Luna Rossa are claiming they have forced Team New Zealand onto the back foot over the twin-helmsman system.
Rumours that TNZ will copy the Luna Rossa method in the America's Cup match race have gathered pace after the challenger's skipper Max Sirena was interviewed on Sky Sport in Italy.
The America's Cup combatants have been training near each other on the Hauraki Gulf, in preparation for the delayed start to the best of 13 series next Wednesday.
Sirena joked that his team had "patented" the twin-helmsman system and "we have already sued the British and the New Zealanders".
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Sirena said: "Even today we watched them as they trained to make starts. At least in the starting phase Peter Burling no longer goes from one side to the other.
"It is evident that having a double helmsman, especially in the starting phase, has great advantages because there is not that period of time in which the boat can be less under control when the helmsman goes from one side to the other.
"They are training - I hope they do it also in racing because it would give us an advantage. It is not something that comes immediately."
Team New Zealand's boat Te Rehutai is almost certainly faster across various wind speeds, with Luna Rossa's big hope being that they can match the defenders in lighter airs.
But Luna Rossa's team work has been superb, and they are expected to cause the race-rusty TNZ a lot of problems in the starts, and particularly in the initial races.
Jimmy Spithill dominates the starts for Luna Rossa in his partnership with Francesco Bruni, as would Peter Burling if he was in a shared role with Glenn Ashby.
The starts have emerged as doubly crucial because the fairly narrow course boundaries mean it is difficult to find passing lanes.