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Drivers admit rule changes stifle action

NEWS STORY
15/03/2010

With the season opener failing to live up to the hype, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher is just one driver suggesting that the new rules are stifling the action.

Pitpass' race reports says it all: "At the end of lap 1, Vettel leads Alonso, Massa, Rosberg, Hamilton, Schumacher, Webber, Button, Liuzzi and Barrichello."

49 laps later, the order reads Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Vettel, Rosberg, Schumacher, Button, Webber, Liuzzi and Barrichello.

After five months of anticipating the most keenly fought championship in years, a season which sees three new teams, the return of Michael Schumacher and as many as four teams and eight drivers supposedly in with a real chance of taking the title, all the action took place in the first corner save for Vettel's hiccough 15 laps from the end.

As the sport celebrates its 60th anniversary, fans are concerned that they are facing another season of processions with the new rules - introduced to spice up the action - actually stifling competition.

Sadly, Schumacher agrees, and even worse, doesn't see the pattern changing over the course of the season.

"Overtaking was basically impossible unless somebody made a mistake," he said after finishing sixth on his F1 return. "That is the action we are going to have with this kind of environment of race strategy."

"With no refuelling, it will be difficult to see any overtaking," added race winner Fernando Alonso, admitting, to fans' dismay, "so after the first lap the positions will be set."

"The first lap is definitely your best chance of overtaking," said reigning champion Jenson Button. "It might throw up a few more strategies in the race," he continued, "I hope it does, because run like that every race, it's not the most exciting."

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