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Brawn: F1 should be "cautious" on changing sprint format

Formula 1's managing director Ross Brawn says the championship should be "cautious" about changing the sprint race format that he believes has proved to be a success.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, the field at the start of the Sprint race

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, the field at the start of the Sprint race

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The sixth sprint event in Interlagos on Saturday was the most exciting since the format was first introduced in 2021, with George Russell battling past Max Verstappen to win.

It has already been agreed to run six sprints in 2023, although the venues have yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, tweaks such as a move to a standalone race that doesn't impact the grid for Sunday's main event are still on the table.

They are set to be discussed at next Friday's F1 Commission meeting, along with changes to the parc ferme rules that will potentially make FP2 more relevant.

However, Brawn remains wary of moving too far away from the original format.

"The race was very pleasing," he said when asked by Autosport about Saturday's event at Interlagos. "I think the track helps, it shows the sensitivity to selecting the right sort of races for next year.

"We're looking at if there's any evolutions in the format to be considered for next year. But we've got a fantastic foundation already.

"So we'd be very cautious about changing things. And certainly, I don't think we should move to a dramatically different format.

"It was great, a fantastic race. It gave the crowds terrific entertainment. Qualifying's special, but not as special as that was today, I really enjoyed that."

Asked about what format changes are being considered, he said: "It's not something I want to speculate on at the moment, because I think it's only fair to talk to the FIA and the teams. And we made some presentations, a year or so ago, that have not changed really.

George Russell, Mercedes W13, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"We wanted to get the six races agreed and bedded in, and the venues sorted. And I think, when we see the venues, we can be a little bit more informed when we talk about the format we might move to. But, as I say, the existing format works very well. So we should be cautious not to move."

He acknowledged that changes to the parc ferme rules, potentially allowing teams to freeze their set-ups after the sprint and thus making FP2 more useful, are among the key topics.

"On Friday, in the F1 Commission meeting, we're talking about parc ferme, and whether that should start after the sprint, so that you've got a more meaningful FP2," said Brawn.

"I think there's some general things we can do as well as something a little bit more substantial, but it's evolution now, not revolution."

Asked what factors will determine which six venues are chosen for sprints in 2023, he said: "I think just that ability to race and overtake. And I mean, obviously, in extremis, a sprint race at Monaco would be a pretty boring event. This is probably one of the best tracks.

"We have an index of tracks that we believe will be suitable for the sprint. Brazil's at the top of it, somewhere like Monaco will be at the bottom of it.

"And we want to have a nice spread of races during the year, and find the right places to have them. But the type of track we go to is a high priority."

Brawn is set to retire at the end of the season and maintain an advisory role with the F1 organisation. He hopes to remain involved in planning the sprints.

"I guess I'd like to think I can stay involved with special projects," he added. "And I just don't want the day-to-day responsibility I've had the past few years. So a project like this, which is very exciting and a lot of fun, why not?"

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