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Brawn: F1 excitement the best response to “vitriolic” criticism

Formula 1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn says the last three Grands Prix – in Austria, Britain and Germany – have been the best possible response to “surprisingly vitriolic” criticism that followed a dull race in France last month.

Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Brawn says the run of exciting races provided a reminder that F1 is still “the greatest motorsport series in the world,” after a lack of action at Paul Ricard led to widespread negative comments about the sport.

“What a show,” wrote Brawn in his regular column. “The German Grand Prix was incredibly exciting, from first lap to last. It had everything, overtaking, mistakes, less than perfect strategies, immense bravery, crashes and a podium line-up – indeed a top 10 order – no one could have predicted after qualifying.

“The points placings featured drivers from eight different teams, and on a day when the big guns faltered wholly or in part, only Toro Rosso and Haas managed to get both drivers in the points.”

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Brawn conceded that the weather had played a major role: “It has to be said that intermittent rain really made the spectacle, but it can’t be denied that for different reasons, all three recent races have been hugely entertaining. It’s the best possible response to the unfortunate criticism the sport received after the French Grand Prix, some of it surprisingly vitriolic.

“I’m not saying everything is perfect, especially when you consider that Daniil Kvyat’s third place finish is only the third time that a driver from outside the top three teams has finished on the podium since 2017, but I think it is fair to say that over half of this year’s races have been anything but boring, despite the dominance of Mercedes who have simply done a better job than any of their rivals.

“Not every race can be at this level, but there are enough to make this the greatest motorsport series in the world.”

Brawn also praised Max Verstappen for his second win in three races for Red Bull, and suggested that the Dutchman could ultimately split the Mercedes drivers in the world championship battle.

“The only two mistakes were a less than perfect start from the front row, that briefly dropped him to fourth, and a harmless spin after switching to medium tyres shortly before half distance.

“However, as was the case in Austria, Max didn’t let either misstep impact on his performance, and again as with Austria, he simply got his head down and put his foot down on the way to a masterful seventh career win – and a point for the fastest lap of the race.

“The win puts him right up behind Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ standings. and it would be impressive if he can split the Mercedes pair, who, thus far have appeared untouchable.”

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