IndyCar driver rails against ‘DRS crap’ used in F1 as overtaking aid

Michelle Foster
Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in IndyCar smiling after qualifying at Indianapolis

Graham Rahal smiling during an interview

Graham Rahal would rather battle “mano-a-mano” with IndyCar’s push-to-pass system than have it easy with Formula 1’s “DRS crap”.

Formula 1 introduced DRS, the Drag Reduction System, back in 2011 as an overtaking aid that the chasing driver can, at designated points, activate and open the rear wing leading to an increase in straight-line speed.

Two years before that, IndyCar had opted for a push-to-pass system with drivers gaining an increase of about 50 to 75 HP when they press a button, which each driver having 200 seconds of extra power that they can use in 20-second bursts.

Graham Rahal: None of this DRS crap that makes it easy

The big difference between the two is that in Formula 1 the lead driver has no comeback whereas in IndyCar the lead driver can activate his own push-to-pass to defend.

That’s what Scott Dixon did at Indianapolis last weekend to hold off Rahal for the win.

But despite losing out on what would’ve been his first win since 2017, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing says he’d rather have push-to-pass than DRS.

“That’s what I kind of love about our version of overtake frankly,” he said. “It’s a mano-a-mano battle.

“You use it offensively, defensively. None of this DRS crap that makes it easy. For me, I thought Dixon used it right.

“I tried to do the best I could to challenge him. I just ran out of steam.

“I mean, leading up to the last lap, I went through the snake, Turn Seven, Eight, Nine, 10, I had zero grip. I lost about half a second, 3-4/10ths. That was it.” recommends

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“I almost had it, meaning like I needed about one more car length to be closer out of 13 to be able to get by,” he added.

“But I pulled off of overtake because I wasn’t really gaining. I was kind of just holding steady.

“Because of his race pattern being so much more fuel saving, he had a lot more overtake at one stage. We were catching him at the end. He was starting to use overtake.

“At one point he had 60 seconds more than me. I think at the end we ended up equal. He was using it to stay ahead of me.”

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