F1 Announces DRS Rule Changes for 2024 Season

Formula 1 has introduced a significant rule change affecting the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) during races.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 8, 2024

Mercedes F1 DRS
Mercedes F1 DRS

Since its introduction in the 2011 season, the drag reduction system has enhanced overtaking possibilities, especially on circuits featuring two or more DRS zones.

Traditionally, DRS activation was permitted from the third lap, provided the pursuing car was within one second of the car ahead, often benefiting the race leader by allowing them to establish a gap.

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However, starting from the 2024 season, drivers will be allowed to use their DRS after just one lap, provided they drive within a second of the car ahead. This rule also applies to a period behind a safety car. This change aims to increase overtaking opportunities right from the race’s start, particularly noted during the 2023 season when Max Verstappen‘s dominance often left competitors without a chance to use DRS effectively in pursuit.

Enhancements to F1 racing in 2024

The F1 commission has ratified this change for the upcoming 2024 season, aiming to foster more competitive racing and create additional passing chances. The revised rule will also apply following safety car periods, potentially tightening the field and intensifying competition once racing resumes.

Despite concerns that earlier DRS activation could lead to more ‘DRS trains’ and potentially dilute the system’s effectiveness, the anticipation is that it will make the fight for lead positions more thrilling.

In addition to the DRS modification, the commission has introduced alterations to sprint race formats and adjusted regulations to permit the use of up to four power units per driver before penalties apply, applicable for both the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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