The great evil that is DRS

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Exediron
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The great evil that is DRS

Post by Exediron »

We've all heard about how bad DRS is; it takes driver skill out of passing, and allows the following car to just fly by automatically...

So what happened in Spain? How come Kimi - who had DRS more laps than not - never flew by Verstappen automatically? Why did it look like DRS was actually just bringing him close enough to have a chance, and from there it was driver vs. driver? And in a shocking turn of events Ricciardo wasn't able to breeze past Vettel either! Has the world gone mad, or is it possible that some people just overreact to DRS and it isn't such a race-ruiner as it's made out to be?

Personally, I think that while DRS gets most of the blame, the majority of breeze-past overtakes we see are a result of extreme tyre performance differentials, not DRS itself. How often have we seen (not this year perhaps, but previously) the two Mercs glued to each other, unable to overtake? It's because they're always on the same strategy. If DRS really was as race-ruiningly powerful as it's made out to be, this wouldn't happen - the car behind would just breeze past on the first DRS straight.

Imagine last race without DRS. Then imagine it without joke tyres. Which one would have hurt the excitement, and which would have greatly improved it?
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by j man »

Absolutely 100% agree. I've been saying this for a while. In my eyes all DRS does is try to negate the disadvantage the following car gets in the corners by giving a little boost on the straights. Of course I'd rather they designed the cars better to start with but in the absence of cars that can actually follow each other I find DRS an acceptable solution.

If it really did give an advantage to the following car then we'd see drivers of a similar pace passing and then re-passing each other on consecutive laps.

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tootsie323
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by tootsie323 »

I think it's down to traction off the final corner and that DRS is not activated until almost halfway along the pit straight.
I recall Vettel holding off a faster Hamilton a few years ago (don't recall the precise year!) largely by virtue of better drive off that corner.
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Schumacher forever#1
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Schumacher forever#1 »

DRS is not the evil. It is the turbulent air from following a car closely that is the problem. As said already, DRS just tries to nullify that disadvantage. It results in only having overtakes at DRS zones and very rarely do we see any overtakes in any other parts of the track.

If we revert back to the age where we had simple front and rear wings that wouldn't be susceptible to the dirty air of the car in front, we wouldn't need it anymore. Its just a pity we hear from Charlie Whiting a few months back that there'd be no problem in making the cars more aerodynamically advanced as we could simply make the DRS advantage greater. Hopefully we will soon have competent people running F1 soon and sort out this mess.

I don't even know where to start with the tyres!
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by trento »

U need very long straights for DRS to work.

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tootsie323
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by tootsie323 »

Schumacher forever#1 wrote:DRS is not the evil. It is the turbulent air from following a car closely that is the problem. As said already, DRS just tries to nullify that disadvantage. It results in only having overtakes at DRS zones and very rarely do we see any overtakes in any other parts of the track.

If we revert back to the age where we had simple front and rear wings that wouldn't be susceptible to the dirty air of the car in front, we wouldn't need it anymore. Its just a pity we hear from Charlie Whiting a few months back that there'd be no problem in making the cars more aerodynamically advanced as we could simply make the DRS advantage greater. Hopefully we will soon have competent people running F1 soon and sort out this mess.

I don't even know where to start with the tyres!
This. DRS is the sticking plaster for the wound that is aerodynamic turbulence.
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Colo134 »

https://f1ranting.wordpress.com/2016/05 ... ys-better/

A blog post that's not entire on the topic but has some relevance to the topic at hand, arguing that more overtaking doesnt always result in to exciting racing

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Covalent »

tootsie323 wrote:
Schumacher forever#1 wrote:DRS is not the evil. It is the turbulent air from following a car closely that is the problem. As said already, DRS just tries to nullify that disadvantage. It results in only having overtakes at DRS zones and very rarely do we see any overtakes in any other parts of the track.

If we revert back to the age where we had simple front and rear wings that wouldn't be susceptible to the dirty air of the car in front, we wouldn't need it anymore. Its just a pity we hear from Charlie Whiting a few months back that there'd be no problem in making the cars more aerodynamically advanced as we could simply make the DRS advantage greater. Hopefully we will soon have competent people running F1 soon and sort out this mess.

