Brawn refutes Racing Point’s ‘premature’ concerns

Ross Brawn has refuted Andrew Green’s claim that F1’s 2021 cars will be a “nasty piece of work”.

Formula 1 will enter a new era in 2021 with ground-effect aerodynamics governing the design of the cars.

This is being done in the hope of lessening the dirty air thus improving the cars’ ability to follow and overtake.

Racing Point technical director Green isn’t impressed.

“It’s going to be a real nasty piece of work to drive,” he told Motorsport.com

“I think it’s something that if they allowed a little more freedom would allow us to sort that out, but still retain the intent of the ground effect car and low following wake.”

Brawn, though, has rejected Green’s opinion.

Instead the Formula 1 sporting boss feels it is “premature” to make such a judgment especially the teams have not yet been able to simulate the 2021 cars with their new 18-inch wheels.

“The knowledge and complexity of the cars we have today is incredibly refined in terms of what the teams are doing,” Brawn told RaceFans.net.

“It wasn’t that long ago, for instance, there didn’t exist a decent tyre model in terms of the aerodynamic impact the tyre has, because the front tyre is incredibly influential on the way the aerodynamics work.

“One reason we’ve gone to an 18-inch wheel is partly to reduce that, because the movement of the sidewalls are so extreme on a 13-inch wheel.

“You can imagine in cornering, you’ve got this very dynamic tyre that’s distorting like mad at the contact patch and not distorting halfway up.

“I’d be amazed if Andrew Green has got a tyre model yet of an 18-inch tyre that tells him what the tyres are doing in cornering. We have. I don’t think he was.

“But just stepping back, this refinement has only existed in the last few years.

“I can remember 10 years ago we didn’t have the knowledge or simulations. We didn’t know what was going on.

“And I don’t think the cars 10 years ago were nasty to drive. I think we were a bit less refined than where they are now. So I think it’s a bit premature to say that.’

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‘Don’t treat new teams like second class citizens’

As Formula 1 looks to grow the grid, Chase Carey says the sport must avoid treating newcomers as “second class citizens”.

Although F1 and the FIA have made attempts in recent years to add an 11th team to the grid, the last outfit to join was Haas back in 2016.

There has been interest from others, such as Campos, but nothing has come to fruition.

Carey, F1’s CEO, believes this is in part due to the F1’s prize money structure which sees only the top ten teams from the previous two seasons receive money from Column 1.

That meant Haas didn’t receive any of that cash until last year.

“If you come in, you should be part of the part of the sport, and not a second class citizen,” Carey explained to Autosport.

“To come in as a second class citizen, I think that’s a deterrent.

“Once they commit to come in, [it is to] buy into a good business not just a great sport.

“If I’m coming in, if I wasn’t committing as a first class citizen, as a part of the club, then it’s a deterrent.”

Formula 1’s prize money structuring will be revised ahead of the 2021 season with Carey determined to ensure that F1 becomes a “healthier business model” for all the teams on the grid.

“Most of the people I’ve had preliminary conversations with want to see rules in place that provide the framework for a healthier business model,” said Carey.

“A fair level, or what they consider a fair level, of prize money distribution, and some disciplines and the cost that again make it more about how well you spend your money, not how much you spend.

“We want owning a team, like in other sports, to have franchise value.

“How do we make owning a team something that is a good business proposition and not just a pursuit of passion?”

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Brawn: F1 will crash and burn without a cost cap

Formula 1 is in desperate need of a budget cap with Ross Brawn saying the sport will “crash and burn” unless someone pulls the teams into line.

Liberty Media will do just that in 2021.

F1’s owners, together with the FIA and the teams, have agreed to implement a $175 million per season budget cap.

That will cover everything relating to the car except customer engine deals, which are capped at just short of $16.5m per year.

What it doesn’t include is drivers’ salaries, bonuses, the wages of the team’s top-three employees and their travel costs, marketing and F1 entry fees.

Brawn, though, feels it is a big step in the right direction.

He told Sportsmail: “F1 is a victim of its own success.

“If you win, it is so valuable in terms of the rewards it brings, therefore you can justify increasing the budgets to succeed because the rewards are so high.

“Suddenly you can’t afford to fail and you have to keep ploughing money in.

“You’d imagine budgets would stabilise at some point but they haven’t. I have seen budgets escalate on a yearly basis.

“It takes an economic crisis for those things to be redressed but we don’t want to wait for an economic crisis.

