In 2017 Liberty hired Ross Brawn as the mastermind to work on the next generation of F1 cars, which generated too much downforce, made following other cars very difficult, and relied on DRS for overtaking.
Back then we got excited about Brawn's plans. After all, we believed a man of his capacity could work out something great for the sport. His initial ambitions sounded hopeful:
“What we should do is find a better solution. What we really want is the cars to be able to slipstream one another properly and overtake. So for me the solution, which we’ve now started a programme on, is to design the cars, so that they can race each other in close proximity. What we are working on is generating the capacity to look at cars that are racing each other in close proximity, and what sort of designs we need to enable that to happen," he confirmed. "When we do that, which is our ambition for 2021, then we will have cars that don’t need DRS.”
"I think we can keep that in our pocket," he said. "I'd like to think we could reach a stage where DRS doesn't become so critical."
Alright, "I'd like to think we could reach a stage". What does that mean. And then last year it became clear the designs were taking DRS into account anyway:
RaceFans understands the system is likely to be kept as a back-up in case the proposed regulations fail to provide the anticipated improvements in overtaking. If the system is present on the cars to begin with, its use could be prevented if the FIA chooses not to establish any DRS zones at a given track, which does not require regulation changes or agreement from the teams.
Due to COVID-19 the regulations were postponed a year, to 2022. If anything, that has given Brawn a year more to work with.
“I think if the plans work, [DRS] will be less influential. It will still be necessary because overtaking is really what these regs are based around, ultimately. [..] But the DRS there will probably still play its role in making sure that you can guarantee an overtake.”
Edited by Lights, 05 November 2020 - 14:18.