Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2022

“Fabulous” Silverstone racing proves F1’s new rules are working – Brawn

2022 British Grand Prix

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The multi-car battle at the end of Sunday’s British Grand Prix proved Formula 1’s new rules have helped improve the quality of racing, says the series’ motorsport director Ross Brawn.

Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton fought hard over the final laps of the race after a Safety Car period.

“We were treated to some fabulous racing,” Brawn told the official F1 website. “What pleased me was the precision the drivers could have with the cars.

“We saw countless fascinating battles that went for several corners, with multiple changes of position. We saw drivers were able to take multiple lines with these new cars – and that allowed for two, three or even four cars going almost side-by-side.

“The quality of the passes was high, too. Drivers really had to work to get a move done – it wasn’t simply a case of using DRS to fly by.”

F1 introduced new technical regulations this year which are intended to make it easier for drivers to run closely together. After the 10th race under the new rules, Brawn believes it’s clear some improvements have been made.

“We’ve seen some cracking battles this year, including wheel-to-wheel fights with multiple changes of position for the lead of the Grand Prix between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia,” Brawn said.

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“The drivers are enjoying these cars and have been very positive. They have all appreciated the change and the newfound ability to get up close to other cars.”

Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Silverstone, 2022
Gallery: 2022 British Grand Prix in pictures
The feedback from drivers about the new rules has been generally positive, Brawn added.

“Many of them have qualified that while it doesn’t always lead to straightforward overtaking, the chance to sit on the tail and pressurise and try and force a mistake is significantly improved,” he said. “I don’t think there has been a single driver who has not acknowledged or been enthused by that.

“The frequency where cars are following for consecutive laps and challenging for consecutive laps is much better this year than in previous years.

“What it demonstrates is the direction F1 and the FIA have gone in is absolutely the right direction to follow, and the sport can go forward with renewed confidence that this approach is what is needed for the future. It must always be a significant factor in the design and modification of these cars.”

Several drivers have raised concerns over the punishing ride they are experiencing in the new generation of cars. Brawn said last weekend’s race showed teams are beginning to master the problem.

“It’s great to see the teams and the sport as a whole getting on top of the porpoising issue,” he said. “At Silverstone, we saw teams had a better handle on the phenomenon with the FIA to continue working with them to eliminate it completely.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on ““Fabulous” Silverstone racing proves F1’s new rules are working – Brawn”

  1. Yes, the new rules improved close racing but it is still unnecessarily hard to pass.
    Two other points: maybe FIA should replace Tilke with whoever was responsible for the current Silverstone design.
    I understand those that are against DRS, but I can only imagine that racing will be worse without it. A major component of the leck of combativity in prior years was that either you had a 2s delta from the car in front, of it would make no point to improve 0.3 per lap because you wouldnt be able to pass and you had spend resources (tyre/PU life) from the car, ending in not passing the car in front and gettig expose the car behind.

    1. Populous are responsible for the redesign. Far better job than Tilke has done since Instanbul Park.

    2. Gusmaia, DRS has changed the balance of the car design. Cars which are fast through the corners and slow down the straights find it easier to get within the 1 second window and benefit from DRS on the straights. Cars which are fast on the straights but slower in the corners find it harder to get in DRS range. This means all cars gravitate to the same design and set up strategy which is bad for racing.

      I certainly think DRS could be improved. For instance, someone suggested that the DRS should close when you get alongside the car you are trying to overtake so it becomes more of a drag race to the corner and brake test when you get there. Another thought, should you get DRS off a backmarker? At one time, opportunities for passing arose because the leaders were trying to pick their way through backmarkers. Now they get blue flags immediately and DRS too.

  2. I’m surprised he’s not praising sprint races given that most of the excitement came in the last 10 laps.

    1. But that only works as a ‘Ferrari Style Sprint Race’: each team has 2 cars on different compounds with the harder/older tyres shod car having track position.

  3. Time to start winding back DRS a bit. Tragic that Leclerc could re-take Hamilton around the outside of Copse, just to be a sitting duck to DRS on the hanger straight.

