Ross Brawn has admitted that Mercedes’ ‘no sidepod’ concept was not expected when the new technical regulations were introduced.
Mercedes arrived at the pre-season testing in Bahrain with a big change in the sidepod area. The Silver Arrows decided to remove a large part of it to get an advantage over the opponents. Such a radical decision is already discussed in the paddock. Brawn has also shared his thoughts about it.
“I think there’s no doubt that the Mercedes concept we didn’t anticipate, it’s a very extreme interpretation of the regulations,” the F1 managing director told F1TV.
“And I think inevitably, there’s going be a lot of debate about their interpretation. That’s what happens with new regulations. And however hard you try to close off all the options, and believe me, we closed off hundreds of them, as I say the innovation in F1, it’s always extreme.
“So from our perspective, it’s largely about does it affect the objective of the regulations? From the teams’ perspective, they want to be sure that no one’s taken an interpretation that they don’t feel is correct. So I think there’s going to be a lot of debate in next few days.”
Brawn also believes that the W13 complies with the rules, though it may be protested by the rivals.
“It’s impressive. And I think this is the great thing about the innovation of F1, and it’s just keeping it within boundaries which are sensible, and there are no compromises as I say, in terms of the objective of what we wanted to achieve.
“I think you have to be fair, I think when a team comes up with an idea, with innovation, with novelty, you shouldn’t penalize it straight away.
“But I think as it’s understood more the FIA really, as a regulator of the sport know everything that’s going on there, we don’t as F1, because we’re not entitled to have information. But the regulator of the sport knows what’s going on. I think they’re okay with it so far.
“But of course, a team may come in and raise an objection that the FIA hadn’t considered. And then you have a problem. And I’ve been through that many times where your idea is okay, the FIA agrees it’s okay.
“And then a team comes in with a perspective that have never been considered and have an argument that’s valid. So I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of discussion about it. But it’s impressive for a set of rules, which everybody said was too prescriptive. We’re seeing all these solutions.”