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Ross Brawn: Formula 1 fixes will take time

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Recently-appointed sporting managing director of Formula 1 Ross Brawn says that the solutions to many of the series’ key issues will take time to come to fruition.

Ex-Benetton and Ferrari technical chief Brawn was announced as F1’s new sporting managing director following Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport last month, marking his return to motorsport three years after leaving Mercedes.

Brawn has been tasked with improving F1’s on-track product, but has stressed that the fixes will not be instant and will take some time to instigate.

“There are some straightforward issues, but the solutions are going to take some time,” Brawn told BBC 5 Live.

“We want to focus on making the show as good as it can be and the entertainment as good as it can be.

“Every decision that will be made in the future – technical decisions, sporting decisions, economic decisions – will have to tick some boxes. Does it make the sport better? Does it make it more entertaining? Does it make it more economic?

“Gradually we’ll steer the sport into a better direction, into a better place. You can’t change a sport as complex as Formula 1 overnight.

“But the message is that we are fighting to make the sport as entertaining and as viable as we can. I hope with the continued pressure we can apply, we can steer the sport into a better place.”

Brawn will work alongside new F1 CEO Chase Carey and commercial chief Sean Bratches under Liberty’s ownership, forming a new triumvirate to manage the sport.

Brawn wrote widely about his thoughts on the current issues surrounding F1 in his recently-released book, Total Competition, where his philosophy of basing of decisions on economic, technical and sporting grounds was explored widely.

Due to the existing contracts that are in place, many of the planned political and economic changes for F1 may not be workable until 2020 at the earliest, but sporting moves could be invoked sooner should Brawn see fit to do so.

Alexander Rossi’s Grand Prix of Alabama gamble fails to pay off

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Alexander Rossi bobbled for the first time in 2018 with an 11th-place finish in the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

And to add insult to injury, Rossi also lost the points lead as a result.

Rossi got off to about as great a start to the season as possible. He finished third at St. Petersburg and sat third in the standings. He finished third again at Phoenix and climbed to second in the points.

Rossi won the Long Beach Grand Prix after starting from the pole and leading 71 laps. That put him at the top of the standings after three races.

Then, as quickly as he climbed to the top, he got knocked down a spot after finishing off the podium for the first time in 2018.

Rossi not only missed the podium, he finished outside the top 10.

“We didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Rossi said after the race. “That remains a mystery. But at the end of the day it was about survival. We couldn’t make the tires last; we couldn’t really get a great fuel number.”

The biggest negative was the one factor that was mostly out of his control. Rossi gambled that he was facing only a brief shower when rain began to fall with about 15 minutes remaining. He was wrong.

“We tried to be pretty aggressive on the dry tires and stay out and survive the rain, hoping it would dry out,” Rossi said. “And it didn’t really work.

“Sometimes you’ll have those days.”