Brown: Formula 1 should ‘experiment’ in 2020

Jamie Woodhouse
Ferrari and AlphaTauri

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes 2020 presents the perfect oportunity for Formula 1 to experiment with its race weekend format.

The first nine rounds of the 2020 season have been shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the French Grand Prix on June 28 now the closest race yet to be called off.

Lots of ideas have been floated around for when the season does actually get underway, such as multiple races at a track or two-day weekends.

And Brown believes F1 should experiment with its format for a race weekend this year.

“I think we’ll learn a lot when we go back racing,” he is quoted by The Race as having told Sky F1.

“Maybe there’s two-day events, maybe there are some format changes.

“I think it gives us a licence to explore a little bit and we’ll maybe come out of the season going, ‘actually a two-day event, if we are going to do three in a row, makes sense’. Or qualifying on Sunday morning, or eliminating a free practice.

“Whatever that may be, I think we should experiment when we get started. And I think we’ll find we’ll learn some things that appeal to the fans and maybe make ways of working a little bit easier.”

Formula 1 bosses are working to piece together a new schedule for 2020, with managing director Ross Brawn saying October is the latest racing can start to have a minimum of eight races to make it a World Championship season.

But Brawn says that any changes to the 2020 schedule will be because it is needed, rather than an experiment.

“It does depend on the type of race it is,” he Brawn.

“A race like Singapore will be very difficult to move from its existing spot. But looking around those schedules, yes there’s some races in slightly odd times, but they would still be OK from a weather perspective.

“And we’ve tried to look at the logistics. We may have some two-day races in order to meet logistical needs.

“China looks like it will probably be a two-day race if we go ahead with it, to get there and get away from it.

“So there may be a couple of two-day races in there to make logistics work.”

Brown said that teams wouldn’t be able to just leap back into action, but there was full trust that the new calendar would be doable.

“It won’t be easy, but I think we’re finding right now in life, we’re all doing things that we never thought were doable,” he said.

“There’s no way Ross and his team will come up with a calendar that’s not possible to execute.

“I think we would need to be back at the factory four or five weeks before the first race, and certainly carrying spares and things of that nature we would need to think through.

“But I think three weeks on, a week off, as long as we’re staying in similar territories, going from Europe and Asia, and maybe Americas and then the Middle East, I think that’s definitely doable.”

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