Brawn: ‘One vital ingredient was missing’ in Australia

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Albert Park in Australia hasn’t always made the best passing track but the iconic circuit is a terrific location for the Australian Grand Prix. The FIA introduced a 3rd DRS zone for last weekend’s season-opening race and Pirelli introduced seven total tire compounds in an effort to increasing passing opportunities but with all the effort, the race still proved pass resistant.

F1’s technical boss, Ross Brawn, agreed there was a lack of passing despite these changes and said this is one element that the owners are looking at to change.

“Until we take a structured approach to the problem, we won’t really make any progress,” said Brawn.

“One of our aims, which we are looking at with the FIA and the teams is that, for 2021, we want to have cars that allow drivers to really fight one another on track.

“To that end, the FIA and F1 are carrying out an aerodynamic research programme with two car models, both in the windtunnel and using CFD.

“We need to evolve a car design that achieves close to the level of performance we now see but permits wheel-to-wheel action.”

I often think of all the details that have to be agreed to during these critical nogotiations between teams, owners, regulators, sponsors and promoters and there is nothing easy about what has to be done. If Liberty Media can get this all completed and a new Concorde Agreement in place (which I would be surprised if there even is a thing such as the Concorde Agreement since that was a Ecclestone-era notion and Liberty aren’t keen to keep Ecclestone things) I would be very impressed.

Regulations over engine, power unit and chassis design are one set of complications. Prize money distribution, historic team payments and FOM cost increases are all in another bucket. Then there are the FIA and track owners with massive contract and desire for cheaper sanctioning fees and lower ticket prices. Not to mention all-new broadcast packages.

Of all of these issue, aerodynamic changes could, and I say could, be one of the easier things to reach agreement on with the teams. Aero is a black art and an area of big gains through relatively low costs contextually speaking.

Brawn says the fans are a driving force here.

“Formula 1 fans want to see a better show and overtaking is the most exciting and spectacular element you can have on track,” he added.

“The whole Formula 1 community must make an effort to satisfy this need because the fans are our biggest asset.”

Now, you all know how I feel about passing for passing’s sake. That’s why I hate DRS. I do not consider F1 a prolific passing series but it is true that removing the aero penalty of not allowing cars to follow close to others is a move in the right direction. Will the team’s agree? This is their secret sauce. Think of Red Bull and Adrian Newey…this is where his merlin-esque skills differentiate the team from others.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Doug Patterson

Less downforce overall, but with a larger percentage being produced by the undertray and less from the wings. There are two primary benefits: less dependence on laminar flow over the wings and less turbulence downstream of the car. The convergence of these make the cars more challenging to drive at the limit of performance while also enabling cars to follow each other more closely. This is a solved problem, really, and the solution has been tossed out repeatedly by fans and drivers alike for the past couple of decades.

sunny stivala

Plus teams themselves.


I think aero used to be a black art, but now it’s becoming rather standardized with a lot of teams independently coming up with almost identical solutions. Agree with Doug’s statement. It’s a solvable problem and all F1 needs to do is keep an eye on IndyCar 2018 to see how much better things could be. Of course teams like HAAS would probably lose out as more powerful and experienced teams are able to pass them from behind if they qualify poorly or have grid penalties, but so be it. A better driver and better team should be able to… Read more »


Here we go again with all of this post-race hand-wringing. F1 caused this problem last year with their new for 2017 aero changes. Like you said, NC, it’s the teams’ secret sauce and they will not give it up freely, even if it’s detrimental to the show. The teams will keep their aero advantage even if it means no on-track passing for the whole season. Yes, I think the teams are watching Indycars much closer this year for its reduced downforce and windscreen ideas. While they may want to follow suit on those ideas, no one will suggest them at… Read more »

sunny stivala

just test

Schumie Toronto

I think he (and Indycar) are on to something. I’m really excited for the Indycar series in a way that I haven’t been since the breakup in the 90’s. There are some really good changes being initiated. I’m still going to watch a few more races at different track configurations (ovals, permanent road, etc) before declaring it a complete success though.


So the wings make it difficult for cars to follow, so the solution is for a more restrictive regulation on wing design. The fear F1 has is all the cars will look even more the same (and they are right about that). My solution is to take the wings off entirely. F1 ran without wings for many years, and they had no problem with passing. If you want to get an idea of why this is, watch a modern F1600/Formula Ford race. Now, having said that, I do concede that the problem with modern Formula Ford is that, just like… Read more »

sunny stivala

The red bullies no boundaries, they are the prime contributors for the current Aero model of racing cars and takes no responsibility for it. The only person that can match them in hypocrisy is Ross the smuggest of them all Brawn. He worked diligently on getting rid of the evil DRS, proposed simple wings, FERRARI showed him the middle finger blogging it and the topic disappeared, now crocodile tears are flowing because you can’t overtake in Australia on a one stopper, in the biggest DF cars ever even with impure DR device. Where’s the logic MR BRAWN?.