“I don’t see what the options are, if we throw it open again Formula One will crash and burn, it will be a victim of its own success.”

And although Brawn acknowledges it won’t be easy to police, the F1 sporting boss is confident that the penalties that await teams who don’t adhere to it will be a sufficient deterrant.

“We have a big challenge to make sure it is applied fairly but there is no alternative, we have to grow through the challenge of making the cost cap work,” he continued.

“If a team in the last three races had a lot of crashes you’d have some sympathy for that situation.

“If a team turned up to the last race with a big upgrade there could be no sympathy, so there has to be some flavour put into that.

“Then there will be degrees of transgression, until ultimately you could say there has been fraud where a team has purposely tried to deceive you and hide that expenditure.

“That would obviously be the major category. It is up to the FIA as the regulatory body what the punishment is but there is a proper process now.

“Teams have been advised like any transgression, if your car is illegal, this will have teeth. It has to otherwise it will get played strategically. The teams are so competitive.”

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‘2021 cars will be 3-3.5 seconds slower per lap’

Conceding F1 made a mistake prioritising speed over passing, 2021’s new-look cars will be “approximately 3 – 3.5 seconds slower per lap” but will have “raceability”.

Liberty Media and the FIA unveiled the 2021 car design ahead of the United States GP with the World Motor Sport Council having given its unanimous approval to the new regulations.

The new cars have a futuristic look to them, however, FIA’s head of single seater matters Nikolas Tombazis has revealed they will be slower than what the drivers are racing today.

But, more to the point, he believes they will have better raceability.

“We are expecting cars to be approximately 3 – 3.5 seconds slower per lap,” he told Autosport.

“But we don’t think that is the key parameter of the spectacle. We feel the raceability is the main target.

“We haven’t been focusing on an exact level of performance.

“We cannot predict exactly where the downforce will end up compared to the current cars, it will be a bit less after the development has been carried out.

“But even the car that has been developed in CFD and developed in the wind tunnel has already got a respectable amount of performance.

“It has been developed by a relatively small number of aerodynamicists and hours in the wind tunnel compared to a normal team.”

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn acknowledged that F1 had lost the plot back in 2017 when the sport went for speed over passing.

He believes the new 2021 design addresses that problem.

“These cars from 2016 to 2017 had a huge increase in downforce, and it is worth thinking back on that experience because it was done for reasons I don’t understand,” he explained.

“The huge increase in downforce was ‘let’s make the cars go faster, let’s make F1 better’.

“But what we have actually done is made it worse because the cars can’t race each other.

“The cars are very quick now but they are not raceable.

“The reality is the performance of these new cars is about where we were in 2016 and I don’t think anyone was complaining about the cars being slow.”

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‘Breach financial rules, lose your championship’

Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn has warned the new financial regulations “have teeth” and will bite teams if they fall foul of the 2021 rules.

As part of the 2021 blueprint, which has been officially ratified by the World Motor Sport Council following unanimous agreement from all parties, a $175m, fully enforceable cost cap will be introduced in the hope that success will be dependent on how teams spend their money rather how much they spend.

And Brawn has said teams can expect big consequences if they do breach the sport’s new, strict financial regulations.

“Financial regulations are the dramatic change in F1,” Brawn said in the official reveal at an FIA press conference in Austin, Texas.

“We’ve tried for these in the past, and we’ve not been successful. I think the crucial thing about the financial regulations now is that they are part of the FIA regulations.

“So the sanctions for breaching financial regulations will be sporting penalties of some sort, depending on the severity of the breach.

“Whereas before we had the resource restriction, which was a gentlemen’s agreement between teams – well there’s not many gentlemen in the paddock I’m afraid, and that was a failure.

“But this has teeth. If you fraudulently breach the financial regulations, you will be losing your championship. So it has serious consequences if teams breach these regulations.”

Brawn went on to say the financial regulations set out will need further refinement, but reiterated that Formula 1 must have greater control over team spend.

He added: “We’ve got a very strong team of financial experts within the FIA and within F1, and we’ve sought outside support on this.

“Deloitte are one of the experts on sports finances, they’ve been very involved with the football world, and you can see the positive effect that’s starting to have.

“They’ve been pretty well thought out, but they will need development, like any regulation.

“I fully expect that we are going to have challenges in the future to implement this, but it’s absolutely essential for the good of F1 that we have a control on the finances and how much is spent in F1.

“They are essential for the well-being of F1. Budgets have been escalating. F1 is almost a victim of its own success in that the rewards of success are so valuable that the justification for investment keeps coming.”

