Will the starting grid for a World Championship round in future be established by a qualifying race, in other words, a ‘petit Prix’ or sprint race on Saturday before the main event on Sunday?
It seems that Liberty Media’s F1 technical boss Ross Brawn doesn’t rule anything out. Formula 1 major shareholder Liberty Media wants to spice up the sport and it appears that the idea of changing qualifying from the current three-part qualification, to a qualifying race, or a sprint race, is gaining more traction.
According to Austrian motorsport media outlet Speedweek, the following proposal is on the table:
For races that have proved to be poor in terms of action in recent years (Barcelona, Le Castellet or Sochi, to name three examples), the sprint race over 100 kilometres will take place on Saturday, which corresponds to one-third of the normal race distance.
The line-up for the sprint race would take place after the reverse of the WRC standings. The result of which would determine in the starting grid for Sunday.
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It is hoped that the likes of Hamilton would hardly make it to the front of the sprint race, so he and the other top drivers would have to fight their way to the podium on Sunday, thus creating action.
Many long-time Formula 1 fans raise the question in social networks: “Is this still our sport? Does such an artificial intervention correspond to the DNA of Formula 1?”
Formula 1 sports boss Ross Brawn doesn’t think so:
“There won’t be any revolution, the fans don’t have to worry. The changes will be nuanced.
“We want to fine-tune certain elements of the weekend to improve the show. But we also want to improve the working conditions of the racing teams because we are constantly expanding the World Cup calendar.
“So let’s see how we can make the weekend smarter.”
“We could extend the period where the team mechanics cannot work on the car in the evenings and, for example, stem the arrival of crates of new parts on a GP weekend.
“We could mandate that ‘The car, as you bring it to the race track, will be driven as well’. That saves freight costs and night work.”
“We want to have Formula 1 cars on the track on Friday, but we’re thinking about shorter practice sessions.
“We don’t want to change Sunday’s race format, but we’re looking into whether we could introduce a sprint race to highlight the Qualifying.
“In 2020, with stable regulations, we could try something new and integrate it firmly into the 2021 season.”