Brawn stresses simplicity, long-term thinking for F1’s future

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Newly-appointed Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has stressed the importance of simplicity and avoiding knee-jerk reactions in helping the series to grow and improve the on-track product.

Ex-Ferrari and Benetton technical chief Brawn was unveiled as one of F1’s new managing directors on Monday when Liberty Media completed its acquisition of the sport.

Brawn has been tasked with managing F1’s sporting interests and helping to evolve the series, working alongside the FIA and F1’s new CEO Chase Carey following Bernie Ecclestone’s resignation.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Brawn spoke about his plan to make F1 simpler to understand, having observed it from a fan’s perspective since his exit from Mercedes at the end of 2013.

“I think simplicity is a key objective for the future. I watch Formula 1, I have done for the last few years as a spectator and there are times when even I haven’t been sure what’s going on in a race,” Brawn said.

“It’s a great sport. It’s a fabulous combination of drivers, their personalities, their competition, the cars, the whole thing. We just need to look at it and see how we can improve the show.

“I know from experience that Formula 1 tends to be reactive: it has a problem, it reacts and tries to find a solution, but very rarely has the vision of looking forward three to five years and deciding where it wants to be.

“I think we know what fans want, they want entertainment, they want overtaking, they want close racing, they want to be able to understand what’s going on, I think everyone agrees on that.

“It’s finding a path with all the other teams and all the other people involved to achieve that.”

The new Formula 1 season begins on March 26 in Melbourne, Australia.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III