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Why Ross Brawn has a clear conscience
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Why Ross Brawn has a clear conscience
Posted By:   |  05 Apr 2009   |  1:28 pm GMT  |  24 comments

Interested to see that Ross Brawn has started responding to the criticism levelled at him by Flavio Briatore that he has misused his position as chair of the technical working group by not declaring his hand on the diffuser issue whenthe rules for 2009 were being discussed. Brawn raised the subject early last year, he says and proposed that the rules be tightened up.

“In March 2008 that was offered. If I’m frank I didn’t say ‘look we are going to do this diffuser if you don’t accept this rule’ because I’m not going to tell people what we’re doing, but I explained that I felt that we should have a different set of rules to simplify what needs to be done,” he said.

“I offered them and they were rejected, so my conscience is very clear. And those rules that I put on the table would have stopped a lot of things. It would have stopped the diffuser, it would have stopped all those bargeboards around the front, and it would have cleaned the cars up.”

I’ve been told by a senior engineer from a non-trick diffuser team that Brawn came to one meeting and said, albeit not in so many words, “Look we need to change the rules here because we are going to be miles ahead next year.”

The others chuckled politely given how far back Honda were at the time. They are not chuckling now.

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24 Comments
  1. sambo says:

    It’s about time these protesting teams shut up. The FIA have approved the legality of the ‘trick’ diffuser and the rest should get on with making their own. The constant whining is getting tiresome now.

  2. lower-case david says:

    ross brawn is the daddy

  3. Colin says:

    My guess is that your source is Bob Bell of Renault… right Sir?

    I wonder if Mr. Brawn can make a similar declaration concerning his years at Maranello?

  4. James Allen says:

    JA writes: Wrong, Sir

  5. kody says:

    those guys chuckling are now scratching their head with a wry smile on their faces, whispering to themselves, “he surely was serious about it eh..” canny brawn.. great work team brawn..

  6. Steve Arnott says:

    I’d heard that story too, albeit last year, and I admit to sharing their cynicism. It’s interesting that all teams either play up or play down their chances for the coming season, but with Ross you really should believe him :) When he’s strong and is playing down his chances, he has an unconcealable glint in his eye.

    Brawn GP are clearly well instructed: don’t say it was easy, don’t thrash them too badly, keep things polite. But those pitstop window quick laps by Button were awesome. Schumacheresque. Brawnesque.

    Seriously, F1, you need to do some work, otherwise this year Brawb GP could go one step further than McLaren’s record and win the lot.

  7. Paul_G says:

    What is the process for writing the technical regulations, James? Reading this article of yours, it sounds as if the teams write the regulations themselves. I was under the impression that the FIA drafted the regulations based on recommendations by the various working groups (ie the OWG). It would be interesting to know, as it seems to me that most of the recent controversial stewards rulings (eg. the diffuser loophole, spa debacle) have come about due to poorly written rules, not through team or driver error.

  8. Mooks says:

    It needed something like this for the regulations to be tightened in the way of loop-holes. ‘Diffuser-gate’ should end at a failed appeal, as they have been granted legal, and the rules revised, like they should have been for next season. I think this season is going to be epic!

  9. I can remember Flav saying not so long ago that none of his car had anything taken from the McLaren only to find the cooling system was. I can also remember him saying Fisi and Wurz had the same cars, and Wurz was just a slower driver. Only for us all to find out at the last race that infact that was entirely accurate.
    Still what goes around comes around.

  10. Sparhawk says:

    I hope that FIA does not DQ the diffuser three, it will be awful.

  11. MartinWR says:

    There is another possible explanation why Ross Brawn has a clear conscience.
    Maybe he has a clear conscience because he is a man of some integrity.
    Maybe, because he isn’t a liar, or a cheat.
    Maybe there are, improbable as it may seem after this last week, some decent people in F1.
    It is just possible, maybe?

  12. Darkstomper says:

    “Look we need to change the rules here because we are going to be miles ahead next year.”

    My my, how the above comment put a huge cheesy grin on my face! love it…

  13. You’ll notice that we didn’t hear a peep from the “ring leader” of the anti-DOJ (Diffuser of Justice) lobby, Christian Horner, this weekend. Ferrari made a statement about cost, but there weren’t any headlines about them complaining to the level they have in the past about the DOJ.

    Instead, the only man who is whining about the advantage that the DOJ teams have is the same man who is always whining about the advantages that other teams have: Flavio Briatore. For a man who has led plenty of teams in the past who have conducted their affairs and designed their cars in a clandestine and legally questionable manner, this smacks of hypocrisy and sour grapes over lacking competitiveness.

  14. Mike Ellison says:

    Sounds open and shut to me. Brawn gave them the opportunity to tighten up the rule. They chose not to so it’s not Brawn’s problem. In any case, the rules are there to be interpreted and they all play around the fringes of the rules (INCLUDING Renault) so this is Flav just being a baby and Ross is totally in the right.

  15. scottseibel says:

    In an era of spying and lying to try and get ahead it is interesting to read this about Ross Brawn. Compared to certain others in the industry he seems like a saint.

  16. Sue Ratcliffe says:

    The last few days have brought to mind the golden days of ‘Team Schumacher;. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you couldn’t help but admire the brilliance of Ross’s tactics. He outwitted McLaren so many times with his intelligence and cunning, and it was only when Pat Symonds at Renault belatedly caught on and started using the same methods that Team Schumacher were beaten. Oh, happy memories! How long is it to the next race? I can’t wait.

  17. Cliff says:

    Despite all the positive comments in favour of Brawn GP, Why do I still get the feeling that the FIA will rule against them?… Is it the Ferrari effect?

    Great Forum James

  18. Nick says:

    Reading blogs and other forums you get a general feel good factor about Brawn GP and simply a breathe of fresh air on a sport which tends to forget to lose touch with us fans. Its understood that rules are rules and nobody would begrudge banning a cheat…
    These rules were put in place to shuffle the pack and thats what they’ve achieved albeit maybe not how some feel is fair, Ferrari and other powerhouses will always recover with their deep pockets, asking a team (which had to layoff 250 members even though they are winning) to re-develop would cripple them … and lose even die hard fans.

  19. Alastair says:

    After the Hell that JEns and Rubens went through last year and right up until the management buyout, it would be a terrible shame if they were DQ’ed. I don’t actually think they can be DQ’ed, as the Stewards already ruled the diffusers legal.

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  21. Colin says:

    Okey dokey, I knew you wouldn’t reveal your source :)

    So that just leaves….

  22. James Allen says:

    I’d be very surprised if the appeal goes against Brawn. JA

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