If there is one thing we know for sure about Formula 1's sprint qualifying format it is that amongst fans, drivers and teams, the jury is out as to whether it will truly add spectacle and drama to the sport.
For many years, long before Liberty Media arrived on the scene, F1 has tried numerous ways to spice up the show, primarily via qualifying tweaks. Some have worked, such as the current format which has stood the test of time since 2010, while some have been an unmitigated disaster. Who can forget the elimination-style system in 2016 that was axed after the season-opening race in Australia?
In essence, there is precious little wrong with the modern-day version. It provides excitement throughout, and when you have cars as evenly matched as the Mercedes and Red Bull are at present, you have that all-important ingredient: unpredictability. The bottom line is, it is universally well-liked.
But since Liberty settled into the office that was once the preserve of former F1 doyen Bernie Ecclestone, it has made no secret of its desire to shake the sport all the way down to its very foundations.
In particular, it has to be applauded for dragging F1 into today's social media-focused world, for engaging with the fans via a domain Ecclestone once ridiculed as he could not see how it could be monetised. It was always all about the money with Bernie.
But Liberty wants more, believing the programme of Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and Sunday grand prix has become staid and sterile and is in grave need of re-energising.
After trying and failing with its reverse grid proposal last season, F1 went back to the drawing board and has come up with a system that will be trialled at three races this year – the British and Italian Grands Prix for certain, with Brazil pencilled in, pandemic permitting given the ongoing issues with Covid-19 in the South American country, otherwise a flyaway alternative will be chosen.
The format will involve a regular qualifying session after FP1 on Friday that replaces FP2 and will determine the grid for the sprint qualifying – a one-third distance, 100km, 30-minute race with no tyre changes – on Saturday. The results of that event will determine the grid for Sunday’s race.
It has been decided the top-three finishers in Saturday’s sprint qualifying will receive points – three for first, two for second and one for third.
As you can appreciate when the draft was first aired there was a degree of scepticism from the drivers, led by four-time champion Sebastian Vettel who described it as "a patch rather than a fix" to F1's bigger problem regarding the inability to race during a grand prix.
The hope is that will be cured next year given the wide-sweeping regulations that will result in dramatically different-looking cars that will, in turn, lead to more captivating racing. Again, that remains to be seen.
Red Bull's Sergio Perez suggested F1 was treading "a risky very thin line" with the proposal, while team-mate Max Verstappen felt the sport did not need "to really mix it up that much – the whole programme – we just need to make sure that you're fighting for the win".
After the drivers voiced their concerns, the teams also weighed in, except their primary worry was money, and understandably so in a year when they are trying to develop an all-new car for 2022 as well as maintain this year's programme in the first season under the budget cap.
The risk of incidents, and the cost of replacement parts, naturally amplifies when there are extra races to consider. Liberty bosses very quickly agreed on terms with the teams, while the refinements required to the rules have also been made.
As Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff remarked: "We are probably more on the purist side. We appreciate the 70-year-old history of a grand prix on a Sunday.
"One thing is for sure that having a little race on a Saturday we will have a large increase in audiences. I've seen it in DTM where we were almost able to double a TV audience with a second race.
"If done in a responsible way, at tracks where you can overtake, without adding too many gimmicks, I think we should give it a go."
Once F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali had sat down with the drivers to discuss the matter it was remarkable how they all then towed the party line and voiced their support.
Amusingly, when Lewis Hamilton was asked for his views following confirmation from F1 a few days previously that sprint qualifying would take place at three grands prix this year, the seven-time champion was blissfully unaware.
Once informed of the situation, Hamilton was then firmly on message. "I’ve always said that we need to have some sort of different format at certain races during the year," he proclaimed.
"I like they are open-minded and making changes. I think from those experimental kinds of weekends, hopefully, the sport will learn what and how we can deploy better races going forwards."
So for now, the overriding feeling is 'let's get on with it and see what happens' because at the end of the day there is no harm in F1 at least trying to improve the show.
As F1 managing director motorsports Ross Brawn noted: "If it doesn’t work, we will put our hands up and we will think again."
Brawn, though, is convinced it will work, and that fans, drivers and teams will be won over. He added: "The thing to remember about sprint qualifying is that its intention is to expand the whole weekend. It is not intended to impact the race event. The grand prix is still the vital event of the weekend.
"We want to give fans engagement throughout the whole weekend. Sunday’s grand prix is fantastic, and we don’t want to cannibalise that, but we want to lift up the engagement on a Friday and a Saturday.
"I think it will be a great addition. We want to see how fans engage with it and if the short format is appealing, that it’s complimentary and works with the main race. We feel it will. We feel it’s going to be very exciting."
For now, Brawn and F1 are being given the benefit of the doubt. We will know more on Saturday, 17th July, at Silverstone where, all being well, a sell-out crowd will be in attendance.