FIA Looking to Remove DRS from F1 with Introduction of 2021 Regulations

by Paul Hensby

Nikolas Tombazis is hopeful the new regulations to be introduced in 2021 will mean that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will no longer be required, although in the meantime he calls it a ‘necessary evil’ for the sport as it seeks solutions to the problems in overtaking.

Tombazis, the FIA single-seater technical chief, is in agreement with Formula 1’s Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn that he would like to see the end of DRS in Formula 1 when the rulebook is rewritten ahead of 2021.

The problem lies in the inability for cars to follow one-another with the current downforce levels and aerodynamic regulations, with Tombazis eyeing its dissolution in 2021.

“It is right that there’s this underlying discomfort with DRS, and I share it as well,” Tombazis is quoted as saying by “I know Ross has made similar comments, and so on.

“We feel that DRS is the right thing to have in the present state of things. And for 2021 we hope that the cars will be much more able to follow each other closely, and it will be a really nice outcome if we can severely decrease DRS in the future, or even eliminate it.

“But until we get in a position where we are comfortable enough with the wake performance and how cars can follow each other I think it’s something that I would call a necessary evil perhaps at the moment.”

Before then, the DRS will be made stronger for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and he hopes that this can have a positive influence on overtaking in Formula 1 in that time.

“The DRS effect will increase by approximately 25-30%,” said Tombazis.  “That is the delta of the drag of the car when it opens the DRS and deploys it to current will be bigger, so the delta of speed of the following car will as a result be bigger by that amount.

“Hence the probability that you can approach the front car will increase.”

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