Racing against DRS


Race Winner
Someone recently posted a video of Hamilton and Alonso trying to drop back behind each other just before the DRS detection line.

A Similar thing happened in India, Hamilton was behind Raikkonen and could have passed him but chose not to because then both Raikkonen and Perez wold be behind him in the DRS zone with DRS and himself without DRS. Prompting the commentator to say something like "he doesn't want to overtake him yet"

What is your opinion on this style of racing? Personally I struggle to even call that racing and think the top comment of that video says it all "Gilles Villeneuve would turn in his grave...."

I mentioned this to my parents and they both said it was tactical and they liked it....

But I just don't see that as real racing myself, what are your opinions on this?

I predicted this sort of thing happening in 2011:
It is what it is ... I have little affection for the 'slot car follow the car in front of you' years where you could follow the guy for a whole race and not be able to pass ...

That said ... if they continue to insist on providing tyres that have a useful life of 10 minutes, then the contrivance of the DRS is made a little more redundant ...
I have been unequivocal in my unmitigated contempt for DRS since the outset. The can be nothing sporting in artificially disadvantaging a racer entirely because he has been successful. It is completely at odds with the basic tenets of competition.

Suppose they made a new rule that required any cricket team that takes the lead to only use a 50mm-wide bat for the next innings? Or how about a basketball court with a regulation-sized hoop at one end and the other a full meter in diameter, and whichever team trailed in the score at the end of a period gets to shoot at the over-sized hoop on the following? Besides being contrary to the concept of fair play, it guarantees a gaming of the rules. Both teams undoubtedly will attempt to trail in the score until the rules guarantee them an unassailable advantage. The contrivance discourages the teams always performing at their utmost, and it robs the spectators of witnessing the teams always doing their best.

To compound the failure, the roots of the "problem" DRS purports to rectify are blatantly obvious and easily identified: over-dependence on wing-generated downforce, and excessively constrictive constructor's rules. But DRS does exactly bupkis to correct either of them, nor does it give back what the sport otherwise is lacking: robust competition. It might conflate the overtaking statistics, but its effect on the quality of competition -- as the incident mentioned in the OP highlights -- obviously is quite the opposite of what was intended.

In a sane world, Hammy would have pressed his every advantage and overtaken Raikkonen at the first opportunity. Then Kimi would have returned the favour. And so on. Then we'd have had a show. In circles of logic and conversation, this is known as "racing." Holding back and only employing the DRS at the last possible opportunity, assuring that your competition has no chance to retaliate in kind, is not. It does not advance the concept that the best car/driver [pick one] wins.

The press only have taken the point to highlight these two DRS incidents, but how many other, subtler occurrences might there have been that they didn't think bore mention?

With the DRS, the FIA in essence are peeing in the fan's collective earholes and trying to convince them it is raining.

Worst of all, if you accept the premise it actually fixes something, or it makes the sport better, then you have excused the FIA their failure to prevent this happening in the first place. And if you let them off the hook, why should they bother to try to do better?
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IMO this is all about mistaking "passing" with "overtaking", they aren't the same thing. At all. I detest both DRS and the current fast-wearing tyres. I have a soft spot for KERS, oddly, most likely due to the fact that drivers can use their allocation when they want to. Of course it's a plus that RB keep on having trouble with theirs too! ;)
I loathe DRS but I'm glad drivers are using it tactically rather than just a easy-peasy means of whizzing past each other at the drop of a flap .

Alonso was the first to use the tactic of using the first DRS zone to just keep in range and then effect his overtake in the second zone. He later craftily used the DRS in a race with a single zone to do a cheeky pass early and use the zone to get away. The key to the maneouvre was sticking like glue in the turns (which we know is pretty tricky these days due to the aero' wash) and pulling off an overtake off-line (on the dirty stuff) literally the moment his opponent has crossed the DRS line. That way the victim's DRS remained inactive and Alonso could open his after the pass.

Some drivers have, I think, used the technique since. However, it is still rare as it requires a combination of the requisite timing and precision and also the right circuit characteristics and location of DRS detection and activation zones. The two long zones at Buddh were ridiculous and it's a credit to any of the drivers who took the trouble to explore other tactical ways to use them. Maybe that didn't add to "the show" but racing is about using the brain not just the throttle pedal.
One irrelevant point I have noticed looking back at that BBC606 article of mine is that I wrote like a twat. Look at those first 3 lines.
I can only hope I don't still sound like that....

Essentially though I was right, what I said might happen in that last paragraph is the kind of racing we now have. Unfortunately.
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The introduction of DRS may have been a great addition to F1 if it hadn't been applied in such a stupid fashion. The rules and regs on DRS in the Renault 3.5 WKrld series are far more sensible and I have no idea why F1 doesn't do the same. In World Series each driver has 127 seconds of DRS for the entire race that they can use where ever they like but once its gone its gone. They have a count down display on the steering wheel and when it reaches zero then it can't be activated anymore.

Think how much better and how more loved DRS would be if similar useage was applied in F1 as drivers had to balance out how much they used to gain on their rivals or defend against their rivals, figure out where the best place to use it is as well as having the potential to use it wrong and throw it off the road. We coukd make it really interesting and grant a limit for the whole weekend and have a driver chose between using a whole heap in quali to get further up thevgrud and risk not having any come race day or whether to save it to come tbrough the pack.

It would be able to be used to defend and overtake meaning the moves were not artifical and it would add an extra level of excitment to the whole thing.

But no. We have the whole zone thing and its hated.
(K)ERS is one of the technologies in Formula 1 that is applicable & useful to the wider car market, and actually probably the most useful in terms of fuel efficiency. There aren't that many technologies any more in F1 which are, but I'd argue those technologies which can be transferred should be the ones that have greater freedom of development and freedom from cost restrictions. If we're going to have energy recovery systems I don't think there should be any restriction on its use in F1. We have pretty-much unfettered development of aero each season which costs a fortune and is almost completely pointless to the wider car market, so why not energy recovery?

[edit to make it relevant to the thread] - KERS is much more useful than DRS!
RasputinLives ... completely agree ... the current use it or lose allowance per lap simply adds another contrivance ... give them an allocation per race (why not 6 seconds for each lap) and let each driver do what they need to ... use it when they want ...

I would hazard a guess that the first Monaco race under these conditions would be a wild wild ride ...
I like having DRS. More specifically, I hated not having DRS when as Zak said, you could follow someone for a whole race, always within a second or so, but you had zero chance of getting past unless the car in front pitted or had an accident.

Just watch replays from 2008 or 2009 if you want to see races like that again.

Personally, I like knowing that it is worth watching beyond turn 1. And I like drivers tactically using the system too! But I know most of you are going to disagree :)
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