Already far from a fan of F1's latest overtaking initiative, Sebastian Vettel is even less enamoured now that the rules for use of the adjustable rear wing have been released for the opening three races of the 2011 season.
The reigning world champion has openly admitted that he does not back the new technology, especially as it coincides with the return of KERS, claiming that drivers should be skilled enough to pass on their own and not have their safety compromised by having further buttons and switches added to an already-crowded working environment.
"Overtaking in F1 has always been difficult," Vettel told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport
newspaper last month, "Whoever manages to get past gets the same sort of admiration as a goalscorer in football, [but] there is now a risk that the public thinks overtaking will be too easy.
"The drivers should be driving, not playing with all sorts of different buttons and systems - last year, there was the F-duct, now its the rear wing and KERS - [and] I'm not totally convinced that this is all a good thing."
Whatever Vettel thinks, adjustable rear wings, while still subject to scrutiny and tweaking from the rulemakers, are here to stay for 2011, and the FIA recently revealed where on the opening three circuits the technology will be employed. According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
magazine, the Sepang pit straight and the long back straight at Shanghai International will host the 'overtaking zone' for the Malaysian and Chinese GPs , with the mandatory one-second interval needed to activate the system being measured at the preceding corner.
In Melbourne, however, the lack of a major straight has resulted in the overtaking area being sited on the start-finish straight, but the measurement area having to be located three corners earlier thanks to the tight left-right sequence that brings the drivers back past the pits. While Vettel will naturally hope to be out front throughout the Australian race, he admits to being unhappy with the way the problem of overtaking has been addressed at Albert Park.
"Let's say I'm further away than one second from the car in the [designated] corner, but get closer in the last three corners.... I'm not allowed to press the button. How do you try to explain that?" he asked.
The report also suggests that, during the meeting between team representatives and FIA race director Charlie Whiting which determined the overtaking zones, some teams asked that the adjustable rear wings not be used in practice and qualifying. No decision has been taken, with Whiting suggesting that those in favour of keeping then technology active throughout had found a way of simplifying its use for the driver.