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Barrichello concerned by extra steering wheel buttons

ESPNF1 Staff
February 2, 2011 « Mercedes to buy out remaining Brawn stake | »
Rubens Barrichello managed 45 laps on Wednesday © Sutton Images
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Rubens Barrichello admitted that the number of new buttons on the steering wheel is a concern because it could distract drivers from the crucial aspect of driving the car.

The new regulations in place for the 2011 season, including the adjustable rear wing and return of KERS means that the drivers have yet more buttons to play with on an already cluttered steering wheel.

"The only drawback from the day is that the number of buttons on the steering wheel can distract you from the driving," said Barrichello after his first prolonged run in the Williams FW33. "I don't think it's a danger, but I think it's a concern. In terms of execution, the additional controls are obviously necessary, but people have different steering wheels, so drivers may therefore be able to reach some buttons easier than others.

"The problem is you are taking your eye off the road. There is not a single straight where I don't press a button and change gear. In my role in the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) we will keep talking about this, but I think the FIA will let us practice a little more. I think the strong comments will come now but will lessen as people get used to things."

Barrichello managed 45 laps on a heavy fuel load and admitted to have struggled with the balance of the car although he was happy to get substantial mileage under his belt.

"We learnt a lot. It is a very different car to the FW32 and needs a different set-up and understanding. The balance of the car was difficult, but it's always hard to get a car to feel good on that amount of fuel. I will just have to work on it and see what we get back.

"Unfortunately, we lost a bit of time yesterday due to a problem with the KERS, but we kept going out to build up mileage. It was all positive."

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