The 45-year-old expressed his hopes, finally, for a greater degree of overtaking in F1 2011, thanks to the return following two decades away of Pirelli and the softer, less durable tyres the Italian manufacturer is planning to bring compared to its predecessor Bridgestone. Forecasting a substantial impact upon the racing, Domenicali also predicted an impact from the new adjustable rear wing – although whether that impact will be a positive or negative one, he is less sure.
“On the rear tyres there are still some steps to be done,” he acknowledged, pointing to the relative dearth of pre-season testing time to perfect them and admitting that he hopes for some vital wet running before the in-season ban kicks in, “but this year, qualifying should not be as important as it was last season. Last season was very interesting and competitive, but there wasn't a lot of overtaking. This is a fundamental aspect which must be worked on.
“The driver running behind another one will be able to activate [the rear wing] to get in the slipstream only at determined points around the track, and only if the gap between himself and his rival is very tight. It will be up to race direction to signal the possibility with a light in the cockpit.
“However, I wonder – besides helping overtaking, will this system make the duels more spectacular or too predictable? At the moment I'm a bit sceptical, but I hope to be wrong. I also hope that the TVs find a way to make people understand on-screen who has activated the mechanism and who hasn't, otherwise you won't understand a thing anymore...”