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F1 teams never previously thought about "unfriendly" car design - Brawn

F1 teams never previously thought about "unfriendly" car design - Brawn

F1 News

F1 teams never previously thought about "unfriendly" car design - Brawn

F1 teams never previously thought about "unfriendly" car design - Brawn
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Formula 1 managing director, motorsports, Ross Brawn has revealed that "raceability" was 'never a priority' for the sport before the Liberty Media era began.

F1 has long suffered from drivers being unable to closely follow the car ahead due to turbulent air created by the various aerodynamic innovations by teams, leaving changes of position to be largely dictated by strategy.

The introduction of the Drag Reduction System [DRS] saw an increase in the number of overtakes but the system continues to be criticised for the artificial way in which passes are created with drivers often ahead before a braking zone.

For the upcoming season, however, F1 will race to drastically altered regulations designed to make following other cars easier.

Asked by the New York Times when the idea for change came about, Brawn explained: "I think the suspicion was that the cars were not very friendly when they were racing each other so the performance of the following car was affected very badly by being in the aerodynamic wake of the car in front.

"We always suspected that and then, when I joined Liberty Media and Formula 1, we then had the resources to properly investigate what happened with the car that was following another, and our suspicions were confirmed.

"You have this self-defeating situation where a car gets close to another and it starts to lose performance the closer it gets and that doesn't aid good racing. That was something we established in the first year of research we did when I joined the organisation in 2017, nearly five years ago now.

"Then we set about trying to understand the reasons in designing a new car that would be greatly improved in that respect because we believe that will then lead to the ability to race wheel to wheel much more consistently against each other and improve the show."

"Friendly" F1 cars were 'never a priority'

The new for 2022 regulations are far more restrictive than those seen across recent regulatory eras, with F1 keen to close as many loopholes as possibly before pre-season testing.

Pressed as to why nothing like this had been done before, Brawn added: "There'd been no resource committed to this area.

"The rules had been developed by the teams. The teams had all the knowledge. They had all the expertise. They had the funding and the resource.

"The regulations were evolved through proposals and suggestions from the teams. They never made it a priority to make the cars friendly in terms of racing each other.

"Now, suddenly there was a budget and resource made available and I put together a team under Pat Symonds, our chief technology officer and we mimicked this sort of research group that a team has and whilst they were chasing performance, we started to chase raceability."

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