Domenicali criticises 2009 rules (Video)

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Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali believe the 2009 technical rules haven’t helped promote overtaking as planned.

In an interview with Ferrari’s fuel partner Shell (above) Domenicali said the new rules had only changed which teams were competitive, but not improved racing:

If you look at the races that objective was not really achieved, so far, at the moment. When there is a change of regulations, before doing something it is very important we make sure that what we want to achieve in terms of objectives is achieved.

The objective that was achieved was that we had a different grid: different cars became more competitive. This is the only thing I can say on the new regulations.

We’ve had a lot of debates about how this year’s radical new rules have changed the sport.

I think Domenicali’s view is broadly correct – we’re not seeing much more overtaking or closer racing, and much of what have seen has come down to KERS.

At the beginning of the year we all hoped that the ugly 2009 cars would give us better racing. But it hasn’t happened.

The question now is, what should they do about it?

The final 2010 technical regulations have not yet been published. They are expected to be broadly similar to this year’s rules, but with refuelling and KERS banned.

Read more: Overtaking: Back to the drawing board

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Domenicali criticises 2009 rules (Video)”

  1. HounslowBusGarage
    10th August 2009, 20:34

    I’m trying to remember when the 2009 regs were published last year. I think it was earlier than this, wasn’t it?
    I wonder if there is some frantic re-drafting going on at Max Central. Decreasing the front wing width, coming up with a water-tight ban on double diffusers etc.
    I’m still not sure that a refuelling ban is the way to go. If the FIA keep the optiojn tyre rule, it will still mean two stops, but without the strategy choice of when you run the soft tyres. They will have to go on later, when the car is lighter.
    What about no wings front or back, totally flat bottomed cars and wider slicks all round?

  2. Face it, it’s too late to redo the 2010 regs now, so we’ll have to stick with it till 2011. Sigh.
    Can’t really see all the teams (the new ones who can use a clean slate Vs. the older ones with some dev. already done) all agreeing to any change.

  3. At the beginning of the year we all hoped that the ugly 2009 cars would give us better racing. But it hasn’t happened.

    It HAS happend. The Australian GP was an incredible race – overtaking-wise.
    But this has changed as soon as everybody introduced/improved their double diffusers.

    1. I think you are spot on Damon.Brawn took off and left the pack until everyone else introduced thier diffuser.They found a loop hole in the regs and everyone else followed,that in turn washed out the entire new aerodynamic standard.We are back where we started.

    2. Sush Meerkat
      11th August 2009, 8:40

      The Australian GP was an incredible race – overtaking-wis

      I thought that was mainly due down to Rubens starting from the back of the grid and all the other drivers having to switch different compound of tyres.

      Its false racing when overtaking happens because of a tyre choice.

  4. Get rid of the “use both kinds of tyre” rule to start with.

    And they might as well make the cars less ugly, even if it doesn’t affect the racing.
    Lower and wider, like the mid-90s ones.

  5. The passing is more or less where it has been for a generation. Plus ce change. What has made seasons better than others is the closeness of the championships.

    I’m more worried about misguided attempts at creating passing dumbing down the sport. And I don’t think they will work. Big slicks and no wings? I don’t want to watch the World of Outlaws. What will F1 be when it is slower than IRL or LMP?

    My recommendation, if we have to do something drastic, is to bring back significantly scaled tunnels. They allow wings to be trimmed right down, create massive performance, and are not nearly as vulnerable to turbulence. And steel brakes.

    1. More than steel brakes, a LIMITATION on the size of steel brakes.

      1. +1 on the steel brakes.

        The braking distances these days are impressive, but far too short for a brave driver to make the difference and dive into a corner ahead of his rival.

        On top of that, it’d be a very cheap regulation change.

  6. Keith, the cars aren’t ugly this year, look at last year, the narrow front wing, and bizarre abstractions on the bodywork…

    i genuinely think that the cars look meaner, more streamlined, and slick tyres do a world of good. The cars are “for sure” (hehe) different, but not ugly.

    On what Domenicali is saying, i believe that he is right, we haven’t seen a massive improvement in overtaking, but i disagree that having different cars at the front is not what they set out to achieve, Ferrari and McLaren have made big steps forward, and proved despite the changed rules and testing bans, that they can still pull it out and make the fastest cars.

    Overtaking or not, the engineer’s ability to improve within certain constraints seperates the best from the rest: so Adrian Newey, ROss Brawn and others have shown that they are able to take the abstract and work with it.

    Unless the cars are slowed down a lot, or HUGE differences between the teams, i don’t see how you can improve overtaking on tracks that are sometimes only 10 or so metres wide. I know monaco is an historic rac,e but how on earth do you expect rules and regulations to allow two cars side by side round some of those tight corners and sweeping bends.

    Perhaps in order to get the best racing from these cars, we need to think about WHERE they are raced, and perhaps come up with a new breed of racetrack.

    Istanbul is a fine example of a modern track, and if i’m not mistaken (please correct me) it is also one of the widest, with some areas being 22m wide or more. Surely this is what lead to the Turkish Grand Prix being so exciting to watch, because the cars have room to move. I remember Martin Brundle showing us the different lines that Sebastien Vettel and Jensen Button were taking through turns 11,12 and 13 (final left-right-left into the home straight) and there i really saw a way that those two cars coudl attack each other and even overtake, by the drivers ability to use the racetrack in different ways with different cars.

    Anyway, i digress, my points being, a) the cars are NOT ugly, they’re the best they’ve ever looked, b) the rule changes have successfully thrown caution to the wind, and given all technical directors a real chance to shine, no matter what the budget, and c) why are we talking about improving the overtakability of these cars, yet still cliinging to races where its generally accepted to be impossible to overtake. No rules changes will help there.

    1. a) Totally agree. Didn’t when they first came out but now I look at 07 & 08 cars and they’re just too busy, too many flip ups etc. Still the Minichamps BGP001 looks wrong so I haven’t warmed to the models of them yet!!

      b) Again, agree with this. This should be a part of F1 and I think the resource limitation or whatever they’re calling the budget cap will only help in this area.

      c) Agree to a point. I agree that it doesn’t matter how much you change the cars if you race on circuits that don’t promote overtaking, but I also think that we should keep Monaco!!

      1. i also love monaco, along with nearly every F1 fan, but it does mean that we are racing at a circuit where the winner is decided on Saturday, with only reliability and streategy left to lose on race day.

        this is not the only circuit like this, there are many where we hear Eddie Jordan say “calssically this is a circuit where it is very hard to overtake, so qualifying position is critical”.

        Why are we racing there if that is the case? this is Formula 1, where the choice of ALL the worlds circuits should be available.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th August 2009, 14:28

    The only reason why the rules haven’t worked is because Ferrari and McLaren run KERS. All their drivers have to do is use it, and they cannot be passed.

    Domenicali is the architect of his own demise.

  8. Domenicali wil miss the ” artistic” refueling stops of Ferrari, such as in Singapur 08 . These gave Ferrari a unique charisma within the world of F1

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