9 March 2013
Hill acknowledges DRS place in F1
Damon Hill says he can see positive reasons for the inclusion of DRS in the F1 regulations.
Sky Sports F1 pundit Damon Hill has admitted that the controversial drag reduction devices currently allowed by the F1 regulations have been an 'interesting addition' to the tactical side of the sport.
Despite other series, most recently the DTM, talking about incorporating the technology into their regulations, DRS remains something of a 'marmite' subject, with opinions divided between whether it has been good or bad for the sport, with those enjoying the action in favour, and the purists in opposition.
With figures suggesting that DRS-assisted passes made up less than half of all overtaking at the majority of grands prix last year, its introduction cannot be said to have been too intrusive. Hill, however, suggests that the ability to use the systems in a limited way has at least helped alleviate the dominance of aero grip.
“I think it's an interesting device because there's a bit of a thrill when someone gets within that DRS zone and suddenly shoots past the car in front of them,” he told Crash.net during the Sky Sports F1 HD media day in London, “We haven't seen enough of people re-taking their place, so I would say that what it has done is meant that, when a car is in striking distance, it doesn't get held up and its enabling cars to come through the field rather than increasing the dicing.
“The issue with these cars, they way they're designed, is always going to be that they're so reliant on the grip from their wings, so that precludes them from going wheel-to-wheel through the corners, which is really what people want to see.”
While the use of DRS was always strictly controlled in race situations, with drivers unable to activate the assistance unless they were within a second of the car in front at a given point, they will now also have to get used to the limitations in all other sessions, after the FIA decreed that being able to run unlimited DRS in qualifying, for example, was the wrong way to go on safety grounds.
'Double DRS', as pioneered by Mercedes and Red Bull last season, has also been outlawed for 2013, although the different 'passive' systems as trialled by Lotus remain legal.
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