DRS - how to make it fair


Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
In a recent poll, 60% of CTA readers said they did not like DRS now.

Overwhelmingly, this stems from a view that the system is unfair to the leading driver. There have been countless examples of drivers breezing past, even able to retake the racing line into the next corner. I agree that this is too easy - don't shoot :D

But I do like DRS.

I like the concept. I believe that there should be some advantage to the driver behind to make up for the disadvantage of running in dirty air. Otherwise, you go back to the bad old days (1996 to 2009) when positions just changed in the pits.

DRS is a lot cheaper and easier than regulating out the use of the aerodynamic concepts that cause the wake of dirty air when you are within 0.5 to 1s of the car in front. You have to get through that wall to get to the slipstream.

In terms of DRS implementation, I think there are two ways it is used. One is on the main straight where the aim is to get car 2 past car 1 - "Multi21, Seb, Multi21..."

The other is a zone where the following car is able to close up some of the gap, but because of the length of the zone, car 2 remains behind car 1 - "Multi12" - like the back straight in Bahrain.

I created this thread to throw out some ideas about how DRS could be improved. The first is to have more Multi12 zones, after a sequence of corners. If you have these leading up to the main straight, maybe you don't need a Multi21 zone? If a Multi12 zone can deliver car 2 onto the main straight within 0.2s of car 1, you maybe then have a slipstream and a fair fight. I think that's what we all want.

For Bahrain, that would mean two zones between corners 10-11 and 13-14, setting the car behind up to attack on the main straight without DRS. If car 2 is so much faster than car 1 that it gets past anyway in a Multi12 zone, then so be it.

That might work at some circuits, but ones like Barcelona the suitable sequences might not exist. For these you need a different solution and an idea struck me watching Alonso vs Rosberg* in Bahrain on replay.

You could have two lines on the straight. One on the corner exit for the car behind and another one a few hundred yards up for the car ahead. That way, you do close up the gap from the dirty air, but the car ahead still has the same resources to compete for position under braking. The first zone delivers the challenger into the slipstream and then they both fight it out, both of them with DRS.

Has anyone else got any other ideas? Other than doing away with it all together...?!?

* On lap 3, you had an in car with Alonso, complete with speed and DRS graphic for him and Rosberg. Exiting the final turn, and long before the DRS line, Alonso's wing was open according to the graphic. Their corner exit speeds were similar around 157kph, but with his wing open, Alonso got to 243kph by the time Rosberg was at 224kph and that 20kph differential was enough to bring him alongside as they crossed the DRS line. At that point, Rosberg was doing 257kph when his DRS opened. Alonso, was cruising past doing 274kph.

Rosberg was still eligible for DRS (from Vettel), so Nico's wing popped open when he crossed the DRS line. Nico's speed then picked up and he was doing 281kph when Alonso's wing closed as he went past the pits, clearly ahead. Rosberg was then going faster, even though he was now behind. Nico was doing 302kph when Alonso opened DRS again and went from 295kph to 305kph.
or alternatively Brogan, you could increase the unpredictability relating to grip. When the Pirelli tyres are grippy at the beginning of races, we see zero overtaking. As they degrade, and become more unpredictable, then we get more overtaking and more chances! If you could design a tyre that had low grip, and was not possible to be utterly predictable (Like the current Pirellis) then you get good racing! Is DRS necessary? Possibly not!
Yo, Mr FIA! If you serious about the overtaking problem instead of coming up with visually-ridiculous artificial methods like DRS how about forgetting altogether about going to tracks such as Yas Marina or Bahrain and other tyke-o-dromes and instead sticking to the "real" tracks such as Spa and Montreal where overtaking was always possible? :givemestrength:
I would ban it from being used when the leaders come up to lap back markers for starters. Also I would introduce a rule that at tracks with 2DRS zones you are unable to use DRS in both of the DRS zones so you don't get a second bite of the cherry if you fail to overtake the 1st time around.
Most straights are wide enough for several cars but the racing line ensures that the rest of it is useless due to being sub-optimal for the next corner and being covered in tyre debris and other rubbish..

Sub optimal, yes, but we have seen lots of drivers taking the dirty line to defend and take the corner this year. It can't be that bad if the lead driver takes the dirty line to defend, as we have seen many times already. :dunno:

You can see the cloud of dust it throws up - its a good way to actually see the wake I'm talking about. ;)
I'm just going to have to repeat my comments elsewhere; DRS is contrived in both intent and implementation.

And I detest it so no amount of fiddling or changes is going to improve it or make it fair, in my opinion.

An overtaking driver being able to utilise it after passing the person before the activation zone is quite frankly ludicrous and says it all.

So 2010 was a bad season overtake wise, was it? And remind me, was there DRS then...?
I think 2010 was a step in the right direction (banning refuelling), but you still had the Abu Dhabi example. I think all three are factors in what I consider to be a good mix in 2013, but I cant say how much is race fuel, how much is Pirelli tyres and how much is DRS.
But he could have pitted earlier and got the jump on him had he wanted to, no? And what's wrong with races with little overtaking? It allows people to use clever strategies, not a faster car to do well?
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