Formula one’s managing director for motorsports Ross Brawn believes cutting back on its high levels of aerodynamic downforce will damage the spectacle.
Speaking in a press conference at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve today Brawn said F1’s new owners were lucky the 2017 championship has proved so competitive.
“If I’m honest, we’ve been very fortunate this year that we’ve had two teams that are battling it out so strongly at the front,” Brawn admitted. “I wouldn’t like to claim any credit for that. It’s just been good timing.”
However Brawn said there’s “a real recognition that there has to be some work done to consolidate that in the future”.
“There’s a slightly worrying gap between the front and the middle of the field which we need to pay attention to.”
Brawn has hired several ex-F1 engineers to conduct research into how to facilitate better racing.
“We’re still starting to understand the behaviour of these cars with regard to how well they can race each other,” he said. “We’ve just initiated our aerodynamic programme to look at the design of these cars and see what we can do in the future to make them more race-able.”
“That’s something we’re doing with the FIA, starting a research programme. I don’t want to call it an overtaking working group because that’s not what we’re looking to do.”
“But we’re looking to create a group that can have a look at the design of cars presently and in the future to make sure they’re race-able because the feedback from the drivers is it isn’t.”
However he insisted that slashing aerodynamic levels is not a realistic solution.
“We know we rely on the aerodynamic performance of the car. I think there’s a slightly naive view that we should get rid of the aerodynamics and then everything would be wonderful.”
“The fact is they won’t be as spectacular, they won’t be as fast as they are if we get rid of the aerodynamics. There’s no way of just putting on big tyres and hoping they’re going to go as fast. We need to retain the aerodynamics and we need to do it in a way that makes the cars more race-able.”
“You can’t guess that, you have to do work to establish it. But I don’t think we’re taking anything for granted. We’ve got some great racing going on and we need to make sure we can do that more consistently in the future.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year