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If it's not a success we'll drop it, insists Brawn

NEWS STORY
13/07/2021

Insisting that F1 will not continue with Sprint qualifying if it doesn't work, Ross Brawn also assures fans that the format will not be used merely at those venues willing to pay the highest price.

This weekend sees the debut of Sprint qualifying, the controversial new format that, it is hoped, will revitalise race weekends and spring a few surprises.

Ironically, the format is introduced at Silverstone, one of a handful of circuits that can claim to be the 'home of motorsport', and the venue that hosted the very first round of the Formula One World Championship back in 1950.

With many fans (and drivers) expressing doubt over the format, the F1 PR machine has been in overdrive, and once again Ross Brawn has become its public face.

Brawn insists that this weekend, and again at Monza and another, as yet unspecified, venue, the sprint qualifying format is a trial and if it doesn't work it will be dropped.

"We will never force this through if it is clearly not a success," he said, according to Motorsport.com. "There's no incentive in doing it if the audience don't engage, if we don't see a strong engagement from the fans, and we don't see the benefits.

"One of the great things about what's happening is that it is three races, it's not the season," he added. "In the past, F1 has always struggled with the fact that when it's made an adjustment, it's made it theoretically for the season.

"We all remember the qualifying fiasco, a few years ago," he continued, referring to the elimination format that was dropped after just a few weekends, "which luckily sort of got corrected partway through the season. I think that was one that everybody forecast was going to be a struggle, and it turned out to be.

"This is three events where we're going to trial this format. And if it's not a success, if we don't get the response we hope, then we'll put our hands up and then we'll stay where we are and we'll look at other initiatives."

While the new format has its very own sponsor, there are fears that if it is successful and becomes a regular feature at selected events, it will be a case of selling it to those venues willing to pay the most.

"In any organisation you have people at each end of the scale," he said. "We have our commercial people beating the commercial drum, and we have our racing people beating the racing drum.

"So it will be up to Stefano and myself, and one or two others, to make a recommendation of who should be the primary candidates, and the teams will have a say in that as well. But it will be a blend.

"I hope we can get the commercial benefit from all the venues that we go to, because then that will be a stronger argument for the teams to want to do it," he admitted. "So I don't think we will sell out on this, because it has to be a success. If we go to circuits where it doesn't work and it doesn't offer any overall benefit, then we know it will have a short life.

"I think we need to make sure we go to circuits where we can demonstrate the value of this and the excitement and success of it, and then we'll go from there."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 15/07/2021 3:59

""We will never force this through if it is clearly not a success. There's no incentive in doing it if the audience don't engage". Just like these power units, or the lecturing we get before each Grand Prix. We don't know what's good for us so they'll tell us and we better damn well like it."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Tardis40, 14/07/2021 2:35

"That's what you should do with the hybrid power units. Bring back the 3 liter v10s."

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3. Posted by Rock Doc, 14/07/2021 2:01

"@Max Noble. I had the same thought as well. I’m sure if a main contender gets a DNF or can’t start due to a sprint race accident then the FIA may have second thoughts. That or bring back the third cars that saved that race in Spa."

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4. Posted by Max Noble, 14/07/2021 0:18

"@ausie*3 - funny thing… a normal qualifying session Friday to set the grid for sprint qualifying… go figure…"

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 14/07/2021 0:16

"I’ve not seen the rules around changes, fixes, and costs for running an extra pile of laps. I’m sure later in the season the teams will complain they cannot attend the next race as they have hit the cost cap due to sprint qualifying cost blowouts…. I can see Horner moaning about it now… but only if they have scored no points from it. If Max is leading the Championship by a handful of points from the sprints, and if removed it would give the championship to Lewis then Horner will be arguing the other way that Srpints are true racing!

…in other day dreams… First corner pile-up (a la Spa many years ago…) takes out half the grid. No chance to repair the cars. British GP commences with nine cars on the grid. Williams and Haas both finish on the podium :-)

Now that would be sweet…"

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6. Posted by ausieausieausie, 14/07/2021 0:12

"just curious, how does the qualifying work for the sprint race????????"

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7. Posted by kenji, 13/07/2021 23:42

"As I've said before...what's wrong with having some more racing? The GP will still be run as per usual. What this 'sprint' race may do is throw up some variations to the status quo by giving a few mid field cars the incentive to start higher up the grid on Sunday. People need to broaden their outlooks somewhat and give it a chance, it's not cast in stone!"

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8. Posted by Roli, 13/07/2021 21:28

"Dont bother mate, its gonna be a total flop. Nobody wants it, nobody asked for it, its just a "gimmick" to get more TV viewers. Us the die-hard F1 fans just want racing. Its a total waste of time!"

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9. Posted by Rock Doc, 13/07/2021 18:06

"So the definition of it being successful seems to relate entirely to whether it make more money of not. Another indicator that F1 is no longer a sport but an entertainment opportunity.

I also agree there should not be any points awarded. Your position on the grid is your reward.

"

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10. Posted by Endre, 13/07/2021 15:56

"They are willing to drop it if doesn't work, yet they are already discussing more for next year. Brings into question the honesty of the FIA, they should stop insulting people's intelligence.

Totally agree with the previous comment on points. If this is a trial then there should be no points awarded that will influence the outcome of the championship."

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11. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 13/07/2021 15:19

"All for giving it a go, but there should be no points on offer."

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