Brawn Makes No Excuses for Ferrari Form

Ferrari's Ross Brawn gave a simple answer on Friday to a question that would have been unutterable last year and now torments the Formula One Champions

Brawn Makes No Excuses for Ferrari Form

The technical director was asked why the once-dominant team, leading constructor for the past six years and winners of 15 of last season's 18 races, had lost their competitive edge.

"Because some other cars were faster," he said at a British Grand Prix news conference.

With 10 races behind them, Ferrari are 20 points adrift of leaders Renault in the standings, and that tally flatters them after collecting 18 points from a U.S. Grand Prix that only they, Jordan and Minardi contested.

Last year at Silverstone, Michael Schumacher celebrated his 10th win in 11 races on his way to a seventh world crown and it seemed that Ferrari's unbroken reign was destined to last for a long time.

He and Ferrari started this season as clear favourites.

Yet McLaren, in the doldrums last year, are now the favourites for Sunday's race while from the first event of the year in Australia it has looked as if the men from Maranello have taken their eyes off the ball.

Their run of nine races without success up to Indianapolis was the worst losing streak since Schumacher joined the team from Benetton in 1996.

Brawn said Ferrari were still analysing where they had gone wrong but suggested a number of key factors, not least regulation changes.

The rules for aerodynamics, engines and tyres have all been altered since 2004. Engines have to last for two races in a row while drivers must make the same set of tyres last for both qualifying and the race.

"I think I have to say that particularly McLaren and Renault made very good progress," said Brawn.

"Certainly by this stage of the season they've negated a lot of that loss of performance that came from the regulations. They were able to find more out of the new regulations than we were so we're trying to get that back."

Ferrari are the only top team on Bridgestone tyres while Michelin have seven teams using theirs. That too is a controversial point.

"People will say quite rightly 'that's your own fault', but when you have such a substantial change in the tyre regulations, there's a steep learning curve and Bridgestone have one partner contributing to the learning curve," said Brawn.

"Michelin and their teams have the benefit of a group effort. So when the rules change fundamentally, that will be a factor.

"I think it's levelling off now and I think there's a better opportunity for us to get back on competitive terms but we were wrong-footed a little bit by the regulations and other teams did a better job," he said.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari , Brawn GP
Author Alan Baldwin
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