Ross Brawn has backed Sebastian Vettel's view that the Ferrari driver is still in the title hunt. Vettel's hopes took a big hit in Singapore, with the German widely blamed for a first-corner crash that blew out his points deficit to Lewis Hamilton to 28 points. But there are six races to go and Brawn, the F1 sporting boss, thinks Vettel can catch up.
"Absolutely," he told Auto Bild. "Mercedes has had a run and is doing a super job, but the world championship is not decided," Brawn added. "Singapore was a typical start accident, but Vettel is a fighter who never gives up. If he manages it, it will be more than deserved."
Brawn is a key part of F1's new Liberty Media era, with the former Ferrari and Mercedes boss now watching races alongside the television director. "I'm here as an enthusiast, but I'm also trying to get involved," he said. "If I notice a certain race strategy developing, I'll point the director to it."
He also thinks there are other things F1 can do to improve. "We definitely need more cars capable of winning, some different circuits," said Brawn. "The engine makes too much of a difference. But in the short term there's not much we can do. Longer term we will simplify the engines and a budget cap would also help," he added.
As for the 2017 season, Brawn says he is "very happy" with what he has seen. "Three teams are fighting for victory, which is great," he said. "Of course, I recall my time with Michael and Ferrari very fondly, but domination is always bad for the sport. We now have real competition, Lewis against Sebastian, which attracts the fans again. We've already seen some records at some races. And if next year we provide more website content, we will raise it to a higher level again," added Brawn. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing