Formula 1

Brawn Aiming to Eliminate Grid Penalties for Technical Issues

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Ross Brawn wants drivers to stop being handed grid penalties for engine and gearbox changes - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Ross Brawn is hoping to eliminate the grid penalties drivers take due to technical issues, with Formula 1 bosses looking at other methods of how to punish teams that use too many components.

Currently, drivers and teams can only use four power units, with penalties coming once a fifth element is introduced, while gearboxes must last six consecutive races before being replaced.

The Belgian Grand Prix highlighted the problem with the current system, with Stoffel Vandoorne being handed a total penalty of sixty-five grid places following multiple engine and gearbox changes, and Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsports within Formula 1, says he hates the current system.

“I hate the fact that we’re having to affect the racing because of the technical issues,” said Brawn to Autosport. “I know you can say if a car breaks down in a race that’s a technical issue and you’ve affected the race, but I think the fans understand that.

“For a fan to stomach that his hero is on the back of the grid because he had to change the engine, that’s not great sport. We’ve got to find a solution to that, either through a different form of penalty or to remove the penalty altogether and just live with the problem that it was trying to fix.”

Brawn has revealed that talks are underway with the FIA about a solution to the problem, with possible constructor point deductions an option on the table.

“Maybe we’ll be able to implement a better solution before then, because it’s a massively unpopular aspect of Formula 1 at the moment,” said Brawn. “One of the things that has been suggested is loss of constructors’ points.

“There could be other more discrete penalties. We used to have the token system for the engine, and that wasn’t bad actually. It got a little bit complicated, but you could remove the tokens for a while.

“It needs a lateral think. The grid penalties are very unpopular, and we should be finding a better solution.”

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