Why F1 drivers struggle to overtake competitors on a DRS train

What is a DRS train in F1? How do drivers get stuck in one and what can be done to try to get out of it?

Unless you put F1 cars in a vacuum, they will always throw turbulent dirty air backwards, making following and overtaking difficult.

The Drag Reduction System (DRS) was introduced as a patch in 2011.

A flap in the rear wing that opens in certain areas of the track, allowing the driver to increase their top speed and attempt to overtake the car in front.

However, F1 drivers can sometimes get stuck on a DRS train during a race.

What exactly is a DRS train in F1 and how do drivers get stuck in one?

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Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

What is a DRS train in F1?

A DRS train is formed in F1 when a group of drivers gets stuck behind another who are all using it.

For example, if Fernando Alonso is running in ninth place and is struggling to keep up with Valtteri Bottas in eighth place, Alonso becomes the head of the train.

As he struggles with the pace, the likes of Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, George Russell, Yuki Tsunoda and Lewis Hamilton are beginning to form a train behind Alonso.

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Each of them behind Alonso has access to the DRS, but the effect is canceled as all cars have it.

This makes overtaking almost impossible, as the cars keep circling behind one another – in a DRS train.

How do you get out of one?

Well, the easiest way to get off a DRS train in F1 is to overtake your way out.

However, since this rarely happens, drivers and teams often turn to strategy to get out of it.

When you are unable to overtake on the track, pitting early and in front of those in front is known as an undercut.

By using the fresher rubber you can overtake the others when they come out of their own pit stop.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

In other news, why Max Verstappen might still not start from pole at Imola

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/04/23/drs-train-f1/ Why F1 drivers struggle to overtake competitors on a DRS train

Brian Ashcraft

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