As Formula One recently confirmed the most important changes to the regulations and rules for the 2019 season that will have the main purpose of improving the way in which overtaking is done, the sport’s technical boss, Ross Brawn has used the example of the Red Bull duo’s clash to highlight the fact that removing downforce can have a negative impact.
“One of the key episodes of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the collision between team mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen,” he told the official F1 website. “I don’t want to comment on who might be held responsible or how a team should manage these issues during a race, but I do think the Steward’s decision to reprimand both drivers was the right course of action. But I would like to highlight a technical point. Once Daniel had settled for his line, and Max had changed direction blocking that line, the Australian became a passenger. The downforce loss experienced by Ricciardo in the wake of Verstappen’s car would have made it unstoppable.” – he explained.
The Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports and technical director continued: “We often think of downforce applying in cornering,” he continues, “but the impact the extra grip has in braking is huge. Take away that grip in braking and what happened on Sunday was inevitable. Whilst this was a very severe example, it did highlight once more the need of finding a way to develop the rules to make the cars more raceable in these conditions. The decision of the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission taken yesterday, sanctioned by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, to approve a number of aerodynamic modifications, aimed at promoting closer racing and more overtaking for the 2019 season is definitely an important step. It’s also important to note that the decision has been taken after an intense period of research into the FIA’s proposals, which were made with the support of Formula 1 and, conducted by a majority of the teams.” – he concluded.