    That copse move was worth 1000 x every single DRS move over the past 11 years added together.

    1. @cduk_mugello

      Time to start winding back DRS a bit

      I’ve been thinking this for a while. Since about the first race of 2011…

      1. @keithcollantine haha you’re not the only one mate!

      2. @keithcollantine Abu Dhabi 2010 The only time DRS would have been useful ;)

    2. Not just a bit. The regulations are a failure so long as DRS is deemed indispensable.

      Yes, there will be less overtaking without DRS. But there will more inspired defending, attacking, strategy and memorable F1 moments. That seems like a good tradeoff.

      1. Coventry Climax
        5th July 2022, 14:31

        Couldn’t agree more.
        Seen quite a lot of races where they don’t have DRS, and while in some of those series/races overtaking is sometimes sparse, the racing simply is always – as in: no exceptions – better.

      2. MichaelN As much of an anit-DRS fan as I have been all along, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the the regs are a failure. As we have seen, there can be close combat with these cars when they are away from the DRS effect, and DRS isn’t always as effective one race to another anyway. Yes I would like to see DRS gone or re-purposed, but while it is still present that does not preclude these new cars/regs from being a big improvement and one that was badly needed.

        Put another way, if they had stuck with the decades old clean air dependent cars that F1 and fans have suffered for decades, for sure there would be no talk of eliminating DRS, but rather more likely of strengthening it. I believe that with these new cars, and given that they are under half a season in with them, the story of DRS is not over and it may well be tweaked out of these cars in the next season or two for all we know, or as I say re-purposed, as in, used by all cars in all DRS zones simply as a drag reducer and therefore a fuel saver, independent of proximity to other cars.

        Let’s see where DRS goes, but I am 100% sure that it stands a much better chance of being fazed out than had they not drastically changed the cars to ground effects ones. So…the new regulations a failure? No way.

    3. @cduk_mugello I cant really disagree with you but then without DRS, how do the current very heavy and monster chassis’s pass each other on current race tracks? They can barely do it with DRS. I can only see long parades without DRS because the current F1 cars aren’t really limber or small enough to perform quality racing passes like earlier F1 chassis. I could see it maybe working for some tracks but then there’s a ton of tracks that will provide a very low amount of passes, making drivers go into fuel & tire saving races in hopes to take advantage for something to happen outside of their control. We don’t want any more races with low passes like Miami or Monaco.

      I think DRS is only a weak band-aid, halfwitted solution to a bigger problem. I do agree there should be some adjustments to DRS length and location of DRS lines until a better & more sound solution is found.

  4. Don’t strain yourself, patting yourself on the back Mr Brawn, we’re not even half a season in yet.

    Yes, racing is good in the last 10 laps when the race has been neutralised and people have very little to lose with no tactics or degradation, but it is disingenuous to suggest that because the last 10 laps of Silverstone were some of the best this year, that there aren’t issue to address with your formula. Let them use active means to stabilise suspension and let them use adaptive bodywork, not just DRS. Come on Ross, it’s supposed to be the pinnacle of race car engineering, not just a bodywork show

    1. Ahhh.. You were doing so well until you started talking about active suspension and active aero…. :(
      Nothing could further ruin the (arguably little) quality and quantity of racing there is in F1 like those two.

    2. I disagree with the ‘active’ part; you risk reducing the role of the driver (the hero’s) even further.

      But all races (not just this one) showed that the cars are much better at following each other through the curvy bits. For that part he gets a 10/10 from me.

    3. @marvinthemartian But Brawn is not claiming perfection. He isn’t saying there aren’t still issues. What he is saying is that they have gone in the right direction to get away from the clean air dependent cars that F1 suffered for decades. The fact that we are only half way through the first season with these new cars bodes very well for what is to come as teams develop and converge. And Brawn is being very consistent when he said from day one back in 2017 of discussing the new gen of cars, that the goal was not passing for the sake of numbers, but simply more opportunities for close combat. And that is what we are seeing up to and including this past weekend’s race, as Brawn points out. With all the major aspects that were threatening F1 taken care of wrt budgets, and money distribution, and these cars, now we can sit back and enjoy seeing the teams work with these new cars this season and those to come. DRS is not written in stone either. Let’s give Liberty, Brawn, and the teams some time to sit with this new chapter.

