[Rant] I've now decided I hate DRS

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
I don't really want to open a new thread but I feel its essential to get my points out about DRS. I've managed to get a hold of many older F1 races from the late 80's - mid 90's and despite the domination of McLaren and Williams later on there was some fantastic racing spread throughout the years, most of it from Mansell and Senna. I've seen some fantastic bits of racing there and I shall display some of them here.


Mansell passing Berger in Mexico, totally committed around the outside of one of the most challenging corners of any track.


Mansell on Senna in Hungary, perfect judgement catching Senna totally unawares, its like he takes the lead and Senna's like wtf how'd he do that??


Alesi & Senna at Phoenix


Senna Schumacher Prost at Silverstone, 3 cars for the lead, not giving an inch


Mansell Senna at Barcelona, side by side for 500m, at 190mph

Other amazing bits of driving include

Senna Prost Schumacher first 20 laps at Kyalami 1993
Mansell taking Berger for the lead on Portugall 3 wide around 2 lapped cars
Prost making a rare overtake on Alesi and Piquet at Phoenix 1991
Mansell on Prost at Monaco 1991
Senna Prost at Imola 1993
plenty of others, can't think of them now

Now the drivers of the current F1 cars aren't able to do these opportunistic overtakes and battles for lap after lap because of a button on their steering wheel which means that its like passing a cyclist on a freeway at 100mph. Its not "overtaking" or even racing, even the commentators admit once they get within a certain range its a fatacompli. How many races last year featured overtakes that were special, not affected by DRS, I can't think of too many, certainly at the front of the grid anyway. The Pirelli tyres alone could produce amazing racing like yesteryear, but no, they use a button on their wheel.

DRS also takes away the true art of defensive driver and making your car as wide as possible. No-one will ever forget Imola 2005, one of the best pieces of such driving in living memory. Nowadays your car could be 30 feet wide and it wouldn't be enough, given the width of many of the modern tracks and the button on the wheel.

F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing and the drivers should be able to race wheel to wheel with others. How would some of the best races of the past been affected by DRS?? Well Schumacher would have passed Alonso at Imola within a few laps, he would also have passed Alonso at Turkey 06 within a single lap. Raikkonen and Montoya at Hockenheim would have lasted 2 corners not 10. Hakkinen would have got past Schumacher in Malaysia. Villeneuve wouldn't have had to risk everything around the outside of Schumacher in Portugal. Prost would have breezed past Senna at Silverstone. Vettel would never have hit Webber in Turkey.

And of course, the big one, Alonso and Petrov in Abu Dhabi. Alonso wouldn't have been stuck behind for 35 laps, probably 35 seconds before the button can be pressed.

DRS did triple the rate of overtakes last year, but if all the DRS affected "passes" were removed, how many would be left? Not many I suspect.

The drivers have to be made to work for their passes, not just use a button. In a few years we will wonder if the current F1 drivers will be able to race wheel to wheel because they will get so used to this DRS and not be able to overtake the proper way. It may be extremely difficult to overtake in F1 now but when it does happen, we should be able to savour it and talk about it for years and years. This ludicrous device needs to go and real racing needs to return.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
It's about as real as a 2.4 litre engine pumping out 750hp, or cars with wings and knobbly bits all over to allow them to run upside down at speeds over 100mph or tyres which are work out after 40 or 50 miles. I agree the implementation has been a bit haphazard but, all in all, I quite like it. When did we last see cars running three a breast into a corner in F1? Not since the turbo days when the driver behind could turn up the boost to blast past.

It's not "purist" racing but F1 is a contrived sport anyway. If it's pure racing you want then why not watch GP2 or GP3, their all about the driver.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I think Mark Webber might disagree - wasn't it him and Rosberg who passed and re-passed one another in Korea last year. BTW - I agree that it's not the best solution but how many of us have been sitting shouting at the TV when our favourite driver, who's challenging for the lead, is behind a Force India or a Toro Rosso after a pit stop and can't get past as the aero doesn't work? I can't think what other solutions there might be.
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
Push to pass like Champ Car. 60 seconds per race, raises the rev limiter by 500rpm, extra few horsepower.

