“I am nervous”– Ross Brawn is nervous after Lewis Hamilton called sprint race in Silverstone would turn out to be a train.
Formula 1 envisions elevation in the Grand Prix entertainment with the inclusion of sprint races in the schedule, with its first try-out will happen in Silverstone next week.
Ross Brawn, who apparently worked tirelessly to implement the format, has confessed to being nervous after all the mixed responses, including Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton’s negative outlook on the concept.
“I am nervous, it’s the unknown,” he told Channel 4. “But I think we put a huge amount of work into it, the teams themselves have put a huge amount of work into it, so I think it’s got the greatest opportunity of success.”
“The best thing ultimately that could happen is it becomes part of a Grand Prix weekend. Maybe not every race, but I think the thing that we want to stress is it’s expanding the weekend,” Brawn continued.
“We have a great event on Friday now because we have qualified, we have the Sprint on Saturday and then we have the Grand Prix on Sunday, which is the pinnacle event of the weekend. So we really try to add to it, but make sure we don’t take away from the Grand Prix.”
Not everyone is convinced.
There has been little support from the paddock about the sprint races, with top-2 current drivers– Hamilton and Max Verstappen outrightly rejecting it, but even FIA President Jean Todt is not convinced by the idea.
“Number one, we don’t call that a race,” the Frenchman said at the French GP last month. “I had part of the responsibility of not calling that a race.
However, Todt has also said that there is no harm in trying, and if it, in the end, would enhance the viewers’ experience, it would not hurt the main race.
“For me, the race is on Sunday. If you ask me if I’m a big fan of that, the answer is no. I don’t think F1 needs it. But on the other side, if people want to try something, it will not hurt the race on Sunday.
“It will be a different way of having a starting grid on Sunday. So it costs nothing to try. I’m curious to see what will come out, but I’m sure that it will not damage the race on Sunday.
“People may say it was more interesting on Saturday than on Sunday, but that’s not too big a risk for the image and for the credibility of the championship.”