Begin the funeral march for DRS…good riddance

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The best news I’ve heard all day? Even if it does include the word “hope”.

“FIA single seater technical chief Nikolas Tombazis hopes that DRS will be dropped from the 2021 Formula 1 rules package, calling the overtaking device a “necessary evil.”

This terrific news is via Autosport and while I know I have been an ogre about DRS for the past several years and I’ve been roasted for being such a staunch critic, it is about time we get rid of the constructs (that are not the same for everyone) and get back to what is actually important. That’s all I need to run with it and sing and dance on the DRS grave. Ok, I admit, perhaps I am being a bit premature in my celebration.

Don’t disagree with Tombazis at all, it has been a necessary evil but it is a cloud of dark matter hanging over Formula 1 and thankfully the FIA are looking to change it.

“It is right that there’s this underlying discomfort with DRS, and I share it as well,” said Tombazis. “I know Ross has made similar comments.

“We feel that DRS is the right thing to have in the present state of things.

“For 2021 we hope that the cars will be much more able to follow each other closely, and it will be a really nice outcome if we can severely decrease DRS in the future, or even eliminate it.

“But until we get in a position where we are comfortable enough with the wake performance and how cars can follow each other, I think it’s something that I would perhaps call a necessary evil at the moment.”

Now, some will recall the suggested regulation changes for 2019 onward is to introduce a different rear wing configuration and size and this is to make DRS more powerful in the interim. While I am lamenting a more powerful DRS, I could stomach it if I knew that the entire thing was exiting in 2021. For the next couple of years, Tombazis said:

“The DRS effect will increase by approximately 25-30%,” he said.

“The delta of the drag of the car when it opens the DRS and deploys it to current will be bigger, so the delta of speed of the following car will be bigger by that amount as a result.

“Hence the probability that approaching the front car will increase.”

So they’ll make DRS even more of a difference in speed meaning that if Lewis is leading and defending from Vettel, Ricciardo, Max et. al. He’ll most likely be a sitting duck no matter how well he drives or defends his line.

Ugh, making it until 2021 is going to be tough for me but I’ll hang my hat on the very positive notion that while the next two years will be a circus, real regulations and no DRS will return in 2021. Deep breath…I can make it…I’m sure I can. Can’t I? Even with more exaggerated DRS impact for two seasons?

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Richard L Bunce

May not matter how fast the trailing car is going if still aero blocked when they reach the corner…

Daniel B Johnson

The main problem is with the dependence on top side aero. The current cars need clean air to direct around all the complicated bits of barge boards and front wings in order to get it to work. But in decades past the top side aero was much simpler and while yes you would have some loss of performance it was negated by the tow you’d get down the straights. Indycar goes at a very similar speed and the cars are able to be much closer together than they were last year and they had much simpler aero kits than F1… Read more »

Jeremy Boston

Totally agreed that DRS is a necessary evil. For some reason I find the “push-to-pass” in Indy Car much more insufferable.


Why so? I tend to like IndyCar’s system more because you can use it any time, not just when you get close to someone else.

sunny stivala

Not exactly on topic but still about changes of interest. As I understand it and I might be wrong.
FERRARI seems to have excepted the discontinuing of the MGU-H from 2021 in exchange for no parts of the power unite to be standardized.