FIA president Jean Todt believes a lack of overtaking in Formula 1 in 2017 may be a price worth paying for faster and more spectacular cars.
The season-opening Australian Grand Prix featured just two on-track passing moves compared to 26 in the 2016 Melbourne race, backing up winter fears that the greater reliance on aerodynamics combined with the reduced tyre degradation would result in an overtaking decrease this year.
Speaking to selected media ahead of the Australian race, Todt acknowledged that there was likely to be less passing in 2017 but argued that was counterbalanced by the spectacle of the cars' performance.
"Overtaking has always been a problem in motor racing," said Todt.
"I remember races 20 or 30 years ago, when a car with fresh tyres that was three or four seconds quicker could not pass a car with old tyres because overtaking was difficult.
"Clearly we can figure out that overtaking will be even more difficult this year.
"But we have tried to find ways to make overtaking easier with DRS and other technologies.
"Maybe the new regulations will make overtaking more difficult, but maybe it was the price to pay for having wider cars with more aerodynamics."
The FIA is set to reconsider the length of DRS zones after the Chinese GP when it has a better idea about just how difficult overtaking is.
Todt has also suggested that, longer term, F1 might need to rethink its aerodynamic concept to ensure that future cars can follow each other more closely.
"It's something that we need to address when we are going to speak about future regulations, about whether it is a good compromise," he said.
Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton suggested after the Melbourne race that the current overtaking situation was the worst he had experienced in his 10-year F1 career.
"It is fundamental to the way the cars have been since I've been in Formula 1 but it's probably worse now than it's ever been," he said.
"It's definitely not going to be better - it's going to be the same for the rest of the season."