Rubens Barrichello considers the FIA's decision to allow teams to keep the movable rear wing system for the Monaco Grand Prix to be a mistake.
Following complaints from drivers that using Drag Reduction System around Monte Carlo could be dangerous – especially because of the risks of having to open it through the tunnel in qualifying – FIA race director Charlie Whiting consulted with teams in Turkey last weekend. But with opinions among the teams divided, and some contenders claiming that they would be forced to design expensive Monaco-only wings if DRS was banned, Whiting told them on Sunday that there was no grounds to ban it if not everybody was in favor. That decision has not gone down well with Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Rubens Barrichello, who says he hopes F1 chiefs don't go on to regret it.
"I just think it is wrong," Barrichello told AUTOSPORT. "I would love the people at the top to sit in the car and try to do the tunnel with the DRS open.
"In my opinion, they are waiting for something bad to happen. And when it happens, they will just say, 'Oh, next year we will not have it for Monaco.' The drivers have not been listened to right now and I think it is the wrong decision."
There are already growing concerns about the difficulties teams and drivers are going to face in Monaco, with high tire degradation, marbles, likely safety car periods and an increased number of pit stops set to make the weekend very challenging. Barrichello is fearful that with DRS allowed, drivers are going to have a risky time in the tunnel and that the event could be incident-filled.
"You are going to try to use it there," he said. "I can see a race with safety cars a long way. If they could listen still: I think Monaco is what it is. It is not overtaking territory.
"Do they think they can introduce overtaking through the DRS? They possibly can, but they might hurt someone. That is a voice of experience."
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said in safety matters it was always better to keep complaints behind closed doors, but he suggested Monaco was going to be a hard weekend.
"There was a lot of debate between drivers yes and no [for having DRS]," said Domenicali. "I think Monaco could be tough, but when you speak about safety it is better to stay quiet and not say anything [in public]. For sure it will be very tricky, but this is the decision and we need to make the maximum use from it."