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Formula 1

Brawn explains when F1 will decide future of Sprint Qualifying

After the first Sprint Qualifying took place at the British Grand Prix, F1 managing director Ross Brawn has revealed what the next steps will be in figuring out how the format could be used beyond 2021.

Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Ross Brawn has explained when the future of Sprint Qualifying will be decided following the first trial event at the British Grand Prix.

The 30-minute sprint race was held on the Saturday of the race weekend in place of traditional qualifying, which occured on Friday instead. Max Verstappen won the sprint and so was given pole position for Sunday's main Grand Prix.

Brawn overall felt pleased with how the debut Sprint Qualifying went, but will not make a final decision about its future place in the sport until the further two trial events in 2021 have taken place.

"We’ll go away and reflect on the format in the next week or two," Brawn wrote in his column for Formula1.com. "I’m sure there will be things we can pick up with teams and then digest the feedback.

"It’s a great first step in this experiment, with two more Sprints to come. I want to emphasise that we won’t make a judgment on whether it will be part of our championship in the future until we have done all three Sprints on three different tracks."

So far Brawn is feeling positive about the format, and believes that it added further excitement to the race weekend.

"I’m very pleased with F1’s first Sprint weekend," Brawn said. "Our belief was that it would add more engagement for fans across three days – and it definitely did. I don’t see how it did anything other than enhance the race weekend.

"The fact that teams had less time to practice had a significant impact on the weekend. Red Bull had a car with a bit more wing on it so were slower down the straight. Mercedes went for a lower drag setting, which gave Lewis [Hamilton] the opportunity.

"If they were starting again, one or both might have done something different. Teams crave perfection and that’s great because it’s F1, but sometimes a bit of jeopardy is great for the fans.

"If you look at the weekend as a whole, we had different options on tyres for both the Sprint and Sunday’s Grand Prix. We had a great day overall on Friday, with an exciting qualifying that was watched by a bumper crowd."

It has not yet been announced which other two races on the 2021 F1 calendar will host Sprint Qualifying.

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