Brawn: F1 should be “careful” when changing sprint format


The sixth sprint event at Interlagos on Saturday was the most exciting since the format was first introduced in 2021, with George Russell battling past Max Verstappen to win.

It has already been agreed to run six sprints in 2023, although the locations have yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, tweaks are still on the table, such as a move to a standalone race that won’t impact the grid for Sunday’s main event.

They will be discussed at next Friday’s F1 committee meeting, along with changes to the parc ferme rules that may make FP2 more relevant.

However, Brawn remains wary of going too far away from the original format.

“The race was very enjoyable,” he said when asked by TBEN about Saturday’s event at Interlagos. “I think the track helps, it shows the sensitivity to selecting the right kind of races for next year.

“We are looking at whether there are evolutions in the format to consider for next year. But we already have a fantastic base.

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“So we would be very careful about changing things. And I certainly don’t think we need to go to a dramatically different format.

“It was great, a fantastic race. It provided great entertainment for the crowd. Qualifying is special, but not as special as today, I really enjoyed that.”

Asked what format changes are being considered, he said: “It’s not something I want to speculate on at the moment because I think it’s only fair to talk to the FIA ​​and the teams. And we’ve got some presentations. given, about a year or so ago they haven’t really changed.

George Russell, Mercedes W13, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“We wanted to get the six races agreed and embedded, and the venues sorted. And I think, seeing the venues, we could be a little bit more informed when we talk about the format we could move to. But, like I say that the existing format works very well, so we have to be careful not to move.”

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He acknowledged that changes to the parc ferme rules, potentially allowing teams to freeze their set-ups after the sprint and thus make FP2 more useful, are one of the key topics.

“On Friday, in the F1 committee meeting, we talk about parc ferme and whether that should start after the sprint so you have a more meaningful FP2,” said Brawn.

“I think there are some general things we can do, but also something substantial, but it’s evolution now, not revolution.”

Asked what factors will determine which six locations are chosen for sprints in 2023, he said: “I think just that ability to race and overtake. And I mean of course, in extremis, a sprint race in Monaco would be a pretty boring one. This is probably one of the best songs.

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“We have an index of circuits that we think are suitable for the sprint. Brazil is at the top, somewhere like Monaco will be at the bottom.

“And we want to have a nice spread of races throughout the year and find the right places to hold them. But the type of track we’re going to is a high priority.”

Brawn will retire at the end of the season and will continue to play an advisory role with the F1 organisation. He hopes to stay involved in planning the sprints.

“I think I’d like to think I can stay involved in special projects,” he added. “And I just don’t want the day-to-day responsibility that I’ve had for the past few years. So a project like this, that’s really exciting and a lot of fun, why not?”


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