Brawn: Longer season may mean dumping Friday practice

Formula 1 Friday Calendar Removal

Formula 1's director of motorsport Ross Brawn has been talking about extending the world championship season in the future.

But he admitted that a knock-on effect of more races might mean dropping Friday practice, and limiting each Grand Prix event to just two days.

"If we didn’t have Friday running we could do more races," Brawn said, speaking at an event in Austin this week. "Logistically it’s better for the teams.

“The teams have logistical issues the more races we add, of course.

"But Friday running is important for the promoters and the broadcasters. How do we find the right solution?" he said, adding that the matter of Friday running remained an "open question".

Brawn said that Formula 1's new owners were looking at the format of the weekend to see what could be done. However, he allayed fears that the race itself might undergo major changes.

“I think the core race is still for me personally very important. We’re not looking at changing the core event," he insisted.

"[But] one of the things we are doing is looking at the format of a race weekend," he continued. "We’ve got a very open mind about how we go forward."

Under its new management, Formula 1 has been eyeing a 25-race season in future. This season the calendar consists of 20 events, down from 21 in 2016.

“I think on the number of races, quality is the vital thing,” Brawn stated. “There’s no point in having more races unless they are quality races.

"Location, the type of track, the ability to have a great race there is vital," he explained.

"We’re looking at all those elements to see the best way forward," he continued. "We mustn’t just add races because we can increase the numbers. It’s not sustainable.

"We’ve got races in the past that came, the quality wasn’t there, and they fell away. That’s not great for our business."

Brawn praised last weekend's United States Grand Prix, where the promoters added several new elements to the traditional pre-race mix.

Qualifying was held later than usual on Saturday, to tie in with a Justin Timberlake concert at the Circuit of the Americas. And on Sunday, drivers were welcomed to the grid individually by iconic boxing announcer Michael Duffer.

“Here we moved the qualifying back two hours to 4pm," Brawn noted. "[COTA chairman] Bobby Epstein told me this morning that he had 20,000 more spectators for qualifying than he’s ever had before.

"We’re very receptive with how we work with the promoters," he said, adding that had not been the case previously under the sport's former CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

"There’s a completely different attitude to how we work together," Brawn said. "I’ve seen it.

"[Liberty] never saw what went on in the past. I did. And I promise you it’s a world of difference."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter