Formula 1‘s Managing director of Motorsport Ross Brawn says he is open to experimenting with new ideas and formats in the sport for the 2020 F1 Season, with the possible inclusion of a sprint race or changes to qualifying.
F1 and its owners Liberty Media have been open to presenting and trialing new ideas in a bid to shake up the sport and present a new format for the future. But the current regulations prevent them from trialing any ideas.
Ideas such as changes to qualifying, shorten races on Sunday with an inclusion of a Saturday race and limiting running on Friday have been some of the ideas presented. But trialing and pushing these ideas have been difficult. F1’s supports series; FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 run two races over the weekend, often creating entertaining racing.
However, with the 2020 season set to be a year with little changes to the regulation, as the sport prepares for the 2021 regulation shake-up, Brawn said on Sky Sports F1 that he would like to see the sport try out a few ideas next year.
“I’d like to see in 2020 for us to try a few things,” said Brawn. “I think in 2020 we’ve got a stable platform in terms of the cars, things aren’t changing that much and I think that ’20 could be a good opportunity perhaps for one or two races to try some variations.
“I don’t see any other way that we logically progress the race format. I think the basic race format is good but would a sprint race be interesting, or would some changes to qualifying be interesting.
“I think the teams are up for doing some variations during a Saturday to see if we can try out a better solution.”
The 2021 regulations will see a change to the cars and structure of the sport as they aimed to create a fairer and closer racing. The proposed concept design of the 2021 cars aims to create closer racing, with the amount of downforce lost by following a car behind now estimated to just 10%, compared to the 50% with today’s cars.
Part of the regulations proposed also aims to introduce a cost-cap regulation, preventing the top budget teams from having a financial advantage to the smaller runners. Reducing cost in F1 has been part of the objective with the 2021 rules, as they look to reduce the amount of running given on Friday.
Brawn still wants to have cars run on Friday but wants to shorten the weekend structure and tighten parc ferme conditions in a bid to save costs.
“We want the cars to run on a Friday but is there a way of shortening the weekend from an operational point of view for the teams, because they all turn up on a Tuesday, or even a Monday to get ready,”
“If we could restrict that, have a tighter parc ferme and controlled the time that a team was at the circuit, then we could shorten the operational weekend for them and turn it into a three-day weekend.“
F1 teams today often arrive to the circuit on a Tuesday or Wednesday to prepare and construct their race kit before the Thursday Media sessions and Friday practice sessions begin. Brawn would like to see teams prepare on Friday morning, stating that the Fridays are important for the promoters.
“We remember when you would turn up on a Thursday afternoon and everyone would get there, put the cars in the garage, and go racing. Now they turn up two or three days earlier because they want to get everything ready.
“I think Fridays are important for the promoters, it starts the weekend off but could we have two sessions on a Friday afternoon for instance? Maybe slightly shorter sessions, and then that means the teams can prepare on a Friday morning.”