F1 sprint qualifying

F1 sprint qualifying explained, let’s find out how it works

In April 2021, those in charge announced a whole new qualifying weekend! The experiment begins with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from July 16-18. F1 sprint qualifying is officially explained, so whether it will be a successful experience, let’s find out what it is.

When you first hear about such racing innovations, you probably ask yourself the most important question: what is the sprint in Formula 1? In two words it’s a quick race or mini-race, which determines the position at Sunday’s race start. Sounds not so easy, but feel yourself free, you are not alone in  thoughts. Many current drivers also do not understand enough why sprint races are like this, including Lewis Hamilton. Bernie Ecclestone, for example, calls the format of sprint qualification “complete nonsense”. But we should not forget that it is just an experiment. Following the British Grand Prix, the F1 sprint qualifying will be 100 km long (around 25-30 minutes), that is 17 laps at Silverstone. Once you’ve figured it out, let’s go into detail.


F1 sprint qualifying
Formula 1 content pool

What’s the format of Formula 1 sprint qualifying?

What does that mean?

Obviously, a new qualifying format in Formula 1 will add another mini-race to the weekend with. So we will have two races in a Grand Prix. Officials have decided to provide more entertainment and increase the interest of the fans.

What are the rules for F1 sprint qualifying?

  1. The drivers go full throttle from start to finish without having to pit.
  2. The drivers receive points for the sprint race. The three first place finishers receive points: three for the winner except one point for the third.
  3. No podium ceremony, because this honor remains the privilege of the three first-place finishers in Sunday’s Grand Prix.
  4. The winner of the F1 sprint qualifying at Parc Ferme will receive a trophy that will be presented in a similar way from Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli after qualifying.
  5. The order of the race determines the grid for Sunday’s showpiece, the Grand Prix in the traditional format.

But the more you delve into the rules of F1 sprint, the more questions you get. Because if there is a new-style qualifying, what do we need the old format for? Take a deep breath, dear F1 fan, we are also a little confused.

F1 sprint qualifying
F1 official content pool

Are traditional F1 qualifying sessions changing?

The traditional qualifying on Saturday remains an important part of the weekend, but takes place on Friday. Boom! So that the spectators in the grandstand do not get bored. I can sense the logic, but it is not so easy, the rules of traditional qualifying will change. Teams will have the rule to choose only soft in the traditional qualifying. Meanwhile, the drivers can freely choose a set of tires for the race on Sunday.

Does Formula 1 practice change?

Yes, we lose the third session. During the race weekend there are two sessions of one hour each. The first is on Friday, the second on Saturday. Between qualifying and sprint races, the teams can work on the suspension.

What if it rains during the sprint race?

Teams will receive an extra set of intermediate sets, but they will have to return the used set before the sprint race. If the sprint is recognized as being in wet conditions, the F1 teams will be able to replace a new set.

There are still many problems with the use of the tires: how many are possible in qualifying and how many are not… but this is so difficult that it will not be clear until the Grand Prix.

Which F1 races will have the sprint qualification?

No guarantees, it’s just an experiment. First officially announced Formula 1 sprint race at Silverstone, next scheduled at Monza in September. The innovation planned for the three grands prix of the 2021 Formula 1 season, the last one is the secret.

What if I’m completely confused about Formula 1 sprint qualification?

Then just save the following picture.

F1 sprint qualifying
F1 sprint qualifying plan

Will race weekend with sprint be a successful experience?

Yes and no, not for the first time. Innovations are very useful in Formula 1, especially if they come to bring more entertainment.  It looks like a new sprint race will have umpteen non-compliant questions to answer. Lewis Hamilton strongly disagrees with it. Talking about sprint races in Formula One are completely contradictory. Experts and journalists believe it will be a new show, other authorities are certain that the experiment will actually fail. No doubt F1 fans will get new fun, while F1 teams and drivers will get new headaches.


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