Sprint Qualifying plans for three F1 race weekends explained by Ross Brawn as more details emerge
Ross Brawn: "If it doesn't work, we'll put our hands up and go away and think about it again. But I'm quite optimistic about it and if you take the view of the whole weekend then it's got a lot going for it"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 13/03/21 5:39pm
F1 chief Ross Brawn believes the plan to introduce short races on Saturdays at three grands prix in 2021 - to be called 'Sprint Qualifying' - has got "lot going for it", as more details continue to emerge of the radical proposal.
Ahead of further talks with team bosses before a final vote on the matter is taken before the racing season begins, the sport appears poised to introduce the trial format at three designated events this year - one of which is set to be at Silverstone in July - to add additional excitement to the Friday and Saturday of race weekends.
Under the plans at the three rounds, the usual qualifying session would move to Friday and set the grid for the short-form Saturday 'sprint' race, which would run to around 30 minutes and offer reduced points.
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Sprint qualifying would then form the grid for the traditional-length Grand Prix on the Sunday.
"The critical thing is to preserve the Grand Prix," Brawn, Formula 1's managing director of motorsport, told Sky F1's Rachel Brookes at testing in Bahrain.
"We want the winner of the Grand Prix to come away from those weekends still being the strongest and most successful competitor of that weekend. But we want to fill out the weekend and we want to give the fans something more substantial to look at and follow on a Friday, something interesting on a Saturday.
"So as well as the sprint qualifying we are going to have the normal qualifying on a Friday, when you'll qualify for your position in the sprint qualifying, and then the sprint qualifying will take you forward to the race. So, really, we have a much fuller weekend and that's what we want to explore.
"We want this opportunity to try it at three races this year. If it doesn't work, we'll put our hands up and go away and think about it again. But I'm quite optimistic about it and if you take the view of the whole weekend then it's got a lot going for it."
Sky Sports' David Croft revealed during the course of live testing coverage on Friday that the current plan would see points allocated to the top three finishes in the Saturday race.