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- Updated: November 15, 2017
Liberty Media’s Ross Brawn has admitted that he is left feeling rather surprised at how engine manufacturers have reacted to the proposals made by the sport’s new owners for the 2021 engine regulations that were announced a fortnight ago.
While the proposals only outlined the direction that the firm and FIA wants to take the sport from 2021, the manufacturers were not best pleased.
While Honda chose not to say anything openly — undoubtedly cursing their decision to enter the sport in the first place — Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari were quick to make their displeasure known, with the Italian company even threatening to leave the sport.
For those of you not aware of what the proposal entailed, the governing body is looking to make the sport more competitive and reduce costs involved, with a focus on making the 2021 engines less complicated and cheaper, among other things.
Contrary to their expectations, Mercedes and Renault have claimed that the cost involved will actually increase, especially as until 2021 the manufacturers will need to run two programmes, Ferrari has expressed that the preposterous idea of standard parts will compromise its DNA.
F1 technical boss Ross Brawn said that his surprise came mainly by how cold the response was, given the fact that it was just an initial proposal where nothing is 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.”
While he conceded that the proposal was just the initial plan, he asked the teams to bring their own plans to the table.
He did, however, insist that the teams must keep in fact that 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.
“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.”