Silverstone confirms British GP Sprint Qualifying first

Silverstone Circuit has confirmed that it will be the first of three venues that will host F1's new Sprint Qualifying weekend format this year.

F1 teams have given the green light to the novel idea that will see Saturday's traditional qualifying session replaced by a 30-minute sprint race that will determine the grid for Sunday's race.

And the British GP in July will have the privilege of hosting Grand Prix racing's first ever Sprint Qualifying event.

"Silverstone are delighted to confirm that the Formula 1 British Grand Prix will be the first event to trial the Sprint Qualifying format that was announced by Formula 1 and the FIA on April 26," the circuit said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle was delighted to announce the news, with Silverstone ready to play host to the new format.

"We are incredibly excited that Silverstone fans will be the first to experience the Formula 1 sprint qualifying format at this year’s British Grand Prix," added Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle.

"We have not seen such a major timetable shake up in the sport for years and I appreciate the continued efforts being made by Formula 1 and the FIA to enhance the entertainment on track giving our spectators even more to look forward to this July.

"The Friday and Saturday crowds at Silverstone are arguably the largest on the F1 calendar and, following the live events drought of 2020, this year will be no exception.

"Given we have very nearly sold out of tickets for Sunday, Saturday now represents a great opportunity for fans to see a Formula 1 race at Silverstone this summer."

Formula 1 has yet to reveal the two other rounds of the 2021 world championship that will run to the Sprint Qualifying format, but all signs point to Monza and Interlagos as the venues that will complete the trial.

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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.

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