Domenicali: The car is the problem
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 criticized 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 refueling ban and tire regulations had a negative impact.
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 tires.
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.
"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." BBC