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DRS Will Return to Formula 1 in 2012: Fan’s View
One of the things I like about Formula 1 racing is how the people in charge are constantly tweaking the sport and rules in an attempt to make it more exciting for fans. In their quest for more overtaking, the sport instituted DRS, the drag reduction system. The DRS uses aerodynamics to give the cars a quick boost of speed, within designated zones, under specific race circumstances.
Autosport announced they've heard the overall system will remain in place for 2012, but the zones will be altered, based on the feedback from the 2011 season. It's believed the zones will be extended on the tracks where overtaking was too difficult, while shortened on the tracks where it seemed to be too easy.
The DRS system was introduced at the beginning of the 2011 season and I think it was worked successfully, making the races more exciting. It's a fascinating technical aspect to the sport and shows there's so much more to winning racing and championships than just driving really fast.
Drivers can deploy DRS to overtake a car, but they can also deploy the system to escape being overtaken as well. The rules allow drivers to deploy the system in the designated zones if they get within one second of the car ahead of them. The system de-activates when they hit the brakes.
DRS is available all the time during practice and qualifying (except in wet weather). It's part of the rear wing of the car and allows the driver to change the aerodynamics of their car to remove some of the drag, which results in a burst of speed (and loss of downforce and grip). The loss of grip is why the system is only used in straight sections of the track.
Track-specific DRS changes for 2012 will probably include the addition of a second DRS zone at the Australian GP, with the removal of a second zone in both Canada and Valenica, Spain. It will take a few races to see if the changes have a positive effect but I don't agree with them. I like the two-zone system and thought both races benefited from it. Racers could use the first zone to pass a car, then the second to really open up a lead.
A lifetime auto racing fan, Freddy Sherman collects vintage muscle cars and attends races and rally events in the U.S. and around the world. You can follow him on twitter -@thefredsherman and check out his blog,fredsport.com.
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