Formula 1 will “definitely” consider awarding more points for sprint qualifying races if the format is used again after 2021, according to the series’ managing director Ross Brawn.
Speaking to RaceFans in an exclusive interview, Brawn gave his verdict on sprint qualifying’s debut at last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“The main thing was we had some exciting racing because racing drivers can’t help themselves,” he told RaceFans. “That’s why they’re doing what they’re doing.”
“And we had some fabulous battles. They were short and sharp. The teams didn’t have a say in what happened in the race because it was just down to the drivers. So there was no strategy, no pit stops. I give it a vote of success and certainly a good platform for something in the future.”
The 17-lap Saturday race used car set-ups which were decided on Friday after first practice, meaning cars were in parc ferme conditions a day early and ran second practice on Saturday in race specification.
Brawn admitted this was one drawback of the format. “On FP2, perhaps some of the slight frustration is because it’s parc ferme they can’t do anything to the cars,” he said.
“So I think that would be a point that we could discuss with the teams and the FIA as a future tweak. In my mind, we should have FP2, and there was plenty of running going on. It gave the fans some engagement and they saw cars running around.”
Sprint qualifying will next be held at September’s Italian Grand Prix. The format is unlikely to change significantly before then and its third and final appearance this year at a yet-to-be decided grand prix.
“You could look at one or two things, but I don’t think there’ll be major,” Brawn added. “What we don’t want is to change the format of the weekend, that means the fans have to readjust to it because we certainly don’t want that.”
However Brawn admitted the format’s points system – which awards three to the winner, two to second and one for third – is something he is keen to revise. He revealed there had originally been plans for sprint qualifying to be given a proportionally similar value to a grand prix, which awards 25 points to the winner.
“If I’m honest, we started with more points and we arrived at the points we have now because we were a little concerned if the sprint ended up deciding the championship if it was late in the year,” said Brawn.
“If you had 10 points for the sprint, then – in fact, our initial proposal was a third because it’s a third of a race. But I think that’s something that can be discussed.
“I wouldn’t say it’s locked in at the moment. It’s certainly locked in for this year. But I think if we go forward with this, that will definitely be on the points to discuss whether we should make it more attractive, to score more points.”
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