Ross Brawn feels the current F1 qualifying spec is pretty good as he adds on the sprint format plus adds on ensuring new circuits are good for racing.
The pre-Liberty Media period saw F1 try a new qualifying format amid criticism from fans and everyone. That was eventually dropped and the sprint format started to be discussed after the buyout from Liberty Media. It co-incided with the reverse grid format too.
Not many were in favour of the reverse grid and so the initial sprint format was tried where traditional qualifying was held on Friday with a mini race on Saturday which determined the Sunday’s grid. It was further tweaked for 2022 which will stay on for now.
The sprint format has received a mixed response from fans with many liking it and many on the other side of the fence. On F1 front, they are finally to increase the number of races from three to six in 2023 – a move which they wanted to have this year but couldn’t.
As per former F1 managing director Brawn, the current qualifying format is the best the sport can have which keeps the fans engaged. He feels good about the sprint races too, but isn’t certain if this can be held for the full season or only at selected events.
On a more broader topic, Brawn also alluded on having a team who are working with promoters to have a race track which is good for racing especially any circuit which is joining the F1 calendar. “On the sporting regulations, we’ve had an open mind about how we should develop the race weekend format,” he said.
“There are already a lot of good things in F1. I happen to think the current qualifying spec is pretty good. Three-stage qualifying keeps people engaged for the whole time. It’s exciting and it occasionally throws up a few variables. The Sprint was an initiative which seems to have worked. We’re expanding to six Sprints next year.
“I don’t know what will be the optimum number we will settle at long term. Some argue we should have it at every race. We’ll see if that is how it evolves. The Sprint has certainly livened up the whole weekend and gives us a full three days of action. We also have a group of people who now focus on trying to make the tracks as interesting as possible, so we don’t get tracks where we can’t race properly.
“Every existing track has been assessed and we have an input into all new tracks to ensure great racing,” summed up Brawn, who also spoke about the governance system and how they are improving on that front with more flexibility especially after all the troubles they have had in the recent past.
“The governance system has been improved,” said Brawn. “We now have much more flexibility and don’t need all the teams to agree for the sport to make changes and go forward. As long as we get eight teams to agree, we can get things done in the short term.
“With five teams and the FIA and F1, we can get things done in the long term. We don’t have the constraint of the old governance system and there are now lots of things we’ve moved in the right direction which has made this sport function so much better than it did before,” summed up Brawn.
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