  5. Yes Ross, the racing has been better, but in my opinion, the racing has been much better in those laps where DRS has been disabled.

    In the first couple of laps we see some real hard racing and there’s been some fantastic overtakes, as there has been during periods when the race has been restarted with DRS disabled, but once DRS is enabled, we usually see long DRS trains where there’s really not a lot happening.

    Those passes made under DRS seem to be all too easy – it’s time to trim them down and make drivers “drive” to get past, not wait for DRS and hope the guy in front doesn’t have it.

    I really like the fact that cars have been able to run closer, hate the bouncing up and down (hurts my eyes & head) and hopefully that’ll change, but I’m hating the long DRS trains that have resulted. Can we please have a race or two without DRS – let’s see some genuine racing now you’ve given cars the ability to do so.

    1. @dbradock Red Bull Ring & Interlagos Sprints would be good for DRS-free experimentation.

  6. There seemed to be lots of drivers pushing each other off track, lots of weaving to defend, and lots of going off track to complete overtakes. The race was enjoyable but perplexing how some escaped penalty.

    1. Indeed, the stewards seemed to prefer noting things, but not acting @amam, which I’m not altogether super happy about. Also, the smoothness and wideness of the track certainly contributed to a better ride, and more space to fight. All in all, this weekend showed some potential, but a lot of it might have been track specific so it seems quite,well opportunistic to take this as a definite sign of goodness.

      1. Until they fix the dirty driving Id rather keep DRS. Fed up of the same drivers dive bombing, cutting others up and running rivals off track being called great racing. Standards have plummeted in the last 10 years.

    2. The consistent inconsistency is all part of F1’s charm….

    3. On a weekend that Nissany could have been killed thanks to reckless shoving off circuit, I’m appalled that the FIA still refuse to clamp down on just driving other cars off the road.

  7. It is better, but not great. And what Brawn says doesn’t really matter, he talks for the sake of talking, he’s a Liberty Media puppet.

    Get ready for next Saturday, then there will be a peak of propaganda in praising the sprints. Five easy-pass DRS overtakes and the public will go wild, saying how they prefer racing more than practice.

    1. I don’t need 5 overtakes. I’ll say it now. I prefer racing more than practice

  8. To add to that, mr Brawn, it was also great not to have a silly sprint race, but a proper qualification.

    1. Sprint events do have ‘proper’ qualifying.

      1. Proper qualifying decides the grid for the Grand Prix.

        1. Sprint event shave two types of ‘proper’ qualifying.

          What’s your metric for ‘proper’ qualifying anyway? There are only 1000 different ways to do it.

          1. ‘Proper’ to me is who-ever is fastest over a single lap. Of course there’s 1000 ways to fill that session, but that’s not my point.

            My biggest problem with sprint qualy is, as we’ve seen last year, that you’re going to do the same thing (start, opening laps, tactics) twice. Unnecessarily, if you ask me.

          2. ‘Proper’ to me is who-ever is fastest over a single lap.

            That’s ‘proper’ as its own type of competition, I agree. Time trials are great.
            But if you think about it, lining the cars up in that order for the start of a race is counter-productive to making for a decent racing competition – for competitors and viewers alike.

            My biggest problem with sprint qualy is, as we’ve seen last year, that you’re going to do the same thing (start, opening laps, tactics) twice.

            Those are usually the best bits….
            Interestingly, ‘doing the same thing twice’ lead directly to teams doing something different the second time – and ultimately, to a more interesting race thereafter than it likely would have been without the sprint.
            If you don’t like F1 doing things twice, then you might as well only watch the first race of each season and not any more. See you next year.

