Formula 1 grid penalties must end - Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn says Formula 1 chiefs are pushing for an end to grid penalties in grand prix racing because the system has got out of control

Ever since F1 moved towards long-life components - including engines and gearboxes that must last a set number of races - drivers who use too many components have received grid demotions.

But situations such as Stoffel Vandoorne's 65-place grid penalty at Spa have left Brawn adamant a better solution must be found.

"I hate the fact that we're having to affect the racing because of the technical issues," Brawn told Autosport.

"I know you can say if a car breaks down in a race that's a technical issue and you've affected the race, but I think the fans understand that.

"For a fan to stomach that his hero is on the back of the grid because he had to change the engine, that's not great sport.

"We've got to find a solution to that, either through a different form of penalty or to remove the penalty altogether and just live with the problem that it was trying to fix."

Why drivers should be punished for team failings

Brawn said discussions with the FIA had begun and hopes for changes by the time new engine regulations are introduced in 2021 at the very latest.

"Maybe we'll be able to implement a better solution before then, because it's a massively unpopular aspect of Formula 1 at the moment," he added.

"One of the things that has been suggested is loss of constructors' points.

"There could be other more discrete penalties.

"We used to have the token system for the engine, and that wasn't bad actually. It got a little bit complicated, but you could remove the tokens for a while.

"It needs a lateral think. The grid penalties are very unpopular, and we should be finding a better solution."

Dropping the DRS overtaking aid is another of Brawn's ambitions.

"It's a compromise," said Brawn. "What we should do is find a better solution.

"What we really want is the cars to be able to slipstream one another properly and overtake.

"So for me the solution, which we've now started a programme on, is to design the cars, so that they can race each other in close proximity.

"A current Formula 1 car is totally optimised around running by itself.

"The teams, when they go in the windtunnel and create their CFD programmes to develop the car, it's all done in isolation. So when you put another car around it, the car doesn't work as well.

"What we are working on is generating the capacity to look at cars that are racing each other in close proximity, and what sort of designs we need to enable that to happen.

"When we do that, which is our ambition for 2021, then we will have cars that don't need DRS."

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