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As close as you'll get to an apology - Team bosses start to admit the new regulations aren't working

Published by Christine

We've been saying for a good proportion of the season that the new regulations aren't working. We are not alone in thinking this, and thankfully, the team's are starting to admit that things haven't gone as planned in 2009. We're still waiting for the Overtaking Working Group to stand up and take the criticism on board, but still, this is progress. Stefano Domenicali outright admits, well, in a roundabout way at least, that things aren't as anticipated.

The main aim for the changes was to reduce the disturbance behind a car and thus help increase passing. Stefano said it best:

I think the 2009 regulations were changed in order to have better overtaking, that was the main principle. I have to say that if you look at the races, that objective was not really achieved so far.

- Stefano Domenicali

Mario Theissen spoke about this towards the end of May, unhappy with the way the regulations had turned out:

The aero restrictions we currently have, however, are not as tight as we thought they would be, so I think we could do more.

- Mario Theissen

He did try and clarify that at least the field had closed up considerably, that must be something. However, as we've noted for the past few races, that makes qualifying the best part of the weekend. On a Saturday, the small gap between the cars can mean the difference between pole and dropping out in Q1. On a Sunday, the cars are still following each other round, they are just closer together.

Sam Michael at Williams also adds to this argument, with his thoughts on the new regulations helping their car be so much more consistant this year.

There is some trend. We don't have the same sorts of troughs that we used to have, but at Monaco and Melbourne we were more competitive so we've still got a spike on street circuits.

- Sam Michael

If every team is experiencing something of the same consistency, it's going to make for more straight-forward racing, isn't it? The fun starts when you find a Hungary style setup - an out of place Renault, a new and improved McLaren, an eager Ferrari. It also leads back to the same old argument of no in-season testing. Fewer developments can take place, less innovation, a similar playing field throughout the year.

Now that the teams are sitting up and taking note of the failure on the part of the overtaking group, will anything be done? Even Bridgestone took action when they realised the double step in tyre compounds wasn't working. They baulked at admitting they were wrong, I grant you, but they studied the data and tweaked the rules. Will the OWG get back together and sort out the mess they've made - correction, the fugly mess they've made - or will they, as usually happens, find themselves replaced by another initiative that likely isn't going to work?