Brawn leading bid for more passing moves

Formula One’s new technical chief Ross Brawn is leading a bid to ensure closer racing and more overtaking.

The former Benetton, Ferrari and eponymous Brawn team boss, who has been appointed to head up the sporting side of the business for new owners Liberty Media, made his views clear during a news briefing at Albert Park on Friday.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s season-opening 2017 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, where this year’s new era ‘fatter and faster’ cars are expected to deliver record-breaking speeds, the Briton said more thrills were his priority for the future.

“If we see things this year that we don’t think are great for the sport, then we will be fighting our corner and we will be fighting at every level,” he said.

“You can rest assured that we will be working with the teams, and working with the FIA (the sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation), to find solutions if we don’t feel the racing is as good as it should be.”

Brawn said he believed that the sport needed a long-term re-think on the aerodynamic regulations in order to ensure that the cars continue to have high levels of down-force, but can race and follow close to each other without problems.

“We have cars with very complicated bodywork structures, which create very sensitive flow regimes around the structures,” he said. "This means that as soon as they are disturbed by a car in front, they suffer.

"So, can we come up with a set of regulations where we can still use the power of aerodynamics, to give us the speed and spectacle of the cars, but in a more benign way?

“So can they, at least, race each other more closely without it having an impact? That is my ambition, that is my objective….”

He added: “I have heard it said that some of the cars out there do race each other quite well with large aerodynamic performances.

“So, the sports cars, for instance, and IndyCars, aren’t suffering so badly. So a proper campaign, a concerted one, would definitely take us in the right direction on that.”

Brawn added that he felt it was desirable also to “flatten off the variation between the front and the back of the grid so that, on a good day, with a following wind, and with a great driver, Force India can win a race…

“Or a team – a really competent, private smaller team - can still win. At the moment, that is highly unlikely.

“We have to flatten the field and that means finding ways of limiting the potential of the regulations -- or limiting the resources that teams have available.”   

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