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F1 teams ponder changes for 2011 to improve racing

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali

Almost impossible to overtake - Ferrari boss

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali says Formula 1's teams are to discuss ways they can improve racing for 2011.

The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was widely criticised for a lack of overtaking, with many blaming new rules for producing a disappointing show.

But Domenicali says the cars are to blame and the issue will be discussed at the Malaysian GP next weekend.

"It is a problem that the teams and (governing body) the FIA need to solve now," the Italian said.

The Bahrain GP, which was won by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, had very few overtaking opportunities, with many critics wondering if the new refuelling ban and tyre regulations had a negative impact.

Mark [Webber] was quite clearly unable to pass but he had that situation 12 months ago

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner

The McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, as well as Red Bull's Mark Webber and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, all expressed concerns about the effect of the new rules, saying they could not overtake when they came close to the back of another car.

Some leading figures have suggested changing the sporting regulations, with some calling for two pit stops to become mandatory as well as alterations to change the grip of the tyres.

But Domenicali says it is the car design, rather than race regulations, which needs to be addressed.

"There are two ways of solving the problem," he told BBC Sport. "One is artificial, the other is to attack the real fundamental issue, which is the car.

"The car in my view is too efficient. We need to reduce the efficiency in the wake [the disturbed air behind the car] because even if you are a fantastic driver, it is almost impossible to overtake.

"In the next meeting that we have in Malaysia, the teams are thinking to make another step in terms of what we can reduce regarding the efficiency of the car next year.


"Because that in my view is the fundamental point. All the other things you can do, pit stops and safety car, that's too artificial."

And Domenicali has warned against making any knee-jerk decisions during a season.

"It's wrong to start doing adjustments after one race because it is already difficult to follow the changes and regulations," he added.

"If you change things all the time, then people outside will say 'what's going on, we don't understand'. It is better to wait before doing something during the year.

"It is fundamental to do something with the right simulation and not to panic, otherwise it will be worse.

"Something should be done but in a very systematic and proper way. We can't just come out of the meeting and say 'we'll do it like that, let's do it' and then we go on the track and say 'this is not good'.

"Things have to be done properly."

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn, who guided his team to both world championships last season under its previous guise of Brawn GP, also believes there should not be any rush to tinker with the rules.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel's pole lap in Melbourne

"It is important we wait and reflect on what we have before we start making changes," he said before this weekend's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

"Changes can definitely be for the worst as well as for the better. Some tracks are not conducive to overtaking and Bahrain, historically, has been a track where it's been very difficult to overtake."

And Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner, who watched as Webber struggled to improve from seventh in Bahrain, said: "There's a misconception that there has to be loads of overtaking in F1.

"Mark qualified out of position and he spent the whole race looking at either the back of a McLaren or a Mercedes gearbox and was quite clearly unable to pass, but he had that situation 12 months ago.

"I just have a feeling that there's going to be quite a lot going on in this weekend's race.

"Drivers need to be in a position to challenge, to race each other and inevitably if, in a worst case scenario, a situation like Bahrain continues, I'm sure that collectively we would look at measures to assist the drivers."

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see also
Superb Vettel denies Webber pole
27 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Police run-in 'affected Hamilton'
27 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren query Red Bull legality
27 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Button worried by F1 rule changes
21 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher questions rule changes
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso triumphs as Vettel fades
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Track tweaks 'may aid overtaking'
14 Oct 09 |  Formula 1

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