Brawn reveals 'amusing' Mercedes opposition to new aero testing rules

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Formula 1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn admits seeing Mercedes oppose the new limits on aerodynamic testing was "amusing".

As part of the 'New Deal' that was agreed to shape F1's future, a new sliding scale of permitted windtunnel testing time is to be introduced next year with the Constructors' champions getting 90 percent and the bottom team 112.5 percent of the hours given to what will be the fourth-placed outfit.

When the new technical regulations arrive for 2022, those figures will change to 70 percent and 115 percent respectively as the percentage gap between each team doubles.

"I’m pleased with it because I think it’s a gentle correction," Brawn told "It still maintains the meritocracy, you’ve still got to go out on the track and win the race.

Mercedes AMG F1 Winter Testing

Also Read:

"We’re not doing anything to handicap the driver when he’s out on the track – it’s not success ballast.

"It’s rather like the NFL with the draft, where the least successful teams get the greatest opportunity initially, but they still have to deliver. It’s not like they have points given to them."

Brawn also thinks the measure will make the smaller teams more appealing to investors, who will see the potential for improvements.

"I think it’s an opportunity and an encouragement for the smaller teams," he said.

"If you consider the very real situation of somebody investing in Williams, Williams can now quite legitimately say we have this opportunity in the future to get off the back of the grid.

"That’s a nice incentive. I think it will have a gentle effect on correcting the competitiveness of the field, without distorting it."

Naturally, the top teams were less enthusiastic about the concept, but when Mercedes tried to talk Brawn out of the idea, he quickly ended their argument. 

"It was amusing really in the sense that one of the Mercedes people was complaining to me about it, and I said, ‘You’re assuming that you’re always going to win. Just think for a moment, you’re second or third, wouldn’t you like a bit of assistance?’," he said.

"And it suddenly dawned on him that if they didn’t win, this would be quite useful."