Jack Aitken, GP3 tesitng, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

GP3 to use ‘push to pass’-style DRS in 2017 and may add on-car graphics

GP3Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Formula One support series GP3 will use substantially different rules for its Drag Reduction System when it is introduced at the championship’s season-opener next month.

In a break with the convention seen in Formula One and Formula Two, GP3 drivers will not have unlimited use of DRS during their races.

Each driver will be allocated a maximum of six DRS uses during the longer first race of each weekend and four uses during the second races. GP3’s first races typically last between 17 and 24 laps while the second races are 13 to 18 laps long.

Drivers will only be allowed to use DRS within the same designated zones as used in F1 and F2. When activated, DRS boosts top speeds on GP3 cars by up to 20kph.

The use of ‘push to pass’ systems is widely seen in other series such as IndyCar and Super Formula where drivers are given limited uses of higher power engine modes. World Series Formula V8 3.5 also uses a ‘push to pass’ style DRS.

Yesterday’s GP3 test at the Circuit de Catalunya was also used to evaluate an on-car graphic display to allow spectators to see how many DRS uses each driver has. An example was fitted to Jack Aitken’s ART-run car.

The display was built by the same company which produces the position indicators which IndyCar has used since late 2015. However the test revealed more works needs to be done to integrate them on GP3 cars. They will not be ready to use at the first race of the season but the championship is evaluating whether they could be introduced later in the year or in 2018.

The 2017 GP3 season begins at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 13th, supporting the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

On-car graphics

Graham Rahal, IndyCar, Indianapolis, 2016
IndyCar has used on-car graphics since 2015

2017 F1 season

Browse all 2017 F1 season articles

42 comments on “GP3 to use ‘push to pass’-style DRS in 2017 and may add on-car graphics”

  1. Let’s see how a limited number of DRS uses pans out in practice.

    1. I’m not interested to see how it works in the race…..

      1. I meant to say “more” and not “not” but ah well. :(

  2. Limited DRS uses sounds good to me. I think the limit we had back in 2010 was about right.

    1. I would go for double that amount ;)

    2. @bookoi Hear hear!

      But I do like the sound of this approach better than what F1 has. It works well in Formula V8 3.5.

      1. Never mind, I just got it.

  3. Tony Mansell
    21st April 2017, 12:30

    He’s behind you. And its not even Panto season.

  4. I wouldn’t mind seeing the position indicators that they use in indycar in f1.

    1. Yes, I would too – although the grids are currently so small that it’s not that difficult to work out who is in what place. Also F1 seems to have less lapped traffic (possibly because of no refuelling) than Indy, so position indicators would be less beneficial. But I still think it would be a help to the casual audience.

  5. Similar concept to what super formula have where they can over boost the car a set amount of times per race and is illustrated as leds around the air intake.

  6. Awesome news! Here’s hoping this system replaces current DRS rules in F1 and F2 as soon as possible.

  7. I assume the driver behind or in front can use the DRS. That’s much better than the current system. It adds a strategic element to it rather than simply press the button when you’re close enough. It also means the driver in front has a chance to defend themselves from the car behind using DRS if they haven’t used it already.

  8. DRS in GP3? Why? Just get rid of the blasted thing already, it is artificial nonsense.

    1. Limiting the number of times it can be used gives it a tactical edge that the F1/F2 system lacks.

  9. Wait, the push to pass mention is confusing me. Will GP3 have a higher engine mode push to pass system this year? Or are you saying the limited DRS use is similar to the classic push to pass…?

    1. @sato113 – No. It’s basically just a limited about of DRS uses meaning it can be used to attack, defend, make a gap, close a gap…

      I really like push-to-pass in Indycar and I used to like KERS in F1 so I’d be happy to see this in F1.

      1. KERS was great and needs a return. A driver could deploy it all at once without the driver infront knowing. And everyone had the same usage of KERS over a lap. It was fair!

        1. The current cars still have KERS – it just morphed into the MGU-K in the current units and its deployment has changed into a managed system.

          My guess is there’s very little effort required to return to a push-to-pass deployment system, other than the subsequent loss of power as the engine runs out of deployable energy until it can be regenerated later in the lap…

          1. @optimaximal: “the subsequent loss of power as the engine runs out of deployable energy”

            F1 already has a working prototype. It’s called McLaren Honda.

