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Brawn: F1 teams unlikely to find “silver bullet” in new rules

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn believes teams are unlikely to have found a “silver bullet” in the 2022 regulations that could give them an edge over rivals.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

Since the new rules were first announced there has been speculation about the possibility of a savvy competitor matching what Brawn’s own eponymous outfit did in 2009.

That year Brawn GP introduced the controversial double diffuser and enjoyed a huge advantage in the early part of the season.

Brawn said he couldn’t guarantee that loopholes had not been left open, but he remains confident that "robust" regulations have made it less likely.

“You don't know about silver bullets,” said Brawn. “If you knew where the silver bullet was you would have stopped it.

“There's no guarantee that something may occur that we just haven't anticipated. And I think if it is going to occur, you won't see it in Barcelona [testing]. Probably someone will spring it on F1.

“But actually, I don't think that will be the case. I think the regulations are pretty robust. But you can never say.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal, Brawn GP

Ross Brawn, Team Principal, Brawn GP

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Brawn added that the new FIA governance system, which does not require unanimity among the teams to outlaw technological innovations, will also help.

Teams now know that their R&D investment could be wasted if a route they have pursued without clearing it with the FIA is subsequently blocked.

"That's part of the reason why the governance has changed," said Brawn. "And the governance has not just changed in order to be able to change the rules at short notice, the governance has changed because teams know you can change the rules at short notice.

"So they're far more likely to want to be comfortable with their ideas or concepts before they release them.

"It's a circular thing. If you know that eight teams and the FIA and F1 could stop you doing something if they feel it’s wrong, then you're a bit more circumspect in doing it, knowing that that could be an issue. So I think the governance is something which also gives another layer of protection."

FIA head of single-seater matters Nikolas Tombazis stressed that he and his engineers are working closely with the teams and in effect addressing any possible controversies before the new cars reach their first race weekend.

"Obviously some cars have been launched," said Tombazis. "And we are also undergoing a process with the teams in doing individual sessions with them to track their legalities so that we can try to avoid any nasty surprises in the first race.

"And that is proceeding as a process as well. We have seen a few surprises here and there, some areas where cars are a bit more different between them than what we expected, and where engineers have applied their innovative skills to come up with a solution.

"So I think you will see a lot more differentiation than maybe you were expecting to start with. I wouldn't say there's been any massive alarm bells so far.

"It's been relatively mild, still within what we think is a completely fair interpretation of the rules. We haven't seen anything the equivalent of a double diffuser, or anything like that."

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Photo by: Williams

He added: "In the checks with each team individually, we go literally through the whole car, from the absolute nose to the absolute tail.

"And that process, going through all the regulations and checking everything it takes quite a few hours takes like five or six hours to sit down and go one by one and make sure they're all complying on everything, and so on.

"So we don't focus on one area of the car, we really check to make sure that every aspect has been properly formed."

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