‘It was just going to get worse and worse’: Brawn defends shake-up of F1’s regulations

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has defended the shake-up of the sport's technical regulations.

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has suggested that the new technical regulations may create some separation between the teams early doors.

In a move that involves the return of ground effect, the aerodynamics have been simplified, while the tyres have increased to 18 inches in a bid to facilitate closer racing.

Brawn reckons the sheer volume of the changes will segregate some teams from a competitive standpoint, but maintains that the changes were necessary.

“Due to the nature of the regulations, inevitably when we start the season, we may see some scatter in the performance of the teams,” he said.

“I think that’s unavoidable, but I also think it was unavoidable to go that route. I think where we were, it was just going to get worse and worse.”

The current set of regulations were due to be imposed last year but, due to the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, progress on the new machines was abruptly halted, meaning only minor alterations were made to the cars ahead of last year.

The Briton is glad the pinnacle of motorsport was able to switch over this season as he fears the overtaking deprivation would only have been exacerbated otherwise.

“We had a little hiatus with Covid because the teams were constrained in a way with what they were able to do,” he added.

“They had to use the same chassis and various other parts but there’s no doubt the cars would just continue getting worse and worse and worse.”

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The former Ferrari, Brawn GP and Mercedes boss then went into detail regarding the technical benefits of increasing the size of the tyres.

“There were some quite complex aspects to the cars we were racing that were causing a differentiation between the teams as well,” he explained.

“If you look at a simple thing like a 13 or an 18-inch wheel, getting a 13-inch wheel, with all the movement of the tyre, to be representative in the wind tunnel was a fascinating but massive exercise.

“As soon as you go to an 18-inch wheel, the movement and the sidewall of the tyre are much reduced, and much less complex for a team to model and represent.”

The 67-year-old believes it was important to find a balance between aiding some of the teams further back to get towards the front, and not simply handing them performance on a silver platter – they still need to work for it.

“Every decision we’ve made has been towards not dumbing down the sport but making it achievable for more of the teams and to get closer competition going on for the future while still leaving a meritocracy so the best teams still win,” he stated.

“So I think there will be a bit of disparity in the beginning, we all know that with new rules, but I’m not expecting huge disparity unless somebody makes a complete cock-up.”

Ferrari’s radical design has caught the eye during pre-season testing, but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has revealed that the car will be “different” at the second pre-season test in Bahrain, while the Scuderia’s team principal Mattia Binotto is aware of several teams adding updates to their cars between now and the first race of the season in Sakhir.