Brawn eyes use of 'fascinating' heart rate data


Formula 1 director of motorsport Ross Brawn is hoping to add information about the heart rates of drivers and key team personnel during a race to the sport's expanding coverage.

Brawn was speaking with Michael McGrath, CEO of Muscle Help Foundation which supports children and young adults in the UK living with muscular dystrophy

Previous guests taking part in the charity's In Conversation With... series of virtual discussions have included former F1 driver Anthony Davidson, TV presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson and Mercedes F1 technology director Mike Elliott.

But this week it was Brawn's turn to talk about F1's latest innovations such as sprint race qualifying, and including a new plan to harvest data about heart rates.

"We are looking at monitoring the heart rates of the drivers and some of the key personnel," the former team principal revealed. "I know from experience that’s a fascinating piece of information.

"I used to get rigged up and sat on the pit wall doing nothing physical except trying to run the race and would hit 140 pulse rate," he revealed. "And as soon as the race stopped, that would just plummet down to my normal pulse rate in the 60s.

“You could see when the chequered flag had fallen because my pulse rate would just drop dramatically," he added. "It was something I loved and enjoyed immensely.”

Last weekend broke new ground when the F1 world feed transmitted communications between Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and race control, complaining about a driver not paying attention to blue flags during the race.

Looking at the wider picture, Brawn said that he was happy with the way that the 2021 season had started with a potentially epic battle for the title between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen already well under way.

With Hamilton nearing the end of his time in F1, Brawn was asked who he felt would step into the void left by the world championship when he finally decided to retire.

“Actually a fairly easy question: I think Max Verstappen is the next one on the throne,” Brawn replied, adding that F1 was "blessed with the number of great young drivers we have got coming through.

"There are some brilliant drivers coming through like Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris," he pointed out. “On British drivers I think it’s a toss-up between Lando Norris and George Russell.

“I wouldn’t like to say which of them is going to be the strongest," he said.
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