Will F1 2012 Be Adrian Newey Vs Ross Brawn?

The 2012 Formula1 season is only a few days away from its opening round which will be the 2012 Australian Grand Prix to be held at the Albert Park in Melbourne. The pre-season news have been the over-discussed ‘platypus’ or ‘hammer head’ noses that all teams have with the exception of Mclaren and maybe Marussia. The other big news is of course the return of the ‘Iceman’ Kimi Raikkonen to the sport which will see 6 Formula1 World Champions line up on the starting grid in Melbourne.

I have shared my pre-season testing views on this podcast (you are welcome to hear the 2012 Formula1 Pre Season Podcast) and have also penned stories regarding teams still blowing their floor with exhaust gases (Read post: Are Teams Still Using Exhaust Gases To Blow Their Floor?) and of course the much hyped and then banned reactive ride height system.

(Read post: Did The FIA Rob Formula1 Of Its Technical Innovation Of 2012?)

However, the one story that I don’t think has been spoken about much is the battle of two of Formula1’s most talented technical personnel, Adrian Newey and Ross Brawn. Newey, the brain behind Red Bull Racing’s recent successes, has formerly worked with and won titles with Wlliams and Mclaren. Brawn on the other hand won multiple titles with Benneton, Ferrari and then his own team, Brawn GP.

I am sure that most of my readers don’t necessarily need an introduction to these two personnel or their achievements; however, I must state that between them, they have been the architects of 17 Formula1 World Championships. Brawn, who has 9 titles to his credit, won his last in 2009, whereas Newey, who has won a total of 8 titles, secured two consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011.

Their victories have been a mixture of technical and strategic brilliance giving their team an unparalleled advantage over the others. However, in the recent past due to varying team form, we haven’t had the chance to see the two go head-to-head, like they did in the 90s and early 2000s, when Brawn was with Ferrari and Newey with Mclaren.

Come 2012, Newey and his RB8 will start the season as favourites, whereas Brawn, who is now in his third year with Mercedes, will be under pressure to perform and win races if not the championship this year. Going strictly by the pre-season test form, Red Bull Racing seems ahead of the rest of the pack but Mercedes with their innovations in the front and rear wings does seem like it could well have the speed to challenge the might of the ‘Bull!

Along with the prospect of watching six World Champions go racing on-track, I am equally excited to see these two technical geniuses perform their tricks on their pit-wall. Will it be Vettel-Newey or Schumacher-Brawn this year?

Read the previous post ‘Coanda Effect In Formula1’.

If you found the ‘Coanda Effect’ and its use in Formula1 too complex for your understanding, you should read ‘Formula1 Needs Better Marketing As It Enters Newer Territories‘.

Hear the 2012 Formula1 Pre Season Podcast and know RJ Rishi Kapoor and my views on pre-season testing as a build up to the opening round of the 2012 season.

While the excitement for the new season is building up, do also read the positive developments in Indian Motorsport on my blog. While the i1 Super Series has been cancelled, we have Toyota launching the Toyota Etios Motor Racing Championship for Indian motorsport fans. And if you prefer some technical Formula1 content, do read ‘Did the FIA react correctly to the ride height system episode‘?

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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