Brawn doubts teams will purposely make following harder

Michelle Foster
F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn on the grid. USA October 2021.

Ross Brawn walks on the grid in Austin. USA October 2021.

Ross Brawn has downplayed concerns that teams could deliberately spoil the wake coming off their cars in order to make it harder for rivals to follow.

The new technical regulations, based around ground effect aerodynamics, have been brought into play with the intension of creating clean air off the cars, making it easier for the car behind to follow.

That, the powers-that-be hope, will ultimately lead to closer, and better, racing.

There are, however, concerns that teams may deliberately do something to spoil that clean airflow to compromise their rivals.

Brawn has ruled this out, at least them doing it deliberately.

“I think that any loss of this ability to follow will be an accidental consequence of the pursuit of performance,” Brawn told

“I don’t think any team ever set out to purposely damage the wake so a car can’t follow it. There’s not enough time, there’s not enough resource.

“You’ve just got to pursue lap time the whole time. So that would never happen in my view.

“As a consequence of pursuing performance we may see that we don’t quite hit a bullseye in terms of following. But I think it will still be so massively ahead of where we were, because the cars were dreadful.

“So if we’re 5 percent worse [than predicted], we’ll still be a long way ahead of where the old cars are. And then as we say, we’ll evolve it.”

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA head of single-seater matters, is adamant all the teams will have only one goal and that is to make their own cars go faster.

“Clearly the aerodynamicists are going to always work for the best performance of their car, in relation to their competitors, ” he said.

“The way that development is done in the wind tunnel and in CFD, and also the fact that you have a lot of free running of your car in open air, in qualifying or other significant positions, means that it’s not practical to be designing a car just to sabotage your following car.


“You still need to make sure your car is as fast as possible and hope it doesn’t get approached by other people.

“We don’t expect people to work towards these objectives just for benevolent reasons, but we do think that the way the development happens will still keep us within those key objectives.

“There will be some deterioration, but not massive, we hope.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Brawn doubts rivals will purposely make following harder

Ross Brawn believes that teams won't deliberately make following harder.