          3. If you don’t like F1 doing things twice, then you might as well only watch the first race of each season and not any more.

            Or the first lap of FP1 (of the first race of the season), of course :D

            Even between double races on the same track like last year and in 2020 tyre compounds were switched.

            I can’t recall how a sprint race made the main race more interesting last year, but that could be me. I can see how starts and opening laps are appealing to the viewer. At the same time: all the focus on one moment, one event the entire weekend builds up to (and that’s when you have to deliver) is part of competition to me too.
            Sprint races to me are a bit like doing the olympics twice in a row, first for half medals, then for full ones.

          4. Even between double races on the same track like last year and in 2020 tyre compounds were switched.

            True indeed. Not because they thought it would be boring and repetitive the second time, though – but to induce a different challenge.
            In much the same way, a sprint race is a race, yes – but it is not a GP. The approach and undertaking is very different.

            I can’t recall how a sprint race made the main race more interesting last year, but that could be me.

            Depends on what you are looking for, I guess. Just look at Silverstone, for instance – having track position by the end of lap one in the sprint meant everything, so they fought hard for it during the GP. Too hard, as it turned out.
            Similar scenarios played out at Monza and Brazil. Knowledge gained in the sprint influenced their race strategies and driving aggression.

            When an athlete competes at the Olympics, every moment of the event is in competition. No practice, no qualifying – just step up and do your best with what you’ve got. If you don’t do well, you go home early and empty-handed. No build up, and no second chances.
            Personally, I’d like to see the Olympics the way you describe. It’d be great to see how everyone goes on another day, as so many things can change from one to the next. Having two wouldn’t make either one any less important.

          5. I like hearing your view on things, but I guess we’re not gonna agree :) few final thoughts:

            When an athlete competes at the Olympics, every moment of the event is in competition. No practice, no qualifying

            This of course isn’t true. Ask each Olympic athlete and they’ll tell you it’s a four year cycle with a long build-up, with the only goal to be at your very best at the olympics. Putting that in F1 it’s that cycle put in a race weekend.

            Having two wouldn’t make either one any less important.

            It would, “I was the best of the world at friday, but not on saturday” isn’t a line anybody really can show off with or wants to train for for four years.
            And to bring it back to F1: sunday is more important by default, ’cause there’s more points awarded. The sprint race is just window dressing.

          6. Of course Olympic/athletic training happens all year – but not when they are at the event.
            In F1 terms, there would be an untelevised 15 minute practice session at each event, then every other bit of track time would be in competition. The only bit the viewing public see is the competition.

            I totally disagree about importance. They are of equal importance to me, because they are each different challenges. You call it window dressing, I call it another race – a competition that each competitor is out to win.
            By your logic, qualifying is useless and redundant too… Window dressing…. And what does that make practice, then?
            Being the best on Friday means you were the best on Friday, which, if it’s a competition, is still an achievement in and of itself.
            Vettel (for instance) was F1 champion for 4 years, but isn’t today, is he…. Every day is a new day. Many F1 drivers are ‘the best’ only once – and I don’t think they’d be too ashamed of that.

    2. Lewisham Milton
      5th July 2022, 12:38

      An exceptional quali session with exactly the right kind of rain… The TV coverage could’ve been better than just a shot of the finish striaght though. No idea Leclerc had spun.

    3. Why not both?
      But you need to be willing to see it :p

  9. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    5th July 2022, 12:27

    You mean the race that was neutralised by a safety car and a complete blunder in strategy by ferrari where leclerc was on 2 step harder tyres. Don’t let the facts get in the way of your agenda Mr Brawn.

    If it was a vsc instead of a safety car none of that racing would have happened.

    1. Exactly.
      As I noted in the rate the race comments – the real SC’s that ‘real’ F1 fans dislike so much actually make them happy…
      Add that 3 hours of dry practice would probably have led Ferrari to a different strategy choice too….

