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Brawn proposes return of non-championship F1 events.

NEWS STORY
01/03/2017

Earlier this week, reacting to a story on the site, a reader lamented the fact that we no longer get to see Grand Prix winners enjoy a victory lap sporting a laurel wreath of victory.

The victory lap was dropped not only due to time constraints but to suit the regimented, corporate look of the sport…. Note to Chase Carey, please can we do away with Carmen on the podium – by which we refer to Bizet's Los Toreadors not Ms Jorda.

As the for the laurel wreaths, they were dropped because they covered up those all-important sponsors logos on the drivers overalls.

Back in the day, and younger readers are not going to believe this, but in addition to the world championship events, we used to get non-championship F1 races also.

Indeed, be it the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, the BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone or the Oulton Park Gold Cup (1968 pictured) - to name just three - F1 fans, particularly in the UK, were spoiled for choice... ironic when you consider the continuing fears for F1 in Britain.

Ross Brawn would like to see a return to non-championship races, not so much because he, like so many F1 fans, hankers for the 'good old days' when it was all so much better, but because he believes such events would be perfect for 'experimentation'.

"My dream would be to have a non-championship race once a year," he told Sky Sport. "And in that non-championship race you could experiment.

"You could try a different format for one race and see. It would enable us to vary the format and try something different and evolve it," he continued. "Like everything else you'd tune it. Then you could make it better and say, 'actually now, this is better than what we have. The fans love it, everyone loves it. Let's swap.'"

Clearly recalling, though not referring to, the fiasco that was the revised qualifying format last year which was dropped after just two races, he admitted: "You can't take a risk in a championship of swapping the format and getting it wrong. I'm a bit nervous about that.

"When we start changing the format, we have to be very sure that we've got it right. Because when you start a championship with one format, you can't change it during the year, or you shouldn't change it during the year."

While the return of victory laps, laurel wreaths, open paddocks (remember them?), Formula Libre type events (Rothmans 50,000 anyone?) and even BMW Procar might be out of the question, amidst all the talk of taking the sport forward, Brawn is one of the few that appears to appreciate one vital aspect of the sport as it moves forward.

"What we don't want to lose is our classic fans," he insisted. "We want to maintain them. We want to give them an even better deal, and also encourage new enthusiasts. We need that balance."

Hands up all those going a bit dewy-eyed at the memories.

Picture Credit: Brian Watson

Check out our Wednesday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by MoreFrontWing, 01/03/2017 20:44

"What a great idea! I would love to see a non-championship event at Mosport or the Glen. And then add a "group 7 / Can-Am" style of event with 9 liter V8's to the race weekend."

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2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 01/03/2017 17:36

"@Kenji you read my mind on the TASMAN idea. Here in New Zealand we have a couple of excellent tracks (Highlands and Hamton Downs) that it would be great to see F1 cars on as you describe.
Chuck in Bathhurst (so long as it doesn't clash with the 12hr) and Melbourne and it would be an outstanding month of motorsport.
Actually, maybe such a series could compliment the GT side of things? McLaren, Ferrari and Merc have GT and F1 cars so maybe some synergy could occur there."

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3. Posted by kenji, 01/03/2017 10:40

"Interesting suggestion. A very long time ago we in australia were able to watch all the top F1 drivers and their machines in what was called the TASMAN SERIES. IT was made up of three races, One in sydney ar warwick farm, one in melbourne and one in New zealand. The drivers loved it and so did the fans. These races were held in the summer time here and were run in december and january. Why couldn't teams field their end of season cars with maybe one top driver each and one rookie each. Great entertainment and if priced right would draw massive crowds!!!"

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