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Formula 1

Brawn excited to move on from old regulations: They weren't very good racing cars

Ross Brawn isn't looking back with sentimentality at the old technical regulations, saying the cars that were raced until 2021 didn't make for good racing.

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To news overview © Mercedes

Ross Brawn says he's looking forward to the introduction of the new technical regulations in 2022, and isn't sorry to see the 2021 ruleset binned.

The 2021 season marked the end of the old regulation cycle, which was an evolution of the regulations brought in during the last major technical changes in 2009.

Brawn, whose eponymous team dominated the first year of those regulations, has been one of the figureheads behind the sweeping technical changes coming in for 2022 in his role as Formula 1's Managing Director, and said that he's glad to see the old regulations consigned to history.

"I think it depends on what your definition is of the ultimate Formula 1 car. If it's the fastest... possibly," Brawn told F1's Tech Talks, when asked whether the 2020/2021 cars marked the peak of F1 racing machinery.

"If it's the best racing car, no, I think these cars are far too critical when they're close to each other. They're far too critical if they touch a kerb because a piece flies off and then they don't work anymore. So they are incredible devices, the complexity of them is amazing.

"It's the methodologies they've now got with reiterative software, which just keeps checking and checking and checking until they arrive at the ideal design for a specific area of the car.

"Every piece is critical to every other piece, so if one piece gets knocked off, because they are racing cars after all, it doesn't work properly."

Looking ahead to 2022

Formula 1's huge regulation changes for 2022 completely change the philosophy behind the cars, as they move away from aero dependency for grip to that of a 'ground effect' concept.

This means that the aerodynamic devices, while still critical, are less influential on the overall performance of the car. Every aspect of the car's physical design has been reconsidered in order to allow for closer wheel-to-wheel racing, as well as less turbulent air for cars in close proximity.

Brawn is hopeful that the new design focus will have the intended effects once the teams roll out their 2022 cars and they hit the track for the first time.

"That's been one of the focuses on the new car, that we try and make them a bit more robust, a little simpler, a little less critical," Brawn said.

"No doubt, the teams will complicate the concept (laughs). But then I think we can pull it back again. So they're [the 2021 cars] fascinating and incredibly impressive designs but actually not very good racing cars."

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