"We’d very much like to try and phase DRS out if we can" - FIA aerodynamics head on close F1 racing without aids

DRS might get phased out in the future
DRS might get phased out in the future
Charanjot Singh

F1 could be looking at a future without driver aid. That is the belief of FIA aerodynamics head Jason Somerville, specifically talking about the future of DRS in the sport.

DRS was introduced in 2011 as a quick fix to the overtaking problem faced by F1 at the time. The system has been useful and has surely helped in an increase of overtakes in the race. However, at the same time, the purists of the sport feel it is too artificial and not good for the sport.

Check out the DRS on @GeorgeRussell63's 2022 car! 🤯#F1

Jason feels that the new regulations might just be the first step in phasing out DRS. According to him, DRS is a "tune-able" feature of the car and can be dialed in or dialed out based on preference. He said:

“During the initial research, because we reduced the size of the ‘hole’ that sits behind the car, we reduced the downforce lost [by a following car] but we also reduced the tow. So we were a bit mindful that we probably weren’t going to be able to just park DRS and remove it from the regulations.”
“I think DRS, for us, is a very tune-able feature. It’s very circuit-dependent and it can be dialled in and out. I think most of us feel, longer-term, we’d very much like to try and phase DRS out if we can. But we didn’t think that was necessarily going to be the right thing to do overnight for these regulations."
"For the 2026 car, we’re looking at different solutions.And it may be that DRS doesn’t have to have such an important role in the concept of those cars.”

The F1 Imola GP was a good learning experience

Yuki had an eventful race start in Imola! 🤯And managed to make a smooth overtake past Stroll 👌#F1 #FlyEmiratesFlyBetter @emirates

According to Jason, the F1 Imola GP took place over two phases. The first when the DRS was yet to be enabled and the second when the DRS was in play. In both those phases of the F1 Imola GP, there was some important information to be gained. He added:

“I thought it was quite interesting that because we had this drying track, we had almost half the racing with no DRS. And I think it was interesting to see that there were a few overtakes that happened before the DRS got switched on but then the DRS was cancelling each other out.”

The race featured non-DRS passes like the one by George Russell on Kevin Magnussen. At the same time there were many drivers like Lewis Hamilton stuck in DRS trains that made overtaking impossible.

The new generation of regulations have introduced with them an entirely different set of challenges for which F1 will have to make some modification in how it approaches racing.

What's your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below..

Edited by Arnav Kholkar


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