Formula 1’s current three-day race weekend format will remain in place next season and in the coming years, following analysis into potential changes.
The sport has been investigating whether it can revise the race weekend timetable in order to fit more events into a calendar season, with the number of races rising to 22 next year. Part of the discussion has included scrapping track action on a Friday and making each race a two-day event on that front — something Lewis Hamilton supported on social media over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend — but Ross Brawn says Suzuka’s enforced change to run qualifying and the race on the same day will not be part of any changes.
“Typhoon Hagibis was a major player at this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, forcing the organizers to cancel all Saturday track activity and reschedule qualifying for Sunday morning, just four hours before the race,” Brawn, who is F1 managing director of motorsports, said. “So, it was a Super Sunday in Suzuka and that naturally re-opened the debate about the shape of an F1 weekend. This is an aspect of the sport we have focused on in some detail as we work towards the rules that will govern Formula 1 over the coming years and we have taken into account the voices of all of the key players — the promoters, the teams and last but not least the fans.
“I’ll be honest and say that there has been strong consensus, especially among the organizers, for maintaining the three-day format of track activity, although with a different timetable.
“It’s true that a day like Sunday in Suzuka offers a great show in just a few hours but it would confine the feeder series races to the previous days.
“After careful analysis we have concluded that the best solution is to keep the event over three days, revising the Friday format but leaving the rest untouched, with qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.”
Brawn says there are still likely to be changes to the schedule even if track action will take place over three days.
“In order to meet the demands of the teams and in order to slightly increase the number of grands prix, which will be at 22 next year, we have given consideration to reorganizing the schedule so that teams and drivers can arrive a day later. We’ll talk about the detail at the end of the month, when the new regulations will be published.”