Brawn looking at track layouts in search for better racing

Home / Brawn looking at track layouts in search for better racing

As part of his quest to improve racing in the future, Ross Brawn is looking at track layouts to determine if changes which could impact the competition are necessary.

Formula 1’s Sporting boss says that all tracks aren’t created equal when it comes to encouraging wheel to wheel racing, and a thorough analysis of what makes a great venue is underway.

“The aerodynamic programme is now starting to pick up pace, and the work on circuit development is happening,” said Brawn, referring to recent work on aerodynamics which would allow for cars to follow each other more closely.

“We have already got engaged with some circuits about possible modifications to improve racing.”

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Brawn says he and his team are looking to the sport’s past for answers about the future.

“We have started looking in our archives,” he said.

“Were there periods of racing where there was more overtaking? Are there tracks where there is more overtaking? So you can do a statistical analysis.

“The thing you have to be careful of is that overtaking isn’t good racing. You have got to start to think about what is good racing – and it is two cars fighting each other.

“It may mean the guy in front stays in front but you can have some great racing going on. It is a little bit more complex than the number of overtakes, counting the number of overtakes.

“What we are seeing so far is the ability to take different lines through corners is quite important to help racing.

“So if you have got a hairpin and it is a narrow track, it is not that great. If you have a hairpin and it is a wide track, where there can be some different lines going into it, then you can get something happening.

“Austin, I think, would fall into the category of where there is a complex of corners.

“So, you take a line on one corner going in, and then you start to force the defending car to start taking different lines. And then eventually you come out in the right place.

“That is what we are looking at.”

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Brawn also underlined the important role played by a track’s surface in promoting close racing, with low degradation asphalt often a negative factor.

“The surface is quite important to the racing because the type of surface can create degradation and a reasonable degree of tyre degradation is helpful to racing because you start to get performance differentials,” he said.

“It doesn’t want to be the band aid to fix it. But if you look at circuits with very low degradation, like Sochi, the racing there is challenging and it is one stop.

“The tyres don’t go off, so away you go. There are no performance differentials created.

“If you look at some of the great races we have had this year, there have often been tyres involved in terms of degradation levels, so the guy defending – like [Kimi] Raikkonen, defending on tyres that were not as good as the tyres Max [Verstappen] had attacking him.

“The surface is quite a factor in terms of the racing you get.”

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