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Brawn eyeing NASCAR's open inspection initiative for F1?

NEWS STORY
11/05/2017

As FOM seeks to level the playing field in an attempt to make the sport more competitive and create the means whereby even a minnow outfit might pull off a shock win, technical boss Ross Brawn has admitted that he is looking to NASCAR for inspiration.

Seeking a "change of mind set", the Briton tells Autosport. "In NASCAR, you can go and look at someone else's car, strip it apart and see what's in it.

"That's their way of keeping everyone loosely competitive," he continues. "No one objects, no one has a problem. It's a philosophy that should be thought about."

Brawn is citing the NASCAR practice whereby post-event the cars are taken to NASCAR's R&D facility in Concord, North Carolina, and inspected, with not only rival teams in attendance but the procedure streamed online for fans to access.

"It's an open-door policy," explains Chad Little, Managing Director, Technical Inspection/Officiating at NASCAR. "So any other team can come and observe.

"They're parked right next to each other just like they are in the garage; nobody covers anything up. When the parts come off they're laid there for anybody else to see."

The thought of F1 teams, which go to almost laughable lengths in order to prevent rivals getting the merest glimpse of their cars, allowing rivals such access is hard to imagine, far less having their secrets on show to the watching world.

Allowing rivals such access and therefore giving them the opportunity to copy is surely only another step towards the one-make series that some at the very top of the sport have dreamed of for some time.

While he admits to being a poacher turned gamekeeper, surely this is a concept that would cause Brawn, an admitted purist, to lose sleep at night.

Fact is, such a move would damage the very integrity of Formula One.

In the real world, thanks to the political indoctrination that tells everyone they are winners, people subsequently discover the harsh reality that in fact not everybody can be a winner.

In the same way that there is no room for a sense of entitlement in the real world, so it goes in the F1 paddock.

While one can understand FOM’s reasoning – in wanting to level the playing field – this is not the way to go about it.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by imejl99, 18/05/2017 7:55

"Banned: flexi wings, berilliym, rocket guel, 4wheel steering, x-wings, active suspension, tuned mass dampers, ground effect, v10, v12, brake steer, f-duct, 4x4, double difuser, rear brake pedal, traction control, CVT gearbox... Anyone come with competitive advantage and it is banned. The name is "Formula One" - maybe my formula is V12 + CVT, yours is ground effect + rocket fuel...

But no, all ideas are towards "Formula Equal"
Just, there are series like that already existing."

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2. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 12/05/2017 18:05

"Whilst this might appear a disincentive to innovation, 'spying' has been a part of F1 for decades and improves further innovation: even the whiner wHorener and his bosses might support it - until, of course, it is to their disadvantage, as they found with the Anschluss."

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3. Posted by nonickname, 12/05/2017 17:15

"In truth the only formula that empowered was Can Am. All they asked for was 4 wheels. Now that would give the 'pinnacle of motorsport' and will never happen again."

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4. Posted by ryanhellyer, 12/05/2017 10:41

"I've long thought this was a good idea. Although I would limit it to the end of the season.

The FIA can ensure that teams don't provide fake parts by simply photographing and measuring various things during the season, and providing all that data at the seasons end.

This will immediately plummet the costs for teams across the board. There would be less motivation for those at the top to spend money, and it'd be trivial for the smaller teams to catch up since they could essentially just copy the cars from the previous season. This is basically how Indycar used to work (before they changed to spec cars) since the other manufacturers could easily get data from one of the teams. Indycar never had a huge disparity in car performance (partly) for this reason.

The top teams can still prove their technical skills by doing the best, and of course just because you can see a car, does not mean you can replicate it exactly."

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5. Posted by airman1, 12/05/2017 8:55

"You know this whole "reduce the cost" sounds like a transfusion to a corpse. I am not saying that F1 is the corpse, but all things have an end. All this talk about the budget cap, reducing the cost, leveling the playing field, is nothing but an attempt by people who are making a ton of money of F1, to continue making it. To hell with it. If someone wants to sink a billion dollars in a team to win, let them! If someone wants to keeps all of their secrets, well they have every right to do so, they paid for them! F1 is exactly that, a formula one, it should have stayed that, a loosely defined formula around which teams will design a car as their wits and budget allows it. No more no less. If you want a level playing field, well then design a uniform template for all the cars, tires and everything, market it as whatever you want, make a circus out of it. But allow F1 to be F1 even if it fails. (of course they won't, they paid too much for it, they will in the end turn it in to something like NASCAR-IRL)....there is absolutely nothing wrong with other types of car racing, nothing, if you like it you watch it...but F1 is also a different type of racing...and it should remain so...and if it cannot make money, be fair, kill it before is perverted in to something it is not."

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6. Posted by The Canadian, 11/05/2017 23:12

"Another thing NASCAR does is regulate the Aero. Probably folks here don't want to see uniform, mandated body styles right down to the wing design- but it sure would make for a more level playing field...
"

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7. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 11/05/2017 18:56

"Someone, anyone, name an era when the best team(s) in F1 were not seconds a lap faster than those at the back? Name me a single season when a team that qualified for the first four races of the season in an average of 12th place went on to win a race that season that wasn't hugely affected by the weather or a massive crash that took out half the grid? And Ross Brawn's hypocrisy makes Bernie look like a saint! If Bernie and Max had come up to him when he was leading Ferrari through the Schumacher years and said "look we are fed up with the gap between you and Minardi. From now on we are going to tear your car apart in front of everyone after every race and let everyone copy your car!" Brawn would of had a fit! If they want the teams at the back to have a chance then just make F1 a spec championship. Scrap the teams. The FIA can keep the cars and hire the support staff. At each race on a Saturday morning the drivers pick a number out of a hat. That number tells them what car they will be driving for qualifying and the race. There, everyone has a chance of winning now. This story needs the following #RossBrawnsStupidIdeaCircus

If Ross Brawn really wanted to improve F1 he should start at the FIA. Tear up the rule book. Really. Massive relaxation in the rules governing aerodynamics. Engines should only have to last two races a year, just races, not entire weekends. Allow the teams to run qualifying spec engines. Engine manufacturers can just supply one team if they want to. If Ferrari and Mercedes don't want to share then they don't have to. Every team needs to design and build every single last part themselves. Tyre companies have to supply a maximum of two teams on the grid. Teams can run on any tyre they want to, for as long as they want. No refuelling. Every car has to start each race with 150 kg of fuel in and finish with 1.5 kg in. In other words take the damn breaks off and let F1 be F1. Those would be a few good areas in which to start I think. "

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8. Posted by nonickname, 11/05/2017 14:28

"Hi Canuck, don't work that way. Scrutineers supervise/oversee the strip the in public view. Team assembles car later."

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9. Posted by stoney, 11/05/2017 13:55

"I do think that 90% of this can be grabbed from TV... Oh wait, smaller teams can't afford pay-per-view - I forgot."

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10. Posted by Canuck, 11/05/2017 13:47

"Knowing F1, teams would have fake parts for the inspection and real parts hidden. then when putting the car back together they would fit the real parts. "

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11. Posted by nonickname, 11/05/2017 12:31

"First really good idea I have heard in years. That would put a cap on spend!"

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