I don't even know where to start with the tyres!
This. DRS is the sticking plaster for the wound that is aerodynamic turbulence.
Well summarized. With the current set of regulations, DRS is a must but of course we'd rather have a situation where we don't need the plaster.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by specdecible »

DRS is just a band-aid for the wound that is crappy circuit design... *cough* Abu Dhabi *cough*
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Alex53
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Alex53 »

DRS helps to a different extent depending on the circuit and where they decide to put the activation line. Basically in an ideal world, the gain of using DRS should be just enough to put the following car alongside the car ahead, and then let the drivers fight for the position, but that is a difficult calculation to get right, and the result is often the DRS gain falls short, while others it makes too much of a difference and we see stupidly easy overtakes.

I would definitely not miss it if it was gone. I'm much more for radical reduction of aero, and by radical I mean removing wings a la Formula Ford, or setting rules for vastly simplified wings, like making them a single element, with no end plates, a single width throughout and a straight shape where all you can do is rotate them forwards or backwards during setup. Something like:

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nixxxon
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by nixxxon »

DRS is not evil at all. Overpowered DRS is.
And in Spain the DRS was a bit underpowered.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by MistaVega23 »

At first I thought DRS was brought in with the hope of attracting more 'casual' fans to the sport i.e. those who wouldn't really give a damn if it was artificial or not - but over the years I can't help but feel it's been introduced to cover up the cold hard fact that today's aero literally stops cars following each other in corners, so there needs to be an 'aid' somehow. Maybe wider tyres and one-element front and rear wings would help, but getting all the teams to unanimously agree on regs is impossible.

Circuit design, car design, performance parity and rule sensibility all need a massive overhaul, IMO. But for various reasons, they won't.

DRS is like rubbing Bonjela on a gunshot wound - it does nothing but make things worse in the long run and until the above problems are addressed and solved properly, we're going to witness the downfall of our once great sport.
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Zoue »

You're right that the tyres are a bigger problem than DRS. I've never quite understood how those in charge of F1 can't see that one of the biggest issues with following a car too closely is the damage it does to the tyres and how this could be greatly rectified by having proper racing rubber.

Having said that, I don't think Barcelona is a representative example with regards to DRS. The straight simply isn't long enough for it to be effective (and DRS kicks in quite far along it). But I've maintained for a long time that DRS is a sticking plaster to cover a wound, when they really need to be looking at a solution to what's causing the wound in the first place. And that's the inability of cars to follow each other closely in turbulent air.

Back in the 80s slipstreaming was constantly referred to - I remember commentators describing it as cars following in the hole in the air that's been punched through by the car in front - and it's this that DRS is trying to replace. Not being an engineer, I don't quite understand why slipstreaming is no longer possible but I'd hazard a guess it's a combination of the tyres not allowing close following and the ultra-sensitivity of the wings. I'm at a complete loss as to why there is such resistance in F1 to reducing their complexity, as it seems to me that these are 2nd only to the tyres in being responsible for cars not being able to follow one another through the twisty bits.

Perhaps (partially) enclosing the wheels might allow a solution. I realise this is heresy to some but I don't see how allowing some kind of enclosure (on the lines of Indycars as an example) would be so problematic. It can't be beyond the wit of man to do something similar to the front wheels and still have them visible while reducing their effect on the aerodynamics of the car. They also have much simpler front wings and it doesn't appear to do them any harm. I'd rather that than DRS, which simply gives the car behind a mechanical advantage and seems a lazy solution to an otherwise very complex formula. But for some reason things like DRS and comedy tyres appear to be sacrosanct to the powers that be and they'd rather come up with even more gimmicks than admit there might be issues with the ones they already have

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Teddy007 »

Schumacher forever#1 wrote:DRS is not the evil. It is the turbulent air from following a car closely that is the problem. As said already, DRS just tries to nullify that disadvantage. It results in only having overtakes at DRS zones and very rarely do we see any overtakes in any other parts of the track.

