Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014

DRS critics are “wrong” – Fittipaldi

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014Emerson Fittipaldi believes the Drag Reduction System introduced to Formula One three years ago has been a positive development for the sport.

Writing in an article for McLaren, Fittipaldi said that while DRS can make passing too easy in some instances, he thinks it has been to the benefit of F1 as a whole.

“Purists tend to criticise DRS, but in my view they’re wrong to do so,” said the two-times world champion.

“Granted, initially, on some circuits, DRS occasionally made overtaking a little easier than is ideal, but on balance the contribution made by DRS has in my opinion been positive.

“And, more important, on the vast majority of circuits, even with DRS, overtaking is still sufficiently difficult that it demands that each driver knows how to race, not only how to drive quickly, which isn’t the same thing at all.”

Fittipaldi is the president of the FIA Drivers’ Commission.

The only change to DRS for this season is in the size of the rear wing flaps. These have been made larger in an attempt to ensure DRS remains approximately as powerful as it has been previously despite the reduction in downforce in this year’s cars.

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91 comments on “DRS critics are “wrong” – Fittipaldi”

  1. Fittipaldi- u are wrong

    1. @foleyger Is he? The problem isn’t DRS. It’s the aerodynamic regulations which leads the cars to leave a hell of a lot of dirty air behind, therefor a following car must be much much faster to overtake.

      Change the regs to fix that, and then we can get rid of DRS. DRS is an ugly plaster to the problem, and fans are picking at the plaster. When what they should be focused on is getting stitches for the real problem – the regulations.

      1. @timi I agree with you that overtaking is the problem and cleaning up dirty air is the solution. But as @robbie has pointed out a few times, smaller and flatter wings in front and back are really the only way they can do that, currently. For some reason that doesn’t seem to be considered.

        1. Smaller and flatter wings in front and back are really the only way they can do that, currently.

          Like the ones pre-2009 cars had, sort of?

          1. I don’t recall them being smaller or flatter overall, although I may be wrong. The front wing was indeed narrower, but didn’t require such a wide standard central region.

          2. I was thinking of the smaller, narrower front wings and the lower, wider rear wings, which in particular I took as flatter but I may have misinterpreted that.

          3. The wings in pre-2009 may have been shallower/smaller, but with the rear wing at least they had an over all gain over the post 2009 wings.. The lower positioning of the wing made it interact with the diffuser better, creating more downforce and dirty air.

      2. @timi,@daved, Can I correct both of you, dirty air does not make it harder to overtake on a straight, in fact dirty air helps “drafting” and passing in a straight line , it is when going around corners that dirty air hurts a following car by upsetting the laminar flow of air over the front wing resulting in loss of downforce and increased understear and tyre wear. The only sensible solution is to decrease the size and effectiveness of front wings in producing downforce and compensate for the loss with more mechanical grip or ground effect downforce.

        1. @hohum I didn’t even mention straights, but thanks for the correction.. lol.

          You and @daved are correct – smaller, less efficient front wings is the way forward. Why the FIA doesn’t even seem to be looking into it is perplexing. It’s as if they actually like the DRS.

        2. @hohum Yes, agreed. I was really talking about the corners where a great deal of overtaking actually occurs…or at least should be occurring LOL
          As for the straights, see my post just below this on how I’d like to see them fix that problem, especially if they won’t go after the low profile wings.
          But as @timi says, they seem to actually LIKE their DRS and must think the average fan can’t tell the difference between real racing and a gimmick so they go for that instead of a real fix.

    2. I’m going to say this here, at the top, and I’m asking everyone to read my post before they totally write me off :)

      I think we’re fighting the wrong demon here. Movable aero parts is not the issue, it’s the implementation we call DRS. Letting the cars get a higher top speed through Movable AeroDynamics, (MAD) :) is a good thing. And I dubbed it MAD because I want to get away from the DRS issues…and because they’ll be racing in anger LOL

      Back to my point: Just like more hp is a good thing because it lets the cars go faster and who isn’t thrilled about the prospect of seeing them do ~375kph in the speed trap at Monza this year?!? without movable aerodynamics of some type, that will be more like 345kph.

      So I’m suggesting that we get rid of DRS with it’s silly rules about when you can use it, artificial passing, etc and view MAD as the new norm and drivers can use that just like they use KERS or their turbo chargers this year: Anytime they put their foot in it to make the cars go faster.

      Bottom line: I like the cars going faster….I just want the silly DRS rules changed so that it isn’t just an overtaking gimmick.

      1. I would agree. I say that it is a gimmick because it’s applied in such an arbitrarily gimmicky way i.e. only to the driver behind and only when they are within a pre-determined time. (why they don’t adjust this rather than the zones and activation points is beyond me – it would be easier to adjust and you could avoid the current problem which is that it tends to be way, way too easy or conversely, impossible to get the overtake done. all the good passes last year were done without DRS.)

        also, they don’t gain that much with DRS at Monza because they are already running low-downforce – there’s just not that much to gain. you may be thinking of 2010 and McLaren’s f-duct which was usable around the entire lap.

