Find out more about our subscriptions

Brawn: New rules to increase overtaking

Ross BrawnHonda team principal Ross Brawn believes the ban on tyre warmers, along with the new aerodynamic rules, will allow a lot more overtaking next season.

Formula One cars are likely to look rather different next year, when the downforce levels will be reduced drastically in a bid to allow drivers to run closer together, thus increasing the chances of overtaking.

"The cars will have a lot less downforce than they do now so it's definitely going to go back the other way," Brawn says.

"And the feeling was that if we can have a higher ratio of tyre/mechanical grip and a lower ratio of aero grip then intuitively you think that would be much better for one car to follow another.

"And the type of car we're trying to have should mean the cars can follow each other. And we have an adjustable front wing so when a driver gets behind another front wing, he can adjust the balance of his car so he doesn't lose the aero balance in the corner when he's following another car.

"There are a lot of reasons why it should be better but whether there's a second or a third effect we've not anticipated, we'll have to wait and see."

With the ban on tyre warmers, driver will face two or three difficult laps when they change tyres, as the rubber will not be up to the proper temperature.

That has led to suggestions that teams will opt to do as few pitstops as possible in order to avoid those slow laps.

Brawn, however, reckons that will not necessarily be the case, and he is optimistic the new rules will lead to a significant variety of race strategies.

"I don't think that will happen completely," he said when asked if he expected strategies to be based on saving fuel.

"I think there will be very interesting strategies because obviously when you leave the pits, you'll have cold tyres and might not be able to defend against somebody who's attacking you but imagine you're being held up by a guy who's on a long stint.

"You come in early to get your fuel and tyres and get them up to temperature and the other guy comes in three laps later and has to change tyres, and if you stay in touch you've got the hot tyres and can attack him. I can see lots of different scenarios. I don't think it's as simple as saying 'whoever goes longest is going to win' - it won't work like that.

"And if the tyres have a moderate degree of degradation, they're getting slower all the time so there will be another imbalance there.

"It's going to be fascinating is when you go out on the cold tyre, you're going to have two or three laps of getting the things to work properly and you'll be very vulnerable. And people will be able to overtake.

"And that's what we want. We see it a bit in GP2. There's potential for a lot more opportunity."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed