Formula 1 is attempting one thing totally different. During the British Grand Prix, the game is experimenting with a new system so as to add extra pleasure to Grand Prix weekends and entice new followers.
It will likely be a 62-mile race, being referred to as the dash, one-third the gap of the race on Sunday, with no pit stops.
The conventional qualifying has been moved to Friday, which is able to decide the lineup on the grid for the dash. The results of the shorter race will resolve pole place and the order of the opposite vehicles beginning the Grand Prix. Drivers who carry out properly within the dash will likely be nearer to the entrance.
Ross Brawn, managing director of motorsports, stated the 20 drivers could be engaged.
“I have said this before, but I think racing drivers will race each other in a supermarket car park with shopping trolleys,” he stated. “It is their nature to want to beat each other. There is nothing worse for them than to be beaten by somebody.
“You could argue the sprint is only the precursor to the main event, the Grand Prix, but I think they will be desperate to beat each other and show who is the fastest.”
Brawn stated the concept had come from Chase Carey, the previous chief govt of Liberty Media Corporation, the homeowners of Formula 1.
“There has also been growing engagement on social media, with perhaps a different audience, and we were seeing from the ‘Drive to Survive’ series a newer group of fans that are enthusiastic about Formula 1,” Brawn stated, referring to the Netflix present.
“We looked at how we might increase our content and how we might engage with fans who want their Formula 1 in a shorter bite,” Brawn stated. “That is where we eventually ended up with the concept of the sprint.”
The British Grand Prix is the primary of three occasions that will likely be testing the dash. The Italian Grand Prix and both the United States or São Paulo Grand Prix will stage the others.
The prime three drivers will rating factors towards the drivers’ championship, three for first, two for second and one for third.
“The point was made, and we have to understand, we can’t diminish the nonsprint races,” he stated.
“They still have to be a great success, a great weekend.”
Brawn stated a number of elements, together with the character of the observe, the energy of the race’s reside viewers and whether or not the occasion could be enhanced by the dash, would decide which races will embrace the brand new occasion.
“In my own mind, and this is an unofficial view, something like half a dozen events next year would be a nice step to where we are now,” he stated.
“I don’t think we’d want to go to a complete season of sprint racing that quickly, but let’s see how we get on this season.”
Jean Todt, president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the game’s governing physique, is against the dash.
“If you ask me if I’m a big fan of that, the answer is no,” he stated. “I don’t think F1 needs it.
“But on the other side, if people want to try something, it’s not going to hurt the race on Sunday. It will be a different way of having a starting grid on Sunday. So it costs nothing to try.”
Sebastian Vettel, an Aston Martin driver who gained 4 titles from 2010 to 2013 with Red Bull, is skeptical.
“It makes the weekend a bit more intense,” he stated. “You have less time to prepare; you have got to come up with your final setup very quickly after you have just hit the track. But it has got to be the same for everyone, and obviously, we will find out how it feels, if we like it and the people like it and what it might bring to the weekend.”
Brawn can perceive the opposition, however stated Formula 1 needed to attempt new initiatives to captivate its numerous viewers.
“I sympathize,” he stated. “They enjoy the formula of a Grand Prix weekend, and they like to see qualifying leading to the grid. I would just ask the traditionalists to keep an open mind and wait and see if they enjoy it.
“We will never force this through if it’s clearly not a success. There’s no incentive in doing it if we don’t see a strong engagement from the fans and we don’t see the benefits.”
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes is comfortable that Formula 1 is attempting one thing new. “I’ve always said that we need to have some sort of different format at certain races during the year,” he stated.
“So I like they are open-minded and making changes. I think from those experimental kinds of weekends, hopefully, the sport will learn what and how we can deploy better races going forwards.”
Charles Leclerc of Ferrari stated he was wonderful with the dash, so long as it didn’t devalue the Sunday race.
“But to have a sprint race might be interesting, and we will see also the cars being pushed to the max from the first lap to the last lap, which will be nice for us drivers,” he stated.
Brawn stated Formula 1 would “look at other initiatives” if the dash didn’t work, however he was optimistic.
“I think it will be a very good event, a great race and the drivers will go for it,” he stated.
“Do we think they are going to have a different mind-set going into that first corner because it’s a sprint?” he stated, referring to Hamilton and Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who has a 32-point lead over Hamilton within the drivers’ standings. “I don’t think so, somehow, but that is to be established. That is what we need to find out.”