        1. @frood19 yeah, Monza may be a bit of a stretch for that much of a performance gain. I was going by some numbers I could find for F1 cars (circa 2011 and a Road and Track article) that had some actual F1 car numbers. With a Cd of .98 and a frontal area of 1.33m^2 yeilds an effective CdA of 1.3m^2. DRS drops that Cd to .81 and at a track like Monza, that’s worth slightly over 4MJ of saved energy. From a pure aero drag perspective, that’s like adding 160hp to the engines power. Of course, as you point out, Monza already goes with a low down force setup so it will probably only have half that effect at Monza.
          Assuming the engines are about 30% efficiency, that 4MJ could save a driver ~6.5 laps worth of gas per race. That is a LOT of extra fuel when you’re already constrained by the 100kg limit.

          If F1 is really about efficiency per kg of fuel as they suggest, then they should allow the teams to take advantage of this. And it would give the rest of us more pure racing as they would not have to be saving all the time.

          Also, movable aero is starting to hit street cars and the high end cars are closing down grills, etc in some of their newer models to improve highway mpg. The whole point is to be more relevant to road racing, right??? :)

          1. @daved exactly. moveable aerodynamics is just one of many technologies that F1 could have truly pioneered, but it happened to quickly and was, at the time, dangerous.

    3. @foleyger That’s obvious my friend. Anyone can read this line and understand why is fittipaldi defending drs

      Fittipaldi is the president of the FIA Drivers’ Commission.

      If you adore DRS you might as well throw track position to the bin and make F1 races like rally stages one car at the time.

      In my opinion DRS is an inelegant take on a bigger problem, if cars can’t follow each other solve the aero. If cars won’t run in q3 don’t penalize tyre use. These are the solutions but using duck tape is easier and it also gives these guys a reason to mess about if it weren’t the faults if everything was perfect they wouldn’t have a job. This is how the world works.

      If you really don’t want thugs selling drugs go after the buyers with no users there’s no selling drugs, otherwise you’re always going to inflate prices and encourage more people to sell drugs. Hell if you don’t want drugs just legalize them and educate people about them.

    4. DRS also has unexpected consequences, like the Hamilton – Bottas incident in which a car just lapped is immediately able to “attack” the driver who has just lapped him, while on the same straight he was lapped.
      DRS as it is currently implemented leads to confusing situations, as the primary reason for its introduction was to clear back markers and slower cars.

      1. Just a few quick comments here having gotten a mention in a post above and after quickly scanning the comments so far. When I suggested smaller flatter wings it was not with a certain year or era in mind, it is with Monza in mind….every year. I think if they were limited to this much wing at all venues that would go a long way toward closer racing without the need for DRS.

        Only other comment I have is that EF’s opinion is clear that he thinks DRS is good for the sport…I just don’t see where he says in what way. So I think it is just political speak. If he had a solid argument as to why he thinks it is good for the sport, I think I would still respond with a comment such as…if DRS is good for the sport then the sport has a problem.

  2. Even if they’d had DRS back in the day those Copersucars wouldn’t have gone any faster …

  3. on the vast majority of circuits, even with DRS, overtaking is still sufficiently difficult

    I’d say it was a very small minority where this was the case. In most places DRS now makes overtaking a bit like passing a milk float when you’re driving an ICBM.

  4. Being an FIA employee, it’s clear he has to say something like that. But when he admits that “on some circuits, DRS occasionally made overtaking a little easier than is ideal”, why does nothing happen but gets even worse than before (2013 was awful in that respect)?

    1. Come on man, give Emerson some credit. Do you think he needs anything from the FIA at this point. Fame, money, a job? Double F1 champ Indycar champ, living and breathing F1 legend and straight talking (always been) guy. He doesn’t need to say anything he doesn’t agree with.

      1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend There’s so many former drivers and also world champs who need all three of those things at the moment… It really wouldn’t surprise me anymore. I just try to understand how a two times world champion from the 70s can make such a statement:

        on balance the contribution made by DRS has in my opinion been positive

        and be honest at the same time. I don’t know which races he saw. In most of the races I saw, it was far from difficult to overtake with DRS. It’s frustrating to see a car flying by another one just after Eau Rouge because of DRS instead of not knowing who will be ahead at the end of Kemmel straight. It is completely unnecessary there and only one example where DRS is not needed at all.

        Maybe I’m getting him wrong but his comment

        And, more important, on the vast majority of circuits, even with DRS, overtaking is still sufficiently difficult that it demands that each driver knows how to race, not only how to drive quickly, which isn’t the same thing at all.

        rather reads like: It’s difficult because you have to take the right line and the right braking point etc. While that might be true, it is part of what an F1 driver has to be able to deliver every race all season long. Because of DRS the battle when going into corners is not given at all most of the time because the overtake happened way before the next cornrer.

        1. Please, listen to yourself. What former F1 champ needs any of those things, especially one as accomplished as Fittipaldi? You sound so misinformed when you post a comment like that. Just because he is saying something you don’t agree with instead of thinking about the subject a bit harder you choose to take the man’s quote and twist it into something that suits your view. He never said DRS was perfect, he said ‘on the balance’ it has been good. Yes there are places when it doesn’t work well, thank you for stating the obvious @wallbreaker.
          And lastly, whatever you do don’t question this man’s honesty bro, he raced hard in cars that were practically coffins with his mates dying right left and centre and he was doing all that when you were nothing but a swimmer inside your father’s nuts**k.

