DRS - how to make it fair

When I first heard about DRS I actually thought somebody was have a laugh I had to check it wasn't 1st April and even then I just thought nah it will never happen it's just to stupid for words and it will end up in the bin along with shortcuts on track and random sprinklers, unfortunately laying on the floor next to the bin where it just missed going in is the, moving the time of the Malaysian GP to the time of day when it more often than not pisses down with rain, idea.....

In fact now that it is actually being used the only explanation I can come up with is that I have slipped into some sort of alternative reality where Mad Hatters hold tea parties and rabbits run around shouting that they are late for a very important date....
Apologies to the OP but I think the question posed by HammydiRestarules and the debate that followed covered it for me. My opinion has only hardened since the introduction of the device. I see only two options and it has nothing to do with fairness as such. Option one is to get rid of it, restrict the wings and increase mechanical grip. Option two is to deregulate the DRS and leave it up to drivers to chose how they use it. I favour option one but could just about tolerate option two.

And that is my last word on the subject ... unless I have a knee-jerk reaction to something ... which I hope I don't ...
...DRS is a lot cheaper and easier than regulating out the use of the aerodynamic concepts that cause the wake of dirty air...
I wholeheartedly disagree. Those Gothic multi-element wings are hideously expensive. But they needn't be.

The RRA is rumoured to limit teams to 80 teraflops of CFD per week, which, by my calculations, would take near as makes no difference £3400 worth of British Gas's hi-octane electrons (~£175,000/year). And that's exclusive of the costs of the server facility, the servers themselves, CFD software, storage arrays, UPSs, air-con and the herd of computer boffins. Or the one hour of actual wind tunnel time the RRA metes out each week.

And the teams burn through every ounce of it, every week, year round, and clamour for more.

Each nose cone and front wing for the RB9 costs RBR about the same as a mid-level CL-class Merc. Or a spanking-new Cessna 162 aeroplane. Just to manufacture, exclusive of R&D costs. And they create a bespoke design for every circuit. And they bring spares. I would wager a month's supply of Guinness that their engine lease costs the front-running teams less than what they spend just on the design and manufacture of front and rear wings.

The solution is simple, single element wings, of uniform cross-sectional profile, of limited length, width and chord. Identical in appearance and function to the old "Hershey's bar" Piper aeroplane wings. The teams wouldn't have to create even that from whole cloth, they could copy the key details from the wings of a Spitfire or a P-51 Mustang and Bob's your uncle. All that costs them is a measuring tape and a trip to the Imperial War Museum. And ban all other wings, appendages, protuberances, lumps and bumps, barge boards and turning vanes. That would eliminate the need for millions of Euros they otherwise would spend in aerodynamic research each season.

If that proves too costly to downforce, bring some of it back by allowing the new, smaller, simpler wings' angle of attack to be driver adjustable. At will. Automatic and electronically controlled, even. After all, aeroplanes have been getting by just fine with adjustable aero for nigh onto 110 years now. It's time for F1 to catch up. And the natural configuration on straightaways would be the low drag, low turbulence setting. Problem solved and million$ $aved.

I know how to make it fair..

Here, here. well spoken, Bruce.

Robbing from Peter to pay Paul is still thievery, no matter how little you steal. It isn't cricket, regardless how you tweak it.

DRS is nothing more than a sticking plaster the FIA are using to conceal their past misteaks mistakes. If we as fans accept it, they lose a key motivation to ever revisit the original problem and correct it.

I'm for holding their feet to the fire.
Problem solved and million$ $aved.
Except that the money wouldn't be saved. They would just reallocate it to other areas. The teams will spend all the money they can to find improvements of the car. If they can't spend it on the wings, they wil spend it on the sidepods. Or on the rearviewmirrors if that's the only thing they can change on the car.

Nevertheless your suggestion of a simple wing, will improve the aerodepency of the car.
As long as they don't that, DRS is a second best option.

Allowing to drivers to use DRS where-ever they want, whenever they want, means they will still have the problem of the dirty air.
Imagine DRS was never allowed due to the rule about no movable aerodynamic parts, and some boffin came up with the idea that if a car was within a second of the car in front at certain parts of the track an automatic system would kick in where the car in fronts rev limiter is reduced from its current 18,000 rpm down to 16,000 rpm for the period of the straight to give the car behind a chance to overtake.

1st of all would anyone approve of that system and 2nd of all is there anyway anyone could suggest that could make the system be fair on the defending driver....

And therein lays the problem DRS by it's very nature is inherently unfair....

And Bernie if you are reading this don't start getting any funny ideas....
Maybe DRS isn't fair, but is it fair that a car's wake disrupts the airflow in such a way that the car behind goes slower?

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that somewhere during the 90s teams began to affect the airflow behind their car in such a way that the car behind would lose part of its downforce. That doesn't strike me as fair either.
Maybe DRS isn't fair, but is it fair that a car's wake disrupts the airflow in such a way that the car behind goes slower?

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that somewhere during the 90s teams began to affect the airflow behind their car in such a way that the car behind would lose part of its downforce. That doesn't strike me as fair either.
The car behind has never gone slower than the car in front down a straight slipstreaming has always been a part of the sport, DRS does not clean up the car in fronts turbulent air it simply reduces the drag on itself and gives even more advantage to the natural slipstream effect....
jez101 - I agree on what you described as "multi 12" zones. Did the main straight DRS at Bahrain somewhat do this for Turn Four at Bahrain in your view, particularly when identical cars were fighting?

I think the main straight at Spa would be a great place to put such a zone.
It certainly seemed that way teabagyokel. I would like to see less DRS vs non-DRS overtaking, so more of these multi12 zones to close the gap, leaving a fair chance for attacker and defender seems like a positive step.

What did you think of the other idea to have two zones on one straight, the first where only the car behind can use it, and a later activation line for the leading driver to help him defend?
I'd like it gone. I'd rather see 3 or 4 genuine hard fought overtakes in a race than 39 gifts. And if spectators don't like it , the FIA need to do as a previous poster suggested, address the real problem and not just cover it up.
I've never been quite sure why DRS needs be at the end of the straight, and then deactivates at the braking point. Surely, the philosophy of it should be, since the cars cannot (allegedly) follow each other through corners, then if you had DRS activation for the first, say, 200m of the straight, to allow the car behind to catch up, and make up for the fact that they'd lost pace and distance, following the other car through the corner, but then deactivates at a deactivation point, meaning that overtakes would still be "true" overtakes, as the drag would start to slow the car down, unless they were close enough to the car in front to take advantage of the slipstream... Therefore, the cost of following another car in terms of loss of speed through the preceding corner is reduced, but overtakes would still need to be tactical
Apologies to the OP but I think the question posed by HammydiRestarules and the debate that followed covered it for me.

Apology accepted Fenders :D! I did consider tacking my post on the end of that thread but I was trying to take a slightly different angle with the post - ie we've got it, how could it be improved? To be honest though, I did kind of expect the answer, "the only way to improve it is to do away with it".

We could at this point just merge the two threads, but I am going to persist for a bit longer with the original question.

Has anyone else got any other ideas? Other than doing away with it all together...?!?
No harm in that jez101. I had anticipated not having anything to add on the subject. Apparently I was wrong! I was just writing the stuff below when the several posts including your latest above appeared.

Whilst I liked Blog Zbod's post because of the great deal of thought and effort put into it, I have to say that I would hate to see F1 cars reduced to a near uniform look. The current explorations on the aero' side of things at least means that for a while the cars do have some distinction. Unfortunately, my favourite chestnut, the law of diminishing returns, applies to aero' as it does to everything else.

Aerodynamics have been a part of the sport since before WWII when Mercedes were at the forefront with their revolutionary designs such as the W125. Although F1's designers may take different routes to get there, eventually they will arrive at the same place. We have seen over the decades that designs converge as each generation of F1 car is led by the regulations in place at the time. In the past it has been an innovation in design that has upset the status quo and restarted the search for some kind of perfect solution in a new direction. In the 1960's it was such things as the Costin and Duckworth work with Colin Chapman to unify the engine with the chassis as a stressed member. Then it was simple aerofoil wings. Later it was the lightweight monocoque chassis that has lent itself to the aerodynamic design possibilities and challenges ever since.

What I'm getting at is that the challenge to design the aero' package is every bit as bona fide a part of F1 as any other engineering challenge. I do have to agree with those who don't wish to go back to any bygone era but I think DRS is token solution a more complex problem. The FIA didn't like the F-duct but rather than regulate parameters for its design and use they banned it and came up with the DRS and the farcical management regimen for its use. Was that the real error? I also wonder if all sides inside F1 are looking at it from the narrow confines of the rules that they have created with no-one stepping outside of that ever more constricting box. Whilst I'm not entirely in agreement with him, Blog Zbod has clearly thought about this from a different perspective and that is what the teams and FIA need to do more of.

Final thought, F1 was never all about the driver. Enzo Ferrari was clear on where he stood in the way he managed his drivers. To him it was all about the car. The driver was secondary he would have no compunction about "dealing" with a driver even he was the best bloke available. To Enzo what mattered was the creation of a beast of beauty that would win and look great doing it. I often wonder what Enzo Ferrari and other late greats like Colin Chapman would think of today's F1. It wouldn't be a stretch to think that would probably be disappointed in the way that engineering excellence can be subservient to a wing flap and intentionally dodgy tyres.

Writers note: I started wrting this with another thought in mind and got interrupted by a phone call. It's not exactly what I had originally had on my mind and may have strayed somewhat from the OP but I'll post it anyway! If I can remember what I meant write I'll just have to post it later. Hope that's okay with folks!
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