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Ross Brawn “will be fighting” for improvements if 2017 F1 racing is bad

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Ross Brawn “will be fighting” for improvements if 2017 F1 racing is bad
Mar 24, 2017, 3:27 PM

Ross Brawn has pledged to step in and work with the teams and the FIA to find a solution if the on-track Formula 1 action proves to be unspectacula...

Ross Brawn has pledged to step in and work with the teams and the FIA to find a solution if the on-track Formula 1 action proves to be unspectacular in 2017.

This year’s cars have been built to new aerodynamic regulations in an attempt to make them significantly faster and more aggressive than the previous generation. But this has led to fears that overtaking will be harder as a result of complex aero parts making it more difficult for drivers to closely follow their rivals.

Several drivers – including Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Williams driver Felipe Massa – discussed the issue after sampling the new cars during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and Brawn, in his new role as the sporting managing director of F1, has said he is committed to finding a way of fixing the racing for 2018 if the fears of poor action come to pass this season.

Lewis Hamilton

Speaking from the Albert Park circuit ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, he said: "If we see things this year that we don't think are great for the sport, then we will be fighting our corner, and we will be fighting at every level.

"You can rest assured that we will be working with the teams and working with the FIA to find solutions if we don't feel the racing is as good as it should be.

"If you look at the configuration of the aerodynamics we have, we have cars with very complicated bodywork structures which create very sensitive flow regimes around the structures. It means as soon as they are disturbed by a car in front, they suffer.

"So can we come up with a set of regulations where we can still use the power of aerodynamics to give us the speed and spectacle of the cars, but in a more benign way so they can at least race each other more closely without it having an impact? That is my ambition, that is my objective."

Ross Brawn

Brawn, the former boss of the Mercedes and Honda teams, as well as previously being technical director at Ferrari and Benetton, highlighted other motorsport categories that featured significant aerodynamic innovations and close racing.

He said: "I have heard it said that some of the cars out there do race each other quite well with large aerodynamic performances, so the sportscars for instance, and IndyCar aren't suffering so badly.

"So a proper campaign, a concerted campaign, would definitely take us in the right direction on that. I am convinced of that."

Haas ordered to remove T-wing

During winter testing, Brawn picked out shark fin engine covers and T-wing devices that many teams have included in their 2017 designs as areas of the current rules that he would like to address.

Kevin Magnussen

Following Friday’s FP1 session in Melbourne, the Haas F1 team was ordered to remove the T-wings from its VF-17s after it was seen flexing on TV images.

The team took the wing off for FP2 in the afternoon but its team principal Guenther Steiner is unsure if the American squad will be allowed to re-fit the device later in the weekend.

He said: “We ran this wing in the whole Barcelona test and never had a problem with it breaking or anything. In FP2 we had to take it off because of the moving, so we need to see what we do in FP3.

"On the data we can see the downforce is there. It is working, so we want to get it back on. But we need to see if we're allowed to. On this racing car everything is so to the edge, everything helps - and you want to keep it on."

What do you make of Brawn’s comments? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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