        2. KERS needs to come back and be made more powerful

          1. KERS never left (now called MGU-K ERS), and is twice as powerful (60 to 120 kW).
            @mbr-9

  10. This is the proper way, test stuff out in GP3… then if it works bring it to F1. Not F1 first then clean up mess later.

  11. Close, but no cigar. I totally agree with the limited number of uses per race, but the drivers should be allowed to use the push-to-pass anywhere on track at any time for any reason, attack, defend, close a gap, extend a gap, whatever. This puts the racecraft back in the driver’s hands as to when and where he/she employs various race tactics knowing he/she only has limited use of the system. Get rid of “DRS Zones” altogether.
    I know the next comment will be to “get rid of DRS altogether”, but as long as it’s here, let the drivers decide when they use it.

    1. Get rid of DRS altogether.

      Just kidding. I can’t believe it’s taken this long (literally years of reading fans’ complaints about DRS) to finally hear someone agree with me on this and suggest the solution: DRS could be a very good tool that improves racing, increases overtaking, and maintains the driver skill and tactical edge aspect by simply applying usage limits and getting rid of the zones.

      The argument I can think of against this is drivers deploying it in unsafe areas. But DRS was available in qualifying originally and proved that this is not really an issue; areas of particular concern (Monaco tunnel, Eau Rouge etc.) could easily be banned.

      The whole only available when 1s behind another car and only on certain zones aspect of DRS is what makes it boring and artificial to me.

  12. Its better than the current DRS but still im not convinced. If there are active parts on the car there should be no artificial restrictions on them.

  13. Then what, exactly, the point in having it at all?

    Just. Get. Rid. Of. It.

  14. F1 should make the damn car numbers and driver names more visible! It’s absolutely stooooopid that the numbers and names aren’t clearly visible on the sides of the cars. Even the most experienced commentators frequently get the wrong team driver during the races. It’s pathetic that we frequently have to do things like look at the helmets to tell them apart. This is particularly important for making the races watchable for newer F1 fans.

    Yeah, yeah, I know about the precious sponsor real estate on the cars but surely they could find a few inches to display the number and and names.

    1. don’t really agree with you here

    2. This I agree with. Regulate spaces on the cars to put either the driver number or the driver’s abbreviation, like in WEC or NASCAR.

      And yet a year after drivers got to choose their career, numbers, the FIA had to go and regulate helmet changes. Probably because the fans were angry that drivers were changing them frequently. And by “drivers” I mean just Sebastian Vettel.

      With these two rules in place, David Croft still confuses the Ferrari drivers.

  15. And about GP3

  16. What a crap idea

  17. Robert McKay
    21st April 2017, 20:43

    I like the idea of limited uses.

    I assume you can use it on the straight on your own if you so choose, or do you still have to be within 1 second of the car in front?

  18. I like that there using it in a more P2P style way by limiting how often it can be used, But like when they introduced it into GP2/F2 I don’t see why it’s needed at all in GP3 as the racing has been fine without it with the new car last year.

    In the junior, single make categories they shouldn’t have gimmicks like DRS, High-deg tyres as the object of the junior categories should be about finding & highlighting the best drivers & that should not be just who’s the fastest but should be also who are the best racers/overtakers & who aren’t.

    If you go back 11 years, The reason Lewis Hamilton stood out as much as he did in his GP2 season wasn’t just because he was fast but also because he was a great racer that could pull off some amazing overtakes. Races like Istanbul where he overtook just about everybody as he came back through the field made it obvious that he was a special talent who had not only speed but a sharp racers instinct….. This is something I feel is taking a bit of a back seat in these categories now.

    Nothing against Charles LeClerc who won last weekends F2 sprint race but the only thing that showed about him was that when on tyres that let you lap 4 seconds a lap faster than anyone else (When there managing tyres & your not) he was able to easily pick everyone off due to that & DRS. 10 years ago that drive would have been epic, But now I don’t feel it meant all that much at all because doing what he did under those circumstances is relatively straightforward when compared to having to fight by everyone on more equal footing, without any gimmicks helping you as Lewis did in Istanbul 2007.

    One I still remember fondly 10 years later, The other I won’t remember at all.

    1. +1. Talent, not tricks.

  19. Slightly off topic… With national Formula 4 championships, the European Formula 3 championship and the Formula 2 series following the F1 calander, what exactly is the place of GP3 in the ladder to F1 now?

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