If we revert back to the age where we had simple front and rear wings that wouldn't be susceptible to the dirty air of the car in front, we wouldn't need it anymore. Its just a pity we hear from Charlie Whiting a few months back that there'd be no problem in making the cars more aerodynamically advanced as we could simply make the DRS advantage greater. Hopefully we will soon have competent people running F1 soon and sort out this mess.

I don't even know where to start with the tyres!
This.

Before anyone whines about DRS, they need to fix this damaging drag from following a car. They need to fix the tyre damage as a result of following a car. DRS hinders racing? no actually we would see less because we would see "more following". We've seen more overtaking as a result of DRS. Maybe they should switch it off for one race just to hush up the fans that moan about it. Then people can return to complain about the actual real issues that drivers hate - the damage of following another car.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Zoue »

Teddy007 wrote:
Schumacher forever#1 wrote:DRS is not the evil. It is the turbulent air from following a car closely that is the problem. As said already, DRS just tries to nullify that disadvantage. It results in only having overtakes at DRS zones and very rarely do we see any overtakes in any other parts of the track.

If we revert back to the age where we had simple front and rear wings that wouldn't be susceptible to the dirty air of the car in front, we wouldn't need it anymore. Its just a pity we hear from Charlie Whiting a few months back that there'd be no problem in making the cars more aerodynamically advanced as we could simply make the DRS advantage greater. Hopefully we will soon have competent people running F1 soon and sort out this mess.

I don't even know where to start with the tyres!
This.

Before anyone whines about DRS, they need to fix this damaging drag from following a car. They need to fix the tyre damage as a result of following a car. DRS hinders racing? no actually we would see less because we would see "more following". We've seen more overtaking as a result of DRS. Maybe they should switch it off for one race just to hush up the fans that moan about it. Then people can return to complain about the actual real issues that drivers hate - the damage of following another car.
Seems a bit of a silly and poorly thought-out suggestion as most people who moan about it are aware that it's there to cover up other issues and feel that they need to address those instead of resorting to DRS. Just switching off DRS on its own without doing anything else will do what, exactly? It certainly won't address the issues that people are "whining" about, to use your charming phrase.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by ALESI »

Alex53 wrote:DRS helps to a different extent depending on the circuit and where they decide to put the activation line. Basically in an ideal world, the gain of using DRS should be just enough to put the following car alongside the car ahead, and then let the drivers fight for the position, but that is a difficult calculation to get right, and the result is often the DRS gain falls short, while others it makes too much of a difference and we see stupidly easy overtakes.

I would definitely not miss it if it was gone. I'm much more for radical reduction of aero, and by radical I mean removing wings a la Formula Ford, or setting rules for vastly simplified wings, like making them a single element, with no end plates, a single width throughout and a straight shape where all you can do is rotate them forwards or backwards during setup. Something like:

Image
Source: BBC
Yes, that looks great. I still think they should mandate aluminium wings as well. Why are they allowed to make wings of a material that shatters and causes punctures?
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by stevey »

DRS is known not to work well in spain due to the last chicane.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by lamo »

The length of the DRS zones have been tweaked since 2011 and they have had it spot on for about 2-3 seasons now. When it first came out they got is massively wrong at certain tracks and cars were breezing by way before the braking zone.

It is now what is is supposed to be, an aid in overtaking, if anything it was a little weak in Spain but I won't complain with that. Ferraris being able to overtake a Toro Rosso and not a Red Bull is about right.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by F1 MERCENARY »

tootsie323 wrote:I think it's down to traction off the final corner and that DRS is not activated until almost halfway along the pit straight.
I recall Vettel holding off a faster Hamilton a few years ago (don't recall the precise year!) largely by virtue of better drive off that corner.
Absolutely. It all came down to the amount of GRIP Verstappen had between turns 14 & 15. Kimi would be right on Max's tail and then Max would make his Red bull rocket coming out of 15 and then by the time he got to and through 16 he built a serious gap which Kimi's DRS could only help to close back down. Personally that display showed Red Bull's chassis' ability through the tight stuff compared to everyone else and that the Renault has some balls. With all the drivers comments on the upgrades to the Renault PU in Spain, I can't wait to see how much better all Renault powered teams do.