          1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend

            What former F1 champ needs any of those things, especially one as accomplished as Fittipaldi?

            I never said that. I suggested that there are always former drivers and also champions (Villeneuve comes to my mind immediately) who are desperate to get some attention or money or both. Knowing that I’m always cautious about what former drivers have to say. It was not my intention to say Emmo is one of them.

            Just because he is saying something you don’t agree with instead of thinking about the subject a bit harder you choose to take the man’s quote and twist it into something that suits your view.

            Just look at the comments here. The majority of people feel that DRS isn’t needed or needs to be tweaked at least. The same thing I said. I didn’t talk about all the races but about most of them. Sure, some races DRS worked well but those were far too little and I think I’m not the only one who is of that opinion. And the examples are clearly there. Other guys pointed them out here as well. I just don’t see how there is that balance he talked about. If you can show me statistics, feel free to prove me wrong.

            And before accusing me of taking “the man’s quote and twist it into something that suits” my view, please, take time and read carefully. I didn’t write “Maybe I’m getting him wrong” for you to overread it, it’s simply my interpretation of what he said. Don’t make more of it.

            Yes there are places when it doesn’t work well, thank you for stating the obvious @wallbreaker.

            That’s your view and it’s an euphemism of my view. As I said before, show me statistics to prove I’m utterly negative on this.

            And lastly, whatever you do don’t question this man’s honesty bro, he raced hard in cars that were practically coffins with his mates dying right left and centre and he was doing all that when you were nothing but a swimmer inside your father’s nuts**k.

            Thanks for the information, but I already know all of this. Bro. How about saying some of these things a little nicer next time?

            I find it particularly interesting you want me to not “question this man’s honesty” under all circumstances just because for what he did. I have lots of respect for this sort of driver and their accomplishments at their time but blind faith just because of one man’s reputation sounds a little foolish to me. If you apply that logic to Niki Lauda… well, you never saw F1 on RTL, did you? ;)

        2. You dont need to try discredit the guy just because you disagree with him.

          1. While I agree EF shouldn’t be derided for his comments, nor should JV, nor are they desperate for attention or money, I also don’t think EF is backing up his argument with anything. He is just saying he believes DRS is good for the sport but isn’t saying how. So in that sense he does come across as just towing the FIA party line.

        3. Sorry but you have your head too far up your own rear end to even contemplate what I am trying to tell you. I’m just calling you out on your BS not here to be nice to you. @wallbreaker as long as you keep spouting out nonsense I will keep calling you out on it, as simple as that. Dude.

  5. Not in it’s current iteration.

    Surely it can’t be too difficult to have a Formula Renault-type system implemented, or even better a proximity deactivated DRS in tandem with the normal zones which deactivates the system when you are within a certain distance of another car, so there is no advantage going into the braking zone.

  6. You’re wrong, Emerson. Very, very wrong.

  7. Anyone of you have a WDC or a even a single GP victory under your belt? No? What makes you think you know more than someone who does?

    1. Does anybody even remember life before DRS? Remember how almost every track was as hard as Monaco to get past because of dirty air? Sometimes I think most of the so called fans of F1 are just fans of whinging about how the sport is no good anymore and they’re going yo quit watching in favour of MotoGP or some other series where there is still “real racing.” And yet… They still watch and what’s worse, they still come on sites and complain about it! Very amusing! :D

      1. @abbinator I’m putting up with DRS because there are many other aspects about Formula 1 that I still love. I don’t see how commenting on blogs saying you don’t appreciate this particular aspect of the sport is anything but normal.

        1. @andae23
          I agree. DRS may not be my best choice for a new gimmick but the good aspects keep me watching the television screen as keenly as ever!

      2. Does anybody even remember life before DRS?

        Yes I do & on the whole it was better.

        Back then we had proper racing & real exciting overtaking rather than the utterly boring highway passing we see thanks to the Dumb Racing Solution.

        DRS creates zero excitement, It just creates a series of utterly boring highway passes which is so boring to watch that I’ve stopped watching more than one race because of it & for the record over the 30+ years before DRS I never once turned off a race which I had started watching.

        The thing I loved about F1 was the racing, I loved watching drivers racing for a position, Fighting each other hard with unpredictability over if/when an overtake would occur. I loved watching those hard fought for, super exciting overtakes where the car behind had to work hard to pull off the overtake.
        I became fans of drivers like Hamilton, Montoya, Kobayashi, Villeneuve, Senna & more because they were great racers who had the skill to pull off brilliant overtakes, At times when overtaking was considered impossible & thats why these drivers stood out above the rest.

        The past 3 years the racing has simply not been as good in that respect, Passing has become so commonplace & so ridiculously easy in most cases that theres no interest or excitement over it now. The car behind pushes his DRS button & is past very easily half way down the straght, No late braking battle for the corner, No exciting wheel to wheel battle, Nothing!

        Worse still, Everyone is able to easily pass now so the great racers no longer stand out. The core skills of overtaking & defending are becoming utterly worthless. Most the time there’s little point in defending because DRS is so powerful & when all you need do is push a button in a designated zone the skill of overtaking has been taken down several notches.

