World champion Sebastian Vettel has refused to rule out the possibility that F1 drivers could go on strike amidst concerns over the new regulations in place for 2011.
The Red Bull driver has expressed worry about the new moveable rear wings that will debut in Australia, with the parts having been designed in order to increase overtaking by giving following drivers the chance to get a boost in speed when trying to make a pass.
Concerns have been raised about the possibility that the rear-wing, and the resultant difference in speeds that will result from its usage, could lead to a repeat of the high-speed accident which hit Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen in Valencia last year.
The Grand Prix Drivers' Association has already discussed the matter during the final pre-season test of the year in Barcelona and Vettel admitted that the were concerns about the safety of the new system.
“Most drivers agreed that it could be, in certain scenarios, a safety issue and that's what still needs to be seen to,” the defending title winner was quoted as telling the Mirror
. “If it's a really bid issue, then the most important thing is that the drivers are all together.
“If we all agree on something, then we can be very powerful. We can say, 'Okay, we are not racing'. That doesn't necessarily mean that we will go on strike. We'll try to find a solution with the FIA first.”
There have been instances of drivers going on strike in the past, most notably ahead of the 1982 South African Grand Prix when Niki Lauda led a strike linked into the use of Superlicences in the sport, although agreement was reached which ensured a full grid of cars competed in the event.