What is DRS in F1?

Also known as adjustable rear wings, DRS (Drag Reduction System) rear wings allow the driver to adjust the wing between two pre-determined settings from the cockpit.

The system’s availability is electronically governed – it can be used at any time in practice and qualifying (unless a driver is on wet-weather tyres), but during the race can only be activated when a driver is less than one second behind another car at pre-determined points on the track. The system is then deactivated once the driver brakes. In combination with KERS, it is designed to boost overtaking. Also like KERS, it isn’t compulsory.

The DRS has just two settings, ON and OFF effectively, with the ON setting increasing the gap between the main plane and the flap from 10-15mm to 50mm.
If the system fails, it defaults to the closed, high downforce setting.


Adjustable rear wing in active – deployed position. Stall condition appeared. Airflow around the wing separates from the surface of the wing decreasing its effectiveness, reducing downforce and drag in the same time.

DRS ZONE

DRS can only be used in DRS zones (designated areas of the track) in qualifying and, during the race,
  • At all times, the race director can suspend the system in poor weather conditions, or if there are yellow flags in the DRS activation zone
  • Drivers are free to activate the DRS as they wish within the designated DRS zones during practice and qualifying. However if the DRS is disabled at any point during Q1, Q2 or Q3, it will remain disabled for the remainder of the relevant period
  • During the race meanwhile drivers will not be able to access the DRS for the first two laps following the race start or a safety car restart. DRS is however re-enabled immediately following a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period
  • Drivers may only activate the DRS when they are within one second of the car in front (indicated via a dashboard light) at the DRS detection point.
  • The DRS will automatically be disabled (resetting the rear wing flap to its original position) the first time the driver uses the brakes after activation. 

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

2020 FORMULA ONE SPORTING REGULATIONS