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Maximum of 25 races, race weekends shortened

Formula 1 has announced as part of their big 2021 reveal that a maximum race calendar will be set, whilst race weekends themselves will be shorter.

October 31 marks the latest waypoint on the roadmap to 2021, where Formula 1 and the FIA have been tasked with creating a new vision for the sport as the current Concorde Agreement ends once the 2020 campaign has concluded.

Potential car designs and and insight into the Technical Regulations have been revealed and, following on from those, more details were drip-fed to the public on what other changes we can expect to see from 2021.

Many concerns have been raised about the logistics of the ever-expanding calendar and the resulting burn-out teams would face, but the new sporting regulations will see a maximum cap of 25 races in as season.

To attempt to help with added races, the weekend will be condensed from four days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) to three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) with media day and FIA scrutineering moving to Friday.

There is expected to be minimal changes to the actual race weekend format.

“Some of the key changes [to the Sporting Regulations] are the maximum number of races will be set to 25,” Ross Brawn said in the grand reveal.

“But in correspondence with that, we are changing the format of the race weekend. Promoters rely on a three-day race weekend, but we are changing the format of a Friday so all the activities that take place on Thursday will be condensed into a Friday.

“So for instance, scrutineering will take place on Friday morning and there will still two practice sessions, possibly shorter, in the afternoon.

“We’ll still get pretty close to same amount of track time but it will make it more efficient.

“The teams have been very co-operative on this process and most feel they can come to a race weekend at least one day later than they currently do.”

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Formula 1 reveal 2021 car design and regulations

The wait is over as Formula 1 has officially revealed what the 2021 regulations are set to look like as we prepare to start a whole new chapter of racing. 

The 2020 season marks the final campaign that Formula 1 will race under the current Concorde Agreement, with owners Liberty Media tasked with creating a sport that essentially lowers costs, promotes more competition between teams and give the drivers cars that have the ability to follow each other closely together and provide more overtaking opportunities.

After much deliberation between owners and teams, Formula 1 has posted what is the final blueprint for the 2021 season and beyond.

The official Formula 1 social media channels posted a teaser of what the new cars will look like before releasing the full document.

The official Formula 1 press release read:

From 2021 onwards, Formula 1 will have:

– Cars that are better able to battle on track

– A more balanced competition on the track

– A sport where success is determined more by how well a team spends its money, not how much it spends – including, for the first time, a fully enforceable cost cap (175m dollars per season) in the FIA rules

– A sport that is a better business for those participating and more attractive to new participants

– A sport that continues to be the world’s premier motor racing competition and the perfect showcase of cutting edge technology

The regulations have been fully ratified by the World Motor Sport Council following unanimous agreement from all parties.

The official statement also revealed that ‘the regulations will be married to a new governance and profit sharing structure that will enable the sport to grow and improve while further strengthening the business model.’

These agreements are in an advanced stage with the teams.

“Formula 1 is an incredible sport with a great history, heroes and fans all over the world,” said Formula 1 chairman and CEO, Chase Carey.

“We deeply respect the DNA of Formula 1, which is a combination of great sporting competition, uniquely talented and courageous drivers, dedicated teams and cutting-edge technology.

“The goal has always been to improve the competition and action on the track and at the same time make the sport a healthier and attractive business for all.

“The approval of the rules by the World Motor Sport Council is a watershed moment and will help deliver more exciting wheel-to-wheel racing for all our fans.

“The new rules have emerged from a detailed two-year process of examining technical, sporting, and financial issues in order to develop a package of regulations.

“We made many changes during the process as we received input by the teams and other stakeholders and we firmly believe we achieved the goals we had set out to deliver.

“These regulations are an important and major step, however, this is an ongoing process and we will continue to improve these regulations and take further steps to enable our sport to grow and achieve its full potential.

“One of the most important initiatives we will be addressing as we go forward is the environmental impact of our sport.

“We already have the most efficient engine in the world and in the next few weeks we will be launching plans to reduce and ultimately eliminate environmental impact of our sport and business.

“We have always been at the leading edge of the automobile industry and we believe we can play a leadership role on this critical issue, as well.”

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‘Verstappen showed age with Mexican mistakes’

Max Verstappen still has a lot to learn before he can become a World Champion; that’s according to F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn.

The Red Bull driver’s bid for a third successive Mexican Grand Prix victory ended in disappointment, and through no one’s fault but his own.

