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Should F1 Remove DRS? F1 Fans And Drivers Have Their Say

DRS has been an excellent system, responsible for making F1 races more spicy and exciting in many ways. However with multiple games being played between drivers, there’s been a lot of talk on whether the DRS is advantageous all the time or, does it sometimes come in the way of the sport itself?

Every system has limitations. We saw the ‘you go first’ game being played between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc at the Jeddah Corniche circuit in Saudi Arabia a few days ago until both their tires locked up while braking before crossing the DRS detection point. Charles then went full speed to catch up with Max.

Thanks to the updated technical regulations this year, the reduction in the amount of dirty air being produced has been a treat to F1 fans who are now able to witness more wheel-to-wheel action, that was otherwise scarce last year.

What do the drivers think?

– Red Bull F1 Content Pool

Not only in Saudi Arabia. The first race in Bahrain too saw both Leclerc and Verstappen come side by side on multiple occasions. While the new rules have aided the drivers, they are of the opinion that DRS is still irreplaceable.

After losing to Verstappen in Jeddah, Leclerc stated: “As much as following has been better from last year to this year, and it’s a very positive step, I still think it’s not enough to get rid of the DRS.”

“It’s part of it and I actually quite enjoy it. It’s part of the strategy for each driver in terms of defending and overtaking, and it’s part of racing for now.”

Has it helped?

– Mercedes F1 Media

Data indicates a higher number of changes in positions this year in comparison to the previous year. Bahrain recorded 55 changes in position this season, compared to last year’s 40. For the race in Jeddah, the number rose by 11, from 20 to 31 changes in positions.

Neither do the numbers denote overtakes nor do they indicate first lap passes. But, what they actually indicate is an improved competitive climate which is very healthy for a sport like F1. It is definitely entertaining to watch the cars get extremely close to each other on the track, especially when the drivers have no issues racing this way.

The important point

But, it does point to important questions that are raised very often. Should the drivers purposely avoid overtaking each other and if this is something that should be encouraged by Formula One? The ethical line is a very thin one in this case. We’re unsure whether the wheel is on the line or if it has crossed it.

“I think the really encouraging thing about these regulations is that in the last two races we’ve seen Charles and Max pass each other about 10 times, which we haven’t seen in previous seasons,” Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner said when asked by Motorsport.com.

“It’s been great racing, another fantastic race there between the two teams. Of a sample of two, you’d have to say it’s a big tick in the box for the ability to follow closely and race wheel to wheel. It’s been outstanding.”

However, he did add that  F1 should look into the placement of DRS detection lines to avoid “cat and mouse games” in the future.

F1 drivers want DRS because it’s just too good fun. The organizers we feel are in two minds. The upcoming races might help clear the fog around DRS and if there’s something that needs to be done about it.

What matters most though, is what you think about it. Should DRS be dumped, or not? Is there another solution to this?

Here’s what people have had to say on Twitter:

What do you think?