F1's midfield podium record 'unacceptable' - Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn has re-emphasised the schism between the lead three Formula 1 teams and their rivals, pinpointing the divide as one major aspect the sport needs to address.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have held a substantial advantage over their opponents in the current era, with only two midfield drivers taking podiums since the start of 2017.

Lance Stroll (Williams) and Sergio Perez (Force India) took top three finishes in Azerbaijan in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and are the only midfielders to have achieved the feat.

Some drivers dubbed the battle for ‘best of the rest’ as ‘Class B’ through 2018, with an acceptance that attempting to challenge the lead trio was fruitless.

“They were practically racing in their own championship, with far too big a performance gap between them and Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull,” said Brawn of the midfield.

“As was the case in 2017, only once and significantly, on a very unusual street circuit like Baku, did a driver from one of those seven teams make it to the podium.

“Last year it was Lance Stroll in the Williams, this time it was Sergio Pérez for Force India.

“Two podiums from a total of 123 is unacceptable, especially when it comes with an ever increasing technical and financial divide.”

Brawn went on to add that “the future of Formula 1” depends on addressing the current gap.

“It’s a problem we are tackling together with the FIA and the teams, because the future of Formula 1 depends on it,” he said.

“There are various solutions on the table and we must all accept that we can’t go on like this for too much longer.

“I don’t mean to cause offence by referring to the ‘other’ championship, it’s just a way of describing the situation and their battle was certainly thrilling. However, it’s hard for the fans to truly get excited about a battle for eighth place.”