L’utilizzo del sistema di riduzione della resistenza aerodinamica (Drag Reduction System) è uno strumento a disposizione dei piloti pensato per agevolare i sorpassi. Una volta attivato, una paratia dell’ala posteriore si alza, riducendo il carico aerodinamico a favore della velocità di punta.
I piloti possono utilizzare il DRS come lo ritengono opportuno, ma solo all’interno della zone DRS designate durante le prove libere e le qualifiche, mentre durante la gara si può attivare solamente quando un conducente si trova a meno di un secondo dall’avversario davanti a lui. Il gap viene misurato al Detection Point e il pilota viene avvisato da un segnale sonoro e una luce sul cruscotto: solo a quel punto potrà azionare l’ala mobile.
Durante la gara, il DRS è disponibile solo dopo i primi due giri. Il Direttore di gara, tuttavia, può decidere di sospenderne l’utilizzo in condizioni climatiche avverse o se ci sono bandiere gialle nella DRS Zone.
Il regolamento FIA sul DRS
27.5 Driver adjustable bodywork permitted by Article 3.18 of the F1 Technical Regulations:
a) The adjustable bodywork may only be activated by the driver in any of the pre-determined activation zones around each circuit. In conditions of poor visibility however the race director may, at his absolute discretion, disable all such systems until conditions improve.
If the adjustable bodywork is disabled in this way at any time during any of the three periods of the qualifying practice session (Q1, Q2 or Q3) it will remain disabled for the remainder of the relevant period.
b) For the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race the adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver after he has completed two laps after the race start or following a safety car period.
The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics (see Article 8.2 of the F1 Technical Regulations) that it is enabled. It will be enabled, and may only be used by the driver, if he is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined detection points around each circuit. The system will be disabled by the control electronics the first time the driver uses the brakes after he has activated the system. In conditions of poor visibility, or if yellow flags are being shown in the activation zone, the race director may, at his absolute discretion, disable all such systems until conditions improve or yellow flags are withdrawn.
The FIA may, after consulting all competitors, adjust the above time proximity in order to ensure the stated purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.
c) In the event of a failure in the system which notifies the driver that he was within one second of the car in front, and is hence authorised to use the adjustable bodywork, the team concerned may ask the race director for permission to override the system. If permission is given in this way the onus will be upon the team concerned to ensure that their driver only uses the adjustable bodywork if he is within one second of the car in front of him.
If the failure in the system is rectified the driver may no longer use this override, the race director will notify the team if and when the fault has been remedied.