Ross Brawn, 2020

Brawn to remain in charge of Formula 1’s sporting division

2021 F1 season

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Ross Brawn will remain in charge of Formula 1’s sporting division after agreeing to remain in the role he took up four years ago.

Since then he masterminded a radical overhaul of Formula 1’s technical regulations, intended to create closer racing and aid overtaking. The new rules were due to come into force this year, but were pushed back as a cost-saving measure following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brawn is eager to see the fruits of his work realised on the track. “I’m very excited about the challenges we face at the moment,” he told RaceFans in an exclusive interview. “It would have been frustrating not to see the new cars running.”

The 66-year-old was one of three directors installed by Liberty Media in place of Bernie Ecclestone after they purchased F1. Brawn is the only remaining member of that trio: Commercial director Sean Bratches stood down 12 months ago, and CEO and chairman Chase Carey was replaced by Stefano Domenicali at the beginning of the year.

Domenicali’s return has reunited Brawn with his fellow ex-Ferrari employee. “With Stefano coming on board, obviously we renew a partnership,” he said. “I think also the challenge of Covid, all those things keep me motivated and wanting to carry on.”

Brawn added he is keen to help Formula 1 navigate the change in leadership following Carey’s departure.

“I’ll have to stop at some point in the future, we all do, but I’m not planning it at the moment. I think with Chase stepping back, it was useful or important to have some continuity and I’m glad to carry on. So [it’s] exciting times.”

Brawn will continue in much the same role as before. “My remit’s pretty flexible,” he explained.

“Stefano’s joined, I’m probably the person he knows best in our organisation. So I’ve been a reference for him on any number of things. But as he gets to know all the people in our team, then he will undoubtedly work more closely with them.”

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Don’t miss our in-depth exclusive interview with Ross Brawn in today’s edition of the RacingLines column on RaceFans

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6 comments on “Brawn to remain in charge of Formula 1’s sporting division”

  1. It’s also frustrating for a lot of fans not to see the new cars running. Obviously the circumstances made it hard to not postpone it. On the other hand, the problems should have been addressed much sooner. DRS is nearly 10 years old!

    1. Agreed. But as far as i know DRS is in the 2022 rules. DRS will outlive us all.

      1. @aapje I disagree that the problems should have been addressed sooner, even pandemic aside. Other than in a perfect world that is. Liberty and Brawn inherited the current car and pu format that unfortunately had been designed and built to be heavily aero downforce dependent, heavily clean air dependent and therefore also for having DRS, and taking all things into consideration they could not have moved any quicker. The considerations would be things like contracts already in existence that had to run out, the money they had invested in the current pu’s that forced them to keep going with them and spread those R&D dollars out, and things like giving all the teams time and a say towards the new direction of F1 and time to adapt without it all being too sudden for the lesser teams to adapt.

        But re DRS I remain convinced that it has only been retained as a stopgap measure to cover off any surprise loopholes the teams might find that might head the cars back towards being too clean air dependent again. And Brawn has just spoken again of how much work they have done to try to cover off any such loopholes from existing. So I predict that indeed the new cars will not need DRS and that if indeed they somehow think they need it initially, at least these cars will have well within them the ability to have DRS tweaked out of them, as opposed to the current cars that would just be almost purely processional without DRS.

        1. @robbie

          I’m not so much blaming Liberty and Brawn, but more Bernie and the other previous owners. The teams learned so much about aero over the last decades, but the Formula 1 Group just seemed to react to what the teams did, without having much vision of what the sport should be.

          And I don’t understand your point about the PUs. The new regulations keep the same PUs and are primarily about aerodynamics. The cost cap was more difficult, but they surely could have done more on the aero front, a long time ago.

          And I indeed hope that DRS remains only as a stopgap and they will be able to eliminate it, or at least, greatly reduce it. Having it only in qualifying would be fine, for example.

          1. @aapje Fair comment. For sure in the BE era, especially in his last decade with CVC when he handed all the decision making power to the top 4 teams, there was no real interest in actually seeing through some meaningful measures to reduce clean air dependence and if anything they went the opposite way and made them even moreso. My comment about pu’s was just to say that they couldn’t do anything about those once they took over as the cars were designed for them. So I was speaking mainly of what changes Liberty and Brawn could have taken sooner upon taking over, which to me was minimal and required the whole overhaul that they have undertaken, whereas I see now you were speaking of changes that could have taken place even before they took over, which yeah certainly would have been nice, but seemingly were never in the cards.

  2. Great news for F1 especially on the cusp of such big changes about to take effect. Great that Brawn can oversee the new regs’ implementation as well as be there to continue the tweaking and honing. The kind of continuity F1 needs right now.

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