downforce at this point would probably come thru smaller or no wings which would result in less sponsor ad room. Hard to believe we’ll see that.

  5. Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 13th July 2012, 12:17

    I voted for no DRS. As I watched the British Grand Prix, I started thinking about casual F1 watchers – the sort that would watch their home GP, maybe Monaco or just if they happened to catch it on TV. These sort of people are on the cusp of becoming new fans and the sport should do everything it can to encourage these people to start watching more regularly. Trouble is, the sport has become jargon-filled. The commentary during the British GP talked of prime and option tyres, DRS, KERS, defensive driving rules, drivers going ‘purple’, jumping cars at the pit stops, stint lengths, Q1, Q2, Q3, yellow flags, DRS zones, etc.

    F1 is too complicated for the new or casual fan, and as a result is probably difficult to follow and will detract viewers from watching regularly. Having DRS at only a few races will make it even more complicated. The system must either be kept permanently or scrapped altogether. After watching some of the questionable overtakes this year, and considering the complexity of the sport already, I would vote for the latter.

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 1st January 2013, 17:34

      (@cornflakes) If people don’t understand the sport they don’t deserve to watch it. Although I agree with you on scrapping it, I feel we should scrap it for the opposite reason – that it’s too populist and I would argue distorts the racing the achieve more overtakes.

      Enough things have been ruined (particularly since the 80s) to appeal to the idiotic ‘wider audience’. F1 is one of the few things remaining that has preserved its complexities, subtleties and intelligence, and if the dim-witted masses can’t figure out what a yellow flag is they can go watch cars turn left in NASCAR.

  6. Lustigson (@lustigson) said on 13th July 2012, 12:26

    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. :-)

  7. Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 13th July 2012, 12:31

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

  8. Jake (@jleigh) said on 13th July 2012, 12:46

    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.

  9. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 13th July 2012, 12:47

    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.

  10. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 13th July 2012, 13:05

    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.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 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.

  11. davidnotcoulthard said on 13th July 2012, 13:47

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

  12. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 13th July 2012, 13:53

    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.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 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.

  13. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 13th July 2012, 14:17

    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.

  14. Vettel said on 13th July 2012, 14:29

    *At which races should DRS be used?- FTFY

  15. 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.

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