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Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010

Button worried rule changes may make F1 'a procession'

Jenson Button
Button won the world title with Brawn before switching to McLaren

Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button has expressed concern that new regulations could turn the 2010 season into a "procession".

McLaren's Button is dismayed by the ban on refuelling during a race and new tyre regulations which made the season opener in Bahrain a dull spectacle.

"It's annoying because it's a sport I love and it's tough to see a procession," said the 30-year-old.

"I hope when we are racing in Melbourne we're going to have a bit more action."

Button joins seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher in bemoaning the refuelling ban, which means cars must run with a full load at the start.

The other major rule change dictates that the top 10 drivers on the grid must begin the race on the tyres they used in the final qualifying session.


The alterations can promote a cautious approach by placing a premium on tyre management, and drivers must use both soft and hard tyre compounds while the race is in progress.

Button finished seventh in his first race for McLaren, which featured scant drama and few overtaking manoeuvres and was won by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

"I don't know how we're going to make the racing more exciting than it is," said Button.

"I hope it's just because of the new layout in Bahrain, and it was the first one, that it wasn't so exciting.

"The thing is now it seems the eight or 10 cars at the front, they pull away from the pack and wait until they've got a gap to fall into.

"We've all got the same information, so as soon as we all find a gap, one car pits from one of those teams, and the next lap the other car pits."

Before the season, the teams were worried that the refuelling ban would lead to processional races and discussed introducing a rule that would force drivers to make two stops.

Australia is a street circuit so it's not the easiest place to overtake, but I think it should be more exciting

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn told BBC Sport the teams would review that decision after a few races to give the new rules time to settle down.

The start of this season had been one of the most eagerly-awaited in years, with the return of Schumacher, the British pairing at McLaren and Felipe Massa's comeback from a life-threatening injury adding spice to the build-up.

Button continued: "There's still every chance it's going to be a fantastic season. We just have to see what happens over the next few races.

"But if it's not going in the right direction, then people have to start making the decisions. I hope it gets better, for all of our sakes."

Button's McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton agreed that the first race was "very dull" but predicted more action when the season resumes in Australia on 28 March.

"You've got to assume the next race will be more exciting," he said. "There will be more people and there should be more of an atmosphere in Australia, as there always is.

"The track should be more favourable to the cars. It is a street circuit so it's not the easiest place to overtake, but I think it should be more exciting."

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see also
Schumacher questions rule changes
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Mercedes not competitive - Brawn
19 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso triumphs as Vettel fades
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Sluggish McLaren worries Button
13 Mar 10 |  Formula 1

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