After one of the most exhilarating and thrilling Grands Prix in recent memory, F1 Motorsport Managing Director Ross Brawn explains how the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was another example of how the cars of New generation Formula 1 cars introduced this year have fulfilled their mandate of providing tight racing…
The ultimate show
This year’s race at Silverstone was a classic – and a perfect demonstration of what the sport was trying to achieve with these groundbreaking new racing cars. It was a relief to see Zhou Guanyu and Alex Albon ok after big impacts – and again a great example of the progress Formula 1 and the FIA have made on safety.
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Subsequently, we were treated to fabulous races. What I liked was the precision the drivers could have with the cars. We saw countless fascinating battles that took place over multiple turns, with multiple changes in position. We saw that drivers could take multiple lines with these new cars – and that allowed two, three or even four cars to drive almost side by side. Passing quality was also high. Drivers really had to work to make a move – it wasn’t just about using DRS to fly.
Positive drivers about changes
We’ve seen some heart-pounding battles this year, including wheel-to-wheel battles with multiple position changes for the Grand Prix lead between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The drivers appreciate these cars and have been very positive. They all liked the change and the new ability to get closer to other cars.
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Many of them have qualified that while it doesn’t always lead to straightforward overtakes, the chance of sitting on the tail and pressurizing and trying to force a mistake is vastly improved. I don’t think there was a single rider who didn’t recognize or get excited about it.
The frequency with which cars follow for consecutive laps and challenge for consecutive laps is much better this year than in previous years.
What this demonstrates is that the direction in which F1 and the FIA have gone is absolutely the right direction to go, and the sport can move forward with renewed confidence that this approach is what is needed for the future. It must always be an important factor in the design and modification of these cars.
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A new regulatory culture
What we are seeing is a new culture when it comes to creating the rules. When regulations are changed or expanded, the factors taken into consideration are not only lap time or cost, but also racing ability.
The introduction of racing capability is going to be a big change for F1 going forward. If there is any legacy from that era, it will be that racing ability will now be a factor that will always be taken into account when designing new cars for Formula 1. We have never seen this before.
Remember, it’s in the name – these are race cars.
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It’s great to see teams and the sport as a whole getting the problem of porpoising under control. At Silverstone, we saw that the teams had a better understanding of the phenomenon with the FIA to continue working with them to eliminate it completely.