Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting Rid of DRS

I hate artificial racing. I hate artificial racing so much that I'd rather listen to Barry Manilow for days on end before watching a bunch of gimmicky overtakes. And, you might be asking, what sport has the most artificial overtaking? If you answered F1, congrats, you get a Manilow CD courtesy of me.

I have never blogged about the issue of DRS even though I complain about it more than a 16 year old girl who didn't get the right colored Mercedes for her birthday. So this blog serves to end my useless banters on Twitter so none of y'all have to see it anymore.

History lesson for those who are not familiar: DRS, or Drag Reduction System, was a tool installed by F1 officials in the 2011 season. Triggered by the driver at a designated area on the track when you're within one second of the car in front, DRS reduces drag and increases straight line speed and acceleration by creating a flap in the rear wing.

That small gap makes all the difference. (Photo: Wikipedia)

My beefs with DRS are simple and not anything irrational. For starters, it creates redundant passes on the straightaways instead of drivers forcing tough passes in tricky areas on the track. Quite simply, a driver simply has to catch up to a driver, get one second behind the, wait till they're in the DRS zone, and then bang, it's open hunting season. Without crazy attempts at overtaking, it takes away the thrill of the sport. I'd rather see 2 overtakes that took skill to set up and execution rather than 20 overtakes assisted by DRS.

My next issue with DRS is that the driver being passed has absolutely no chance in any way to defend. Sure they can use KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a button which gives 7 seconds of boost to a driver per lap used at their discretion, but the driver who is doing the overtaking can also use this, rendering it useless. The defending driver stands about as good of a chance as a turkey during Thanksgiving.

The final of my many issues was the beautiful cars that used to exist from about 1999, 2000 were scrapped and changed for newer regulations starting in 2009. One of the reasons was to reduce costs, which I'm down for all the way. But another reason they changed the design of the chassis was to increase overtaking. So, let me get this straight. We changed a chassis to increase overtaking, but then they felt the need to go an unnecessary step further in adding DRS? I'm not quite understanding.

2006 F1 car. Gorgeous. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Such a shame because if F1 gets their financial situation under control with the ridiculous spending that goes on and takes away the DRS, I have a tough time seeing it not being the best racing series in the world.

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

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