      1. Fully agree, and all of us should go back to ‘rate the race’ and rate it for what it really was: good ‘racing’ at the end, but certainly not a good ‘race’.

        1. I was discussing that at the end of the race with someone.
          We both agreed that had it not been for the SC, it would probably have actually been a pretty ordinary race.
          Decent, but not spectacular. Certainly not worth the scores that it ultimately got by so many people.

  10. Jeez, what a bunch of moaners we have here!

    1. Haha, welcome to racefans where real f1 fans come to read the news!

  11. He’s right. Silverstone demonstrated how well present cars follow each other through high-speed corners.

    1. +1. Moreover, he is right to boast about it. It was a lot of work and no little achievement to come up with regulations which haven’t (yet) been exploited to go back to the same levels of dirty air as before.

  12. Bad tracks for racing have become good and good tracks bad. The race unfortunately is yet again plagued by non racing aspects. A red flag restart, unsafe runoff and barriers, unwise t1, luck playing a major part and a controversial safety car because of Ocon.

    1. So how did you rate it, @peartree?
      Were you the one who gave it a 1?

      Funny that I disagree with everything in your list of negatives.

  13. Don’t get too excited.

    Most of the racing was due to Leclerc having older tyres. Without Leclerc, the last 10 laps would be a procession

  14. How much of this is about it being a real track rather than skidding around a stadium car park or rushing around in the dark in the middle-east?

  15. I think the new regulations have achieved the goal of allowing cars to be able to run closer & the tyres do also seem to be able to withstand been pushed harder for longer. That is of course a positive.

    However for the most part i’m not necessarily convinced that the actual quality of the racing has changed all that much because while yes they can run closer, They are still reliant on outside factors such as Safety Cars, Differences in tyre compounds/life, Faster drivers starting further back & DRS to create the sort of action we saw in the latter stages of Silverstone. And of course the top 2-3 teams still have a sizeable advantage over the rest.

    Take away that late SC that bunched the field up & brought Perez back into the fight or even have Leclerc pit for soft’s & you likely don’t get any of that action.

    Not saying things aren’t better, Just that i’m not convinced they are that much better overall. Although I will add that I was never really expecting them to be, Things are essentially as I was expecting going into the season although I was hoping DRS would be less of a factor than it still is.

  16. Coventry Climax
    5th July 2022, 14:38

    This man has quickly lost all the respect he built up before joining the FIA.

    1. Coventry Climax
      5th July 2022, 14:40

      There was discussion over providing people a platform or not, to say their thing.
      I said shutting down people is never a good idea, but I might change my mind with this fellow.

      1. Disagree completely.

        1. Coventry Climax
          6th July 2022, 14:20

          That’s your answer whenever you see my name. And truth be told, usually vice versa.
          I don’t always bother to fully read what you write, which is usually the eternal praise for the very same mr. Brawn.
          But when I respond to you, I certainly do read all of it.
          Hope you do the same, then it’s ok to disagree.

  17. If anything it just proves how good a race circuit Silverstone is.

  18. I feel like Silverstone’s DRS zones work really well without feeling like it gifts drivers easy passes, because both DRS zones lead into quite fast open gradual corners so they can still battle and the overtaken driver still has a chance to come back or continue to defend through the corner.

    Maybe even they’ve just hit the sweet spot for the length at Silverstone where other tracks either make it far too long or even too short.

  19. With Verstappen and his bullish example out of the picture, what we had was 4 very respectful but highly combative drivers showing the world what F1 is all about. We had skill, bravery and chivalry in equal measure, and this made for a beautiful and entertaining spectacle. When verstappen shows up he roll the clock back a few decades.

  20. With that logic, I guess we can say the British GP proved that street courses should be eliminated and F1 should only race on purpose built circuits. And all races should have a safety car in the last 10 to 15 laps and only some cars in the top 10 should be allowed to pit to ensure we have cars with different compounds and tire life when the race restarts.

  21. DRS – Downgrade racing system

  22. Lots of races would be better if we got rid of Mickey Mouse street circuits.

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