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Barfield signals change over rules on blocking

The root cause of the problem therefore had to lie with the initial rule on blocking that had given rise to the situation in the first place: "It's my radical opinion that the over-officiousness led to a lot of the issues that occurred in turn 3 at Toronto," Barfield confirmed.

That gives rise to the question of how to frame rules that balance the "right" sort of blocking from the "wrong" sort.

"It is still really open for interpretation," acknowledged Barfield, adding that there had been a lot of discussions with drivers about the most appropriate position for Race Control to take on blocking, and that these would continue into the new season. "Not that just taking this stance will alleviate that, but it's a big step in the right direction for the kind of racing that drivers are comfortable and familiar with and for what our fans want to see."

Signalling Race Control's new less-officious stance on blocking, Barfield announced that the series would no longer be painting guidelines in key areas of the track dictating the line that drivers had to follow in 2012.

Barfield also suggested that ultimately the issue of blocking was a technical matter that needed to be addressed in the long term through innovation rather than regulation.

"A basis for the strong stance on blocking was that our cars have become sort of notorious for being difficult to pass so a little bit of defensive manoeuvring leads to processional-type races," he said. "My opinion is that it is dealt with better technologically - either with power to pass or aerodynamics or whatever the case is - not in how a driver intuitively tends to drive or behave on the track."




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