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Sebastian Vettel fears Formula One is turning into Mario Kart

 

By Philip Duncan

Sebastian Vettel fears the Austrian Grand Prix will resemble a computer game as Formula One's rulers desperately attempt to jazz up the show.

Lewis Hamilton heads into the ninth round of the championship at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg 14 points clear of Vettel in the standings, and having topped both practice sessions he will start as the favourite to extend his advantage.

The sport's officials have introduced an extra Drag Reduction System (DRS) zone in Austria which allows drivers the luxury of pressing a boost button on their steering wheel to help with overtaking.

The move comes after processional races in Spain, Monaco and Canada, while last week's spectacle in France was saved only by a first-corner crash caused by Vettel.

"There are a lot of people who like Mario Kart, but F1 shouldn't be artificial," Vettel, who finished behind the two Mercedes cars in practice, said. "I don't know if it is a solution to put in an extra DRS zone. Maybe it helps with overtaking, but if you end up just driving past another car, that isn't very exciting either.

"There is more tension and excitement if the car is behind, and something happens, rather than if you just sail past."

F1 overhauled its technical regulations last year in order to make the racing more entertaining, but increased downforce on the cars has made it harder to follow.

The more durable tyres have also contributed to a lack of strategical unpredictability.

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