Formula 1 race director Michael Masi explains a data server crash caused the DRS disablement for the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) was disabled from the start of the 2019 F1 finale until Lap 18 at the Yas Marina due to a major data server crash which prevent FIA race control from monitoring the use of the system.

Once DRS is enabled drivers must be within one second of the car in front when crossing the DRS detection lines on the track in order to use the overtaking aid system.

But without the relevant accurate and live data for all 20 F1 cars the FIA opted to disable the system entirely until its network restarted and was reliable.

“The simple part is a data server crashed,” Masi said. “The timing still operated fine as we all saw but that crashed and we immediately disabled it and until we were 100% confident that it was all, not only back up and running but back up and running with the correct data available, that was when we re-enabled it.

“We made various checks collaboratively between the FIA and F1 group to make sure everything was working hunky dory. Until that point in time we were not going to take a chance until we were confident.”

Masi also confirmed it was the first time F1 has suffered the problem during a track session since the introduction of DRS back in 2011.

“It is the first time that it is happened. There is a backup but the first part is to actually identify what the first issue was and with any backup system there is a lag in things clicking over.

“We had to make sure it was back up and running in a stable condition that we were confident with what was being sent and that it was being sent equally and correctly. Once we were happy with that between us we reactivated it and enabled DRS.”

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.



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