F1 needs to be more NASCAR says Brawn

I was reading an article over at Autosport that was an interesting concept about the car inspections. Should Formula 1 adopt the NASCAR approach to open technical inspections? According to Ross Brawn, that might be an interesting way to keep teams competitive.

“In NASCAR, you can go and look at someone else’s car – strip it apart and see what’s in it,” he added.

“That’s their way of keeping everyone loosely competitive.

“No one objects, no one has a problem. It’s a philosophy that should be thought about.”

“It’s an open-door policy, so any other team can come and observe,” said NASCAR’s vice president for technical inspection and officiating, Chad Little.

“They’re parked right next to each other just like they are in the garage; nobody covers anything up.

“When the parts come off, they’re laid there for anybody else to see.”

The point here is that McLaren Honda could have a deep look at Mercedes or Ferrari and see how their car is built. It would be completely antithetical to what F1 has done before and would seriously open a floodgate on borrowed IP from other teams on how to build cars. 

Would it work in keeping the teams more competitive with each other? It seems to work in NASCAR. What do you think? Should F1 open its doors a bit and allow teams to see underneath their competition’s grill?

Hat Tip: Autosport

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NASCAR is essentially a spec series with the constraints on engine and chassis designs being so tight, that there’s no genuine benefit to hiding parts. Most of the engine building edge happens on a very subtle level, not from overtly trick parts. Formula 1 is a constructor championship with cars individually designed by the teams. There’s far more at stake with the unique designs of chassis and powerplants in F1 than in NASCAR.


Yep, my reaction is pretty much what xorpheous said.
My hesitation on that is that Ross Brawn knowns exactly how F1 works, and that its a prototype series, and that much of the difference between the teams is down to the software. Knowning everything he does still he makes the suggestion that F1 should think about adopting ‘open technical inspections’.
As ever with Ross Brawn, there is probably much more subtle thought behind what he’s saying than these extracts convey.
Boogity, boogity, boogity!

Salvu Borg

JAKO, Over the years I always considered Ross Brawn as one of the top best brains in F1, no nonsense both technical and political, having always had the highest esteem possible for the man I find it very hard indeed to understand the sudden change in him now that he is sitting on the other side of the fence, I just couldn’t stop thinking the way he would react if he was still sitting on his old side of the fence if somebody would have came out with what he is suggesting himself nowadays.


I agree, Technical Director or Team Owner Brawn would scoff at this idea.
I his LM Director of Motorsport role, he might be adopting the Max Mosley approach of saying something ‘outrageous’ to provoke discussion, so when he comes out with what he really wants, it seems reasonable and acceptable.

Salvu Borg

The LM three has been talking non stop just about everything F1, a right of theirs as they now own the FI commercial rights, but just saying, if there is anybody that had anything to do with F1 and knows that it takes two to tango, that’s Ross Brawn.


of course they should! its all about the clients i.e. us viewing the current boring etc

charlie white

Everyone is making this out to be some sort of F1 vs NASCAR type discussion and not taking it down to its intent. I’m fine with the idea of open inspections where it’s done in front of everyone. I think the better idea would be open garages(with no walls) in the pit lane. Any advantage gained inside F1 these days is one that can’t be readily seen to anyone (like software, electronic engine/drivetrain management, under body/floor tweaks etc). The McLaren Spygate, the mirror image similarities between the Toyota/Ferrari, etc.

Salvu Borg

I remember Ross Brawn being interviewed and saying “the number one most important thing in managing a formula one team is to know what others are doing.
What he didn’t say back then was that was always part of the Business.

And now after such an illustrious career Ross Brawn seems to have totally Americanized himself.

Fred Talmadge

More important is that I could walk by a pit and watch them work on the car and see all that tecnology on full display. Not only that but you see all the people working on the car and discussing what ever. Heck even the hanger ons can be interesting to watch.


The second part of the Autosport article builds on the Brawn quotes. Haas F1 team principal Gunther Steiner believes a more open policy would also be a better way to showcase the technology under the skin of the cars. “We have a fantastic story to tell, but we keep it secret, because we don’t want to show it,” said Steiner. “If it’s by the regulations that you have to show it, then that’s good. “F1 should stay high technology because that’s part of the appeal, but we need to make it accessible for the fans. “I think it would make… Read more »

Guy Fawkes

The side of me that watches tech teardown videos on YouTube says yes. The former NASCAR fan in me says “OH NO! Do NOT make it like NASCAR!” The F1 fan in me figures that it would be fascinating but ultimately it wouldn’t matter if, say Sauber peeks under the hood of the Merc because Sauber couldn’t afford to implement it anyway. Of course, the real difference is either deep in the power unit, deep in the software or right out in the open already with the aero. So why not? It’s not like a back marker could look at… Read more »