Brawn sure of eventful F1 Sprint race but won't 'force' through if unsuccessful

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While confident of an eventful Sprint Qualifying race, Ross Brawn says he won't "force" it in Formula 1 if unsuccessful.

The new format will be trialled for the first time at this weekend's British Grand Prix, with a traditional qualifying session on Friday to set the grid for a 17-lap dash around Silverstone on Saturday.

Points will be given to the top three in that sprint race, along with a recently announced victory parade lap and wreaths instead of the usual podium procedure.

However, offering their predictions, most drivers aren't expecting a big change from a usual F1 race, with Lewis Hamilton even suggesting it will simply be a "train".

But Brawn disagrees, citing the unexpected two-lap race F1 had just last month.

"I think what was fascinating was Baku and the little sprint we had at the end, which was exciting," he said.

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"I don't think Silverstone will be quite so aggressive because obviously, it's over 100 kilometres so they've got a little bit more time.

"But I think racing drivers will race each other in a supermarket car park with shopping trolleys. It's their nature that they want to beat each other: and there is nothing worse for them to be beaten by somebody.

"Even if you could argue the sprint is only the precursor to the main event, the race, I think they will be desperate to beat each other and shows who's the fastest, and who's the strongest.

"I personally am very optimistic. I think it will be a very good event, a great race. I think the drivers will go for it because do we think Max [Verstappen] and Lewis [Hamilton] are going to have a different mindset going into that first corner because it's a sprint?

"I don't think so. But that's to be established, and that's what we need to find out."

F1 is set to use this new format twice more in 2021 at Monza and Interlagos, should the latter race in Brazil go ahead, and after that it will be assessed if Sprint Qualifying should be here to stay.

"We will never force this through if it is clearly not a success," said Brawn.

"There's no incentive in doing it if the audience doesn't engage, if we don't see a strong engagement from the fans, and we don't see the benefits.

"I think one of the great things about what's happening is that it is three races, it's not the season. In the past, F1 has always struggled with the fact that when it's made an adjustment, it's made it theoretically for the season.

"We all remember the [elimination] qualifying fiasco a few years ago, which luckily sort of got corrected partway through the season. I think that was one that everybody forecast was going to be a struggle, and it turned out to be.

"So this is three events where we're going to trial this format. And if it's not a success, if we don't get the response we hope, then we'll put our hands up and then we'll stay where we are and we'll look at other initiatives."

Brawn also made it clear, only a select number of races would use the format each year and offered an insight into how the decision on where would be made.

Brawn Domenicali

"It will be up to Stefano (Domenicali, F1 CEO), myself and one or two others, to make a recommendation of who should be the primary candidates, and the teams will have a say in that as well. But it will be a blend [of classic and newer races]," he explained.

"I hope we can get the commercial benefit from all the venues that we go to, because then that will be a stronger argument for the teams to want to do it.

"But I don't think we will sell out on this because it has to be a success. If we go to circuits where it doesn't work and it doesn't offer any overall benefit, then we know it will have a short life.

"I think we need to make sure we go to circuits where we can demonstrate the value of this and the excitement and success of it, and then we'll go from there."