        Looking back to 2013, For the 1st time there was more DRS generated passes than real overtaking & according to som estats I’ve seen elsewhere 84% of the DRS passes were on the easy side. That in my opinion is utterly wrong!

        If DRS worked like it was meant to & acted purely as an assist, Aiding the car behind to get alongside then fine. But when most of the time its generating the passes very easily then its not working as its meant to & is definitely not improving anything.

        DRS is nothing more than quantity over quality. Were getting nothing but a lot more extremely low quality highway passing which just isn’t in any way interesting or exciting to watch as a racing fan & the sooner F1 moves away from that the better things will be.

        And regarding people ‘still watching’, Worldwide TV figures & track attendance are both dropping since 2011 (Including in many country’s where the TV broadcasters have remained unchanged) & I know plenty of former F1 fans in that group who no longer watch F1 purely because of the damage DRS has done.

        I’ve said before how myself & a large group of family/friends used to attend Montreal every year, Yet we never went in 2013 & won’t be going in 2014 purely because were not going to watch another DRS-fest where nobody wants to try & overtake at the hairpin anymore because of the DRS zone down the next straght (Where there are no fans by the way).

        If people really enjoy all this utterly boring & unexciting straght line highway passing then good for you. As long as it remains however my interest in F1 will continue to be in free fall because I find the DRS-era to be utterly boring with some of the worse racing I’ve ever seen in any of the categories I’ver ever watched.

        1. That. I’m starting to get my racing fix from purer categories like the WEC, WRC, GT Series, and GP2 and Indycar to a slightly lesser extent. I love the technology of Formula 1 (aerodynamics in particular), I love watching onboards from qualifying with no one talking over it. This is what keeps me hooked on F1, because it certainly isn’t the racing.

        2. Nick (@grosjean0817)
          11th March 2014, 22:07

          So what happened to anybody stuck behind a Sauber (especially Hülkenberg) late last year? Or to anyone stuck behind a Force India in 2012? Or to Mark Webber in Austin last year when he ran behind Grosjean for the entire race? I understand some do not like DRS, but to overstate it like that shows how little attention you pay to the actual race. DRS basically helps who it should in the race, and racing should not be watching a train of cars not able be able to pass.

          1. racing should not be watching a train of cars not able be able to pass.

            And it should also not a race which featured 50+ easy DRS passes & as someone above points out according to the stats, In 2013 80+% of DRS passes were on the easier side.

            DRS basically helps who it should in the race,

            But who’s to say who deserves DRS help & who doesn’t?

            If a driver has worked hard to get his car ahead of others, Does he then deserve to be DRS-ed & have no way to defend against it?

            Look at Paul Di Resta at Bahrain last year, Great drive to get into the top 3, Then others cruise up behind him, Push there DRS button & there was nothing Paul could do to defend his place, That is utterly wrong.
            A great drive by a driver in a slower car should be rewarded & not punished via stupid gimmicks like DRS just because a car behind may be ‘faster’.

            Go back further to Montreal 2011, Schumacher pulls out a brilliant drive to get upto 2nd. DRS gets enabled & then he’s utterly defenseless against Button/Webber behind him who both just cruise past him with ease, Again that was wrong.

    2. He hasn’t raced with DRS either. Nor in the era before DRS where dirty air made overtaking so difficult. On that basis, as a fan of the sport, I would say I’m just as qualified as him.

    3. Anyone of you have a WDC or a even a single GP victory under your belt? No? What makes you think you know more than someone who does?

      I’m unsure if the current grid’s world champions would agree with you or Emerson.

      Does anybody even remember life before DRS?

      Yes, in 2010 we had refuelling removed and we had more passing than the previous 17 years that did have refuelling. In addition, other factors, such as the tyres (which to be fair, have been poor, except for 2011) have also changed since DRS was introduced.

      1. In 2010 everything was allright.

      2. This is the main reason I hate DRS and can only see it as a gimmick- we never got a chance to see what F1 was like between them fixing the legitimate problems and drafting in a desperate solution to a problem which may not even exist any more.

    4. @abbinator 1 WDC that will debunk your argument… Jacques Villeneuve…. No matter what JV says, he always seems to be unenlightened on any subject… Conversely, I’m sure that some of the F1Fanatics on this website might have some valuable contributions to this and any topic

  8. Who cares what Emerson has to say? Really.

  9. Why debate the DRS when drivers in 2014 have not got fuel enough to push for a full race? Eco-drive is THE skill needed for the new format of F1. Not speed. DRS or not is NOTHING compared to the eco-drive crap. Let’s focus on the main things pls.

    1. That is at least equal though and will get markedly better as time progresses, particularly next season when they engineers will have time to fiddle with the engines. So it will be almost a non-issue very soon, whereas DRS remains an issue.

    2. I think the eco-driving is going to turn out to be less of a factor than we think. For the first few races, there will be so many retirements that the safety car will have to come out a few times and that will let them save fuel for ~10-20 laps per race so they’ll be racing like gang busters the rest of the time.

      As they get a better handle on it, they’ll improve the strategy and even the efficiency year to year so it will not be a long term issue as Max (@vettel1) has said.

