F1 chief Ross Brawn aims clear warning at Red Bull and Mercedes for 2022 season
Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out
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Formula One managing director Ross Brawn has told Red Bull and Mercedes that any attempts to bend next year’s technical regulations will eventually be dealt with and snuffed out by the FIA. The two teams concluded an epic battle for Constructors’ Championship glory that was eventually won by the Silver Arrows at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after Sergio Perez was forced to retire from the all-important season finale.
The last race of the campaign was overshadowed by the last-lap drama that saw Max Verstappen pip Lewis Hamilton to the Drivers’ Championship title in extraordinary circumstances.
Mercedes were understandably aggrieved by the manner in which Hamilton was denied a record-breaking eighth title but have since acknowledged their latest Constructors’ triumph.
The German outfit have clinched the end-of-season honours for eight consecutive years and will be hoping to extend their own record with yet another successful campaign next time around.
However, Red Bull will also be looking to rival Mercedes for the prize after narrowly missing out at the end in Abu Dhabi.
All teams will be forced to adapt to a new set of regulations next year, with a new breed of F1 cars set to be introduced to the public when pre-season testing gets underway in February.
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The new rules are designed to reduce the level of aerodynamic downforce on cars with the intention of reducing the effect of dirty air in order to promote closer racing.
Red Bull and Mercedes will be desperate to avoid slipping down the pecking order, with the widespread nature of the regulation changes potentially able to shake up the grid next year.
However, Brawn has already warned against exploiting any loopholes in the system, insisting that any breaches will be stamped out accordingly.
“That’s been one of the focuses on the new car, that we try and make them a bit more robust, a little simpler, a little less critical,” Brawn told F1TV’s Tech Talks.
“No doubt, the teams will complicate the concept but then I think we can pull it back again.
“So they [the 2021 cars] are fascinating and incredibly impressive designs, but actually not very good racing cars.”
Mercedes successfully exploited the regulations back in 2020 with their controversial Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system that was subsequently outlawed ahead of this year’s campaign.
The development helped them to clinch another Constructors’ Championship title while Hamilton cruised through the season to claim the individual honours at a canter.
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It remains to be seen whether the Silver Arrows or Red Bull will conjure up another innovation of this nature ahead of next year’s competitive action, which will begin at the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix in March.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner previously insisted that his team would not slow their 2021 development to benefit their preparations for next season, suggesting that a slow start could be on the cards for Verstappen.
“It is embedded in who we are as a race team that it’s not in our culture to give up on any season,” Horner told Autosport back in August.
“Of course, we have the constraints of the budget cap as well, which makes life slightly more complicated. But people have short-term memories in this sport, and you’ve got to go for it.”
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