The DRS failure during the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was caused by a crashed server. Instead of the standard ‘DRS is enabled’ notification we usually get on lap three, race control announced that it wasn’t working. Fast-forward 15 laps and the problem was fixed.
Michael Masi, Formula 1’s race director, explained the problem in a statement from the FIA. He insists his team wouldn’t have enabled it without being confident that it would work correctly in F1’s 2019 finale. Once the DRS was enabled on lap 18, it worked correctly for the duration of the race.
“It was basically a data server crash. Basically, immediately we disabled it and it wasn’t until we were 100% confident that it was all not only back up and running, but back up and running with the correct data available, that we re-enabled it,” Masi explained in the statement.
“Basically, the DRS signals going to the cars, there wasn’t effectively a confident feed that we could rely upon. We had to make sure that it was effectively back up and running, and back up and running in a stable condition that we were confident that what was being sent equally and correctly. And once we were happy with that, between us we reactivated it and enabled DRS.”
— GPblog.com (@GPblog_com) December 1, 2019