With the official Formula 1 video game release came two new features too being KERS and DRS. KERS or ‘Kinetic Energy Recovery System’ stores energy from braking to reuse it when accelerating. DRS or ‘Drag Reduction System’ makes the wing fall horizontally decreasing the drag produced by the car which all in all will make the car go faster. However, because KERS and DRS are fairly new to F1 still, not many people know how to use the systems to their full potential. For this reason, here is a article explaining how and when to use KERS and DRS in qualifying and on the race day.
To use KERS, you will need to press L1 on the PS3 controller or LB on the Xbox controller. You are able to use KERS whenever you want throughout the lap with the KERS being fully replenished every time you cross the start/finish line. For this reason, you main priority is to use all your KERS up before the start/finish line. KERS can be used in dry or wet conditions.
During qualifying, your aim when using KERS is to make KERS have the longest impact to the car’s speed. You can do this by using KERS at the start of straights so that the benefit for KERS last for the longest amount of time. If you use it before a corner, all the KERS energy will be lost in braking. Usually, there are two main straights on every circuit alongside the F1 calendar: the pit straight and the next longest straight. To use KERS to it’s full potential, use half of the KERS at the start of one straight and the other half on the other straight. Be warned that when traction control is off, don’t activate KERS straight away as it will only result in wheel spin losing energy and speed. Wait until you have enough traction to not produce wheel spin when releasing KERS.
The race days follows exactly the same rules to qualifying for KERS if you have nobody in front or behind you. When you have a car behind you that is looking to overtake you, use KERS on the straight where DRS is activated. The car behind you will have an advantage over you as it will have less drag making it go faster. Therefore, you will want to decrease this advantage by using KERS.
If there is a car in front of you which you are trying to overtake, use KERS on the same straight when you have DRS (and that means use all of the KERS on one straight). This will give you the boost of both systems to make passing the car in front a breeze. I find that no matter what difficult you are playing at, the computerised cars brake early into corners. Therefore, don’t be scared to out brake the car you are trying to overtake.
The drag reduction system is only activated on one straight of each track (and sometimes possibly two but usually one). When DRS is available to use, you will hear a little buzzer sound and see the ‘DRS’ button light up on screen. When you see this, you can press either triangle on your PS3 controller/ Y on your Xbox controller once to activate it. Don’t worry about closing the wing again because as soon as you touch the brakes into the next corner, the DRS will automatically close giving you down force and grip into the next corner. DRS is not available to use during wet conditions in qualifying or race day.
During qualifying, you are allowed to use DRS whenever you want for as long as you want. The best way to use DRS in qualifying then is to activate it every time you come out of a corner. Again, don’t worry about closing it as when you brake it closes. I find though to only use DRS when you are literally on a straight. The handling of the car is unbearable even around slight corners and causes tragic over steer to the car. From this, you have been warned. Only use DRS on straights only: it was not designed for slight bends of any kind.
DRS is only activated on one (or possibly two) straights of any circuit in the F1 calender circuits. You can only use it also when the corner before the DRS straight, you are under one second behind the car in front. From this, it is clear that DRS is only used for overtaking during race day. When a second behind the car in front, activate the DRS as soon as possible and deploy KERS too to get the boost of both systems. This will make it easy out pace and overtake the car in front. For some circuits, the straight after the DRS straight can use DRS too. The logic is that you get close enough to over take on the first straight and then overtake on the second. Therefore, if you struggled to over take the car in front on the first straight, you sometimes have the benefit of a second DRS straight to try and have a second shot.
If you can take anything from this article, take away that DRS is what affects your qualifying time the most. You may have the pace to get pole position. But, without DRS, you may be a few seconds of first. Therefore, get into the habit to use KERS and DRS on the points of the circuit I have described above and enjoy playing F1!