Brawn: If sprint qualifying doesn’t work we’ll put our hands up

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Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has said the sport will “put our hands up” if the proposed sprint qualifying format does not work, but added he is “optimistic” that it will prove a success.

With an agreement on the experimental format getting closer, it looks increasingly likely that we will see a new style of race weekend at certain points during the 2021 season.

While some drivers have raised concerns about the idea and there is far from consensus among the supporters, it appears that F1 are very keen to try out something different from the traditional format.

Asked about the proposal during his press conference at pre-season testing in Bahrain, the former Ferrari team boss laid out his thoughts on the matter.

“We want to fill out a weekend,” Brawn said. “I think the critical thing is to preserve the grand prix. We want the winner of a grand prix to come away from those weekends still being the strongest and most successful competitor of that weekend.

“But we want to fill out the weekend, and we want to give the fans something more substantial to look at and follow on a Friday, something interesting on a Saturday.

“So as well as a sprint qualifying, we’re going to have a normal qualifying on a Friday, where you qualify for your normal position in sprint qualifying, and then in sprint qualifying you’ll take it forward to the race.

“So really we’ll have a much fuller weekend, and that’s what we want to explore. We want this opportunity to try it at three races this year, and if it doesn’t work, then we’ll put our hands up and go away and think about it again.

“But I’m quite optimistic about it. I think if you take the view of the whole weekend, then it’s got a lot going for it.”

(Additional Reporting: Agnes Carlier)