Formula 1 DRS: What is Drag Reduction System?
DRS is a term which has now become common in Formula 1, but what does it really mean, and when was it initiated in the sport? All these questions are dealt with below.
DRS or the Drag Reduction System was first introduced in Formula 1 in 2011 in response to the ban imposed on F-ducts. It is basically a system in which the rear wing of the car moves in response to the instructions given by the driver. This movement of the rear wing reduces aerodynamic drag, which increases the speed of the car during such movement. Also, it can only be used by a driver during the DRS zones, which are there on every circuit on the calendar. It was basically introduced in order to promote more overtaking and thereby increase the excitement in the sport.
The use of DRS within the DRS zones is freely allowed during Practice and Qualifying Sessions, but there are certain restrictions imposed during a race. In a race, the major requirement to activate DRS is that the pursuing car or the car behind should be within one second of the car in front after crossing the detection point.
Usually the DRS is activated after the end of two laps in a race, but the use of it may not be allowed if there are bad weather conditions or if there are yellow flags in DRS Zones. Also the DRS can only be used two laps after either the restart of a race or exit of the safety car.
Although this system has increased overtaking, many believe it has taken away the driver skill involved in overtaking. With the help of DRS, the car in front has almost become helpless to the car behind and almost cannot do anything to stop the car from passing by.