Ross Brawn: Last three races best response to French GP criticism

Ross Brawn says the spectacle of the most three recent Formula 1 grands prix provided the best response to critics in the wake of the French Grand Prix.

This year’s French Grand Prix was widely panned amid a lack of action or drama, with fierce criticism in some quarters over the state of the championship.

But a captivating Austrian Grand Prix – in which Max Verstappen passed Charles Leclerc for victory late on – was followed by a British Grand Prix that featured multiple wheel-to-wheel battles and incidents.

A wild rain-hit German Grand Prix resulted in another Verstappen victory, while Sebastian Vettel surged from last to second, Daniil Kvyat finished on the podium, while Mercedes suffered a disastrous race.

“It has to be said that intermittent rain really made the spectacle, but it can’t be denied that for different reasons, all three recent races have been hugely entertaining,” said Brawn, Formula 1’s Managing Director of Motorsports.

“It’s the best possible response to the unfortunate criticism the sport received after the French Grand Prix, some of it surprisingly vitriolic.

“I’m not saying everything is perfect, especially when you consider that Daniil Kvyat’s third place finish is only the third time that a driver from outside the top three teams has finished on the podium since 2017.

“But I think it is fair to say that over half of this year’s races have been anything but boring, despite the dominance of Mercedes who have simply done a better job than any of their rivals.

“Not every race can be at this level, but there are enough to make this the greatest motorsport series in the world.”

Brawn also expects Mercedes to bounce back at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, off the back of its difficult time in Germany.

“After such a good qualifying, with Hamilton taking yet another pole, everything that could go wrong did, to the degree that team experienced its worst result in more than a year,” he said.

“The result in Hockenheim will, however, have little impact on the probable outcome of the championship, given Mercedes’ lead in both classifications.

“In fact, as we saw after Austria it will probably spur them on to do better. But the race showed that unless every piece of the jigsaw is in place, you don’t win.

“That applies to all sports, but especially Formula 1 where there are so many factors to take into consideration.”