McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe has said that the decision to introduce the Drag Reduction System into F1 has removed the need for teams to make radical changes to the design of cars.
Prior to the introduction of the device – which allows drivers to open a flap in the rear wing to gain a speed advantage if they are within a second of the car in front in a designated zone – calls had been made for the FIA's technical working group to look into ways that car design could be changed to increase overtaking opportunities.
However, speaking to BBC Sport
, Lowe said that DRS had removed the need to try and make expensive changes to aerodynamics, which would have been a difficult move if the high-speed performance currently seen was to be maintained.
“What's great about DRS is at least we can move on from this debate of trying to change the aerodynamic characteristics of cars to try to improve overtaking," he said. "We've found something much more authoritative, much cheaper, easier and more effective, and adjustable from race to race."
DRS did however gain a mixed response from fans, some of whom felt it was too artificial and had made overtaking too easy at certain circuits.
However, in the same BBC
article, FIA race director Charlie Whiting again defended the system, using statistics from the DRS zone at Spa to show that it wasn't simply a case of a pass being certain if DRS was in use.
"This shows very clearly that when the speed delta [difference] between the two cars at the beginning of the zone is low, then overtaking is not easy," he said. "But if one car goes through Eau Rouge that bit quicker, sometimes you had a speed delta of 18km/h (11mph). Well, that's going to be an overtake whether you've got DRS or not.
"[However] one second is the activation but that won't [always] do it for you. You've got to be 0.4secs behind to get alongside into the braking zone."