Verstappen was on course for pole position but threw it away by ignoring the waved yellow flags that were out for Valtteri Bottas’ crash.

He was stripped of pole position, dropped to fourth place by the stewards.

His attempts to fight back on the Sunday came to naught when he made an audacious move on Bottas, shredding his tyre on the W10’s front wing.

Verstappen fell to the very back of the field and could only recover as far as P6.

“Max made a few mistakes that cost him dearly,” Brawn said in his post-Mexican column.

“Starting on Saturday when he ignored yellow flags following Valtteri Bottas’ Q3 crash, and afterwards blatantly admitting that he had not reduced his speed.

“Then, on Sunday, the red mist came down on the first lap as he tangled with Hamilton in Turn 2 after the start.

“To make matters worse he picked up a puncture following a somewhat ambitious move past Bottas in the stadium section a few laps later. And that was pretty much that.

“There will be little consolation in his spirited fight back to sixth from P20 that involved a marathon 66-lap stint on hard tyres.

“The Dutchman showed his age or lack of it. He’s still only 22 and so there is plenty of room for improvement.

“The important thing is to learn from one’s mistakes, which applies even if you’re 50 but perhaps a little more so at 22.”

The former Ferrari and Mercedes man says Verstappen could learn a few lessens from five-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Brawn added: “You have to win the ones you should win and the ones you shouldn’t as demonstrated by Lewis – that is how you become a World Champion.”

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‘Unanimous team support’ for reverse grids

The F1 drivers may not like it but Ross Brawn says Liberty Media has “unanimous team support” to trial reverse grids at some 2020 grands prix.

Looking at ways to spice up the show, Formula 1’s powers-that-be are considering running reverse grids at a few races next season.

But while drivers, such as Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo have voiced their concerns, Brawn says it will be done in such a way as to maintain the “integrity” of F1.

RaceFans.net reported the F1 sporting boss as having told Channel 4: “The FIA and ourselves, at the moment we’ve got unanimous team support.

“The drivers have expressed their concerns and we’ve had our first discussion with them. They want to see the format fleshed out, which is fair, because we’ve got the concept, we’ve got to work out the detail.

“So I think when we do that then it’d be fair to discuss it with the drivers and what we’d say is ‘give it a chance’. Because it might not work, but otherwise how do we progress?

“Most sports these days are looking at how they progress. Maintaining the integrity of what we are – we don’t want to spoil that – but can we enhance it and add some extra interest?”

The former Ferrari and Mercedes man added that Liberty Media want to trial it at “two or three races”.

The new style would see the drivers line up in reverse championship order on the Saturday and compete in a sprint race that would determine the starting grid for the Sunday grand prix.

“The intention is to have two or three races where instead of qualifying we have a reverse-grid sprint race,” Brawn explained.

“We’re interested to know if the sprint race can complement the main race and how it would fit. So we want to see what the public response would be, we want to see if it’s got a place in grand prix racing or if it’s not.”

“Obviously it would be a race that’s come after the championship has established some order. You couldn’t have it too early in the season because it wouldn’t reflect.

“I think what we often see is drivers can show us who’s the fastest. What we want to see is who’s the best racer where they have to overtake to achieve their grid positions.”

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Monza secures new five-year Italian GP deal

Monza will continue to host the Italian Grand Prix until 2024 at least, having signed a new deal with Liberty Media.

The race’s future was in jeopardy as Formula 1 raced towards the 90th edition of the Italian GP without a deal in place for 2020.

That, though, has now been resolved.

Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO said: “We are really pleased to have reached an agreement with the ACI which ensures the Italian Grand Prix will remain on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar until at least 2024.

“This is one of four Grands Prix that were part of the 1950 championship and still features in the calendar and along with the British Grand Prix, it is the only one to have been held every year since then.

“History, speed and passion are words that motorsport fans associate with Monza. The feeling one gets at this Grand Prix is truly unique, as is the circuit’s distinctive podium.

“I would like to thank the ACI, especially its President, Angelo Sticchi Damiani for its efforts and this five year deal means that another part of the jigsaw for the Formula 1 of the future, is now in place.

“The championship features many historic venues such as Monza and also new countries in which the already vast fan-base of our sport can grow.

“For now, we can look forward to what is bound to be another great race this weekend, as we prepare for the Gran Premio Heineken D’Italian 2020 and in the years to come.”

The Autodromo di Monza has hosted 68 Formula 1 World Championship races.

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