Brawn plans F1 task force and overtaking study

Ross Brawn is to set up a small task force of independent experts to help shape his vision for a better Formula 1, as he targets a proper investigation on how to improve overtaking.

Brawn plans F1 task force and overtaking study
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motor Sports
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations; Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1; Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motor Sports
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Lance Stroll, Williams FW40
Low light action
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM10
Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motor Sports

The former team boss has joined FOM as managing director of motorsport, and is beginning to plot a long-term strategy to make grand prix racing better.

With the self-interest of teams having impacted on rule changes over recent years, Brawn plans to hire a small panel of well-recognised figures to get involved and deliver proposals that it believes will help improve grand prix racing.

Speaking to Motorsport.com in an interview about his next steps, Brawn said: "We will have some experts, industry recognised people, working within FOM, who I think people will be able to respect.

"It won't be a big team, just five or six people, but there will be enough capacity with my experience and knowledge to be able to create and get a proper reasoned argument for what we want to do and have an input into the process."

Show comes first

Brawn has spent recent weeks discussing outline ideas with F1 figures, and this week Liberty Media held a meeting with teams to inform them of its next steps.

And after years where change in F1 has been difficult because teams have been reluctant to do anything that could hurt their own form, Brawn is clear that the over-riding priority of anything that be brings to the table will be that it improves the show.

But he is clear that gimmicks – like elimination qualifying, double-points and DRS – are not the answer.

"What I want to make sure is that, over time, there is always a consideration for the quality of the show and the quality of the racing and the cost of the racing," he said. "So there are some boxes that need ticking every time we make a decision in Formula 1.

"There may be a very strong sporting consideration where, in order for the integrity of the sport, it's a decision that has to be made and I understand that.

"But there will be other decisions where someone holds up a flag saying, 'Have you thought about what the fans are going to think about that? Have you thought about how much this is going to cost? Have you thought about the impact on racing?"

Overtaking investigation

One area that Brawn wants to devote special resources to is a proper investigation in to how to make F1 cars better at overtaking.

The move to increase downforce for 2017 has prompted fears that passing could be more difficult because it may be harder for cars to follow each other.

Brawn suggests that the answer longer term is for a state-of-the-art CFD project to study the creation of an aero concept where cars with a lot of downforce are able to run close together.

He says that a previous investigation several years ago by an Overtaking Working Group did not produce the right answers because technology was so limited.

"It's a complex problem. We don't want the cars to be slow, so we want the levels of grip that we have, but we want it in a way that doesn't cause disruption to the car following. So is there a solution to that?

"If we put the right sort of people on that task and gave them a year, 18 months, to find a solution, can we design Formula 1 cars in a way that a car behind could follow?

"I know we had a go at it before with the Overtaking Working Group, but I don't think we had the knowledge and capability that teams have got now. CFD has made a huge difference.

"We were trying to carry out physical experiments in the windtunnel that was never designed to have two cars in it, so it was compromised.

"We had the two models and we were doing things to the one in front to see what it did to the one behind. But the one in front had to be in the front of the tunnel and the one behind had to be on the scales. So it was all a bit compromised.

"The CFD now gives new opportunities to look at all of that. Because if you could create a car which had decent levels of aerodynamic grip, but left a wake that was benign…there's lots of people who will tell you that you can't do that but I don't think we've really put our minds to it.

"Otherwise, there's not a solution. You can't just get rid of all the aerodynamic downforce. You can get some back with tyres and chassis grip, but you can't have cars as quick as this.

"And if you want cars as quick as this, you've got to find another solution. So that's the sort of stuff that we will be involved in initiating and supporting to make sure that we can do it."

shares
comments
Lowe to take shareholding in new Williams role
Previous article

Lowe to take shareholding in new Williams role

Next article

F1 homecoming: Paddy Lowe rejoins Williams as chief technical officer

F1 homecoming: Paddy Lowe rejoins Williams as chief technical officer
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021