Formula One is a fast sport and honestly only those watching on TV can follow it intently. The fans at the circuit can hardly keep pace as cars whiz by at the rate of lightening.
Drivers have to be able to turn, overtake and be steady while they maintain top speed in order to not fall behind. In doing so they use something called the DRS. No, no, we are not talking about Decision Reviewing System from cricket, this is the Drag Reduction System.
So what is it exactly? Well in layman’s terms it’s a form of driver-adjustable bodywork aimed at reducing aerodynamic drag in order to increase top speed and promote overtaking in motor racing. We have heard it being used in many races, but very few of us actually know what it exactly is.
So here we go.
In F1, the DRS opens a flap at the rear end of a car. This reduces drag which means the speed will increase either to stay ahead or get ahead.
The device can only be used during a race after two racing laps have been completed, and when the pursuing car enters a designated “activation” zone defined by the FIA.
The DRS allows the flap to lift no more than 50 mm from the fixed main plane. This reduces the opposition to the airflow meaning there shall be less downforce.
How effective DRS is depends on the car and the track. No driver may use DRS unless the cars are in a zone where it is permitted. The system may not be enabled if racing conditions are deemed dangerous by the race director
There have been mixed reactions to it. While it has been welcomed in general, many believe overtaking has become too easy and sidelines the skills of the driver.
Come what may, DRS is here to stay and remains an integral part of F1. However, it’s not as complex as it sounds. So next time you watch a race, you will know exactly what is going on.