F1 chief unveils final decision on controversial qualifying change for 2020 season

F1 chiefs have decided against changing the qualifying format for 2020 and gone against team wishes on making the race weekend just two days long.

Formula One has been in constant discussion on how best to improve the sport over the next few years, with the new 2021 regulation to be unveiled soon.

But there have also been ideas floating around on how to improve the spectacle next season.

One idea Ross Brawn had presented was a reverse-grid, qualifying sprint race which would have been implemented in two or three races to experiment with the idea.

However, it appears that idea has been voted down by teams and promoters.

And last week’s Japanese Grand Prix raised questions over whether the race weekend should be cut to just two days, something plenty of the drivers got behind.

But Brawn suggests that would be taking away from the fans, and therefore F1 chiefs have decided to keep the same format, although the Friday session would be revised.

“Typhoon Hagibis was a major player at this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, forcing the organisers to cancel all Saturday track activity and reschedule qualifying for Sunday morning, just four hours before the race,” Brawn said.

“So, it was a Super Sunday in Suzuka and that naturally re-opened the debate about the shape of an F1 weekend.

“This is an aspect of the sport we have focused on in some detail as we work towards the rules that will govern Formula 1 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 organizers, 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.”

However, the schedule is set to increase next year with the introduction of a Miami Grand Prix.

And Brawn has revealed that teams and drivers will be able to arrive later than usual.

“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 added.

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