There has been a lot of debate on how exciting Formula One has been this year and what has contributed to it. Mostly how the FIA and Pirelli have got it right with the Drag Reduction System or DRS and the high-degradation Pirelli tyres.
I for one, have been praising Pirelli’s bold desire to increase the overtaking opportunities by making their tyres degrade more than usual. Drivers complaining about tyres going off and ruining their race have been a usual occurrence since racing on rubber first began.
But all drivers and teams are aware that to make racing exciting, we needed tyres that go off quicker. And so now we have that, everyone has been working hard to praise the new tyres instead of complaining about it.
The DRS has been very good in my opinion, although some say that it has made the racing a bit artificial. I don’t believe that to be the case.
In motorsport, whether on two wheels or four, there has always been an advantage for the following competitor due to the slipstream effect.
Meaning there is less drag when you follow a vehicle as it cuts through the air, affording an advantage to the chasing car.
Since wings became more efficient around 20 years ago, this started to change as cars following now had a disadvantage as they did not receive clean air, which allowed their wings to work properly.
So in a way since wings became attached to race cars, the racing has been made artificial as it allows the car in front to stay in front despite being a second or two a lap slower than the car trying to overtake him. That is why we have had processional racing for all these years, until this year that is.
The DRS is a device that tries to get rid of the advantage the leading car always had.
There is still a bit of work to be done, on making sure that the overtaking does not get too easy. In Turkey, cars were able to overtake from a long way back and drivers were not able to defend.
So I can see next year’s DRS zone being a little shorter and less effective.
I would also like to see Pirelli making their hard tyres last a little better. At the moment, the softer tyres are quicker over a single lap, but they both seem to last the same amount of time too. Harder tyres being a bit slower should give a trade-back by lasting longer.
We are now in Barcelona this weekend, and it has similar characteristics as Turkey with long sweeping corners. This should play into Red Bulls hands and they will be
Hopefully, McLaren and Ferrari’s updates should help and if that happens, we might have a three-way fight for the win. Fingers crossed.
One thing different about Barcelona compared to Turkey is that it does not have a massively long straight, and in years gone by, there has been very little overtaking.
DRS and the Pirelli tyres should work again in changing that, and hopefully we will have a cracker of a race compared to the usual snore fest that is usually associated with the Spanish Grand Prix.
Catch former F1 driver Alex Yoong on STAR Sports’ coverage of this weekend’s Formula One Spanish GP on Race Day and Chequered Flag.