    3. Yeah, because before 2014, we’ve never heard a team tell a driver they need to conserve fuel.
      This year, we have 2/3 of the fuel we had last year… but we have 3/4 of the cylinders, and 2/3 of the engine capacity as well, plus turbo, plus ERS (double the kW available, and usable for 33.3 seconds, instead of 6.67 seconds).
      I suspect that the difference between last year and this year will be minimal, and drivers will be told to conserve fuel at the same tracks as last year.

  10. I disagree Mr. Fittipaldi.

  11. The regulation changes (less downforce, more top speed) will do the job, we don’t need DRS to make races more entertaining – especially considering that the whole double points gimmick is already enough artificial entertainment for F1 as it stands.

  12. After my initial negative reaction to DRS, I’ve come to agree more with Fitipaldi that not. I think many fans don’t seem to remember or understand how infrequent and difficult overtaking had become in F1, and what a huge detriment to enjoying the racing that presented. What could F1 have done to remedy this? Start dismantling the aero and down force developments of the previous 25 years? Redesign every F1 track? I think we have to bear in mind that like many rules in F1, DRS is a compromise solution and as such I think it’s more of a positive than a negative. I think sometimes it’s the *idea* of DRS that bothers fans more than the actual use of it. I also hope that something better comes along to replace DRS but until then, I can live with it.

  13. DRS in limited zones is a gimmick, DRS anywhere would discount the gimmickyness of it. I think they should have moveable aero surfaces, just so long as the pilot is controlling the angle and the actuation, computer controlled moveable aero would be unsporting, just like computer controlled brake bias/kers and computer controlled throttle by wire.

    1. Subtle but spot on. @pcxmerc.

  14. I’m always a little annoyed when someone says an opinion is wrong.

  15. Emmo is spot on
    As long as the cars have both enormous rear wings developing huge amounts of turbulence at the back, while at the same time having complex profiles making them enormously sensitive aerodynamically – then DRS levels the playing field.

    These aren’t normal cars, they REALLY need clean air to go fast and they throw up REALLY dirty air behind them.

    Put it another way, any day of the week I would take a race full of DRS passes over a snorefest where the only passing is in the pits.

    1. Put it another way, any day of the week I would take a race full of DRS passes over a snorefest where the only passing is in the pits.

      F1’s regulations shouldn’t be forcing fans to choose between those two options.

  16. Thank you Emmo! DRS isn’t half as bad as people like to make it out to be. Trouble is people love to jump in the bandwagon, whatever it may be (DRS, Grosjean, Maldonado, tyres, refueling, engine noise etc). Sometimes out of cowardice, other times out of laziness, most of the time to be accepted. DRS has helped to make races more interesting. Yes there has been times when they got the balance wrong, no doubt. It is difficult to get it right all the time but on the balance it has been good. DRS isn’t a gimmick, it is merely a by-product to F1’s reliance on aerodynamics. In this day and age, without DRS the driver in front will ALWAYS have an unfair advantage on the driver behind because of the turbulent air created by the extremely complex aerodynamics used in the cars today. DRS, when correctly done, merely redress the balance giving the guy behind a fighting chance, that is all there is to it in my view. Besides, if there is someone who knows about F1, surely it has to be a guy who has been around motorsport for 50 years, winning races and world titles not only in F1 but in other categories too.

    1. Or because we have a valid opinion and believe in a certain amount of racing purity. DRS is ham-fisted. The good overtaking we see happens away from the DRS zones because they produce such dull passes. That proves 2 things- DRS ruins good overtaking spots, and overtaking is clearly possible without DRS anyway.

      Besides, if there is someone who knows about F1, surely it has to be a guy who has been around motorsport for 50 years, winning races and world titles not only in F1 but in other categories too.

      Although I can’t think who exactly, I’m fairly sure other ex-champions have said the opposite. So what makes Fittipaldi right and those wrong?

      1. @matt90 a lot of people claim to believe in racing purity. I personally have seen the term being used several times to justify a opinion that often made no sense other than being made in the name of racing purity. There is no such thing. Racing in its purest form would mean to have two or more drivers competing with exact the same chassis, same tyre, same engine. The only differential being the driver. That is as close to racing purity one can ever get, and F1 never was and never will be that. As I said in my previous comment DRS isn’t perfect and they don’t always get it right, but on the balance it has been good, even necessary.
        Finally as far as others disagreeing with Emerson, please can you point out a quote by a world champion bashing DRS? I think you won’t find one, but even of you do, I simply meant to say that if someone of Emerson’s calibre goes out and say that the least we could do is respect that opinion.

        1. Finally as far as others disagreeing with Emerson, please can you point out a quote by a world champion bashing DRS? I think you won’t find one

          http://cars.aol.co.uk/2011/12/30/lauda-says-drs-overtaking-wrong-for-f1/
          http://grandprix247.com/2012/11/12/villeneuve-says-drs-makes-him-angry/
          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2011/04/29/heidfeld-criticises-artificial-drag-reduction-system/
          http://www.gptoday.com/details/view/399418/Webber_criticises_gimmicky_DRS_zones

          I’d also point to every poll done on this website regarding DRS the past few years, They nearly always end with a big majority been against DRS & poll’s i’ve seen on other websites/forums show the same.
          If most of F1’s fans dislike DRS then it should be scrapped.

