In the wake of an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that – but for the tension of a thrilling title fight – would have lulled many an F1 fan to sleep, FIA President Jean Todt has warned that any prospective new circuit bidding to join the calendar in the coming years must promote overtaking as well as safety.
Although not quite as dull an afternoon's 'entertainment' as was the Bahrain Grand Prix snooze-fest back at the beginning of the campaign – dubbed 'Bore-rain' for its soporific spectacle – the fact that F1 2010 World Championship protagonists Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were unable to find their way past Renault team-mates Vitaly Petrov and Robert Kubica respectively around the Yas Marina Street Circuit has stirred Todt into action.
“We need to encourage more overtaking,” the Frenchman asserted in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa
. “In Abu Dhabi, it was impossible. I'm speaking as the President of the FIA. Hamilton had fresh tyres and was two seconds [a lap] faster than Kubica and yet he failed to pass. From now on, before a new circuit is approved, we will evaluate the potential for the spectacle as well as the safety.”
Todt added that the sport's governing body has 'already convened' a reunion with some of F1's leading technical gurus such as Patrick Head and Rory Byrne to discuss the matter, whilst the drivers have been outspoken in their desire to be granted some input into circuit design.