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F1 teams poised to discuss overtaking concerns

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Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel powers through a curve during the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. PHOTO/FILE.

SHANGHAI, China, Apr 5 – Formula 1 team bosses are ready to discuss the issue of overtaking if it continues to be as difficult as it was at the Australian Grand Prix.

There were just six overtakes in the season opener in Melbourne, but it remains to be seen whether the lack of wheel-to-wheel action was due to the track layout at Albert Park or predominantly because of the new aerodynamic regulations which is contributing to cars being disturbed a lot more by dirty air.

The general consensus between bosses is that it is too early to jump to any definitive conclusions, but are willing to talk about changes if it does develop into a continuing problem.

“I think it’s in an interesting place,” Wolff told Motorsport.com. “No stone is being left unturned.

“We have an exciting car concept now, with the only question remaining on overtaking.

“We’ll see how that goes over the next couple of races and if it needs adjustment I think we’ll all be open to discuss, but generally I think it’s in an interesting place.”

Horner is happy to play the waiting game for now, but believes there were positives to take from Australia.

“I think we have to reserve judgement [on overtaking] after two or three races,” Horner said. “Historically there’s never been a lot of overtaking [in Australia].

“Let’s wait for China and Bahrain, which are two of the more easier circuits to overtake at before drawing any judgement.

“I think the positive was the drivers were pushing all the race. There wasn’t a lot of fuel saving going on and not a lot of tyre saving going on. That was a positive, I think.”

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul, meanwhile, believes more input was needed from everybody ahead of the 2017 rule changes to avoid potential problems like this.

“I still believe that overtaking is part of the sport, so a faster car should be able to overtake, otherwise you don’t understand what is happening,” Abiteboul said.

“Then, frankly, everything will happen in the pits, the tyres will be very hard, we will be on a one-stop strategy.

“I don’t want to be depressed about it, but it is a new F1, that is offering challenges for everyone. we have to see how we can make up for it and maybe we haven’t done that as a team and maybe as a sport.

“Maybe as a sport we need to understand how to optimise the format that we have in the car.”

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