Panis: DRS too dangerous for F1
20 April 2011 – Former Grand Prix winner Olivier Panis believes that Formula 1 does not require overtaking aids such as the Drag Reduction System (DRS). Labelling the new-for-2011 device as ‘dangerous’, the Frenchman insists that the sport’s circuits should be built or modified with overtaking in mind.
“No, I don’t like it,” Panis told GPUpdate.net of DRS. “Seriously, if you want to have some overtaking like in China, you need to do it with the circuit; if you put a hairpin before a long straight, for sure you will have overtaking. But all these kinds of things, I don’t like them at all.
“Really, there are too many things for the driver to be doing on the steering wheel now. Compared with what they did before, I think it’s more dangerous and I don’t feel good about this philosophy. First he has to change gear…and also if one time the system doesn’t work it’s going to be pretty dangerous, particularly in a high-speed corner.
“I don’t really understand who decides these things and if the guy was smoking something before he did. Really, I don’t think F1 needs these types of new things.
“If you’re doing a proper circuit and put a hairpin before a long straight, for sure you will have some overtaking. If you saw, in Melbourne we didn’t have a lot of overtaking and then in China – because you have that hairpin and very long straight, and it’s quite easy to follow another car in the corner before the straight – you have overtaking.
When asked if drivers should be more involved in discussions for new technical innovations, the 44-year-old replied:
“I do agree with that but they’re so involved already, so to keep putting more of these things in I think is quite dangerous. I hear a lot of drivers complaining about it and I agree with them. I really don’t like it and I think it’s too dangerous in relation to the show it gives us.”