Formula 1 could test solutions to race weekend format changes at a few events in 2020, according to the sport’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.
The topic of the race weekend format has been discussed a number of times as F1 looks to overhaul the sport in 2021, with new technical regulations and a budget cap being planned. Brawn says the fact that little is changing on the technical side next season could allow for tweaks to the race weekend being tried on occasion, and he believes the teams are supportive of such an approach.
“I’d like to see in ’20 for us to try a few things,” Brawn told Sky Sports. “I think in ’20 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 touch on a better solution.”
Brawn says Fridays could also change but not radically, with a focus on ensuring teams can arrive at a track later in the week before a race rather than a major overhaul of the track running on the opening day.
“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, had 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.
“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.”