Ross Brawn has stressed Formula 1’s revolutionary regulation changes arriving next year are necessary despite the series enjoying a “golden season” in 2021.
The battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for the drivers’ crown is the closest title fight for nearly a decade, with just six points separating both drivers going into the final six races.
With little to choose between Mercedes and Red Bull, as well as this season having the most different winners since 2012, is has left some suggesting that F1 doesn’t need to go ahead with a major rules shake-up.
But Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsport, argues that while it is in the midst of a “thrilling” championship, the 2022 overhaul is needed to address the current issue of cars not being able to follow closely.
“This weekend I heard some comments around whether the 2022 regulation changes are needed given we’re currently enjoying such a golden season,” Brawn wrote in his official F1 column.
“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 believes the reason why this year’s title battle is too close to call is down to the impact of rule changes introduced under the leadership of Liberty Media, such as the cost cap.
“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,” Brawn said.
“Why are we having such a great season? 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. And this is all contributing to a close championship.”
But despite the growing competitiveness of teams throughout the field, Brawn stressed the importance of having the best driver/car combination coming out on top.
“We still want a meritocracy,” Brawn said. “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.
“Neither team is running away with this championship in what is turning into a battle for the ages.”