Formula 1’s director of motor sports, Ross Brawn, is sure F1’s new weekend format will prove to be “very exciting” and says it will now provide action on all three days, rather than just Saturday and Sunday.
The green light was given to implement ‘Sprint Qualifying’ at three grands prix this season – expected to be the British, Italian and Brazilian rounds – which will see an additional 100km race take place on Saturday, to determine the grid for Sunday’s main event.
That means the traditional three-stage qualifying will now take place on Friday, giving each of the three days a ‘main’ event.
“We want to give fans engagement throughout the whole weekend,” explained Brawn. “Sunday’s Grand Prix is fantastic, and we don’t want to cannibalise that, but we want to lift up the engagement on a Friday and a Saturday.
“Friday is really for the aficionados at the moment. Watching practice session on Friday is fun but there is no conclusion to it. But on a Friday now, we’ll have the excitement of the qualifying format.”
Brawn is sure the new format, which could be implemented permanently for 2022 if it proves successful, will add to the excitement.
“I think it will be a great addition. There is unlikely to be pit stops, so it’ll be a clean race. It’ll be 30 mins roughly, 100km of action.
“We want to see how fans engage with it and if the short format is appealing, it’s complimentary and if it works with the main race. We feel it will. We feel it’s going to be very exciting.”