Brawn hails lack of data in Austin

  • 23 Oct 2018 12:43
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Ross Brawn says that the lack of data from Friday in Austin made the US Grand Prix much more intense. Friday was a washout, with heavy rainfall limiting the running, which was all done on the intermediate and wet compounds.

However, on race day, the track was bone dry and temperatures were much hotter than what they were in practice. This led to some varying strategies which eventually saw the top three drivers cross the finish line with very little to separate them.

Kimi Raikkonen started the race on the ultra soft tyres which saw him jump Hamilton off the line, who started on a harder compound. The Briton made two pit stops, while race winner Raikkonen and second-placed Max Verstappen made just one stop.

Brawn thinks that the exciting race with a nail-biting finish is a strong case for having less practice during a weekend, as it will make the races more unpredictable for both the fans and the teams.

"The three drivers on the podium crossed the line within the same three seconds. They all ran different tyre strategies, through choice in the case of Räikkönen and Hamilton and by necessity for Verstappen who started from the penultimate row of the grid," Brawn said.

"That’s unusual in Formula 1, where the level of sophistication in terms of simulation and strategy is so high that one doesn’t usually get such a variance, especially when it involves the top three teams.

"This was probably down to the fact that no one had been able to run dry weather tyres on Friday as the track was wet throughout the three hours of practice. That meant the teams had less data than usual on which to base their race plans, and thus the margin for error increased.

"To use a football metaphor, when two teams play perfectly, a nil-all draw is the logical conclusion. In Formula 1, when the simulations are all worked out to the smallest detail, then they all converge towards the same best possible strategy.

"So does less data produce a better show? It’s definitely more uncertain and therefore another topic for discussion when looking at ways to make our sport even more exciting, from the first lap to the last, as was the case this Sunday in Austin."

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