          1. You have to take Lauda’s view in the context of the fast degrading Pirelli’s we had at the time. I should point out that neither Heidfeld nor Webber are world champions. My point still stand, which you chose to omit from your comment, is that Emerson opinion is valid and should be respected.
            Back in the 1908, if Henry Ford had commissioned a poll to ask what consumers wanted, their answer would be more horses.

          2. Emerson opinion is valid and should be respected.

            I never said it wasn’t valid or that I didn’t respect his opinion.

            I just think he’s wrong.

            As to Webber/Heidfeld’s comments, Yes there not world champions but there still 2 Ex-F1 drivers & in Webber’s case a multiple race winner & Ex-title contender & unlike Emmo both have raced with DRS so they actually have a direct experience with the system & the effect it has which he does not.

        2. There is no such thing. Racing in its purest form would mean to have two or more drivers competing with exact the same chassis, same tyre, same engine. The only differential being the driver. That is as close to racing purity one can ever get, and F1 never was and never will be that.

          That is exactly why I said a certain amount of racing purity. You can’t accuse people of omitting your point if you do likewise.

          Finally as far as others disagreeing with Emerson, please can you point out a quote by a world champion bashing DRS?

          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/01/27/nigel-mansell-nelson-piquet-brazilian-tv-interview/
          Piquet isn’t a fan, Mansell sounds like he’s just trying to not be too downbeat.

      2. Although I can’t think who exactly, I’m fairly sure other ex-champions have said the opposite. So what makes Fittipaldi right and those wrong?

        Villeneuve & Lauda are 2 Ex world champions I can think of who have constantly raised questions about DRS.

        Many other F1 drivers have also spoke very negatively about DRS.

        I remember after the 2011 China Gp while everyone was busy talking about Mark Webber’s drive through the field to 3rd, Mark himself was talking about how unsatisfying it was driving up behind great racers like Alonso only to drive past him easily in the DRS zone. He reaffirmed that opinion when asked about the 2011 race a year later on Sky.

        I also remember Button passing I think it was Alonso at Brazil in 2011 & talking about how sad he was that DRS made the pass so easy & that he missed having good scraps with good racers.

        On the sky broadcast’s last year Martin Brundle was very critical of how easy DRS was making things & made a comment about how talking in private most of the drivers admit to not been fond of it.

        1. we are gonna have to agree to disagree I suppose.

          1. Count me as one who disagrees with you too PM…speaking for myself I didn’t just jump on a bandwagon, thank you very much. For me where EF falters is not with his opinion…he’s entitled to that as we all are of course…it is that he fails to support his argument. He just claims it is good for the sport and doesn’t say why.

            I hate DRS because it is a gadget, a gimmick, and a get out of jail free card that makes passing look ridiculously easy and indefensible. If DRS is needed it is a sign that F1 is going the wrong way.

            And what a shame when this year they actually do have a reduction in wing, a reduction in downforce, and beefier more stable tires to handle the tongue of the PU’s. What a shame that will get muddied with DRS.

  17. DRS works on that part of the track where it is least needed, if we really want to make a level playing field for the following car we need a system that activates a spoiler on the front wing of the leading car when a following car gets to within 4 or 5 car lengths (needs investigation and refinement) activated either by a sensor on the rear of cars or the following driver when within range (there is lots of collision avoidance technology now that could fill this function) this would allow drivers to follow inches from the car ahead through corners and be ready to pounce when the leading driver made a mistake. It’s technically easy and opens up the whole track as a passing zone unlike DRS and still allows designers to generate all the downforce they can find.

  18. Something I hate about the way DRS is used is how they put the stupid thing on every circuit & always seem to put it on the longest straght, Even if its a place where we already saw overtaking in the past.

    Looking at 2013 they added a 2nd zone at Interlagos on the straght into turn 1, Why? We always saw good racing/overtaking there so a DRS zone was totally unnecisary.
    Likewise the 2nd zone added on the straght to turn 1 at Austin where in 2012 without DRS we already saw lots of good racing & overtaking.

    The worst thing about DRS is that its killed the prospect of other changes been made.
    Before DRS we were going to regulations seeing less aero & ground effects, Before DRS circuits like Abu-Dhabi were talking about making changes to improve the circuits. Thanks to the stupid DRS there’s no ‘No longer any need to make other changes’ according to Paddy Lowe (The guy who came up with DRS apparently).

    Watching the older races on SkyF1 recently reminds me of how much DRS has ruined F1. Watching the great racing & truly exciting overtaking at the 2005 Japanese Gp the other night, Watching the same at the 2009 Brazilian Gp just makes me hate DRS & F1 more & more.

    People have already started turning off F1 because of DRS, Just look at the plummeting tv figures & fan opinion poll’s, its quite clear that the majority of fans hate drs.

  19. What does Emerson Fittipaldi know about F1? Besides, he’s a werewolf!!!

  20. I find it strange how a junior series like World Series by Renault has nailed the concept while F1 is still struggling to do so.

    1. They have the same engine (and chassis?) so it’s comparing apples and oranges looking at them vs F1…

  21. How much has Bernie payed you Emerson?

  22. If DRS is here to stay then thats fine. However if this is the case then the FIA should review footage year on year on zones that give a huge advantage to the car behind, and reduce the zone lengths accordingly. In my opinion DRS should only give a driver the capability to pull alongside another car, giving both drivers an even chance to outbreak each other to the corner. If a zone is too effective, it is reduced next year. Of course this would never happen as all the FIA seems to care about is extending the length of DRS zones and adding double DRS zones where possible, only exasperating the problem of ‘easy’ passes.

  23. IMO, there’s far too much hyberbole in many of the comments about how easy it is to overtake with DRS (passing a milk truck with an ICBM? Cute but c’mon now). Staying a bit more realistic: the driver has to use non-DRS assisted driving to get in position within one second *at the activation point*, before DRS can even be used. That takes skill and it’s a something that I’ve enjoyed watching in the races. It also takes driving skill to open and maintain a gap of more than 1 sec after DRS overtaking. Personally, I would like to see some type of visual indication on the cars when DRS has been readied at the activation point. Also when the wing is open and when it closes, which is not always easy to see.

    Yes, there may ultimately be better solutions to the turbulent air problem but short of a massive aerodynamic redesign of F1 cars, I think DRS has shown itself to be a reasonable solution for the time being.

    1. When a car is ready to activate DRS it should start flashing yellow a la invincibility in Mario Kart ;)

  24. Wow, the fanatics here can thrash anybody… not even the great Fittipaldi is spared…

    1. Even great people can say silly things.

  25. I’m not really a DRS hater. To me, watching a train of cars unable to pass is probably a tad less exciting than ‘highway passes’ where you can at least see the cars make some progress. It also probably helps vary strategy a bit allowing for the one-extra-stop strategy to work by making fast, efficient passing a possibility.

    But i think there is room for a little more experimentation, bearing in mind this is the first time this type of technology has been used. My first thought – why not try a 3-lap rule where DRS can only be activated if the car following has been within 1 second of the leading car for 3 conscecutive laps (or extend it to 1.5 or 2 secs if appropriate since it might be frustrating to fall a fraction over 1 second behind on your 2nd or 3rd lap). This way cars are still encouraged to make conventional passes so they don’t lose time behind slower cars, but their race also isn’t completely ruined by coming up behind a slower but unpassable car.

    Or a second suggestion, trial a couple of races without DRS on tracks where overtaking has traditionally been easier. We haven’t seen a single race on the post-2010 Pirelli tyres without DRS, and this would help determine whether the tyres create sufficient overtaking opportunities by themselves.

    Either of these options (or alternatives made by actual racers/experts rather than an armchair expert such as me) could be trialled at say two or three races in a year to see how it affected the racing. Obviously these ‘trial’ races would need to be agreed on before the season started so there would be no perceived favouritism and teams could plan strategies/designs accordingly.

  26. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    12th March 2014, 8:53

    I think it’s been both good and bad for the sport. Good because it’s opened up overtaking possiblities that, in the past, weren’t there, and as a result made some races far more enjoyable than they would have been otherwise. Because like it or not, before DRS, the racing became very processional, with maybe one or two overtakes per race.

    On the other hand, the amount of overtaking has increased so much that there are no real stand out moves anymore. It’s all just a blur: a sugar hit, if you like. And on top of that, 90% of the overtakes made within a DRS zone are pretty artificial, because the driver has just pushed a button, and bam, he’s passed.

    But if you ask me, (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again) DRS is not the real culprit in this decreasing quality of pure racing. The 2013 Pirelli tyres were 99% to blame for last years laclustred season.

    1. @tophercheese21, certainly the marshmallow tyres bear a lot of the blame, when to stop his tyres from melting a driver has to drop back 2 seconds behind the car ahead it becomes very difficult to be only 1 second behind for DRS activation and impossible to overtake anywhere else from 2 seconds back, and any driver that risks his tyres by attacking and passing in a non DRS area can expect to lose the place back in the DRS area. A double catastrophe for F1.

  27. Out of the three years that we’ve had DRS, two has provided great racing and one has provided an epic championship showdown. Yes, some races have been ruined by DRS, which the FIA really should have sorted out by now, but on some of the tighter, twistier Trulli-Train-friendly circuits, it’s been great. For me, it’s 50-50 on whether I think DRS should remain in F1 or not.

  28. DRS is a wrong solution brought in for the right reasons: cars have become increasingly sensitive for turbulent air from the car in front, which decreases downforce on the car behind. Trying to compensate for that isn’t such an issue for me. However, the implemented solution doesn’t try to solve that. It tries to compensate for that, but that always leads to new issues, the ones we are facing today: boring overtakes.

    But it is what is: the fia made huge mistakes in the past with mindlessly cutting down downforce, pushing the teams to develop ever more sensitive aero platforms. The FIA should have been much aware of that and decrease downforce with having the development curve in mind. It is what it is now, there’s no way back, so you do need something artificial to solve, and not compensate, the issue.

    They should go back to the 2009-2010 solution, with the addition that only the following car can use it: have them a button to run more front and rear downforce in the corners. Overtaking in corners is way more difficult to pull off and even it does happen it atleast is more skillfull then blasting past on a straight.

