Ross Brawn has confirmed that, despite the Japanese Grand Prix featuring qualifying and the race on the same day to a positive response, Formula 1 will maintain the three-day GP format currently in place.
Due to Typhoon Hagibis, qualifying at Suzuka was moved to the Sunday only a few hours before the race proper, and although some fans and drivers enjoyed the condensed festivities, Brawn says that isn’t part of the FIA’s plans to potentially freshen up the schedule.
“It was a Super Sunday in Suzuka and that naturally reopened the debate about the shape of an F1 weekend,” the F1 chief said in his post-race column.
“This is an aspect of the sport we have focused on in some detail as we work towards the rules that will govern F1 over the coming years and we have taken into account the voices of all of the key players – the promoters, the teams and last but not least the fans.
“I’ll be honest and say that there has been strong consensus, especially among the organisers, for maintaining the three-day format of track activity, although with a different timetable.
“It's true that a day like Sunday in Suzuka offers a great show in just a few hours but it would confine the feeder series races to the previous days.
“After careful analysis we have concluded that the best solution is to keep the event over three days, revising the Friday format but leaving the rest untouched, with qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.”
Next season will be the busiest F1 season ever with 22 races on the calendar, and in an attempt to lighten the workload on teams, Brawn says organisers are looking at the possibility of ditching the Thursday media session so teams have that extra day for preparation or rest.
“In order to meet the demands of the teams and in order to slightly increase the number of Grands Prix, which will be at 22 next year, we have given consideration to reorganising the schedule so that teams and drivers can arrive a day later,” he explained.
“We’ll talk about the detail at the end of the month, when the new regulations will be published.”
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