Brawn objects to ‘dumbing down’ criticism

Formula 1’s director of motorsports Ross Brawn says that he objects to comments that Liberty Media is dumbing down the sport.

Talking to Radio Sport New Zealand this week, Brawn said that he was personally offended by such suggestions.

“Formula 1 has a long history of incredible competition,” he responded. “It’s the pinnacle of motorsport. Why would we choose to damage that?

“I find it personally offensive when people accuse me of dumbing down the sport,” he continued. “We know if we did that we’d spoil the sport at its core.

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“We would spoil the commercial basis of the sport as well,” he added.

It’s the commercial footing of the sport that is very much on Brawn’s mind at the moment. His forthcoming proposals for the future of Formula 1 seek to make it more financially viable for smaller teams.

“The teams at the top are probably spending two or three times what they were spending five or six years ago,” he pointed out. “You wouldn’t say five or six years ago that the sport was dumb.

“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.”

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Ferrari has already objected to what it’s seen of Liberty’s plans for engine technology after 2021. It’s threatened to use its veto, or even to walk away from the sport altogether. Mercedes has also expressed reservations.

“Broadly-speaking, the technical side, which we’re discussing, is well supported by all the teams,” Brawn insisted.

“When you’ve got three or four areas that are being hotly debated, sometimes it colours or clouds other issues.

“What would seem like a simple technical challenge or objective is sometimes clouded because teams are sensitive to other areas and therefore don’t cooperate.

“Governance is a sensitive topic,” he continued. “The commercial revenue to the teams is a sensitive topic. Budget control, which is something we’re very enthusiastic about, is a sensitive topic.

“There are always vested interests,” he said. “It’s not just a simple technical problem.”

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