Details of F1 ‘sprint races’ revealed

Ross Brawn has revealed details about the Formula One ‘sprint races’ set to be introduced at three races throughout the 2021 season. Several questions still surround these proposed sessions, but here is what we know so far. 

Written by Sam Stewart, Edited by Aiden Hover

These races, held on the Saturday, will be known as ‘sprint qualifying,’ and will have grids determined by a normal qualifying session on the Friday. The results from this ‘sprint qualifying’ will determine the grid for the Sunday Grand Prix. 

The top three finishers in ‘sprint qualifying’ will be awarded points – three for first, two for second and one for third – as an increased incentive to perform well in these races. 

This alternative qualifying session is set to be introduced first at Silverstone, for the 2021 British Grand Prix, held on the 16th-18th July, and will be used in at least two other races over the course of the season. 

Some questions still surround this session, such as how parc fermé would come into effect, and whether the teams would still need to use two sets of tyres on a car. Tyre allocation across the whole weekend will also be put into question, as another practice session is set to take place between the Friday qualifying and the Saturday ‘sprint qualifying.’

Some session-specific regulations are still under consideration, such as raising the DRS activation distance to two seconds rather than one to increase overtaking opportunity – something that will be further aided by the reduced downforce on the 2021 cars. 

It remains to be seen whether the sprint qualifying will make the weekend as a whole more exciting or not, but this will be a very welcome introduction from many F1 fans, who now get to see two Formula One races in one weekend. 

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