    1. *Trying to compensate for that isn’t such an issue for me. However, the implemented solution doesn’t try to solve that. It tries to compensate for that, but that always leads to new issues, the ones we are facing today: boring overtakes.

      Should of course have been “trying to solve that >.<

  29. Michael Brown
    12th March 2014, 13:22

    I think DRS has a place in F1 a an overtaking aid. However, the FIA keeps insisting on longer and more zones, giving us the bland overtaking of 2013.

    I think if 2014 had no DRS, it would produce more overtaking than 2010 did. This is caused by the no refueling rule, harder Pirelli tires, and a combination of higher top speed and less downforce, which means longer braking zones.

  30. DRS for me has done nothing but hurt my love of F1 & made me lose interest in several of the races where DRS has been too much.
    Others have already covered many of the reasons I hate the stupid gimmick so i’ll skip all that & get onto some other points.

    Firstly, DRS is the wrong way to go about improving the racing because in my view it doesn’t do that. DRS does create a boat load more passing but in my view more passing, Especially those of such low quality does not = more excitement. Does anyone remember Istanbul 2011, There was plenty of passing via DRS that day, Well over 100 yet they were all so easy that there wasn’t really much racing going on between the battling cars.

    What they should have done is what other categories have done, Thats introduce P2P. Anyone who watches Indycar or any of the other series which use P2P will know how that system does improve the racing as well as making overtaking more possible without making it too easy.
    The other plus with P2P is that its all down to drivers when/where they use it & since the defending driver can also use it to defend we see some proper racing battles with each driver often using there P2P at differnt parts of the circuit.
    So unlike DRS a P2P system actually brings in some strategy on the part of the drivers.

    Regarding the DRS zones, They will never be able to get them right because how effective (Or not) DRS is, Isn’t a simple case of the length of the zone. DRS is affected by some many other variables such as wind speed, wind direction, gear ratios, downforce levels, How many cars are in a line, how good the exit from the previous corner was, Tyre life etc….
    We have seen short zones produce easy passes & long zones be difficult so fiddling with zone length year on year isn’t going to change anything.

    I watch a lot of the OnBoard feeds each weekend & contrary to popular belief there is still a slipstream effect & it’s just as effective now as it ever was. I’ve seen better racing via the slipstream in the opening laps & When DRS is disables due to yellow flags than at any time DRS is enabled.
    Take Korea as an example, On the opening laps there has been some great racing down the long straght to Turn 2 because of cars slipstream. As soon as DRS kicks in the quality of the racing declines & when you have more than 1 car in a line using DRS the slipstream doesn’t seem to work.
    Martin Brundle has pointed this out a couple times.

    Something probably did need to be done to make overtaking opportunities more possible, DRS does not achieve this, More often than not it generates the passing rather working to assist overtaking.
    DRS was & always will be the wrong solution yet sadly as long as DRS is in place nothing else will be done, In fact they won’t even look at doing else which is a pitty.

    This year we have Turbo’s & more powerful ERS systems, This would have been the perfect time to ditch DRS in favor of P2P, Sadly they have instead decided to go with more DRS. That really is unfortunate.

    As to me, I’ll still watch but as I said at the start my love of F1 has been in decline because of what DRS has done. If it sticks around & continues to work as it has been, I may not be following F1 in a few years which given how much I’ve loved this sport since I discovered it as a 6 year old kid in 1989 would be a shame.

    1. @stephmeister, a well thought out comment that I mostly agree with, please do not take the following as a personal attack.
      P2P was in use in F1 from the very beginning, P2P was operated by the drivers right foot and he could use as many times as he liked or until the engine failed, as could the defending driver, somewhere along the way we lost the P2P feature, ah yes I remember the FIA cancelled it with rev limits, equalised power and engine longevity requirements and gave us DRS instead.

        1. F1’s never had a P2P system, Some (Not all) of the engine manufacturer’s allowed a few extra revs but it never really did anything as they never allowed enough extra revs to make any difference.

          The reason P2P works is because its regulated by the series, Everyone gets the same amount & the same rev/boost gain which gives everyone similar speed gains from using it & its ensured that the speed gain is only enough to help a car behind to start to get alongside.
          It can also be used to attack or defend unlike DRS which can only be used to attack often leaving the defending driver unable to even try to defend.

          The other great thing about P2P as used elsewhere is that since its restricted by x seconds per race the drivers actually have to think about when/where to use it. With DRS there basically told when/where to use it, There’s no strategy involved in it they get within 1 second, Enter the DRS zone & hit there button to get DRS until they brake.

          P2P works to enhance the quality of the racing rather than simply generate a lot of boring passing as DRS all too often does. Its also much easier to ‘tweak’ than DRS ever will be & has always worked in a much fairer way given that everyone has the same amount of P2P to use.

          Going back to when DRS was announced, They said there would be races without DRS, They said they would experiment with different systems etc… Yet they haven’t.
          Why not try a race without DRS, Why not try a race using a P2P system. Experiment & find the best solution rather than just sticking with something which is widely unpopular amongst fans & which is proving so hard to get right on a consistent basis.

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