Last weekend marked 10 years since the drag reduction system made its debut in Formula 1.
The movable rear wing element was first seen in action at the season opener Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. It was designed to make it easier for drivers to overtake themselves – the principle that they would only be allowed to use it within a second of another car (whether on the same lap or not) has remained. unchanged over the decade since its introduction.
DRS divided opinion back then and still does. While some have praised the role it played in assisting overtaking, others argue that it made overtaking too easy under certain circumstances.
It was originally seen as a short-term fix that made it easier for drivers to race against each other in aero racing cars. Formula 1 will introduce new aero rules next year meant to make racing much closer, but DRS remains a feature of the rulebook.
After nearly 200 races with the DRS, is it time for F1 to wean itself off the overtaking momentum? Or does he deserve a long-term place in sport?
Although the DRS has created more overtaking, many of the overtaking moves it creates are instantly forgettable and involve drivers crossing each other easily in the straights.
It is true that the nature of the aerodynamics of F1 cars makes it difficult for cars to closely follow and pass, and DRS helps get around that. But that’s not a real solution to the problem – it’s supposed to happen next year, and once it does, F1 should prioritize eliminating DRS and the “false overtakes” it does. he created.
The number of overtaking has increased in Formula 1 thanks to the DRS. Since the new, wider and more aerodynamically powerful cars were introduced in 2017, which made it even more difficult for drivers to keep up with each other, she has become a vital overtaking aid.
Passing in single-seater will always be difficult, as several other series have shown. The fact that DRS quickly spread to other championships proves its success as a solution and shows why F1 should not give up on it.
After the 50th F1 race with DRS I wrote an article explaining why it failed to convince me. That was seven years ago, and in the meantime my perspective has changed little.
But what’s worrying now, 10 years after the introduction of DRS, is that new fans who discovered the sport around this time may believe that push-button switching is how racing is supposed to work. The joy of true F1 wheel-to-wheel scrap that continues lap after lap is almost impossible now, in part due to the DRS and also the fragile nature of current tires.
The DRS has completely taken over. With up to three DRS zones per track, it’s hard to get a sense of how easily drivers could pass themselves without it. New runway designs come with pre-planned DRS zones. The short-term “sticky plaster” solution has become a crutch that sport will not give up.
The DRS debate comes down to a question of quality rather than quantity, and I would much rather see a small number of quality movements per race rather than the flow of uninteresting “highway” passes that the DRS creates. And the plan to increase the DRS detection window to two seconds for the 2021 sprint qualifying races is a horrible idea.
Should Formula 1 aim to remove DRS in the future – or is it here to stay? Vote below and give your opinion in the comments.
Do you agree that Formula 1 should aim to do away with the drag reduction system in the future?
- Totally agree (66%)
- Somewhat agree (16%)
- Neither agree nor disagree (3%)
- Slightly disagree (7%)
- not agree at all (6%)
- No opinion (0%)
Total number of voters: 298
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