Vitaly Petrov thinks the combination of rules changes in 2011 have made overtaking “too easy”.
Petrov says the FIA should shorten the zones in which drivers can use the Drag Reduction System in races.
Speaking in a press conference today he said: “I think we are moving in the right direction with the rear wing, it’s more exciting to watch racing and good for us, even in the last race I had so many overtaking manoeuvres.
“I think we are moving in the right way because with the DRS system, with this 700 [metre] straight or something, I think at every race this line will be shorter because at the moment it’s too easy to overtake.
“Sometimes it’s harder, it depends. I think the FIA will move this line so it’s a little bit shorter, so the car won’t just stay behind and overtake the car in front easier. I think it’s more exciting when you go in to the corner together and you can still fight under braking.”
Felipe Massa said the DRS was useful in a situation where two drivers were running on the same type of tyre:
“When you go out of the garage and you have new tyres and you find cars with old tyres in front of you, it’s definitely very easy but it’s because of the tyres, it’s because of the high degradation. I think when you are in a similar situation it’s not so easy, but the wing helps, you know?
“I don’t think it’s just the wing which makes overtaking possible, easier or not easier, it’s everything, together with the tyre degradation and everything: how the cars use the tyres; how the strategy works as well.
“I think it’s better for you guys. How many years have I heard people saying ‘the good thing was the past, when Senna, Piquet, Mansell… it was really fun to see all these drivers race. They knew how to do it: Villeneuve, Arnoux.’ It’s true.
“It was also different cars as well and I even heard some things like after China: ‘ah, now Formula One is back to how it was before’. It’s important to see you guys happy as well, and I think for the fans it’s what we care about.”
Lewis Hamilton joked that Mark Webber had suggested overtaking had become too easy because “His car’s too fast!”
He added: “As Felipe was saying, I don’t personally feel it’s too easy to overtake. I had some great battles with people in the last race and it’s definitely just as hard but obviously when you have the opportunity to use the wing it makes it a little bit easy, but it allows you to get closer and really remain in close proximity to be able to attack in places.
“It aids overtaking but it doesn’t make it too easy, personally.”
2011 Turkish Grand Prix
Image © Renault/LAT