Ross Brawn would like to Change Formula One’s Race Format

Ross Brawn, the new Managing Director of Motorsports at Liberty Media has some big ideas for the sport, including a non-Championship race that could be used to experiment with the race format. 

Liberty Media mean to take the sport in a new direction, and they’re positioning themselves to do just that. It would seem that they’ve already got support behind them. Ross Brawn took time during the Barcelona test to speak to Sky Sports about his view of the future of F1:

“My dream actually would be to have a non-championship race once a year. And in that non-championship race you could experiment.

So you could try a different format for one race and see. It would enable us to vary the format and try something different and evolve it. Like everything else you’d tune it. Then you could make it better and say, ‘actually now, this is better than what we have. The fans love it, everyone loves it. Let’s swap.’”

– Ross Brawn

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying

Brawn went on to mention that although this is his dream of the sport as he envisions it, he would advise implementing such a format in a non-championship race to avoid damaging the current Formula One championship as it stands.

“You can’t take a risk in a championship of swapping the format and getting it wrong. I’m a bit nervous about that.

When we start changing the format, we have to be very sure that we’ve got it right. Because when you start a championship with one format, you can’t change it during the year – or you shouldn’t change it during the year.

If we went to two races over a weekend and then realised it wasn’t quite what we want, we can’t change it. What we don’t want to lose is our classic fans – we want to maintain them. We want to give them an even better deal, and also encourage new enthusiasts. We need that balance.”

– Ross Brawn

Ferrari SF70H

The last non-championship F1 race to take place was the 1983 Race of Champions event at Brands Hatch GP Circuit in Kent, England. The race was won by Keke Rosberg. This non-Championship race wasn’t used as a window for format testing, as Brawn proposes. It would be interesting to see what sort of race changes Brawn is thinking about testing. Two shorter races with the second race being a reverse grid of the first race’s result? Some will think that the format doesn’t need changing at all, it’s just the pack needs to be closer together in an overtaking-friendly set of regulations.