Brawn considers reviving non-championship F1 races to test new ideas

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Ross Brawn has said that he is open to bringing non-championship races back to Formula 1 as a way to trial new ideas without impacting on grand prix weekends.

Brawn returned to F1 in January after being appointed its new sporting managing director following Liberty Media’s takeover of the series.

The ex-Mercedes, Ferrari and Benetton man has been tasked with improving F1’s on-track spectacle and making it more entertaining.

Most recently, a new qualifying format was trialed for two races at the start of the 2016 season, only to be scrapped amid confusion over its implementation and intention.

Speaking to Reuters in Barcelona at pre-season testing, Brawn suggested that non-championship races could be a way to make try out changes without harming official weekends.

“We often had non-championship races in the old days but getting it all to work is another matter,” Brawn said.

“It needs to be commercially viable of course, and that’s the challenge.

“Again, it couldn’t just be ‘pick ideas out of a hat’. It needs to be properly thought through, but may be an opportunity.”

Non-championship races were frequent in F1 in the 1960s and 1970s, with the last being held at Brands Hatch in England in 1983. Since then, all grands prix have been rounds of the world championship.