Brawn: Austria will be exciting even without reverse grid

Ross Brawn expects Formula 1 to hold “two exciting races” in Austria next month despite plans for a reverse grid qualifying format change being rejected.

Brawn: Austria will be exciting even without reverse grid

F1 will hold back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on July 5 and July 12 to start the revised 2020 calendar after the opening 10 rounds were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will mark the first time in F1 history that a circuit has held multiple rounds of the world championship in the same season, with Silverstone set to do the same in August.

F1 officials had proposed shaking up the format for the second race in Austria - known as the Styrian Grand Prix - by running a reverse grid sprint race on Saturday in place of qualifying. 

But the plans were rejected after failing to receive unanimous support from teams, with Mercedes opposing the idea.

Speaking in the latest part of the #thinkingforward series of interviews with motor racing’s leaders, F1 managing director of motorsports Brawn explained the renewed push for the format change. 

“We introduced the concept of a qualifying race, which was based on reverse championship order, and then that would take you through to the main event which would be the race on the Sunday,” Brawn said in an interview at the FIA eConference.

“We discussed that last year, and we had pretty good support for that, but not unanimous. And it’s been the same case this year. There have been some teams who haven’t felt that’s something we should be doing.

“Our concern was simply where we have two races at the same track, because of the situation this year. We’re going to have two races in Austria, two races in Silverstone, possibly two races later in the year at one or another of the tracks.

“The second race, we wanted to see if there was an opportunity to try a different format.”

Read Also:

Brawn said he remains committed to making different tweaks for the second races at circuits.

Plans are already in place for different tyre compounds to be made available to teams at the second Silverstone race, while the possibility of using an alternate layout in Bahrain has also been suggested. 

But even without the changes for Austria, Brawn expressed his confidence that F1 would deliver two exciting races to get the 2020 season underway.

“There are some small things we can do with the selection of tyre compounds, and one or two other things, but I think they’re quite minor. [Reverse grids] were a bigger step,” Brawn said.

“One or two tracks later in the year have the added attraction they can run in a different configuration, so that might be an opportunity if we have a second race there to run the track in a different configuration and create some difference between the two races.

“But I suspect Austria is going to be pretty exciting. [It’s the] beginning of the season, nature of the track there, everyone settling in, and I think we will find that we have two exciting races there without doing anything to it.

“But it’s just later in the year we were perhaps looking at these changes.”

shares
comments
Racing Point: Cost cap won’t harm Mercedes relationship

Previous article

Racing Point: Cost cap won’t harm Mercedes relationship

Next article

Giovinazzi backs “cool” plan for three Italian F1 races

Giovinazzi backs “cool” plan for three Italian F1 races
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021
The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality Prime

The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality

OPINION: Formula 1 heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the 2021 British Grand Prix, where a full-capacity crowd will return after a painful absence in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Here’s how the pieces that permitted a part of returning ‘normal’ life were arranged.

Formula 1
Jul 14, 2021