Christian Horner and Toto Wolff have differing opinions on the effectiveness of DRS after the engaging battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in the early part of 2022.
The new technical regulations in Formula 1 have reintroduced ground effect aerodynamics in a bid to enhance on-track battles and facilitate closer racing, something that we have seen plenty of in the opening rounds of the season.
Such is the extent of the slipstream and DRS that Verstappen and Leclerc had to be very strategic during their battles, endeavouring to be the car behind heading into the second detection zone so that they could get the definitive overtake done.
It worked for Leclerc in Bahrain, and vice versa in Jeddah a week later, making for a thrilling spectacle.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz testifies that DRS is helping the show, but maintains that it is important for the pinnacle of motorsport to avoid becoming too dependent on it.
“I think without DRS, passing would be reduced significantly,” he said.
“So I think we are still better off with it but we should make sure the advantage from DRS is not so much that overtaking becomes too easy.”
Lando Norris was involved in an enticing battle of his own in the dying moments of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and he was beaten to the line by Esteban Ocon, who had been denied a podium in exactly the same manner by Valtteri Bottas at the same race back in December.
After ultimately losing out on sixth, the Briton observes that the riposte from the Alpine driver would not have happened last year after he overtook him on the penultimate lap.
“I overtook Esteban Ocon on the second last lap with DRS,” he explained.
“In the past, I would have shaken him off in my turbulence, but with the new cars, he was able to keep up and overtake me on the last lap.”
Horner, however, insinuated that braking to gain an advantage heading into a detection zone is potentially dangerous, and that something ought to be done to diminish those tactics.
“You could see them braking before the line and then accelerating again to the corner,” he added.
“I think we need to take a look at where the DRS points are in the next few years so we avoid that sort of thing.”
Wolff, however, has a different opinion on the matter.
“I have to say that I liked it. The cars are delivering what we had hoped for,” said the enthused Austrian.
“Obviously the DRS is a great advantage, but it also provides a very good show. As a spectator, I found it to be very entertaining.”