DRS and all that jazz

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Just read the following article on the BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/15764552.stm

Interesting to hear Mark Webber as the one coming out voicing concerns over the DRS safety. I can't say I remember too many incidents where its looked dangerous in quali and practice but not being a driver I'm guessing you never know exactly how the car feels.

I'm not sure about safety reasons but I do agree that DRS shouldn't be used in Quali as I think it mis-represents grid times and if it was introduced as an overtaking aid I'm not sure why it can be used in Quali. I think there should be at least one practice seassion where drivers can use it through the DRS zones so its not a complete surprise to them come race day and it can be judged whether its effective or safe but feel it should be a no no when it comes to qualifying.

What surprises me is that its Mark Webber coming out and saying it as I've always felt Red Bull's extra pace in quali has always been partly down to their DRS system. I might be overthinking this but maybe rather than it being the Red Bull DRS system thats giving them the advantage maybe Seb Vettel is just an ace at deploying it and getting the max out of it and that Webber's motivation for speaking out on this issue comes from the fact he feels without it they might be more level on quali pace again.

Thoughts?
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
They let them use it in qually to make sure that teams put drs on the cars. That and the inability to make changes in gear ratios before the race does add a strategy angle I think so I would keep it as is for next year. I would be one of the first to play safe but I haven't seen any accidents attributed to the capability. There were a lot of safety questions before the season with drivers having too much to do, but even the irregular drivers have coped ok haven't they?
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
What surprises me is that its Mark Webber coming out and saying it as I've always felt Red Bull's extra pace in quali has always been partly down to their DRS system. I might be overthinking this but maybe rather than it being the Red Bull DRS system thats giving them the advantage maybe Seb Vettel is just an ace at deploying it and getting the max out of it and that Webber's motivation for speaking out on this issue comes from the fact he feels without it they might be more level on quali pace again.

Thoughts?

It certainly does come across as a bit of a "playing-field-leveller" from Mark's perspective. I agree with him actually - I always got the feeling that when the FIA designated specific DRS zones, as opposed to the "fire-at-will" F-duct usage in 2010, it was all about limiting the advantage of any one team over the rest when it came to racing in 2011. However, with the free-use available during practice and qualifying, it kind of made a mockery of instilling the limited zones come race-day. Either limit it all the time, or unlimit it completely.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I read his actual column

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/15766196.stm

and he claims ".......the drivers are almost unanimous that they would prefer the use of DRS outside of a race to be limited"

Really? I've not heard another driver mention it. He also complains about it being the reason he couldn't get past Jenson on Sunday.

Although I agree with the principle of what he's saying (not for safety reasons though) am I being cynical that its strange Mark is the one championing this?
 

Andyoak

Race Winner
I think he's being a touch rash in pulling the safety card; I don't think there have been significantly more 'off's' in practice than there were before DRS. They are a natural consequence of drivers finding their car's limits on the track for that year.

He almost makes a valid point about restricting DRS use in practice and qualifying but it should match the sectors and activation points available in the race; although the 1 second rule can't be applied in qualifying.

However he also infers the purity of overtaking points that have been discussed here and elsewhere.

I'm going to pull out my soap-box again :bored: on this one and say once more that you can have DRS and purity of overtaking if you derestrict it for the whole circuit. When that happens it will become just another aero device but under the control of the driver for use in both attacking and defending.

The driver's sense of self preservation should ensure they don't fly off the road on every corner; and if they do then I'll cite Darwin and claim they weren't good enough to drive this generation of F1 cars ;) .

(Soap-box safely tucked away for a few more days... :sleeping:)
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
In terms of DRS accidents, I thought the first was the worst (Sutil at Melbourne). Really struggling to think of another, if I'm honest.

As Jez said, having it enabled in qualifying means teams are forced to use long enough gear ratios to take full advantage of it - ensuring its effectiveness in race conditions. Obviously if the drivers are indeed concerned about it collectively, the FIA need to listen to them, but in terms of evidence of it actually being dangerous in practice, I don't think we've really seen a great deal, if any, to date.
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
I get a whiff of politcs here by the Webber. Although if it eventually leads to the damn stupid thing getting banned then ill play politcs too and wave the the health and saftey Card.

