Formula One’s managing director Ross Brawn has said that the sport’s weekend schedule could be altered by tweaking the F1 Free practice session format. Currently, the F1 Free practice format consists of two 90-minute sessions. Now, Brawn admitted that the schedule is open to discussion. Liberty Media are said to be reviewing race weekend formats in order to improve the sport. While Brawn revealed that Friday’s schedule could be tweaked, he said the length of races is unlikely to be affected.
Brawn said, “I think the length of a grand prix is about right. It’s not too long, it’s not too short, it engages you. We want a grand prix to evolve and have its highlights and come together at the end. So I’m not sure that we should be thinking in terms of changing a grand prix length. I think we have other things we can do to enhance grand prix racing rather than changing around the format. Qualifying works fairly well.”
“I think practice on a Friday is open to discussion, whether we need two sessions, whether we move to just an afternoon session, because another factor in all of this is the number of races we have. If we have an increased number of races, do we change the format to put less pressure on the teams to be able to do those races?”
Brawn also stressed on the need to bring fans closer to F1 and suggested the possibility of introducing open scrutineering in the build up to race weekends. He continued, “The fans always come first — what do the fans want to see in a grand prix weekend? Getting close to the cars and getting close to the drivers is something we always get feedback on. It’s an essential part for the fans. So over a race weekend, could we do more to let the fans get closer to the cars? One proposal is to have open scrutineering, so the cars literally have to go out into the field to be scrutineered so the fans can come and see them.
“It happens at Le Mans and is a great event. All the fans come, the cars are lifted up and you can see underneath them. So we’re exploring things of that nature. But I’m fairly conservative about the format of the racing, and I haven’t got any major plans on that at the moment.”