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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Brawn warns new regulations may not end dominant era

Ross Brawn warns the upcoming change in regulations may not have the desired effect of increasing competition for Mercedes in 2017.
Ross Brawn says there is a good chance one team could continue to dominate F1 despite a change in technical regulations aimed at growing competition amongst the leading teams.

With Red Bull winning four consecutive F1 world titles between 2010 and 2013, the current V6 Hybrid era has seen Mercedes dominate since 2014 by winning 50 of the 58 races since its introduction.

New for 2017, an overhaul in the technical regulations will be aimed at shifting the emphasis away from the strength of the engine in favour of greater importance of the chassis, potentially giving the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren the chance to challenge Mercedes' superiority.

However, multiple title-winning engineer and team principal Brawn is cautious about the upcoming change, suggesting it could pave the way for Mercedes or another team to launch into a new era of dominance rather than allowing the current regulations to organically bring teams closer together.

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"I think there are definitely some positives to what's happening in 2017," he told ESPN. "I think the reality is the longer you leave the regulations the same, the closer the teams get -- and you are starting to see that now.

“Mercedes is still winning but people are starting to nip at their heels and more time with the same regulations would make that even closer I'm sure.

"When new regulations come, someone gets on top of them quicker than the rest and that was always what I tried to do, but that slope that comes flattens off and everyone else catches up.

“You may well see next year is somebody takes an interpretation of the regulations, gets ahead of the game and has a big advantage. I don't know who that might be, but you could easily see someone disappearing."

Brawn's argument echoes that of Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, who has claimed Mercedes are more likely to be reeled in by retaining the current formula, whereas new regulations give it a good chance to re-establish its dominance for three more years.

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November 20, 2016 5:52 PM

domination is OK as long as the other's have a fair opportunity to catch up. the fans are leaving because if there is no in-season development, then there is no reason to watch more than the first 2 or 3 races, you know all there is to know. but if after 3 races, the fans knew that RB or Ferrari were coming with a brand new powerplant or brand new chassis or whatever "big" development, then there would at least be what Richard Hammond so accurately described as being the "one thing necessary for good motorsport... unpredictability"

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