The Abu Dhabi Grand Pix was marred by a server issue that prevented the DRS electronics system from operating for 16 or so laps into the race. During that time, drivers were forced to be creative in their passing attempts and detractors of DRS—full disclosure that I am one of them—were happy to see legitimate set ups and passes in creative locations as well as using the slipstream to full effect.
Other folks weren’t so happy and that includes a few drivers that Autosport quoted in support of DRS. I do find it interesting to see a full-throated support article of DRS after the grand prix with the likes of Ricciardo, Sainz and Bottas.
“It made it even more boring!, said Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
“You need it on some tracks, for sure, and this is one of them. Tracks like Monza and that, you could get away without it, but I think it’s a great thing.
“I’m sure some people will say it’s a bit artificial, but we need it, especially with these cars with the speeds we are going, otherwise there’s no overtaking.
“So god bless DRS.”
I understand Dan’s point that passing is assisted on track such as Abu Dhabi as it was this track that begat the DRS in the first place. I also appreciated watching Bottas set up his passes and work to make them happen instead of just waiting for them to happen. There is a stark difference between making it and waiting for it. Bottas knows this.
“I was really eager to get closer to the podium and closer to the front, so it was annoying not to have it,” Valtteri Bottas said.
“In my position, attacking and having the pace, we wanted to have it, but obviously the cars that were defending, I think they were happy to not have it. So this is a tricky one.
“I think with the current cars we have in F1 it is a good thing.
“But hopefully in the future in 2021, maybe we can get rid of it.”
In short, no one wants a processional race and DRS is, for lack of a better analogy, a mask that hides a greater evil in F1 in the form of aerodynamics run amok. The current cars are designed to make turbulent air behind and in doing so, make it hard to follow.
I understand the need for DRS now but like Bottas, I am hoping the 2021 regulations will deliver a chassis that doesn’t need DRS or any artificial constructs to actually race.
Hat Tip: Autosport