• Renault news

'I'm not a fan of the DRS' - Heidfeld

ESPNF1 Staff
April 29, 2011 « Mercedes looks to repeat China performance | »
Nick Heidfeld would prefer purer racing without the DRS © Sutton Images
Related Links

Renault driver Nick Heidfeld has admitted he is not a fan of the new Drag Reduction System (DRS), which he believes creates artificial overtaking.

The DRS improves the chances of overtaking by allowing drivers within a second of the car in front to reduce the amount of drag created by the rear wing and therefore increase their top speed. However, the wing is restricted to just one FIA-designated straight on the circuit and has drawn criticism for making overtaking too easy and predictable, especially when the car in front is already at a disadvantage due to high tyre degradation.

"Well, like with everything, the more you use it the easier it gets but we're still working on getting the perfect switch positions which we should have ready for Turkey," Heidfeld said. "I think it's all working fine and going to plan, even though I'm not a fan of the rear wing because I don't particularly like things which artificially aim to improve racing.

"The biggest difference is the tyres. With the rear wing active and the car in front having similar tyres, overtaking might still be difficult which is exactly as what was planned with DRS, however if you have fresher tyres it might be much easier to overtake. I think we've seen far more overtaking than in the past."

Heidfeld has had a mixed start to the season after joining Renault midway through pre-season testing to replace the injured Robert Kubica. After taking one podium in Malaysia but failing to score at in Australia and China, he is confident he can begin to score more consistent results in the coming rounds.

"Everything has gone so fast since February, which means that it's been a very quick learning process. I joined the team for most of the winter tests and then went straight to the first race," he said. "It's an ongoing challenge to have everything working perfectly at once but having said this, I'm impressed by the quality of the relationship we've built up over just a few weeks. People at Lotus Renault GP really want the driver to feel comfortable in the car and they give you a lot of confidence. They've really listened, as have I, and this has helped us develop constructively as a team. Above all, I'm really enjoying this open, two-way approach that we have."

He is hoping the team's planned upgrades will allow the car to be competitive again at the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix.

"I think we've shown over the first three races that we have a good car and Istanbul could be very interesting because it is the first European race and a lot of teams will bring updates, including us," he said. Hopefully we'll be able to give a good performance again."