Teams hail success of 2011 rule changes

Formula 1's new look for 2011 - with the introduction of moveable rear wings, the return to KERS and the switch to Pirelli - has helped make the spectacle much better, claim leading figures from within the sport

Teams hail success of 2011 rule changes

With overtaking now easier for drivers, and Pirelli's aggressive rubber producing multi-stop races, the evidence from the first two events of the year suggests more exciting racing.

And although there have been some suggestions that the dramatically increased number of stops makes the races more complicated to follow, those within the sport think that the entertainment level has been ramped up in 2011.

Renault team principal Eric Boullier told AUTOSPORT: "I think it is good. I think if you are a proper racer, and I do consider I am one, I like it when you have both cars reaching the limit, touching a little even the sidepods.

"The DRS was a cost-effective thing to put in place and on some layouts it will not work, like Australia, but when you have a straight long enough like Malaysia or China it will work and it is good."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "I suspect when you look back at Malaysia, it wasn't a bad race and I think the tyre situation and cars on the circuit preserving tyres in different stages of tyre degradation adds to the spectacle.

"Pirelli has had to come into the sport with very little testing, and we have to congratulate them on what they have done. Individual drivers can complain about individual tyre sets but the fact is, looking at the sport, we have had tyres that are safe and produced a bit of a challenge to the teams and are better for the spectacle."

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner reckons the new rules were making life much harder for the teams - thanks to the strategy permutations - and that opened up areas of fresh interest for fans.

"It is certainly complicated on the pit wall," he said. "It would be an air traffic controller's nightmare if you were tuned into the strategy channel - because you are trying to look at where you are going to emerge, what the degradation is, what tyre you should be using with two cars. The work rate is colossal.

"It does add an exciting dimension to the race, and I think it added another element to the race."

When asked if he felt the races were now too complicated to follow, he said: "I am not the right person to comment on that because you become so immersed in your own race that you do not look at the race as a whole.

"I would have to rewatch the race to see how it looked, but you got people racing each other. You have Alonso and Hamilton racing wheel to wheel, you have Mark managing to have a bad first lap and coming back through. So that has to be a positive for F1 in what could have otherwise been quite a static race.

"I think it is positive and I think it will take a few races for a pattern to emerge."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali added: "From the spectacular point of view, people enjoy seeing the wing opening/closing and the drivers getting closer and then fighting. It is a fact and we have to live with it.

"But for sure it is not easy for the public to understand what is going on because it is also difficult for the team, but that is the way it is. I think it is part of the game of this year, we need to consider that and we don't have to take an excuse from this point."

Fernando Alonso said the races were also more exciting from the driving point of view - and that the new-look F1 meant that drivers had to push all the time in the races.

"In one part of the race I was second, or third - I overtook Jenson, and then in a different part of the race Jenson was even in front of Lewis, and I was fighting Webber - who was doing four stops.

"Webber was doing four stops, so it is not so clear or so easy to know what is happening. You lose visual contact with them, and you don't know any more which strategy they are doing.

"So you try to do your own race, knowing sometimes you are second or third, but it doesn't mean you are second or third in the real race because, if you are on a different strategy in the last stint, you can find yourself fifth or sixth.

"So you need to keep pushing, and you need to keep saving the tyres as well. The race is very long. Last year after the first pit stop the race was more or less over, this year you don't know anything until the last four or five laps and that is interesting."

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