After returning to the sport with Liberty Media hiring him earlier this year, Ross Brawn told Sky F1 that he would “dream” of a non-championship race.
A non-championship race would involve drivers still racing each other but at the end of the race, no points would be awarded to anyone. The last time an event of this manner occurred was in 1983 around Brands Hatch. It was called the Race Of Champions but not connected to the Race Of Champions of today’s world. Williams’ Keke Rosberg won the race ahead of American Danny Sullivan and 1980 F1 World Champion Alan Jones.
“My dream is a non-championship race once a year so that we could try a different format in that race.”
Brawn also said that “A non-championship race would enable us to vary the format and try something different”
However, even though it looks like Ross Brawn wants to bring back non-championship races, Brawn said that he was “nervous” about changing the sports regulations.
Recent regulations that have been introduced have not been a success in recent years. They introduced the radio ban which seemed to improve racing at the start of a grand prix as the drivers needed to find the clutch bite point but in recent races, drivers have criticised the ban when their car had some sort of issue and they couldn’t fix it. The only way drivers could fix their issue was if the car was in serious trouble and they could ask their engineer about how to fix it and nothing would be investigated or they could ask the engineer and receive a penalty.
Another regulation that was introduced in 2016 was the new qualifying format which was supposed to shake up the grids for the race but instead it made qualifying very dull and after two rounds, it got dropped and the original qualifying format was re-introduced.
However, there are regulations that have made F1 much better in recent years. The three-tyre compound rule introduced in 2016 was and still is a massive success as it spices up races much better than just two tyre compounds. Also, the regulations introduced to the 2017 cars seems to be a massive success as the looks and the higher downforce levels of the cars seem to be approved by fans.
If non-championship races were introduced, I think that it would be a massive success because drivers would take more risks if there was nothing to lose. Also, like Brawn mentioned, it would allow Liberty Media to introduce new ideas without damaging a world championship. Will it happen? Who knows!