Formula 1’s new managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, says his dream is to have a non-championship race each year where the format can be experimented with.
The non-championship F1 race hasn’t been around since 1983 but Brawn wants to bring them back, not only to increase the on-track action each year but also to try out different formats and rules.
In fact, the last non-championship race was the 1983 ‘Race of Champions’ at Brands Hatch, won by Williams driver Keke Rosberg.
Brawn was recently hired by new F1 owners Liberty Media and believes the sport should be trying new race formats, but not during a season.
Here’s what he told Sky Sports:
“My dream actually would be to have a non-championship race once a year. And in that non-championship race you could experiment. So you could try a different format for one race and see. It would enable us to vary the format and try something different and evolve it.
You can’t take a risk in a championship of swapping the format and getting it wrong.
“Like everything else you’d tune it. Then you could make it better and say, ‘actually now, this is better than what we have. The fans love it, everyone loves it. Let’s swap.’ You can’t take a risk in a championship of swapping the format and getting it wrong. I’m a bit nervous about that.
“When we start changing the format, we have to be very sure that we’ve got it right. Because when you start a championship with one format, you can’t change it during the year – or you shouldn’t change it during the year.”
The thought of a non-championship race is an interesting one. It’d mean more action and F1 racing for us in a season, and the fact it doesn’t count towards the championship might encourage teams to do something different.
But, it’d hardly be a help to cutting costs and some of the smaller teams might not be keen to compete because of it. So, it’d have to be cost effective.
Still, more racing and the lack of pressure that comes with the world championship might make for a refreshing change, and could be a good place to try out new things on the public – we don’t want a repeat of ‘elimination qualifying’ again!