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Brawn says F1 will shut down loopholes quickly from 2021

The sport is set to enter a new era next year, with sweeping rule changes aimed at making the track action more competitive and cheaper.

FILE: Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, talks in a press conference to announce the rules for the 2021 Formula One season during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on 31 October 2019 in Austin, Texas. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Formula One plans to change its governance structure to enable the sport to close quickly any loopholes in the 2021 technical regulations, making it harder for anyone team to take a dominant position.

The sport is set to enter a new era next year, with sweeping rule changes aimed at making the track action more competitive and cheaper.

“We’re pushing through governance where we can make changes much more on short notice than at the present time,” motorsport managing director Ross Brawn told the official formula1.com website.

“If you exploit a loophole in the future, you can be shut down at the next race, which you could never do now.”

At present, any rule change during a season has to be agreed unanimously by the 10 teams.

Motorsport.com said the proposed change would give the teams, governing FIA and Formula One 10 votes each with immediate rule changes requiring a ‘supermajority’ of 28 votes.

Brawn, a former Ferrari technical director who won titles with his own team and was also principal of the Honda and Mercedes outfits, said there would be “a whole different philosophy.

“If one team stands out there with a solution that has never been conceived, and has never been imagined, and destroys the whole principle of what is trying to be done, the governance would allow, with sufficient support from the other teams, to stop it,” he said.

Formula One teams are always probing the boundaries, questioning the phrasing of technical regulations and hoping to find performance gains through creative interpretations.

Brawn said the limits would simply be clearer, without stifling creativity.

“A great idea is the exploitation of the regulations within what was intended,” he said.

“If someone comes up with something that was a play on the words, or some interpretation that was never intended, it completely corrupts the principle.

“What is the choice? Either live with it for a year, and have something which is not a great competition, or we change it, put it right and get the competition back to where it is.”

Brawn’s own Brawn GP team, which rose from the remains of the Honda works outfit, took both titles with Jenson Button in 2009 after coming up with a double diffuser that took rivals by surprise and proved an immediate winner.

The car’s legality was disputed in vain by rivals, who then had to play catch-up as Brawn won six of the first seven races that season.

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