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Sebastian Vettel

Why Vettel is eager to see less DRS usage in F1

Sebastian Vettel believes Formula 1 has become overly reliant on the use of DRS as a means of facilitating overtaking, and wants to see a greater push to remove the overtaking aid.

Vettel Imola
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Sebastian Vettel reckons Formula 1 should be attempting to find ways to move away from its reliance on the DRS (Drag Reduction System) as a means of ensuring overtaking possibilities.

The system was introduced in 2011, with the intent of helping a pursuing driver by providing a little more straight-line speed to get alongside the car they're attempting to pass.

However, over the intervening decade, the use of DRS has expanded to the point where last month's Australian Grand Prix was given an unprecedented four DRS zones, before the Race Director reduced it to three after Friday practice.

F1's move to ground effect philosophy cars has also had an impact on the wheel-to-wheel action, raising questions over the role and future of the DRS.

Vettel: F1 relies on DRS more than in the past

As a result, Vettel is eager to see the sport try to reverse its way out of its reliance on the system.

"I think you can follow closer, there is less drag effect as well," Vettel told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about the effects of the new regulations.

"We do rely on the DRS probably more than in the past, to some extent. The interesting bit would be to take the DRS off and see how the racing really is, if you are able to overtake a lot better than, let's say, in the past.

"I'm only a bit cautious [about] the DRS, because it was brought in as assistance to help overtaking, but now it feels a bit like it's the only thing that allows you to overtake at times."

Vettel not in favour of Jeddah-style racing

Last month's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a perfect example of the effect that the DRS is having on racing, with the duelling Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc attempting to outwit each other by braking before the final corner to get the DRS benefit for the next straight.

Vettel labelled it a "different type of racing", and said it's not one that F1 should be pursuing.

"Ideally, we'd have a set of regulations that allows us to follow and race without DRS," he said.

"DRS hasn't been there for 70 years. It was brought in 10 years ago to help, as an experiment. I think an overtake should always be an effort and not dictated by you being in the zone and you get the DRS.

"The race in Jeddah, where you had the leaders braking for the DRS line to try and be the second one to cross that line, that's a different type of racing. I don't think we should go that way, so we will see.

"We're still early in the project (referring to the new regulations). Definitely, you can follow closer. Overtaking is still hard, but it should be an effort and it should be a reward when you manage to overtake."

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