Ross Brawn says he is keen to work further with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton on formulating Formula 1’s future regulations.
The sport’s managing director of motorsport, Brawn is a key player in developing the future of the sport under Liberty Media’s ownership.
Key to that is a new regulation set, an aspect of the sport the drivers have traditionally had little to do with; their influence (through the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association) historically limited to key safety aspects.
However, as the sport looks to lock down its regulations for the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton revealed he attended a recent meeting in the hope of providing some driver input.
The five-time world champions’ participation was welcomed by Brawn, who hopes it continues into the future.
“I’m happy Lewis has confirmed his willingness to make his own contribution in the coming months, and we can’t wait to work with him, particularly in each of the three meetings now scheduled,” said Brawn.
“We know well that Formula 1 needs to make an important change in direction if it wants to maintain its position as one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world.
“All of the key stakeholders – ourselves, the FIA and the teams – agree on the objectives and there is broad agreement on the major principles, such as the introduction of the budget cap and a fairer distribution of the revenue, while on the technical aspects we, and the FIA, have worked together with engineers from all the teams.
“It will be great to have an input directly from the drivers.
“Now we have to refine the details and we are happy that Lewis has expressed his faith in the work we are doing, including on topics such as new circuits.
“For example, the new circuit in Vietnam has been specifically designed to create the conditions that promote spectacular racing and good passing moves.”
A member of the GPDA, Hamilton’s attendance saw him act as a representative of the wider collective.
For Hamilton, having the opportunity to be part of the discussion was a step forward.
“For many, many years they’ve never wanted us in that room,” Hamilton said.
“Which I guess is why it’s never happened, because they are engineers and the guys that make the decisions, we’re ‘just’ drivers.
“But we know how the car feels and we have good positive criticism and negative criticism that can only help influence their decision.
“You can’t make a rule change about something without having all the facts behind it, and what effect it will have, so we just go in there to try to be a guide and if we can be part of the rudder.
“I’m hoping they’ll continue to have us there, a couple of us drivers each time,” Hamilton added, despite suggesting the day-long meetings were too time consuming.
“They’ve extended the decision of making the rules. I think they need to, because they are nowhere near where it needs to be in my opinion.
“They’ve got to make serious changes to the decisions they’ve already made for what 2021 should be.”
Though pleased to have the drivers’ input, Brawn claims the opportunity for them to participate in the decision making process has always existed.
“The door for drivers has always been open and it’s a pity that so often in the past this opportunity has not been taken by all the parties, and it is great to see this new initiative,” said Brawn.
“Luckily, today we can now count on having a driver of huge experience as a member of the World Motor Sport Council in Felipe Massa, the FIA-CIK President, who can also make an important contribution.”
There are a further three meetings scheduled to discuss the 2021 regulations, with Brawn hopeful of having Hamilton participate in all of them.