The difference in DRS is about 150 horsepower, like an atmo and turbo car in 1987. There's no skill passing someone with 25% more horsepower.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
So if DRS was limited to, say, 5 or 6 uses per race and the driver could use it anywhere you'd be happier?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
But the effect of the push to pass button would be exactly the same as DRS? Not arguing just trying to understand what the difference would be.
 

gdeacon7

Rookie
But DRS wasn't introduced in the early 90's. It was introduced following a decade dominated by aerodynamics and processional races. You make it seem as if the driver sat down at a meeting and decided not to race each other anymore. But we know that the nature of the cars (and circuits) and how they derive their pace is to blame.

In terms of boosting overtaking (which we can all agree was needed), there is no simple answer, so let's look at the alternatives. The Pirellis have definitely contributed to the spectacle and the racing, especially at races like China 2011, but I still don't like the idea of drivers having to be economical in their driving style and not always going flat out. KERS has played a fairly minimal role, in which the drama seemed mostly to be centred around whose KERS system failed and whose didn't, rather than the strategy of deploying it at the appropriate time.

In terms of DRS itself, I don't think anyone sees it as a perfect substitute for hard wheel-to-wheel racing, but it can artificially induce great action. There were races in 2011 where it made passing too easy (Canada), others where it made little difference (Australia, Korea) but several where it created racing situations that otherwise wouldn't have occurred (India springs to mind, where Hamilton was able to catch up just enough to race Massa going into the next 2 corners).

To summarise: don't compare DRS-era racing against a highlights package of racing 20 years ago. Compare it to racing from 1 or 2 years ago. Ideally DRS should be perfected so it cancels-out the penalty of following in another driver's turbulent air and level the playing-field between pursuer and pursue-ee.
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
I'm interested to see how the new ban on EBDs affects DRS implementation - with no exhaust-aided downforce through corners, one would anticipate that drivers will have to be more mindful of hitting the DRS button when exiting a corner on a quali run, or run the risk of spinning out. I'm not sure we'll see quite as many Vettel poles this year :thinking:
 

Vortex

Race Winner
I cant stand DRS! >:(
If anything, to me it has taken more away from F1 than it has given. I’ve failed to get excited about any DRS aided overtake, actually I’ve hated just about every DRS overtake because I’ve though ehhh, its not fair he’s using the DRS.
 

Josh

Champion Elect
I think the idea itself is a good one, but the implementation on some tracks have failed, like gdeacon said.
The idea behind DRS was (iirc) to offset the penalty a car has when following another car, not allow it to blast by like on some tracks last year.
How many times in the past have we seen a driver get close to another car, only to get stuck behind it because once they were in a 1 second window they were barely able to get closer anymore? How many times have we seen pit overtakes because of this? I can't imagine anyone who is against DRS liked seeing those.

If they get the DRS areas spot on, or at least better on the tracks where it failed last year, then I think we'll be seeing a lot more wheel-to-wheel racing.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
I have mixed feelings on DRS. I think at the moment you either have a series were passing is very difficult and can only reliably be done on a few circuits at specific corners. Or you have DRS which means passings is possible at every track but means overtaking is nearly always done in one braking zone, however it can bring cars closer together like Hamilton and Webber at Yeongam 2011. I believe the system would be recieved much better if the FIA made better efforts to set the zones, for example at some races last year such as Turkey it was far to easy to pass, then there were races that were too hard to pass on such as Melbourne, but in a few instances (e.g. Italy) DRS allowed both the driver behind a chance to get alongside but also offered the driver in front to actually defend.

Why can't the FIA borrow a couple of old F1 cars fitted with DRS and test how effective the system is at the circuit on the Thursday/Friday before the race weekend, then set the detection/activation points at places that allow overtaking to be possible while not making it too easy?

I think DRS as a concept has real merit until the 'dirty air' problem is solved, the detection and activation points just have to be adjusted better to cater to both drivers that are defending and those that are on the attack.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It was always advertised as a short-term fix, with less aero-sensitive cars coming in for 2014. Unfortunately those new aero regs haven't materialised, and DRS will continue in 2014 and presumably beyond.

Having said that, I prefer too much overtaking to hardly any at all, which is what we had from c.1996 to 2009. The beauty of DRS is its adjustability - at some races last year it did make passing too easy, but not all. I hope that the FIA will revise their zone lengths this year to ensure it is only an overtaking aid, and not an overtaking guarantee. I'm not necessarily confident about that, though.
 
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