For a fair number of laps, a technical issue struck the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race. Apparently, none of the 20 drivers were able to access the DRS system on their cars. The root of the matter was not revealed, but did get resolved after a while.
Interestingly, F1 sporting director, Ross Brawn was glad that this malfunction took place. According to him, it showed that cars can still follow each other and overtake without the assistance of DRS. He emphasised that it proved that F1 needed no gimmicks like DRS to produce exciting racing.
“We are particularly pleased with the largely positive response to the new rules, especially from the fans,” Brawn told Motorsportweek.
“In [Sunday’s] race, no DRS was available for almost 20 laps because of a technical problem and that only served to emphasize the need for the cars to be able to fight at close quarters.”
Earlier this year, the 2021 rules were laid out for the teams, drivers and general public. The primary aim is to improve racing and reduce the gulf between the midfield and top teams, so that there is close racing throughout the grid. Then, during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the lack of DRS meant that drivers had to find some way of overtaking without waiting for the DRS zone.
“In addition, the performance gap between the teams needs to be reduced, because looking at [Sunday’s] race, once again only the top teams completed the full race distance, every other team was lapped.
“These goals are shared at every level by the stakeholders in the sport, especially the fans. An important step has been taken, but there is more to come and we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Brawn is hopeful that the planned rule change will be successful and that a new era of Formula 1 is born.