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Formula One To Hold Three Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying Races

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Formula One has announced that they will introduce short sprint races to set the starting grid at three grands prix in the 2021 season.

The short races will have points awarded to the top three finishers – three for first, two for second and one for third while grid positions for the races – to be called ‘sprint qualifying’ – will be set by moving qualifying to Friday.

The ‘sprint qualifying’ races will run approximately one-third of the distance of a grand prix circuit and is set to debut at the 2021 British Grand Prix on July 16, 2021, followed by the 2021 Italian Grand Prix race on September 12, 2021. The third location of the sprint qualifying race format has yet to be determined.

The new sprint qualifying format was approved unanimously by the F1 Commission of teams and bosses on Monday and is expected to be ratified by the sport’s legislative body, the FIA World Council.

Each team will receive a total payment of $450,000 per team – or $150,000 per qualifying race – plus an insurance waiver for compensation if teams damage expensive parts in accidents during sprint qualifying.

The typical grand prix race weekend’s schedule will change as the usual Friday morning practice session [FP1] remain the same but the usual Saturday afternoon qualifying session will now be held on Friday instead.

Then there are the new rules:

Parc ferme – the point at which teams can no longer make major changes to their cars – will be introduced from the start of the Friday qualifying session.

Tire use will have restrictions stretching out over the entire weekend. In first practice, teams can use only two of the three types of tires – hard, medium and soft – and qualifying will be run only on the soft compound, with each team getting five sets:

One set of tires only for second practice on Saturday morning, of the team’s choice. Two sets of tires for the sprint qualifying race, of the team’s choice – and drivers will not be required to make a pit stop, leaving only two remaining new sets of tires for each team for the grand prix but allowing for a free choice of the compound for the start of the race.

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