Formula 1 reveals new Sprint Shootout format and rules

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The FIA's World Motor Sport Council has confirmed the introduction from next weekend in Azerbaijan of a set of revised Sprint weekend regulations, which  include a new Sprint Shootout qualifying session.

The changes were tabled earlier this month by F1's team bosses and voted upon unanimously on Tuesday by the F1 Commission before they were officially ratified by the WMSC.

As expected, Friday's FP1 will be followed by a qualifying session that will determine the grid for Sunday's race. On Saturday, FP2 has been replaced by a new qualifying format – called Sprint Shootout – that will set the starting order for the afternoon's standalone Sprint event.

The Sprint Shootout session will follow the usual Q1-Q2-Q3 format, but the duration of each segment has been reduced, with SQ1 lasting 12 minutes, SQ2 cut to 10 minutes and QQ3 lasting just 8 minutes, with the latter's duration allowing drivers to achieve just a single lap.

Furthermore, a mandatory tyre schedule adopted for the session will see drivers running on mediums in Q1 and Q2, and on softs in Q3.

It has been decided that any grid penalties incurred by a driver in practice or in qualifying will apply in Sunday's race, while a penalty incurred in Sprint Qualifying will apply to the Sprint event.

PU penalties will only apply for the Grand Prix.

Also, the points allocation for the sprint remains unchanged, with the top eight scoring on the basis of 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Baku next weekend will kick off the new format, with the Austria, Belgium, Qatar, the USA and Brazil hosting additional Sprint events.

A joint statement from the FIA and F1 said: "Following this successful vote and subsequent approval by the World Motor Sport Council by e-vote, all stakeholders believe that this will boost the spectacle of Sprint weekends and enhance track action for fans around the world.

"Thanks to the close working relationship between the FIA, FOM as well as the sport's ten Formula 1 teams, moving the changes from concept to regulation has been accomplished swiftly and positively."

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