Formula 1 is considering adjusting its sprint race weekend format. The new system should come into force from the first Grand Prix with a sprint race this year – in Baku.
Sprint races were introduced in 2021 to make racing weekends even more exciting. In the current format, you run one practice session on Friday and qualify for the Saturday afternoon sprint later that day. For this short 100km race, there is a second free practice session on Saturday morning, which isn’t really interesting because of the Parc fermé rules. The winner of Sunday’s Grand Prix sprint race will start from pole position.
Australian GP schedule: All sessions, all start times
The last items in particular have caused criticism. The second free practice session will only act as a fill in and the fastest driver in qualifying will not automatically get the best starting position in Sunday’s main race in this system. According to the German Cars, engines and sports Now Formula 1 wants to change this and from now on operate with two qualifications: one on the Friday before the Grand Prix and the other on Saturday morning – as an alternative to the second pointless free practice – before the sprint.
The weekend sprint would look like this. One hour free training on Friday, followed by the usual qualification in three sessions (Q1, Q2, Q3). This qualification is the starting grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Then comes the second qualifying – possibly singles – on Saturday morning. The result determines the starting order for the sprint race later that day.
The idea is supported by Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali and the teams and they will know it Cars, engines and sports – It can already be used during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April. However, tire supplier Pirelli has yet to join. The tires for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are already on their way to Baku and there may be a lack of additional qualifying. To get around this problem, the FIA may consider a rule change that would make Q1, Q2 and Q3 (which currently run 18th, 15th and 12th) half as long.
The program this season includes six sprint weekends: Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, USA (Austin) and Brazil.
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