“I’m optimistic,” Former F1 managing director Ross Brawn thinks the performance gap between teams is set to shrink with ‘another season’


“I’m optimistic,” Former F1 managing director Ross Brawn thinks the performance gap between teams is set to shrink with ‘another season’

Ross Brawn

Formula 1 has been taking steps to increase competition between the teams on the grid (to raise the floor, so to say): The 2022 regulation changes are meant to create better racing, and the financial regulations, particularly the cost cap is enforced so big teams like Ferrari and Mercedes can’t steamroll the competition simply through their financial superiority against the rest of the competition.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to these, there were also changes to the prize pool and aerodynamic testing restrictions were enforced (the winner gets the least wind tunnel time, while the bottom team gets the most). While the 2022 regulations have improved racing (as attested to by Carlos Sainz), they failed to create particularly close competition. Only one driver outside of the top three teams scored a podium: Lando Norris.

In 2022, there was a massive gulf in performance between the top three compared to the rest of the teams, even if there were two close midfield battles. Ross Brawn, who recently announced his retirement from F1 after an incredible career in various roles with the Formula One Group, Ferrari and Benetton (as well as his eponymous team, Brawn GP), thinks this is set to improve in 2023.

Speaking to Autosport, Brawn was ‘not surprised’ that some teams did better than others at the start of new regulations, but thought the gap should decrease for next season: “I think we need another season. I think, when you have these new regulations, there’s teams that get on top of it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He gave the example of 2009, when his own Brawn GP dominated at the start of the season, while Ferrari, who had won the previous year, could only manage a fourth-place finish. The former managing director of F1 feels that they’ve done a lot to improve competitiveness while preserving the integrity of the sport, and so he is optimistic it’ll improve: “So, there’s a lot of things pushing it in a good direction. I’m optimistic.”

Also Read: ‘You can compare the two situations’ Ross Brawn finds mirror similarities between Lewis Hamilton in 2022 and Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes stint

Ross Brawn speaks on the impact of the Formula 1 cost cap

Ross Brawn
Ross Brawn

Formula 1 has enforced a cost cap in order to decrease the financial superiority of the top teams, but it’s not going to decrease it overnight. Those teams have better facilities, better staff, and better information alongside other advantages – which F1 couldn’t take away, but Ross Brawn thinks that the cost cap should improve this in the future, allowing other teams to catch up. Moreover, he also revealed that there have been concessions made to teams that wanted to build wind tunnels (which they didn’t have).

Brawn said: “It will take some time. It would be unrealistic to expect a switch to be thrown. But I think it’s going in the right direction. And the other thing we can’t forget is that we’ve made those small teams economically sustainable.” adding that teams are now becoming ‘self-funded’ from the new broadcast contracts, its new sponsorship contracts, as well as their own sponsorships, etc.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brawn thinks that with the stability and ‘economic sustainability’ that comes from this, the teams can now do ‘all the right things’. Of course, the advantage the top teams’ have will take a while to disappear, but it’ll be interesting to see what progress is made on that in 2023, which will be the second year for the new 2022 regulations, and the third for the cost cap as well as the aero-testing restrictions.

Also Read: ‘He has his father’s work ethic’: Ross Brawn backs Mick Schumacher to ‘take the next step’ in his career

Also Read: When Ross Brawn’s ‘HISTORIC’ message pushed Michael Schumacher to produce magic at the Hungarian GP in 1998