Proposed changes to Formula 1’s weekend format for next year will be experimental and not set in stone, insists managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.
Ahead of F1’s major rules shake-up in 2021, owners Liberty Media are considering trialing a reversed-grid qualifying race to enhance the sport’s spectacle.
World champion’s Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel slammed the proposal, with Vettel particularly vociferous calling it “bullshit” and “completely the wrong approach” to improving the show.
Responding to the drivers criticism, Brawn said in his post-race column: “To try to clarify the situation and avoid misunderstandings, there are discussions about experimenting in 2020 with changes to the qualifying format with the aim of making a grand prix weekend a little less predictable.
“I want to emphasise the word ‘experiment’ because this is what it is about – a small sample to establish the directions for the future.
“We are all too aware that the current qualifying format is exciting and spectacular but what is also important is to make sure that the race, the highlight of the weekend, is the best it can be.
“And since, no matter how many simulations you run, there’s no measure more accurate than the track, Formula 1, the teams and the FIA are studying the possibility of a revised format for a small number of events for next season.
“With stable sporting and technical regulations in place for 2020 it is the perfect time for such evaluations.”
Although there is wide scepticism regarding the revised changes F1 could push through as early as 2020, Brawn hopes it will be embraced as its aimed as making races less predictable.
“No decision has been taken yet because we are finalising all the details, but feedbacks received so far are, in the majority, positive,” he added.
“I understand that the purists might be concerned, but we should not be afraid to conduct an experiment otherwise we cannot progress.
“We don’t want change for the sake of change; we want to improve our sport, because, rather like the development of the cars, if you stand still you risk slipping backwards.”