The Abu Dhabi GP proves we need to ditch DRS
The technical glitch acted as an experiment, and the results were spectacular.
Most great revelations in history are born out of a mistake. The chocolate chip cookie was the fault a woman's incorrect prediction, and penicillin was a child of neglect from a scientist. More recently, however, a technical glitch in the DRS at Abu Dhabi, meant we saw the potential for a modern Formula One without DRS.
And, what we saw was an improvement, proving we need to ditch the FIA's drag reduction system.
Hear me out.
Drivers had to get creative
No longer could drivers push a button and pass on a straight. Without the extra straight-line advantage, the people in the cockpit are forced to think differently, and overtake in riskier, bolder, more exciting places, meaning the racing spectacle is far greater, as wheel-to-wheel battling is promoted, with drivers on equal terms, and no advantage for one over the other.
Teams had to consider other variables in strategy
Strategists always have to consider where their driver will re-enter the field, but due to the lack of an easy and quick pass at the push of a button, traffic posed an even bigger threat to teams, adding yet another layer to strategy, and meaning some drivers had to stay out past their optimal window, in order to avoid getting stuck behind other cars.
Without DRS, overtaking doesn't mean you're in the clear
In F1, we often see a driver blast past another with DRS, and then continue to build a gap, right up until the braking zone, making it so that the following driver rarely gets a chance to fight back immediately. Without DRS, however, there is no 'blasting past', and the cars never get too far apart when going down the straight, meaning that the following driver has a good chance at fighting back, and diving down the inside at a later point. This makes it so that the overtake is often not the end of the fight, as drivers are more easily able to trade blows.
The problem with DRS is that it was founded on the premise that overtaking and racing are one and the same, which they are not. And so, while DRS improves the overtaking quantity, the true battles, and the racing suffer, as we saw evidence of today in Abu Dhabi.