Drag Reduction System: what works, what doesn't and where the lines should be

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    Prisoner Monkeys

    Okay, so after today’s race, we got our first real impressions of the DRS and how well it works. This thread is for discussing the effectiveness of it (though I suspect Keith will have an article up about this within the next few days).

    Given the reception the DRS has had, it was always going to be a case of fans criticising the system. If there was a lot of passing, the fans would shout “it makes overtaking too easy!”; if there wasn’t much at all, the fans would cry “it doesn’t do anything at all!”. There was never going to be a point where anyone believed the DRS provided jsut the right amount of overtaking.

    After the Australian Grand Prix, I think the DRS did not produce as much overtaking as thought or hoped. But that’s not to say it is entirely without merit. From what we saw both today and late on Friday when the FIA requested the drivers run a DRS simulation, the adjustable flap clearly does not guarantee a pass. It aids the driver in getting to a point where he can get around the car in front, but since the cars are not simply sailing by and because the driver largely gets involved in a braking duel into the next corner, I think the concept has exactly the right balance. It’s doing exactly what I hoped it would do: offer a driver a chance at passing without making it too easy for him.

    However, the original concept of the DRS has the drivers using it in the space of six hundred metres. And in this respect, I think it has largely failed. The main straight at Albert Park is eight hundred and sixty seven metres long, and drivers were failing in their passing more often than succeeding. So the DRS zone is going to have to be changed. I would not be surprised if both straights at Sepang are declared DRS zones for the sake of producing a lot of overtaking and getting data at the opposite end of the spectrum and then finding a happy medium between the two from Shanghai onwards.

    And so it’s over to you. There are three things that I would like you to answer in replying to this thread:

    1 -> Was the Drag Reduction System a success or failure?

    2 -> How could it be changed or improved for future races?

    3 -> Where should the lines for the activation zone on each circuit be?



    1. It’s was great fun in qualifying, I’m sure everyone would agree with that. But was it a success at improving overtaking?

    Going to have to wait to give my verdict on that. Albert park isn’t the best place for it in my opinion. We have to wait to go to a Tilke track before we see it at it’s full. Sepang will be interesting.

    2. (not something that can be implemented in the season) Get the front wing to change as well as the rear, operated by the same button. Less drag and more possibilities.

    3. In the right place to get the cars to go down the strait at different speeds but not to make it too easy or to get the drivers to rely on it to pass. Which I think is what they are aiming for so all OK there.

    It was mentioned in the BBC build up that there was alot more overtaking 20 years ago (I think 6 times as much, correct me if I’m wrong) so these measure are kind of needed these days.



    Its hard to judge it to be honest. It wasnt a great sucess, as Button couldnt pass Massa at the beginning there, but it did provide overtaking later on for other drivers.

    One of the issues that appeared today was the poitioning of it. Is it the stewards or race control that descide where it starts and ends?

    How can it improve? correct placement inorder to get the most from it. In Malaysia i agree that it should use both straights, unless theres a ruling on the distance its allowed to cover?


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Is it the stewards or race control that descide where it starts and ends?

    Charlie Whiting does it. But I think he’ll consult with the teams in future as to exactly where it will go.



    @ PM, thanks for clearing that up and i agree, the drivers should have some good influence on where it goes. I think it will take a few races to see how it goes. Im not won over yet, but im happy to allow F1 to prove/disprove the DRS works.



    All through the race I thought it would have been much more effective to have the DRS zone before turn 3. The last corner in Melbourne is way too twitchy, and even without DRS, many drivers were A LOT closer to the guy infront on the second “straight.”

    Not to mention this would have led to nice battles through the following corners.



    1. I think it works properly. not too well, not too bad. just as much as we need. I don’t think “Push to Pass” is objective of DRS but prevent some situation like Abu Dhabi, which faster car couldn’t pass slower car. We saw similar case this weekend such as Button behind Massa, and it works well. I’m pleased.

    2. Melbourne has short straight. we have to see how it works on Malaysia which has very long straight line. I partitialy agree with Webber who suggest DRS should be allowed during the race.

    3. probably the longest straight of the circuit, right? but sometimes home straight is not the longest, so we have to consider it. for example, Korea has one of the longest straight but it’s not home straight and even hasn’t any seat around it. so even if it’s so effective almost everyone couldn’t see on eyes. DRS zone of Sepang is not home straight. we should see what will be happen and how audience react.



    Agreed with Eggry. Just because Button couldn’t pass Massa with the DRS didn’t make it a failure as it’s not supposed to be push-to-pass button. If it were any more effective today, I think it would be too artificial. The balance was just about right considering that it will be more effective in Tilkedromes.



    With all the hype about DRS and Kers producing excitig racing, what did we get? A procession! We saw perhaps three overtakes on the main straight (the only place they could use DRS) which would have probably happened anyway. It’s a joke It should be scrapped as it has signally failed to live up to the hype.

    As for Kers, what a total waste of money! And they are trying to REDUCE costs! The whole process of F1 racing is becomg over controlled and suffers for that.



    The drag reduction system was not an unqualified success. As the race went on what became clear was Australia’s bendy nature and short start finish straight ment that the effect of the DRS was more that of a leveler than a total advantage, now for me, that’s perfect. However, certain circuits with much longer straights could be the subject of lots of very boring overtaking if the DRS zone is too big. Sepang or Korea being good examples, the two long straights are already an advantage for the following car, 12-14kph on top of the tow could be ridiculous, lots of gliding past on the straight. So the zone would have to be have to be one of list of things: perfect size, differently distributed, more frequently/more easily available or restricted/deactivaited on certain circuits. If the FIA gets it right, it might be the leveller we need to create more overtaking oppourtunities, if they get it wrong they’ll be adding a gimmiky layer of fake racing the sport doesn’t need.



    I think it was the perfect amount. It made it possible, and with help of KERS (especially Button was using it cleverly, like letting the whole of it for the last corner) it was the right amount. I don’t know how it will be at other circuits, but they should make it like this everywhere. I was very impressed.



    At Sepang there’s plenty of overtaking already on those two straights. Why not have the DRS area somewhere else? Maybe the straight leading into the slow left out the back of the circuit (after the fast double right-hander) if it’s long enough.



    1) A success for me. I never expected an abundance of over-taking and this is only exagerrated by it’s first use in anger at a circuit not blessed with a particularly long straight.

    2) I don’t think changing it so quickly is the way forward. The only change will be dependant on already existing braking zones which is related to the distance of the DRS activation zone.

    3) The zone at Albert Park was spot on. Of the hundreds of laps covered over the weekend Sutil was the only one to come a cropper.

    So in conclusion…I liked it! Even if the DRS doesn’t result in a direct over-take it allows drivers to get in the slipstream to give them a chance, not a guarantee.

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