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Ross Brawn does not want title marathon to be decided by a sprint

Ross Brawn does not want title marathon to be decided by a sprint
© Reuters
The ground-breaking concept will be trialled at three rounds this season.

Formula One chief Ross Brawn says he does not want Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen's championship battle to be settled by a "sprint" race.

The ground-breaking concept, roughly a third-distance of a grand prix, will be trialled at three rounds this season, starting at Silverstone on July 17.

The top-three drivers will be awarded points ( three for first, two for second and one for third) and the finishing result will determine the grid for Sunday's main event. Qualifying will move to Friday afternoon.

Following Silverstone, Monza will host the second sprint race at September's Italian Grand Prix.

Interlagos could stage the final sprint round of the season in November, but Brazil's high Covid-19 infection rates might scupper the event.  Austin's Circuit of the Americas – the venue for October's US Grand Prix – is also in the running.

"We want to avoid the title being decided on a Saturday," said F1 motorsport boss Brawn.

"Going to the last race and a driver potentially taking the championship on Saturday by winning the sprint event could bring an added dimension, but it is one we are trying to avoid.

"We want to pick an event ideally a few races before the end of the season and a track where racing can take place in a short format with overtaking opportunities and tyre degradation, too, but we don't want to do it at the last race."

Brawn said he hoped the sprint calendar could double to six rounds in 2022, urging the sport's traditionalists to get on board with the concept.

He added: "We will never force this through if it's clearly not a success.

"But one of the great things about what's happening is that it's only at three races. If we don't get the response we hope for, then we'll put our hands up and stay the way we are.

"But I'd just ask the traditionalists to wait and see if they enjoy it – and hopefully they will.

"I don't like to make analogies, but following the introduction of short-format cricket we've seen a much better engagement with Test cricket because the shorter format has drawn fans in."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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