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Brawn seeking calendar agreement with MotoGP

NEWS STORY
18/05/2017

As Formula One's new owners seek to turn Grands Prix into Super Bowl style events, they realise that their cause is not helped by scheduling clashes with MotoGP.

Consequently, Ross Brawn, who is charged with looking after technical aspects of the sport, met with Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of Dorna the rights holder for MotoGP to discuss "areas of cooperation and how we can learn from what each of us does".

Chief among these is race scheduling, for this year sees eight races held over the same weekend as MotoGP rounds.

Other than the first two races of the F1 season, which clashed with the opening MotoGP rounds, there are six further scheduling conflicts not least the penultimate round of the Formula One World Championship (Brazil) which takes place on the same weekend as the MotoGP season concluding race in Valencia.

"We're not too proud to consult with other championships and work out the best way forward," Brawn told Reuters. "It's difficult to juggle dates, and you can't always achieve what you want, but at least we're having a dialogue to try and work it out."

Brawn feels there are other areas where F1 can learn from its two-wheeled rival.

I like the meritocracy that they have between Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP," he admitted. "I like the progression that they have.

"I think it's interesting looking at the commercial side, the way they structure the teams and the deals and the way it works for the customer teams. I think it's an interesting element."

Brawn admits to envying the manner in which riders progress (or not) up the MotoGP ladder, while in F1 money often takes precedence over talent especially with the smaller teams.

"We should have the 22 or 24 best drivers in the world in Formula One," he said. "But there are commercial considerations which mean we don't always achieve that.

"It's a complex problem because you have to put the teams in a position where they don't have to make those commercial decisions, they just make the decision based on the strongest drivers they can find."

However, he warned that such changes to F1 will not happen overnight, especially as all concerned are currently locked into an agreement that runs until 2020.

"There's not going to be a revolution in Formula One where suddenly we come up with a big change and everything gets better," he warned. "It's going to be a constant process. Until we get the capacity to really understand the direction the sport should change to, we're not going to change any of the big things. It's just too risky."

While the need to discuss calendar clashes is understandable, more importantly, one wonders whether F1 might learn from MotoGP in terms of having the race leader changing several times over the course of a lap and any one of six or seven riders realistically capable of winning said race as the last lap begins.

To name but two.

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