Drivers Blame the FIA for Lack of Overtaking

The efforts of FIA's Technical Working Group to make the 2009 cars prone to easier overtaking while in the race have been counteracted by the acceptance of the double-decker rear diffusers. The accusation – sort of – comes from Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who confirmed that this year's cars are just as tough to overtake as the ones from last year while drafting.

According to the 2008 Formula One vice-champion, the level of downforce is not so low as initially expected by the FIA – and on which everybody agreed upon before the start of this season – which makes the moveable front flaps of the trailing car practically useless. Having ruled the double diffuser as legal, the ruling body has practically thrown away all the aerodynamic work put up by the members of the TWG during last year, argued Massa.

Just as was planned by the FIA, the cars did produce less downforce. But with the decision to allow the double diffusers, this plan was turned upside down,” said the Brazilian driver after last weekend's British Grand Prix.

Massa is not the only driver on the F1 grid to confirm that, as Toyota's Timo Glock also expressed his disappointment over this year's aerodynamic changes. While expected to boost overtaking and therefore provide the fans with some thrilling action, the new packages are making even more difficult for the drivers to overtake one another.

When you're in the turbulence of the cars ahead, all your grip is lost. You're sliding on all four wheels,” said Glock.

Last week's British Grand Prix was a string confirmation of the aforementioned theory, as there was little overtaking going at Silverstone. Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton all failed to pass their on-track rivals when drafting, despite the circuit's high-speed characteristics (and considerable amount of overtaking spots).
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