- Bahrain Grand Prix
Changes needed to improve the show - McLaren
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Formula One should consider immediate rule changes to spice up the racing, after the Bahrain Grand Prix proved the new regulations had done very little to ease overtaking.
A ban on refuelling was introduced this year to encourage passing on the track rather than during the pit stops. However, the unexpected durability of the tyres meant there was little performance difference between the cars, a concern if this year's plan to encourage overtaking is going to work. All the drivers could easily settle for one stop strategies without running the Bridgestones too low on grip, meaning for the most part the cars were very evenly matched. Whitmarsh said reducing the tyres life or introducing two mandatory pit stops was the only way to improve the racing under the current aerodynamic regulations.
"We were one of three teams, that said we should have two mandatory pit stops because we were worried about one-stopping," he said. "I think we have to re-examine that. But I think if we can now push on Bridgestone to have racier [less durable] tyres [that would help]. We need a super-soft tyre that is really going to hurt if you take it to 20 laps. You shouldn't be able to do that with a super-soft tyre and I think even the prime.
"The tyre [compounds] were much closer in the race than we expected and they determined the spectacle," he added. "There was no real serious degradation of the tyres, we started the roll of pit stops because we were trying to get [Lewis Hamilton] ahead of [Nico] Rosberg and everyone started to come in at that point. But otherwise, just based on tyre degradation, we could have run to lap 25 or more on the super-soft tyres. If you can do that on the softest tyre, then the primes are just going to romp through for as long as you like."