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Brawn surprised by reaction to engine proposal

NEWS STORY
15/11/2017

Ross Brawn admits to being surprised at the engine manufacturers reaction to the proposals for the 2021 engine regulations announced a fortnight ago.

While the proposals were just that, an initial outline of where Liberty Media and the FIA want to take the sport from 2021, the manufacturers were aghast.

While Honda has essentially kept schtum, no doubt wishing it had never got involved in the first place, Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari were quick to make their displeasure felt, the Italian company even threatening to leave the sport.

As part of its grand plant to make the sport more competitive and reduce costs, it is intended that the 2021 engines be less complicated and cheaper, among other things.

While Mercedes and Renault believe the new engines will increase spending, especially as until 2021 the manufacturers will need to run two programmes, Ferrari was aghast at the mention of standard parts, the Maranello company saying this compromised its DNA.

F1 technical boss Ross Brawn admits to being surprised by the reaction, especially as it was merely an initial proposal with nothing set in stone.

"Reflecting on it, maybe we could have presented it differently," he admitted, according to BBC Sport. "But I didn't anticipate the response to be as strong as it was.

"We've had another meeting since then and I made that comment," he revealed. "If that is the thing people are most upset about, then I apologise. But let's not lose sight of what we are trying to do. If they were uncomfortable with the way it was presented, it wasn't intended that way.

"The current engine is an incredible piece of engineering but it's not a great racing engine," he said. "It is very expensive, it doesn't make any noise, it has componentry that in order to control the number of uses is creating grid penalties that make a farce of F1, there are big differentials of performance between the competitors and we are never going to get anyone else to come in and make engines."

Confirming that the plans outlines at the original meeting were merely a starting point, he called on the teams to bring their own proposals to the table, as long as they abide by the aim of making the engines, cheaper, less complicated, more noisy, hybrid, road relevant, able to be used by the driver at their full potential all the time and use certain standard components.

Insisting that he is willing to listen to the teams' own proposals, "as long as those principles that we've set out are achieved", he said: "If a manufacturer can demonstrate that there is a better way of doing it than what has been proposed, i.e. it is cheaper, it is more appealing to the fans, it is something that a new supplier could engage with; any of those factors, then why not?

"We are not wedded to specific solutions. We think with the expertise that we've got and the work we've done, these are the solutions that can work. If somebody suggests another solution that they think will achieve the same objective, we are not going to say no."

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 18/11/2017 12:50

"Brawn (and lots of others) seem to have lost sight of the old adage that "You can't swim in the same river twice".
No matter how much we all pine for the howl of assorted V-motors at full-chat, that era is gone. If you want Mercedes, Renault & Ferrari to stay in the game, dumping the modern PUs simply won't wash... If they were that keen on demonstrating their capabilities in building mid 20th Century technology there's plenty of old-fashioned series to choose from.
That's not to say that a much less prescriptive formula couldn't be devised (see Max Noble's recent piece), but the current PUs are very powerful, incredibly driveable and simply "better" than the old stuff at going fast on less fuel.

The crux of all this is that Formula E is becoming increasingly attractive to the Big Boys (and Girls, obviously). Not only is there increasing scope for technological input\differentiation by band between Teams, they already run in many Cities (eat your heart out Liberty).

We need less razamataz and more of a proper Sporting Spectacle, oh and a lot less desire to put various clocks back to non-existent golden ages."

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2. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 17/11/2017 11:05

"If we are to go back to basics, lets do it properly once and for all. Let get rid of all of this expensive electrical and electronic rubbish. A rev limiter is the only thing you can have. Lets even go back to a big, revvy, thirsty, non-turbo engine and, why not, manual gearchanges. Forget about fuel allowances: if it consumes more, so what. There's the extra weight to compensate. Engines would be cheap, so you can use all you like. The FIA could get rid of all its expensive technical consultants, and so could pass all that money on to the teams. No more boffins ruining the sport by changing the rules every five minutes, trying to justify their salaries. F1 has now gotten so ugly that no amount of plastic surgery will ever do any good."

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3. Posted by NS Biker, 16/11/2017 5:00

"I am surprised that Brawn is surprised. This was a pretty obvious reaction.
Some of the major issues NOT identified (that we know of), fuel flow limits, materials restrictions, engine architecture, weights and CG, car weights...... and the beat goes on.
What is their fall-back if they don't get more that 3 (or maybe 2) manufacturers committing.
Probably go all electric with FIA supplied batteries and motors."

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4. Posted by Rhaycen, 16/11/2017 4:53

"I'm amazed that they managed to pick the worst possible option and then be surprised that nobody is happy.

I understand that is the very definition of compromise, but engine makers don't want to get rid of any part of the Hybrid stuff and fans just want to get rid of all that hybrid nonsense."

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 15/11/2017 14:37

"3.0 litre V6 with large Kers capacity, job done."

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