DRS in Formula 1
This is the first of a two part blog series of F1 Tech, the next being about KERS, but today’s is DRS.
DRS, or Drag Reduction System, is a new system in Formula 1. Its where the flap in the rear wing tilts upwards, decreasing drag giving a higher top speed on straight sections of track, defined by the FIA in the race, but anywhere on track in practice and qualifying.
DRS was introduced by the FIA to increase overtaking, and its done its job, but some would say a bit too well.
What DRS has done, in more than a few races, is given the car behind, which was within the 1 second gap of the car in front at the detection line on track, a massive speed advantage, so the car easily passes with no chance of a comeback from the passed car. This problem was most evident at Turkey, where the DRS activaion line was too early on track.
Last weekend in Canada, however, we saw the debut of two DRS zones, one on the long straight between T12 and T13, and the second straight after from the Start line to T1. The result was the car behind at the activation zone (exit of T12) was ahead by the last chicane, and then had DRS at the pit straight, leaving no chance for the passed car to attack into T1. This was the system behind Mark Webbers third place finish, pusing Schumacher to fourth after zone 1, and extending the gap in zone 2.
So the question is this, is a two DRS zone race too much, or is it down to the position of the detection and activation lines of the zones?
My opinion is that its the position of the detection and activation lines is the issue. There should be the detection line for zone 1, and another detection line for zone 2, or combine the activation line for zone two, with the detection line for the same zone, giving the passed car the chance to attack into the next corner, making for heart stopping racing. This may lead to the spreading out of the zones ( with option one ) or the continuation of back-to-back DRS zones ( option two ).
EDIT: Point raised by @charlie_whiting on twitter, with the two detection lines, there will be a separate computer system for each line, and when the car that passed in zone one reaches zone two, the two have DRS.
But again, do we really NEED two DRS zones? This year, overtaking numbers have been huge, and with the ongoing development of the Pirelli tyres, and the refinement of the various KERS systems, do we have enough overtaking oppourtunities?
Thats up to the FIA,but that was my view on this years F1 tech.