Formula 1’s director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, says he would have no issue dropping his push for Sprint Races if the trial proves they don’t work.
The sport is to adopt Sprint Races – or Sprint Qualifying as it’s to be known – at three Formula 1 grands prix this season, with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone confirmed as one of those, as it seeks to spice up the race weekend.
The proposal for Sprint Races is a watered down version of original plans to hold reversed grid races, which were rejected by the teams. However the new proposal has received unanimous support and is set to get the go ahead, with details being settled this weekend in Bahrain.
Brawn, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and the FIA’s Michael Masi met with drivers on Thursday to discuss the matter and get their view and a meeting is scheduled for Saturday evening to iron out the details with team bosses, including the length of the races, what they’ll be called and how points will be awarded.
Brawn insists he wants Sunday’s race winner to be the strongest candidate still, but says the weekend can be stronger as a whole.
“The critical thing is to preserve the grand prix,” Brawn told Sky Sports. “We want the winner of the grand prix to come away from those weekends still being the strongest and most successful competitor of that weekend.
“But we want to fill out the weekend and we want to give the fans something more substantial to look at and follow on a Friday, something interesting on a Saturday too.
“So as well as the Sprint Qualifying we’re going to have the normal qualifying on a Friday. You qualify to get your position in Sprint Qualifying and the Sprint Qualifying [result] will take you forward to the race. So really we have a much fuller weekend and that’s what we want to explore.”
Brawn though insists if the trial doesn’t work out, the idea will be dropped and they’ll look at alternatives to increase the weekend entertainment.
“We want this opportunity to try it at three races this year. If it doesn’t work then we’ll put our hands up and we’ll go away and we’ll think about it again.
“But I’m quite optimistic about it. I think if you take the view of the whole weekend it’s got a lot going for it.”