Although you wont here me complaining too much if F1 got rid of the "overtaking Zones" and unlimited DRS either
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe Mark is a drivers rep' on the FIA's Expert Advisory Safety Committee, in which case he will have a handle on drivers' views on this subject. He will also have, to some extent a right and responsibility to air them in an appropriate fashion, either behind closed doors or in the public arena. In either case it is down to his fellow drivers to criticise him for any pronouncements should he be deemed to exceed his remit or authority.
 

Blog Zbod

Podium Finisher
There is no doubt Webber's teammate is the DRS-meister. No one else activates DRS in Istanbul's Turn 8, but Vettel uses it from the third apex onwards. Especially in the early season, the RB7s were believed to suffer a speed deficit in the slow corners but Vettel was quickest in all three sectors in Q3 at Monaco, to include the uber-slow Lowes complex.

I believe Newey has tailored Vettel's rear wing with a particular focus on Q3. He has crunched the numbers and concluded there is more lap time to be gained by a DRS that doesn't shed quite as much drag as their opponents', conceding a measure of top speed during the race in exchange for better grip in high speed corners during Q3.

The trade-off, naturally, is a more limited top speed, which only becomes a factor during the race should Vettel 1) not hold the lead, and 2) have no option but overtake in a DRS zone. So the task falls to him to neutralise that disadvantage by 1) taking pole (which implies exploiting the current rules for using DRS in qualies) and 2) establishing a lead of greater than 1 second prior to activation of DRS.

I believe, IOW, a considerable portion of Vettel's overall success descends from his ability to exploit Newey's compromised/optimised [pick one] DRS design during Q3.

Webber, obviously, should be as aware of this as anyone.
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
I don't buy this safety crap from Mark Webber. I think he's just playing that card because he can't get a handle of DRS himself. TBH i'm not a big fan of the device myself and am still wondering why the F-Duct wasn't giving some-more consideration it seemed to be better and you never knew it really excisted.
If DRS isn't gone within two years i think i'll possibly turn off F1 as it's producing so much artifical racing this season.

Everyone now has KER'S on their cars so i can't see the point of having both TBH.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
This is a historical day. I am fairly blaze about Mark Webber. Apart from the very occasional flash of brilliance, like an Osram just before the filament burns out, to me he seems quite ordinary for an F1 driver. Similarly, he seems like just another bloke, not particularly charismatic nor especially interesting as character. Would I like him as a friend or acquaintance? Yep, he's an okay sort of chap.

So why is this a historic occasion? Well, it's because I feel the need to rise in his defence! I rarely rise to anyone's defence so what's going on? I'll tell you. A few posts here have basically denigrated stuff Mark has been saying in his column as Rasputin kindly posted for us ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/15766196.stm ).

I have read it three times trying to see what the hell is wrong with it. To me it seems like a well rounded report of his race weekend and the comments about the DRS seem to be genuine and inclusive of his own observations and feedback that he will undoubtedly have received from fellow competitors. Not only that, many of the posts in threads here and elsewhere have echoed his comments.

Further, nowhere in his column does he slag anyone off, dismiss another persons ideas or views, disparagingly or otherwise. I therefore fail to understand the hostility to which his column is being subjected. I can only imagine that his column has not been read carefully enough (or perhaps even at all) by responders to the OP and following posts.

I confess that I very nearly made that mistake myself. However, thanks to Ras' pasting the link, I had no trouble in going straight to the horses mouth before expressing my opinion. Had I not done so I would have embarrassed myself by knocking Mr Webber based on erroneous information.

In conclusion, whilst I will continue to rate him as just an average driver, albeit in the class car of the grid, I rate him as at least "Good" as a column writer. I suspect that he is also quite good in his role as drivers representative on the Expert Advisory Safety Committee, since he is clearly articulate, informed and interested in the wider aspects of the sport not just his racing seat.
 
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