F1 could trial a 'sprint race' and format changes in 2020

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Formula 1 could experiment with a Saturday "sprint race" or tweaks to the qualifying format in 2020 according to Ross Brawn the sport's managing director of motorsport.

Brawn sees a year of stability ahead in terms of F1's technical rules before Grand Prix racing's formal overhaul in 2021, and that steadiness could provide the perfect opportunity to experiment with a few format changes to the race current weekend.

"I would like to see us in 2020 try a few things," Brawn told Sky F1.

"I think in 2020 we have a stable platform with the cars and things aren’t changing that much, and I think 2020 could be a good opportunity at one or two races to try some variations.

"I don’t see any other way that we logically progress the race format. I think the basic race format is good, but would a sprint race be interesting or some variation in qualifying be interesting?

"I think the teams are up for doing some variations during a Saturday to see if we can touch on a better solution."

"Variations" as Brawn calls them may well be welcomed by teams, but Haas' Guenther Steiner, when asked about the prospect of introducing a sprint race into the schedule, warned against the extra costs such a scheme would imply.

"You need more MGU-Ks because they can break," said the Italian. "We need to consider all this stuff."

"We need to carefully think about it. There was a lot of things thrown around but we didn’t get down to discussing the detail about it so when we get in the detail that will be the difficulty because if you change format and it costs a lot more, there is a point where it is not sustainable."

Looking to the future from 2021 and beyond, Brawn also suggested that changes to the overall four-day schedule would be considered, with the aim of compacting the action to bring down costs, a necessity of F1 pushes ahead with plans to increase its calendar to 25 races in the long term.

"We want the cars to run on a Friday but is there a way of shortening the weekend from an operational point of view for the teams?" querie Brawn.

"Because they all turn up on a Tuesday or even a Monday to get ready.

"If we could restrict that, if we had it tied to parc ferme, if we could control the amount of time a team is at a circuit then we could shorten the operational weekend for them and turn it into a three-day weekend.

"We remember when you would turn up on Thursday afternoon and everyone would get there, put the cars in the garage and go racing.

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