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Brawn: Any changes to F1 qualifying format in 2020 will be purely experimental

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HUNGARORING, HUNGARY - AUGUST 04: Nico Hulkenberg, Renault R.S. 19, leads Alexander Albon, Toro

F1 is set for a big rules shake-up in 2021, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be changes in 2020 too. There have been discussions, for example, about potential changes to the qualifying format – but F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn has moved to clarify that any such moves would be purely experimental in nature.

“In recent days I’ve read a variety of statements from drivers and pundits concerning ideas to make the race weekend format more spectacular,” said Brawn.

“To try to clarify the situation and avoid misunderstandings, there are discussions about experimenting in 2020 with changes to the qualifying format with the aim of making a Grand Prix weekend a little less predictable.

“I want to emphasise the word ‘experiment’ because this is what it is about – a small sample to establish the directions for the future. We are all too aware that the current qualifying format is exciting and spectacular but what is also important is to make sure that the race, the highlight of the weekend, is the best it can be.”

There are discussions about experimenting in 2020 with changes to the qualifying format with the aim of making a Grand Prix weekend a little less predictable

Ross Brawn

Brawn said that the best way to trial whether a new format - reverse grid qualifying races have been mooted - could contribute to that overall outcome was trying it in a real world scenario:

“No matter how many simulations you run, there’s no measure more accurate than the track. Formula 1, the teams and the FIA are studying the possibility of a revised format for a small number of events for next season. With stable sporting and technical regulations in place for 2020 it is the perfect time for such evaluations.

“No decision has been taken yet because we are finalising all the details, but feedbacks received so far are, in the majority, positive. I understand that the purists might be concerned, but we should not be afraid to conduct an experiment otherwise we cannot progress.

“We don't want change for the sake of change; we want to improve our sport, because, rather like the development of the cars, if you stand still you risk slipping backwards.”

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