Brawn: Races with fewer than 12 cars possible

Date published: March 19 2020

Melbourne Australian GP F1 paddock packing up PA

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn isn’t ruling out going racing with fewer than 12 cars forming the grid.

Currently the season is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Formula 1 remains confident of piecing together a season of some sort for this year.

The Australian Grand Prix which was set to open the season was cancelled after a series of meetings following a McLaren worker testing positive for COVID-19.

McLaren swiftly withdrew from the race, and later Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen flew out of Melbourne before the race was cancelled.

But while the F1 sporting regulations state that a grands prix can be cancelled if there are fewer than 12 drivers, it doesn’t say that it must be.

And with that in mind Brawn isn’t ruling out the idea of the FIA running races with 11 drivers or fewer, even though he has said in the past that a race wouldn’t count as a World Championship round if teams had difficulty entering the country where it was taking place.

“We need 12 cars or more to hold a championship race although that, actually, is at the discretion of the FIA,” Brawn told Sky.

“They could choose, in unusual circumstances, to allow less than that. But 12 cars is what’s written there.”

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