“As I said, we’re going to be relatively conservative in the step we make next year. What we don’t want to do is lose it, because we’ve been overambitious. We need to have enough content, enough engagement to make it worthwhile. And we don’t want to spoil it by overstepping, and people feeling it’s gone too far. Plus we have the new cars next year, as I say, which in themselves are going to be quite a big story.”
Is that focus on improving Friday worth it if the Saturday sprint itself turns out to be an underwhelming procession? Brawn insists that it is.
“Personally, I think it’s a price worth paying if Saturday is not a sort of ‘crash and bang’ event. I’m not sure it was ever going to be. I think the overall weekend has improved so much that we would go with it.
“But there’s no doubt that we’re discussing with the teams how Saturday could be made a bit more challenging, a bit more engaging. I’m very optimistic that the new cars will help, because of their ability to race each other.
“And what’s in discussion is how can we make the rewards for a Saturday greater? So there’s much more incentive to race on a Saturday in terms of points. I think probably reverse grids — I’d be quite excited by that, but I think it would be perhaps a step too far.
“But there are a few things which are on the table for discussion. The pole position [awarded to the sprint race winner and not the fastest qualifier] on Friday, which has clearly not been popular. So that’s on the agenda. The naming of the event, we all call it a race – it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck! So the naming of the event is something we want to tidy up.
“And then perhaps the points distribution for a Saturday could make it more challenging and inviting for drivers to race. That’s definitely something which is on our agenda to discuss with the FIA and the teams. Following Brazil there’ll be another get together. We’ve had the F1 Commission, it was very positive. And after Brazil we’ll start to sort out the details.”
For the three initial sprints the allocation has been a simple 3-2-1 for the top three finishers, but as Brawn indicates, that could change.