FIA president Jean Todt says new circuits will have to prove that they provide adequate passing opportunities, and has suggested that changes to current tracks to improve the spectacle could be in the cards.
His comments follow the difficulty in passing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, during which title contenders Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber could not get back through traffic following their pit stops.
"We need to favor overtaking," Todt told La Stampa. "It was impossible at Abu Dhabi."
Todt denied that his complaints were motivated by his former team Ferrari having missed out on the title because Alonso could not get back up to the fourth place he needed at Yas Marina, pointing out that McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's shot at victory was also severely hampered by the overtaking problem when he was caught behind the yet-to-stop Renault of Robert Kubica.
"I speak as president of the FIA," said Todt. "Take Hamilton: he had fresh tires, he would have lapped two seconds quicker than Kubica, yet he didn't manage to pass him. From now on, before homologating a circuit, we'll evaluate its spectacle potential, besides its safety."
He said the FIA was prepared to take rapid action on the overtaking issue.
"On Nov. 23, we'll discuss the overtaking problem in the commission," Todt revealed. "It's the cars' and tracks' fault. We will create a report card with the circuits' competitiveness, and we'll see if we can make some modifications in 2011 already, if possible."