Formula 1

Brawn: McLaren, Williams declines show F1 has "no mercy"

Williams and McLaren's struggles last season were proof that Formula 1 shows "no mercy" for teams that get things wrong, says sporting chief Ross Brawn.

Despite the two British outfits being amongst the most successful in F1 history, a raft of issues left them battling near the bottom of the grid in 2018 as their rivals stepped up their game.

Brawn, who is F1's managing director of motorsports, reckons that while a title-winning team like Mercedes has benefited from huge stability, staffing reshuffles at McLaren and Williams over recent years contributed to their woes.

"Mercedes still have the same people that I found there in 2007 and that is more than 10 years of stability," Brawn told "That's so important.

"I think Williams and McLaren, they went through changes and it always takes a while for those things to settle down. They are great teams with a great history, but unfortunately Formula 1 is not a great respecter of histories. It only respects what's going on track.

"We as Formula 1 very much want those teams to get back into a competitive position because they're great teams and great brands. But Formula 1 has no mercy.

"If you're not doing a first-class job you it's demonstrated every Sunday or every other Sunday. They have capacity to get back into a competitive place, but it's a tough job."

Editor-in-Chief's opinion:

Brawn also believes that a lack of stability at Ferrari, which lost its president Sergio Marchionne in the middle of last year, contributed to its failure to win the world championship again.

"It's nearly always a combination of things, it's never one single thing," added Brawn. "I think there was no doubt with Ferrari, the death of Sergio Marchionne had an impact.

"It was tragic in itself but it also had an impact on the team. For a man of his calibre and standing, it's always going to be a very destabilising situation for a while.

"But I think they will have looked at what they have learnt and Sebastian [Vettel] would look at what he's done. I think there's a strong chance that they will be there fighting [in 2019].

"You have to look at the Ferrari of two or three years ago to realise how much progress they have made. The fact we are talking about them coming close to winning a championship is quite an achievement over where they were two or three years ago.

"It's such a massive challenge to even win in Formula 1. But to win a championship is another level. So, you can talk about every team that doesn't win the championship as having its challenges."

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