FIA provide major update on DRS future as deadline for new F1 rules looms

Sam Cooper
DRS open on Charles Leclerc's car. Australia, March 2023.

DRS open on Charles Leclerc's car. Australia, March 2023.

FIA official Nikolas Tombazis has said to remove DRS “would be a risk for the sport” despite complaints from within and outside of the paddock.

The Drag Reduction System (DRS) was introduced into Formula 1 in 2011 and allows drivers to gain more top speed by opening the rear wing and reducing drag.

The system can only be deployed in designated areas of a Formula 1 circuit and only when one car is within one second of another driver ahead.

It was introduced to promote overtaking but there have been concerns that modern Formula 1 cars are now too dependent on DRS and that overtaking is no longer a challenge.

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who drove in the pre-DRS era, has been a vocal critic of the system including last year when he suggested cars can now only overtake while using DRS.

“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,” Vettel said following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

“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.”

But it appears that the system is not disappearing any time soon as the FIA’s single seater director Tombazis said to do so would be a risk for the sport.

“In an ideal world it is conceivable to remove DRS, but in the short term it will not happen because otherwise overtaking would be very difficult,” the Greek engineer told Italian outlet Corriere della Sera.

“We are no longer in the ’80s, when simulations were not so advanced and the differences between one car and the next were great. With the current level of technology, of science, removing the DRS would be a risk for the sport.” recommends

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Tombazis is one of a number planning for the future of the sport and said that “the new F1 will be defined in June 2024.”

“There will be a significant reduction in aerodynamic drag,” he said.

“The current F1 cars have an invisible parachute behind them on the straight and we want to remove it for environmental consistency.

“By reducing air resistance, the cars may have some moving parts. And this will help on the straights.”