Too many DRS in Formula 1? Sebastian Vettel makes a suggestion

( – Sebastian Vettel warns that the drag reduction system (DRS) in Formula 1 will have too big of an impact. His thesis: “An overtaking maneuver should always be an achievement that does not depend on whether you are right in the DRS zone and able to flatten the wing.” However, Formula 1 risks becoming too dependent on DRS in the 2022 season.

Lewis Hamilton with Drag Reduction System (DRS) activated at Imola 2022


Especially during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah, the overtaking assist was overused, says Vettel. The organizers had installed a total of three DRS zones there, all (almost) in direct succession in the second half of the round.

That’s why “a different kind of race” was created there, says Vettel, who missed the race due to positive corona tests. His watching television at home: “The first two [Max Verstappen und Charles Leclerc] everyone braked in front of the DRS line to cross the line in second position. And I don’t think we should go in that direction.”

Formula 1 actually wanted to get rid of DRS, but…

Vettel advocates “careful” handling of the drag reduction system. “Because DRS has already been touted as an overtaking aid.” It was in the 2011 season. “Now it feels like the DRS is the only thing that sometimes allows you to overtake.” In other words: Formula 1 depends heavily on the DRS. Too big for Vettel’s taste.

He explains: “In an ideal world, we would have rules that would allow us to stay in touch and overtake without DRS. That was actually the vision of the decision makers around Formula 1 sporting director Ross Brawn. However, even before the introduction of the current rules, people had stopped wanting to do without the DRS in the medium term.

Outlining the new Formula 1 regulations, Brawn said: “Hopefully we get to the point where the DRS isn’t so decisive anymore. If the cars are able to have good duels, then the DRS will disappear quickly.

Vettel offers Formula 1 experience

But how do you know if the race is good enough to do without DRS? Vettel suggests an experiment: “We’ll take the DRS apart and see what the race is like, if you can overtake much better than in the past. That would be interesting.”

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Especially since the current Formula 1 cars of the 2022 generation convey good ideas, continues Vettel: “You can certainly stay closer to the car in front of you.” And: “Overtaking is always difficult, but you have to put in the effort for it. After all, it has to be worth it if you pull off an overtaking manoeuvre.”

Brawn, on the other hand, has already pointed out when presenting the rules that changing position on the race track is not that important. The racing behavior of vehicles is more important.

“The overtaking manoeuvre, he says, is the big highlight, but a big duel is crucial. But you don’t have duels like this if the cars can’t follow each other because the tires are too weak . A great duel can also be when the man in front is still in front at the end.”

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