Unsurprisingly, in a sport where disagreement has been rife recently, opinion is differing on whether the new rules were the major reason for the exciting and surprising first race at Melbourne last weekend. FIA president Max Mosley, naturally, ...
Unsurprisingly, in a sport where disagreement has been rife recently, opinion is differing on whether the new rules were the major reason for the exciting and surprising first race at Melbourne last weekend. FIA president Max Mosley, naturally, believes the regulation changes, especially no refueling, contributed a lot, but McLaren technical director Adrian Newey blamed it on the changeable weather conditions.
"Melbourne was a good race on TV but that was because of the weather, not the rules," Newey told the BBC. "If a driver from a top team qualifies poorly because of a set-up problem with his car, rather than a driver error, then he will race poorly as well, because you can't improve the car's performance before the race."
Mosley sees things differently: "I think the new rules contributed a lot, because the nearest equivalent I can think to a race like this was at Silverstone last year," he said, according to Autosport. "It was a similar race weather-wise and, although it (Silverstone) was okay, it wasn't anything extraordinary."
"I think what made this race (Melbourne) really exciting was the fact that almost every car other than the two Ferraris was in a different position on the grid to that which it would have been under the old procedures. Everybody also had different fuel loads to those that they normally would have had."
"A combination of these two factors meant the whole thing became very, very interesting. We have got to wait until we have had a few more races, but it does seem that the rules and new procedures are working."
Michael Schumacher explained his unexpected fourth place finish as the result of the wrong tyre choice at the start of the race, rather than any other factor, while Williams technical director Patrick Head said he found the new qualifying system boring.
The no refueling rule is still the biggest bone of contention with some team bosses -- how the changes have affected F1 will be discussed by teams and the FIA after the third race in Brazil, to see what, if anything, needs to be done.