Ross Brown, Managing Director of Formula 1, announced massive changes in technical and sporting regulations of the world championship for 2021. On the first day of Azerbaijan Grand Prix the Brit shared his thoughts about the way the rules should be written and the date when the first changes could be implemented. Here is the script of the most important things said by Ross Brawn in Baku:
– My ambition is to create a team that thinks about the future of Formula 1. About how we can improve the sport from a spectator’s point of view, how to improve the sport for the teams and bring the sustainability for the sport.
So what we’re doing at the moment is forming a team of experts. I have an aerodynamicist, a chassis expert, an engine expert and a sporting expert. They’re working together to develop initiatives on how to improve the sport.
Improving the sport means closer competition, more exciting cars, cars that can race each other closely. Improving also means that the format of racing is as authentic and as interesting as it can be.
I don’t believe in cheap solutions. To do that properly we need to have proper studies done. We are trying to avoid mistakes – and that means we need a proper group. This group is working together only for a few weeks. We’ll be working closely with FIA and the teams. Hopefully we can take a strong initiative that helps us all.
A part of that process is a question of costs. Formula 1 is an expensive sport and we’re pushing to reduce costs. The reason for doing that is to make the championship sustainable and to make sure that small teams have enough resources to be competitive in the future. Our goal is to bring parity in terms of distribution of the commercial income for the teams. That won’t be easy but we’re definitely going to lift the income for the small teams. Another ambition is to see 12 or 13 teams on the starting grid in the future. We can do that only if we have a good economic model for the new teams that want to come Formula 1.
The regulations that we have now have made the overtaking potential of Formula 1 cars worse. For sure that’s one of the factors that we are taking into strong consideration. We are creating a race ability group with FIA. Race ability means ability of the cars to race each other, get close and try to overtake. At the moment Formula 1 cars possibly may have moved in the wrong direction. Perhaps cars were made difficult to race each other.
CFD has gone much stronger now in terms of aerodynamics simulation. The great thing about that is you can create a model of two cars that race together. It has been a limitation factor for years because wind tunnels are not designed for that. Now you can have two cars together. Within the potential of CFD systems you can do that, and it has become a lot more accurate and representative of what’s happening than a wind tunnel. Our team consists of competent aerodynamic experts. They are now creating a model where we can have two cars together and look at the effects that aerodynamic design of one car provoke at another car. At the end we are trying to create cars that are less sensitive to following each other and therefore make race ability much more possible. That’s probably the biggest factor in making these cars able to race each other.
One of the key events for Formula 1 in the next few years is the new engine. It comes from 2021. That’s the time to make major changes in the cars. We want to have a more common gearbox for the teams so the transmission is aligned. When the engines are so different you can’t do that. To introduce more standardized gearbox we need to design separately the connection between engine and gearbox. So the key point is definitely is 2021.
In deciding what the model should be we need to anticipate some ideas in the meantime. If we want to do it why not to introduce it earlier and why wait for 2021? I think it’s important that we move away from quick reactions which have not been studied properly. The teams get upset when you say ‘We want to change things tomorrow’ because it’s expensive and they probably don’t agree with it. 2021 is the time when we are having a major change. But in the interim I don’t want to lose any opportunity to improve the cars and the sport in the meantime.
It’s an objective – to make an engine more available in 2021. We want to reduce the cost for the customer of the engine. We also want to reduce the cost for the manufacturer of the engine. At the present time we do not have an independent manufacturer because the commercial model for it doesn’t work. Not so many years ago we used to have independent suppliers such as Cosworth and Ilmor. So one of the strongest objectives of the new engine regulations is to make the engine much more economic for all the teams. I don’t know if Porsche, BMW or other manufacturers would come into Formula 1, but there is an objective to make the regulations which are attractive so they could have a right reward for their investment. It’s a very very strong objective.
There is a strange wing that you can see at the engine cover of 2017 cars. That’s gonna be banned from next year.
But there’s no major changes for 2018. There may be some sporting regulations change but that’s all for now. The first sign of major change in technical regulations you may see in 2019.
The engines we have now are probably the most efficient engines in Formula 1 history. When we had refueling during the race we used 140-150 kilograms of fuel during the race. Now we use 100 kilograms for the whole race and we have far more power. We made a 30% increase. We made good progress in terms of the efficiency of these engines. And that’s an important message for the car companies. We’ll maintain that efficiency.
We also need to have entertainment, we need to have fun for the spectators. It’s a sport, it’s something that we should engage people in. We should make an inspirational fun. Therefore Formula 1 needs to find balance between relevance and sport. If it doesn’t exist as sport than nobody be involved.