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F1 | Ross Brawn: As long as we've achieved the ability of the cars to follow, I’m happy

In a recent interview after testing, Ross Brawn shared his hopes and views on the new generation of cars and the season of 2022. 

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F1 | Ross Brawn: As long as we've achieved the ability of the cars to follow, I’m happy
Fuente imagen: f1.com

With the second F1 testing starting in 8 days and being closer and closer to the first race of the season, there is a lot of excitement. With the completely new generation of cars that the fans have not seen yet performing on track there is a lot to talk about. On day 3 of the F1 pre-season track session that happened between 23rd and 25th of February, Ross Brawn, the managing director of F1 spoke with the media about his thoughts on the new cars and hopes for the upcoming season. 

First, he was asked about his first thoughts on the new generation of cars. About that, he said: “I’m very pleased, I think considering the substantial change in the regulations, I think the cars were run with relatively few problems.

It’s too early to say but they’re all within a reasonable gap, there is no one outstanding. We’ve got some time before we can assess that and I think until we get to Bahrain race, we won’t see the true order. But Im very pleased.

The cars look great on the track, the feedback we’ve had from the drivers was positive, so I think it’s as good as it could be.” 

Next, he was asked if there were any elements that surprised him or that he didn’t anticipate. To that, he responded: “I think the look of the Ferrari is very extreme, the sort of very deeply sculptured side-pods. There’s a lot of interesting detail on the sides and the floor, there is a huge number of solutions in terms of the detail on the edge of the floor.

I don’t think any of this is damaging the fundamental characteristics of the car but I’ve said this many times - we’re a working group that was put together to design this car - we’ll continue working, though now we have access to the data, we now have access to the designs and we’re evaluating if any of these designs are moving in the wrong direction, when they’ll nudge your back again.

Because I really think, from talking with some of the drivers that they’re seeing and they’re appreciating the difference in the ability of this car to follow another car.”

Afterwards, Brawn was asked about the phenomenon of porpoising* and how to get away from it. About that, he elaborated: “It’s still prevalent. It’s a phenomenon, it’s physics and it’s still prevalent in lots of Formulae - they have it in sports cars, they can have it in any sort of single seater where there’s a large dependancy on ground effect so I’m a little surprised some of them [engineers] were caught by it, cause I thought they would’ve anticipated it from their wind tunnel work; but you can see it on the track that some people have already come to terms with it so there’s solutions out there.

I think where they will face a challenge is, I suspect, the solutions may be coming back on performance a little bit and strongest performance might put them closer to the edge but that’s a decision for the team to make on how they set the car up.

But there’s lots of Formulae now which have to balance that difference and if it ever becomes a problem I’m sure the FIA can find some tweaks to the underside to reduce the sensitivity.”

Lastly, the managing director of F1 was asked about his hopes for the new era of F1. To that, Brawn responded: “Well my main hope is that the drivers are able to benefit from the concept of these cars which is the ability to follow. 

“You know, when we were doing our studies, we’ve had this what we call the “overtaking margin” - the lap time difference you have to have in order to execute a normal overtake on a circuit and on a lot of circuits that's 1 or 2 seconds, now you’ll never get down to a few tenths but you can get down to three quarters of a second or a second and that will make a big difference; and I think the other thing that the drivers suffered with the old cars was - as soon as you followed your tires started to deteriorate cause your car was so impacted by following another car that your tyres started to deteriorate - it became a compound problem. Not only we were loosing performance, for your tyres were degrading much more quickly. So, what I want to see is that we’ve improved that situation.

"If we’ve improved that situation, then the natural evolution and development of the cars will bring them closer together. There is no doubt when you have new regulations there’s a chance the cars will move apart but as long as we have achieved the ability and the characteristics to follow each other, I don’t mind because the cars will come back together again. So as long as we’ve achieved that and we’ll see that the first few races then I’ll be happy.”

The first F1 test available to the fans will commence on the 10th of March and will last till the 12th, with the first round of the bright new 2022 season starting on the 18th of March. Will Brawn’s hopes for the new gen of cars will come true? I guess the first few races will tell. 

*porpoising is a term used to describe a fault encountered in ground effect racing cars. In 2022, this porpoising can be identified as the “bouncing” of the car while it reaches top speed. 

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