Introduced to the sport in 2011, the Drag Reduction System grants drivers the ability to enhance their top speed by activating the rear wing, thus minimizing aerodynamic resistance.
To ensure fair competition, the DRS is limited to specific zones on the Formula 1 circuit and can only be utilized when a driver is within a one-second distance of the car ahead. This strategic deployment adds an additional layer of excitement to the races.
The introduction of DRS in Formula 1 faced backlash due to concerns over artificial overtaking. Critics argued it made passing too easy and diminished the skill of drivers.
Former F1 driver, Sebastian Vettel was one of the notable critics, he opined against the usage of the drag reduction. In a notable instance last year, he expressed his belief that cars now heavily rely on DRS to execute overtakes, raising questions about the artistry of passing manoeuvres in the sport.
“The interesting bit would be to take the DRS off and see how the racing really is, and if you are able to overtake a lot better than, let’s say, in the past,” said the four-time world champion.
He added: “I’m only a bit cautious for the DRS, because it was brought in as an assistance to help overtaking, but now it feels a bit like it’s the only thing that allows you to overtake at times.”
However, proponents defended it as a necessary tool for enhancing on-track action and creating thrilling battles, adding to the overall spectacle of the sport.
FIA representative Nikolas Tombazis has emphasized the importance of retaining the Drag Reduction System (DRS) in Formula 1, despite facing criticism from various sources, both within and outside the paddock.
Acknowledging the concerns raised, Tombazis highlights the potential risks associated with removing the DRS entirely. By maintaining this system, Formula 1 can continue to provide thrilling on-track battles and captivating moments for both drivers and fans alike.
“In an ideal world it is conceivable to remove DRS, but in the short term it will not happen because otherwise overtaking would be very difficult,” the Greek engineer told Italian outlet Corriere della Sera.
“We are no longer in the ’80s, when simulations were not so advanced and the differences between one car and the next were great. With the current level of technology, of science, removing the DRS would be a risk for the sport.”
As a key figure involved in shaping the future of the sport, Tombazis joins a group of individuals strategizing for Formula 1’s upcoming developments.
With great anticipation, he declared that “June 2024 will mark the defining moment for the new era of F1.” This pivotal milestone promises groundbreaking changes that will shape the sport’s trajectory for years to come.
Nikolas Tombazis continued: “There will be a significant reduction in aerodynamic drag. The current F1 cars have an invisible parachute behind them on the straight and we want to remove it for environmental consistency.
“By reducing air resistance, the cars may have some moving parts. And this will help on the straights.”