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Bahrain Grand Prix 2022

F1 bosses give their take on first race of the sport's new era

Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali are pleased with what they saw during the first race of F1's new era in Bahrain.

GP Bahrain 2022 start
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Formula 1 bosses Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali have offered positive assessments of the first race weekend of F1's new era.

Charles Leclerc stood on the top step for Ferrari in Bahrain after winning an epic battle with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Bahrain International Circuit, thrice fighting back from an overtake to stamp his authority.

The scrap between the two drivers confirmed plenty of what race fans were told to expect from the sport's regulation overhaul, with cars now easier to follow and better prepared for wheel-to-wheel racing.

Brawn, who played a leading role in shaping the direction F1 has now headed in, was excited by what he saw in Bahrain, but has accepted that the sport should not get ahead of itself too soon.

"It's a sample base of one, but we've seen no negatives, which is a great thing," he told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think now, once the drivers have debriefed, and the FIA start to look at all the data, we'll see how far we've moved.

"The team that designed this car have now moved to be under the FIA, and they have access to all the car data – they can see what we need to improve to move forward."

He added: "I've always said, this is a process now."

			© Red Bull Contentpool
	© Red Bull Contentpool

Brawn hails step forward with F1's new cars

Brawn went on to stress just how much of improvement he feels the new cars are over their predecessors.

"The old cars were horrible [and] we've been able to make that step," he said.

"I think we've shown that the race-ability of the car has to be a strong consideration going forward – it's not just one solution and then we stop.

"We need to keep this process up. We need to keep working at understanding how we can make great racing cars, and then continue the development in that direction.

"Obviously, with new regulations, it looks to me as if two or three teams have not got it right, but it wasn't that bad.

"As always, if we can get two or three teams at the front, fighting hard, and a strong midfield, then we should be pleased – and if those cars can race, that's the key thing."

The importance of the budget cap going forward

Brawn also pointed out the role F1's cost cap is likely to play as the new era of competition settles in.

"I think adding that dimension of working on the car's race-ability is going to make a difference, and you can't forget the impact the cost cap is going to have," he continued.

"Nobody out there at the moment is going to be able to pour another £100 million in to solve their problems. That is going to have a flatter development rate this year [and] nobody is going to pull away.

"I think a lot of things have come together [and] we can look forward to a great year. I can remember some pretty tedious first races, and we didn't get that.

"You can see that the cars can race; they were on top of each other all day. That is a credit to [tyre supplier] Pirelli, but it's also a credit for the cars we have built."

Domenicali reckons F1 is in "great shape"

Domenicali echoed Brawn's sentiments as he welcomed a positive start to life under the rules reset.

"First of all, I don't think we can underestimate the great work that Pirelli have done," said Domenicali, standing alongside Brawn as the pair addressed the media together.

"The tyres have always been under a bigger spotlight and we saw the different typology give a different element to the show, and different strategy. Some did it right; some did it wrong – this is part of the game!

"We've also seen the quality of the promoter, the energy we wanted to bring. From a commercial point of view, a lot of companies have invested with us.

"We can see how many new brands are coming into Formula 1 and the business is in good health. The signals are encouraging and F1 is in great shape.

"There was a great fight on the track, very correct by all the drivers, and this is a good sign for the first race.

"To see Ferrari back again, being competitive, is very good for everyone. I'm sure this will have an impact on the number of ticket sales the promoter will sell. I'm expecting, in Imola, a big crowd like the old days."

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