Brawn: ‘We need a Leicester City in F1’

Date published: October 10 2019

Ross Brawn believes Formula 1 needs a Leicester City to provide underdog victories from 2021.

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn believes Formula 1 needs an underdog winner, like how Leicester City won the Premier League.

Brawn is in the process of finalising the 2021 rules which are set to drastically change the landscape of Formula 1, stretching from the technical side to the financial regulations.

Before becoming the sports head of Liberty Media, Brawn was champion as technical director of Ferrari and as team principal of Brawn GP, but now that he has moved to the other side of the fence, he is studying ways to make Formula 1 a level playing field.

Over the past few seasons Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have established themselves as the clear top three in the series, but from 2021 Brawn wants that to change and hopes for some unexpected race winners, like when Leicester City shocked the footballing world by winning the 2015/16 Premier League.

“I’m finishing writing the new rules of Formula 1,” he said in an interview with La Stampa.

“From 2017, do you have any idea how many drivers took the podium, except for Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull? Only 3 out of 168. Too little.

“We want tight races in which the other teams also have a chance. It’s not a communist version of F1: you really need a Leicester that can win at least one race, if not the championship.”

An objection that the designers made to the the new rules was that teams would all end up with the same cars, but Brawn asked if people really identify cars based on their design alone now?

“I will answer you with some questions: today would you know how to distinguish one machine from another if we remove livery and number?,” he asked.

“Maybe there will be fewer differences, but are we sure it’s the shape of the rear wing flaps to make a Grand Prix fun? Wouldn’t it be better for the public not to know by Friday who will be on the podium?”

Brawn set out the five points which Liberty Media want to address in Formula 1 going forward.

“Fight: we must encourage duels on the track. Uncertain: gaps must be reduced. Financially sustainable: we reduce costs. Sustainable for the environment: progress on the track must fall on the production cars. Exciting: the cars must be beautiful, convey excitement,” he explained.

A budget cap will be brought in from 2021, and Brawn believes this is vital to make Formula 1 sustainable.

“We must ensure the long-term survival of the teams, even the largest ones. A budget of 400 million is difficult to justify,” he confirmed.

One Liberty Media goal which is already starting to play out is their desire to further expand the calendar. A record 22 races have been confirmed for 2020 with the arrival of the Vietnam and Dutch GPs.

Brawn says that there are plans to add more races in the coming years, and shake-up the race weekend format.

“Yes, the intention is to grow some more,” he said.

“Please note that from 2021 the race weekend will be distributed over three days. Thursday activities will be moved to Friday. We want every Grand Prix to be a sort of Super Bowl for the nation hosting the event”.

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