Ross Brawn says Formula 1’s new-for-2019 aerodynamic rules “seem to working” after witnessing yet more encouraging signs at the Bahrain Grand Prix. 

For this season, F1 has introduced a set of revised aero regulations - featuring simplified front and rear wings - in a bid to reduce the effects of following in the wake of another car and ultimately improve the quality of wheel-to-wheel racing.

An increase in the amount of overtakes was recorded at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix compared to the 2018 event, while in Bahrain there were some thrilling fights up and down the order during an action-packed race. 

F1 Driver Ratings - Bahrain Grand Prix

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“The effect of the new aero rules began to be felt in Melbourne and it was even more apparent in Sakhir,” F1 managing director Brawn said. 

“The changes were introduced to improve the drivers’ ability to race closely and they seem to be working.

"I’d say that we are only seeing the first signs, encouraging ones at that, and they have made for interesting racing, especially in Bahrain.

"It’s not just down to the new rules, but the show we have seen in the first two races makes me feel optimistic about the rest of the season. In Shanghai, in just under two weeks, we’ll see if the improvement is repeated.”

In Melbourne a number of drivers, including Romain Grosjean, reported positive feedback regarding following other cars and early predications appeared to ring true once again in Bahrain.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen said he noticed an impact in Sakhir and doubts the increase in wheel-to-wheel action and passing was only influenced by the introduction of a third DRS zone at the Bahrain International Circuit. 

“I don’t know if I overtook anyone in DRS, maybe one,” the Finn explained. 

“I think the cars for sure lets you to get more closer and not disturb.I think exits are still tricky when you are close but I think the cars are easier to follow getting closer.”

But reigning world champion and Bahrain GP winner Lewis Hamilton stressed he felt “zero difference”, despite pulling off overtakes on Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the race. 

“It’s no different - made zero difference,” he said. “It’s still terrible!”

 

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