WE were discussing the power of DRS in the age of ground effects on our latest podcast and I know many folks have been debating the infamous Drag Reduction System this season due to the efficacy of the new regulations and the impact DRS has on racing.
Why wouldn’t we? There have been two races and both treated us to some fun back-and-forth passing which led to a game of cat-and-mouse in Jeddah this past Weeknd. Since the cars can race much closer together, this gives DRS much more power and that’s why Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen were trying to out-break each other just before the DRS detection line so they would have DRS on the following straight.
As we discussed on our podcast, if it’s prolific passing you want, perhaps a way to balance this DRS power—apart from doing away with it which is what we would like—is to simply make every straight a DRS zone with its own detection line. Or, perhaps They should take a much deeper look into where the DRS zones are located and how long they are.
Having one detection zone for an entire lap is also an issues and if you felt it was too strong, making the zone shorter may merely draw cars closer together but allow for prolific passing at will.
Regardless, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said that F1 should look at the issue.
“The DRS is so powerful you could see that there was a game of cat and mouse going on between the drivers, where they’d actually brake to a point that they actually accelerated into the corner,” Horner said.
“I think maybe we should look at where that DRS detection zone is for future years. You definitely want to avoid being in that situation.”
To be honest, I would rather F1 look at DRS this year instead of the “years to come”. I think, depending on the track, this DRS cat-and-mouse could get a little silly. While I wish DRS wasn’t needed due to its construct nature, some drivers feel passing would still be impossible in F1 without it so that would suggest that while the new regulations have been good, they haven’t solved the issue completely but should it?
“I think the really encouraging thing about these regulations is that in the last two races we’ve seen Charles and Max pass each other about 10 times, which we haven’t seen in previous seasons,” Horner explained.
“It’s been great racing, another fantastic race there between the two teams. Of a sample of two, you’d have to say it’s a big tick in the box for the ability to follow closely and race wheel to wheel. It’s been outstanding.”