Ross Brawn doesn't believe 'any team ever set out to purposely damage the wake' to make following harder as he and Jason Sommerville receive positive feedback on the new wake design for F1 cars.


The new F1 2022 technical regulations aim to create a wake that allows cars to maintain higher downforce levels as they close in. Speaking to several F1 teams, managing director Ross Brawn noted that teams would not sabotage the wake for their own advantage during a race.

The aerodynamic package was developed by a team under Brawn's direction, which included aerodynamicist Jason Sommerville to design the requirements.

Due to the new regulations, teams have to follow specific rules. However, they could still improve the wake by intentionally spoiling it in theory.

Brawn noted that losing the ability to follow will most likely cause an accident. "I think that any loss of this ability to follow will be an accidental consequence of the pursuit of performance," said the managing director.

He added that intentionally manipulating the wake will not happen, in his opinion. Instead, Brawn believes that teams would just follow the race's timetable.

"As a consequence of pursuing performance we may see that we don't quite hit a bullseye in terms of following. But I think it will still be so massively ahead of where we were, because the cars were dreadful," Brawn noted. "So if we're 5 percent worse [than predicted], we'll still be a long way ahead of where the old cars are. And then as we say, we'll evolve it."

Possibility of exploits

Although he accepts the case of teams altering the wake, Sommerville believes that it's unlikely to happen.

Sommerville said that he and his team have already met with several leading teams to better understand the wake.

"We met with one of the top teams recently, and we asked them how their wake was looking. Examination of the wake is something that we spent the last four years in depth understanding," he said.

Despite the teams' stated goals, the aerodynamicist noted that the wake has not deteriorated compared to the current generation of cars.

"The teams have clearly got performance priorities. But it is fair to say their work so far, we're pleased to say hasn't deteriorated the wake anywhere near the level of the current generation of cars," added the New York native aerodynamicist.

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Positive feedback regarding the new wake
Although some teams might complain about the new regulations, the 34 years old aerodynamicist noted that the feedback they're receiving is positive.

"What it seems like, certainly from the feedback we're receiving, is that the natural development and performance that they're finding is conducive to the aspirations that we've had in terms of the wake quality," he noted.

Despite the positive feedback, Sommerville also said that the sensitivity of a car when following remains to be seen.

"What we don't know yet is how sensitive the cars will be in following, but even so, the indications I think are positive that we're still aligned in terms of our objectives and what the teams have been working on," said Sommerville.

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