Formula 1 Managing Director of Motorsport Ross Brawn is absolutely sure that sport’s future is secure given the immense talent of the current young drivers.
Following the Mercedes-dominated first four rounds of the delayed and curtailed 2020 F1 season, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, held at Silverstone, produced an extraordinarily exciting race action last weekend. Using Red Bull’s excellent tyre management, Max Verstappen beat the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to take his ninth career victory at the pinnacle of motorsport.
In his post-race analysis, Brawn stressed that small changes such as a different tyre allocation can have a significant impact on the pecking order.
„The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend showed how small changes, such as changing the compound type and allocation from one race at Silverstone to the next, can have such a big effect. It made the race.
„Red Bull produced a brilliant strategy, and Max Verstappen executed it perfectly. The difference between getting the tyres to hold on and for them to go over the top can be quite subtle. Clearly Mercedes were putting a bit more energy into the tyres in a way which pushed them over the limit, whereas Red Bull did not.
„The hot temperatures and the softer tyres with increased tyre pressures created a combination of factors which scuppered Mercedes, but allowed Red Bull to flourish. Without doubt, this was the most exciting race of the year.”
Ferrari’s former technical director is relaxed when he assesses the future of Formula One as the current young drivers look to secure the sport’s long-term future.
„What the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and indeed the season so far have shown is that Formula 1 has some very exciting young drivers and that means the sport has a future it can look forward to, especially when we implement the budget cap, restored prize fund, and we get the new generation of cars in 2022.”
Brawn hailed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s performance after the Monégasque propelled his underperforming SF1000 on to the podium at the British Grand Prix. Following another exceptional drive that saw Leclerc finish 4th by showing strong race pace, the Briton praised Scuderia’s 22-year-old star who „delivered yet another brilliant drive for Ferrari, he’s just awesome. Verstappen once again showed his exceptional talent.
„Alex Albon has been in the shadow of Max, but after some criticism in recent weeks, he stepped up his game at Silverstone this weekend and delivered a very strong performance throughout the race. And while George Russell didn’t have his best weekend, he’s shown consistently this year that he is a huge talent.”
The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix also marked the return to race action for Nico Hülkenberg. The Emmerich-born driver stepped in for Sergio Perez at the British Grand Prix, but he was unable to start in the race due to technical problems with the Mercedes geabox.
However, as the Mexican tested positive for the coronavirus again ahead of last weekend’s race, Hülkenberg received another chance that he perfectly capitalized on, out-qualifying his team-mate Lance Stroll and beating the Canadian until an unplanned tyre change dropped him to seventh.
Brawn also mentioned the German in his post-race column, revealing that he was close to sign him for Mercedes at the end 2012.
„It was going to be an incredible physical challenge for Nico Hulkenberg and I don’t know how much he hurt at the end of the race, but it was great performance all weekend by someone who had just been dropped in the deep end.
„I almost signed him years ago, when I was in charge at Mercedes. If Lewis hadn’t joined Mercedes when he did, Nico was our next choice. I’ve always respected Nico enormously as a driver. He’s a very strong driver who should be in Formula 1,” he concluded.