Ex-Ferrari technical chief Ross Brawn, the current Formula 1 managing director of motorsport, said that he feels ‘offended’ by recent comments made by Italian executive Sergio Marchionne regarding the future of the sport. The CEO of Ferrari one again heightened the fact that the Maranello team is ready to leave Formula One if it felt the sport would be no longer carry its ‘DNA’, which was a reference to the proposed power unit regulations for 2021 and beyond, something that Ross Brawn helped to draw up as part of his role within F1 management.
Financial implications have also been a part of Scuderia Ferrari’s concerns over Formula 1’s future beyond 2020, especially with the contentious bonus payments being threatened. Talks of cost caps and other monetary restrictions are also possibilities which the Italian manufacturer feels are against their interests. Speaking in an interview with Radio Sport New Zealand, the former Ferrari technical chief explained: “I find it personally offensive when people accuse me of dumbing down the sport because we know if we did that we’d spoil the sport at its core, and we’d spoil the commercial basis of the sport as well. The teams at the top are probably spending two or three times what they were spending five or six years ago, and yet you wouldn’t say five or six years ago that the sport was dumb. So it’s just a question of degree. We have to help the teams at the top recognise and realise that to have a sport for the future we’ve got to rebase the commercial revenues for the teams, we’ve got to rebase the amount of scope that the teams are allowed to explore technically in order to give a more exciting competition.” – he added.
Ross Brown also further explains how the continuous political drudgery which often holds up the discussions makes the whole process is too sensitive, making every debate more difficult to solve due to the self-interests of the teams. However, despite the constant clashes, he adds that there are still solutions which can be found in the future regulations given the lead time involved in creating them: “There are always vested interests, and it’s not just a simple technical problem, we have the political problem of what is the governance going forward? In other words, what role do the teams play, what role do we play, what role do the FIA play? Governance is a sensitive topic. The commercial revenues to the team is a sensitive topic. Budget control, which is something we’re very enthusiastic about, is a sensitive topic. When you’ve got three or four areas that are being hotly debated, sometimes it colours or clouds other issues. So what would seem like a simple technical challenge or objective is sometimes clouded because the teams are sensitive to other areas and therefore don’t co-operate. But I think broadly speaking, the technical side which we’re discussing is well supported by all the teams. They recognise that if we’re talking about solutions for 2021, they’re not affected in the short term, they’re not disadvantaged in the short term and we should work towards better solutions for the future.” – Ross Brown concluded.