Haug left wishing he could ‘magic away’ DRS

Jon Wilde
DRS marker at the Red Bull Ring

DRS marker at the Red Bull Ring

Norbert Haug has revealed he would like to “magic away” DRS, having admitted he was “complicit” to its introduction.

The Drag Reduction System was initially brought into the sport as an overtaking aid in 2011, with drivers able to open a flap on the rear wing of their car when detected to be within a second of the car in front and boost their chances of overtaking.

However, it was a contentious innovation slammed as being artificial in its attempt to create more exciting racing, especially as the driver ahead often has no real chance of defending his position if unable to activate his own DRS.

Haug was the vice-president of Mercedes’ motorsport activity when DRS was introduced, having joined the company in 1990 in a tenure that lasted for 22 years.

But he now regrets not having tried to do more to block the system, saying it adds too much inevitability to passing moves and reduces the prospect of thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing.

Norbert Haug

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“I think overtaking manoeuvres are not really taken seriously,” said Haug, quoted by Motorsport-total.com.

“Why should I, as a driver, try something at corner X that I succeed immediately on the subsequent straight Y?

“We all know we are so experienced in racing. When someone drives into the straight with such a distance that they will no longer be the leader at the end of the straight, I don’t know how counter-productive that is for the excitement.”

Haug offered an example of a famous move that did not need DRS to make it happen.

“The Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher overtaking manoeuvre on the long Kemmel straight in Spa 2000,” he pointed out. ”We wouldn’t talk about it today if that had happened with DRS.

“[But] I am complicit, I could not prevent it. It was in my time when DRS was decided. Sometimes things are decided that do not find your personal approval.”

Haug added that he had “never” met a real DRS fan, saying: “I was never a friend of it, and as a real racer I still am not today.

“Maybe in the future, in the case of new regulations [it will be excluded].”

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