Mike Stevens | Mar 17, 2010

A MEETING OF THE F1 teams association FOTA is expected to discuss the issue of boring races during a conference on Tuesday, according to Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell.

The saga in the wake of Sunday's 2010 opener, with the new refuelling ban blamed for the lack of on-track action, has some figures calling for the sport to react immediately.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone wants to wait three more races before deciding whether to make any changes.

"There is no panic, no crisis for F1," he is quoted as saying by the Times.

He said he has already had a meeting with the teams.

"I tried to explain to them what our business is about -- racing and entertaining the public, not about playing with computers and going fast over one lap.

"The problem is that you cannot really have teams in any shape or form having a part in the sporting or technical regulations. You cannot have the inmates writing the regulations," said Ecclestone.

He proposes that independent engineers write the rules in future, but 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve is urging caution rather than knee-jerk panic.

"The rules are fine," said the French Canadian. "One race doesn't mean anything. The worst thing would be for sudden changes before everybody is sure what they want."

Lotus technical boss Mike Gascoyne, and former GP winner Gerhard Berger, agree.

"What we don't need right now is a knee-jerk reaction. Whatever happens, we must be sure that any changes improve the show," said Gascoyne.

Berger said: "It (Bahrain) was boring but it was the first race and it's too early to make a verdict. I think it will work out."

Sir Frank Williams told France's Auto Hebdo that not only the rules and the cars are to blame.

"There is no magic formula one, but a change that would help would be to have longer straights with bigger run-off zones," he said.

And HRT's Karun Chandhok joked: "How about they try out my weekend programme and go straight into qualifying?"

(GMM)

 

Vettel's Spark Plug Puts Spotlight Back On Renault

Hours after Red Bull diagnosed an exhaust problem as the cause of Sebastian Vettel's Bahrain power loss, the team issued a media statement.

The 22-year-old race leader, having started from pole, fell behind the eventual podium sitters and finished the season opener just fourth.

Red Bull said late on Sunday that "further investigations have proven that the loss of power was actually due to a spark plug failure and not the exhaust".

The statement reminded observers about Red Bull's persistent reliability problems with its Renault engines last year, and ultimately futile efforts over the winter to switch to Mercedes.

"Failed world championship beginning: did Red Bull stumble with Renault?" read a headline in the Swiss newspaper Blick.

And McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is quoted as saying by The Sun: "If Vettel had a reliable engine, he's got so much downforce he could run away with it.

"But if he has problems it won't be a runaway year for anyone," he told the British newspaper.

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motor sport adviser, said Sunday proved the talent of Vettel and the pace of Adrian Newey's RB6 design.

"What was shown by Vettel in Bahrain after the big horsepower loss was his incredible speed in the corners," he said.

According to Spain's Diario AS, however, Vettel ran out of fuel after crossing the chequered flag on Sunday.

But Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is celebrating cautiously after winning on debut with the famous Italian team.

"Red Bull are still a bit ahead of us," he is quoted as saying by Blick from his home in Lugano.

(GMM)

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