But I this is a track where the placement of the DRS deployment zone does not make the most of the advantage the system affords and unless you get as good or better drive as the guy in front coming out of the last 3 or 2 turns, they will pull too far ahead for DRS to allow you to zip past. F1 without DRS will be a better F1.
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by lamo »

I don't think that Max or the car did anything special in turn 14 and 15, it was just natural concertina effect (cars always looks really close when they are doing 50 mph) plus being unable to follow at top speed through 15.

If the Red Bull was a monster in those last corners compared to the Ferrari, Ricciardo would have got a lot closer to Vettel out of the last turn.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Blinky McSquinty »

DRS is not evil, but as others have stated, a band-aid to mask the inability of a Formula One car to follow close because of it's aero. The rules makers and car designers build cars wonderful in clear air, but struggle terribly once behind anything else. Of all the tracks on the calendar, Circuit de Catalunya amplifies and displays this terrible combination of design choices of wonky tires and reliance on clear air.

In Spain they have the maximum number of DRS zones, and they basically run the entire length of the two longest straights. But even then, it can't work as anticipated. The reasons are as mentioned, the heavy reliance on needing clear air, the tires, and the nature of the corners. At this track, the section preceding the DRS zones are moderately fast right handers, which punish tires and rely on aerodynamics. On many other tracks the corner preceding the DRS zone is usually a very tight corner, where a driver has a much better opportunity to close up.

The fact that this track has so many right hand corners that absolutely punish the left side tires is also relevant. If a driver ever committed to attempting a DRS pass, the odds are very good that he would destroy his tires in two laps.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by kleefton »

That is why I believe DRS is harmless for the most part, and far from what is wrong with the current formula 1. It's not just in Spain that DRS is useless. It will be useless in places like Canada, Russia, Australia, Suzuka...etc...
But what it does do is allow a much faster car to pass. If the cars are within .5 tenths of each other DRS is usually useless as an overtaking aid.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by kleefton »

trento wrote:U need very long straights for DRS to work.
Not necessarily. A classic example would be 2014 Canadian grand prix where Sergio Perez couldn't pass a Mercedes missing 160hp for many laps even though he had DRS all the time.

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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by F1 MERCENARY »

lamo wrote:I don't think that Max or the car did anything special in turn 14 and 15, it was just natural concertina effect (cars always looks really close when they are doing 50 mph) plus being unable to follow at top speed through 15.

If the Red Bull was a monster in those last corners compared to the Ferrari, Ricciardo would have got a lot closer to Vettel out of the last turn.
Well from 2011 to 2014 Vettel was able to do things with his red bull that Webber simply couldn't. The EBD was a system Vettel took a real liking to and could utilize it 100% most of the time its effects were needed and Webber could never overcome his natural instincts to lift rather than plant his right foot on the throttle when he felt the rear wheels starting to exceed adhesion.

As well, car setups affect how well they do in certain sections of tracks and one might prefer a looser, under steering setup while the other prefers a setup that has a tendency to oversteer. As such each car is capable of having a considerable advantage over the other on certain areas. This can easily be the reason why Max was able to open the gap to Kimi so easily and why Vettel was able to keep Ricciardo behind in the last 3 corners.

In Indy the many cars are 100% identical yet the setups cause tremendous variations in performance. Setup is everything.
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Re: The great evil that is DRS

Post by Zoue »

lamo wrote:I don't think that Max or the car did anything special in turn 14 and 15, it was just natural concertina effect (cars always looks really close when they are doing 50 mph) plus being unable to follow at top speed through 15.

If the Red Bull was a monster in those last corners compared to the Ferrari, Ricciardo would have got a lot closer to Vettel out of the last turn.
If anything, I think this highlights it. The Ferrari is more powerful that the Renault, so Kimi using DRS was able to overcome the Renault's better traction and catch up with Max by the end of the straight, but couldn't get close enough to try anything. Ricciardo, OTOH, was able to catch Vettel quicker, despite having a less powerful PU, and therefore pose more of a threat because he could launch himself out of the final corner much better and was closer right from the start

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