F1 Commission unanimously approves sprint qualifying trials

Formula 1's planned sprint qualifying trials were approved on Monday by the sport's F1 Commission, with a formal green light from the FIA's World Motorsport Sport Council expected in short order.

F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali said the sprint race plan, which should kick off at this summer's British GP, will add value to the race weekend and entertainment for the fans.

"We are excited by this new opportunity that will bring our fans an even more engaging race weekend in 2021," said the Italian. "Seeing the drivers battling it out over three days will be an amazing experience," he said.

"I am sure the drivers will relish the fight. I am delighted that all the teams supported this plan, and it is a testament to our united efforts to continue to engage our fans in new ways while ensuring we remain committed to the heritage and meritocracy of our sport."

While the specific venues remain to be confirmed, Monza and Interlagos are expected to complete the three-race trial.

"F1 is showing itself to be stronger than ever with all stakeholders working together in this way, and much has been done to ensure that the sporting, technical and financial aspects of the format are fair," added FIA president Jean Todt.

Practically, a qualifying session based on the normal format will take place on Friday afternoon and determine the grid positions for the Saturday afternoon 100-kilometer sprint race.

An important point here regarding tyre rules: only soft tyres will be permitted in the Friday 60-minute qualie session.  As a result, teams and drivers will be free to start Sunday’s Grand Prix on the compound of their choice, rather than on the tyre used in Q2.

The result of the mad dash will subsequently the grid order for Sunday's Grand Prix which will take place over the normal full distance.

Furthermore, points will be awarded to the top three drivers in the sprint race, with the winner receiving 3 points while P2 and P3 will receive 2 and 1 point respectively. But there will not be a podium ceremony celebrating Saturday's top-three.

Finally, Parc Fermé rules will apply from the start of Saturday's sprint race, while certain settings and component changes will be permitted between Friday's qualifying session and the start of the sprint race.

Race weekend Sprint Qualifying trial format:

Friday: FP1 / Qualifying (60-minute Q1-Q2-Q3 session)

Saturday: FP2 / Sprint Qualifying (100 kilometers max)

Sunday: F1 Grand Prix

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter

Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

Recent Posts

French GP: Thursday's build-up in pictures

After a double does of street life in Monaco and Baku, F1 moves on to…

6 hours ago

Vettel admits he can't trust Pirelli tyres '100 per cent'

Sebastian Vettel says he cannot trust Pirelli's tyres '100 per cent' following the failures that…

7 hours ago

Bottas: Current speculation over 2022 'not based on any facts'

Valtteri Bottas hit back at the speculation swirling in the F1 paddock about his future,…

8 hours ago

Norris says Ferrari's mistakes helping McLaren's cause

Lando Norris says Ferrari outperformed McLaren on pure pace at F1's recent venues, but the…

8 hours ago

Mazepin says Schumacher can't expect 'to have it to easy'

Nikita Mazepin says it's important for Haas team mate Mick Schumacher to understand that he…

9 hours ago

Verstappen says Pirelli 'have to look at themselves'

Max Verstappen says Pirelli cannot blame Red Bull or Aston Martin for the tyre failures…

10 hours ago