Brawn: F1 is blessed

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In his latest column for F1.com, Ross Brawn, Formula 1 Managing Director-Motorsport, said the sport is blessed with the tightly contested season witnessed this year.

The title contenders this year, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, are separated by 6 points only in the latter’s favor with six races to go. Their teams are also tight in the constructors’ standings with Mercedes, however, leading by 36 points.

The gaps in both championships do not seem to be opening up, despite Mercedes having a bit of a breathing space on the teams’ standings, and Brawn sees this as a blessing for the sport, specially as teams enter the critical final leg of the season where bagging every available point is of the utmost priority.

Brawn said: “We all know that points scored at any time of the season are critical but when you get to this stage of the season, you focus on every single point.

“You should be doing that all year, but it’s not the same when you get to the last few races, where everything is so intense as you know if you get it wrong there’s no time to recover.”

The F1 team principal turned director declared: “Both championships are poised to take us through to the end of the season and provide one of the most exciting ends to the year that we’ve had in a long time. F1 is blessed.

“Why are we having such a great season?” he went on. “When I ran teams, there was no silver bullet. It was a case of chipping away at everything to make incremental improvements. I believe it’s the same with the sport.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the cost cap and the rules changes that were implemented are having a positive impact on the closeness and intensity of the championship.

“There is no capacity for a team to pour massive resource into a championship and try and run away with it. The resources are now limited and the teams are also focused on next year’s car, which is requiring a lot of time and resource,” the Briton explained.

“And this is all contributing to a close championship,” he went on. “We still want a meritocracy. We still want the best team to win. But we don’t want them to win by a country mile simply because they’ve got a bigger budget than anyone else.

“It’s pleasing to see the way things are developing,” a satisfied Brawn said.

F1 is gearing up to launch a whole new set of aerodynamic and tyre regulations next year, meaning new cars with different aerodynamic philosophies, aimed at making racing closer and more exciting.

Naturally, and in light of this year’s F1 season, one of the most exciting in recent memory, many have questioned the benefit of this major rules shakeup. F1’s managing director has a response for the doubters, he said: “This weekend I heard some comments around whether the 2022 regulation changes are needed given we’re currently enjoying such a golden season.

“I think that fails to understand the fact that while the championship is thrilling this year the cars still struggle to follow each other closely and create overtaking opportunities.

“While the 2022 rules won’t change the situation overnight I think they are a much better platform to improve the racing on the track and I’m sure that once the new rules have settled down, we will see some incredible races and championships in the future, with even more wheel to wheel action,” Brawn assured.

The 2022 rules shakeup were meant to be implemented in 2021, but the curveball Covid-19 served Formula 1, and the world with, meant a one year delay of these much anticipated rules on basis of cost savings, in light of the difficult, pandemic-affected, worldwide economic situation.