Race Weekend Central

The Pit Straight: Is DRS Too Powerful?

Inspired by McLaren’s aerodynamic trickery in 2010, Formula 1 introduced the Drag Reduction System in 2011 with the explicit purpose of improving the overtaking ability of F1 cars on track.

Since its introduction, when an F1 car is within one second of the car in front at a specific section of straightaway, the driver can push a button that opens a flap in the rear wing, reducing downforce and increasing top speed to make a passing move easier.

But is DRS too powerful? The Red Bull Racing RB19 has won the first seven Grand Prix of the 2023 season in the hands of drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, due in no small part to the car’s impressively efficient DRS system that helps the drivers make up positions during qualifying results or strategy have not gone according to plan.

See also
F1 Review: Max Verstappen Decisively Crushes Field for Spanish Grand Prix Win

Perhaps a more pressing issue came in the Spanish Grand Prix when it seemed that every passing move came diving into turn 1 with the assistance of DRS. Does the entertainment-focused system actually reduce F1’s unpredictability?

The Pit Straight co-hosts Jack Swansey and Alex Gintz may not agree on everything but they do agree that DRS needs a re-vamp.

But how, exactly? That’s a much longer conversation.

The Pit Straight is a weekly F1 podcast with new episodes every Tuesday on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and right here at Frontstretch.com.

About the author

Jack Swansey primarily covers open-wheel racing for Frontstretch and co-hosts The Pit Straight Podcast, but you can also catch him writing about NASCAR, sports cars, and anything else with four wheels and a motor. Originally from North Carolina and now residing in Los Angeles, he joined the site as Sunday news writer midway through 2022 and is an avid collector (some would say hoarder) of die-cast cars.

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Couldn’t they address the issue of why passing is so difficult instead of using a DRS system?

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