What does DRS mean in F1? Meaning of Formula 1 term, what is stands for, how it works, when it was introduced

The new Formula One season got off to an exciting start over the weekend, and here we run you through one of the key terms from the motorsport.

The 2022 Formula One season is now up and running, and the opening race did not disappoint.

An exciting Bahran Grand Prix resulted in a Ferrari one-two, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr securing top two finishes.

Notably, two of Red Bull’s drivers did not finish following car issues, with last year’s winner Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both dropping out.

After the race, there was plenty of talk surrounding the DRS system after Verstappen and Leclerc traded takeovers early on, but what is it? And how does it work? We take a look below.

What does DRS mean?

DRS stands for drag reduction system.

How does it work?

The DRS is a effectively a piece of bodywork that can be adjusted by the driver. It is located at the rear-wing of the car.

The purpose of the DRS is to aerodynamic drag, which allows drivers to increase top speed, which in turn helps overtaking. Speed increase from the system is estimated - by the FIA - to be between 10–12 km/h from the activation point to the end of the zone.

The DRS does, however, come with use conditions. In short, the pursuing car must be within a second when both cars pass the detection point for the DRS to be activated. Drivers must also have completed two laps first, and there is also a two-lap wait after the introduction of a safety car.

Defending drivers cannot activate the system unless they too are within a second of a car in front.

Why it was introduced

The DRS system was introduced in 2011 and it is a key exception to the rule of banning any moving parts that directly impact the aerodynamics of the car.

It was introduced with the aim of increasing the amount of takeovers, but the amount of zones in each circuit does differ.

Within the last four years, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Austria, Singapore, and Mexico have all seen the number of DRS zones at their tracks increased to three.