Ross Brawn foresees bright future for F1

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Formula One managing director Ross Brawn is positive about the future of the sport after it celebrated the milestone of 1000 races at the Chinese Grand Prix a week ago.

China was privileged to have been given the chance to hold the 1000th race of the Formula One World Championship. The Eastern country is still a relatively new addition to the Grand Prix Calendar, having joined it in 2004. It has established itself as a successful venue since. 160000 spectators turned up over the three days of last weekend’s race, resulting in an increase of ten per cent compared to last year.

„It’s true that the sport, which we have loved since we were kids, has its roots in Europe on tracks like Spa, Silverstone, Monza and Monaco, which have been figured heavily on the calendar since the sport’s first season in 1950, but Formula 1 is now a global sport and China is a venue that has the greatest potential for growth,” said the sport’s managing director.

Innovations for the future of the sport

Brawn was particularly pleased to see that the additional championship point for the fastest race lap has had an effect in the first three races. „The lure of an extra point, as long as it’s set by a driver who is in the top 10 at the flag, was driven by the desire to add a bit of spice to the final stages of a race, especially when the order seems more or less set.”

During the Chinese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel was holding the chance of being awarded with one additional point after setting the fastest race lap following his second pit stop. However, Red Bull called Pirre Gasly in to the pit for fresh soft tyres with just two laps to go as the sixth-placed Frenchman enjoyed a healty lead in front of seventh-placed driver. The former GP2 champion successfully fulfilled the task he was given with setting a new fastest race lap, stealing the additional point away from Vettel.

Brawn promised that Liberty Media „along with the FIA and the teams, we are listening to what the fans have to say as we put together all the pieces of the jigsaw.” He also added that the company has many more plans to enhance the excitement in Formula One in the future.

Tighter fight is expected

Following Ferrari’s eye-catching form during the pre-season testing, Mercedes, the dominant team of the recent seasons bounced back for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. The German-Anglo outfit has managed to kick off its championship aspirations with a dominant one-two finish in Melbourne followed by two other one-two finishes in the Bahrain and Chinese Grand Prix. The last team to score three one-two finishes at the start of a season was Wiliams in their dominant 1992 campaign.

In that season Williams took 10 wins on their way to the Constructors’ title, with Nigel Mansell scoring nine and Ricardo Patrese one. Mansell won the title with 108 points to the 56 of nearest rival Patrese.

Ferrari’s former technical director sees huge craft and forces in Ferrari and Red Bull which makes him believe that Mercedes will encounter serious competition from the two other leading squads in the coming races, which eventually should lead to a colourful, exciting season. „I don't believe that 2019 will follow the same script as ‘92. The three consecutive one-two finishes scored by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are definitely down to a team that is operating to perfection at the moment, with a top notch technical package, but it’s also fair to say it is up against stronger opposition than was Williams back in ’92.”

„Of course I have nothing against Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and the many friends I still have in that team, but I hope that 2019 won't be a repeat of 1992. Whatever the outcome, I hope that the championship fight will be truly spectacular, as befits this sport,” concluded Brawn.