Vettel against F1 overtaking relying exclusively on DRS

Sebastian Vettel thinks Formula 1 will head down the wrong path if overtaking becomes solely reliant on DRS.

Vettel against F1 overtaking relying exclusively on DRS
Listen to this article

While F1's new 2022 cars have proved easier to follow each other in battle, the reduced slipstream effect has put a greater emphasis on the benefits gained by DRS.

The length of some DRS zones, like in Saudi Arabia, has also led to a situation where overtakes are virtually guaranteed for the car behind, which makes it a no-brainer to pass that way without risk.

Vettel, who watched the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix from home after contracting COVID-19, thinks F1 needs to tread carefully when it comes to the reliance on DRS.

From its original introduction having been pushed as a way of giving drivers at least of chance of pulling off an overtake, Vettel is wary that F1 is now in a situation where it has become the only way for passes to happen.

Reflecting on the change to racing with the 2022 cars, Vettel said: "I think you can follow closer. But there is less drag effect as well and we do rely on the DRS probably more than in the past, to some extent.

"The interesting bit would be to take the DRS off and see how the racing really is, and if you are able to overtake a lot better than, let's say, in the past.

"I'm only a bit cautious for the DRS, because it was brought in as an assistance to help overtaking, but now it feels a bit like it's the only thing that allows you to overtake at times."

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Vettel believes that F1's chiefs should ultimately target cars that do not need the DRS boost for overtakes to happen.

"Ideally, we have set of regulation that allows us to follow and race without DRS," added Vettel. "DRS hasn't been there for 70 years. It was brought in 10 years ago to help, as an experiment.

"I think an overtake should always be an effort and not dictated by you being in the zone and you get the DRS.

"The race in Jeddah, where you had the leaders braking for the DRS line to try and be the second one to cross that line, that's a different type of racing. I don't think we should go that way.

"But we're still early in the project. Definitely you can follow closer. Overtaking is still hard, but it should be an effort and it should be a reward when you manage to overtake."

While F1's new cars have been created to help improve the racing, the sport's bosses were clear that they wanted to keep DRS initially to better understand how the new cars behaved in battle.

Read Also:

F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn was long clear, however, that the long-term aim was to get rid of it.

"I'd like to think we could reach a stage where DRS doesn't become so critical," he said during the initial launch of the new regs.

"But it is a very easy thing to have or not have if we find the cars are able to battle with each other.

"Overtaking is the culmination of course, but having a great battle is critical, and where you have cars where they cannot follow each other consistently because the tyres degrade and because of the loss of performance, then you don't have such great battles.

"You can have a great battle where the guy who is leading still leads at the end, but you've had a great battle.

"We have made an effort to make sure we distinguish the difference between overtaking and racing."

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren taking "no comfort" from F1 podium return
Previous article

McLaren taking "no comfort" from F1 podium return

Next article

Why Miami is a central chapter of F1 2022's biggest storyline

Why Miami is a central chapter of F1 2022's biggest storyline
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Prime

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Prime

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Prime

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time F1 champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24. And now it’s happening again at his current team

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future Prime

Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Prime

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Prime

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre? Prime

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? Pat Symonds considers the alternatives to carbon fibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin F1 move Prime

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin F1 move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing.

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022