British GP set for evening qualifying as part of F1 sprint race shake-up

The British Grand Prix is to run an evening qualifying session as part of the weekend timetable shake-up triggered by the new Formula 1 sprint race trial.

British GP set for evening qualifying as part of F1 sprint race shake-up

The July event at Silverstone is to be the first to feature a 100km sprint qualifying race on the Saturday, that will decide the grid for Sunday’s main event.

The introduction of the sprint race means that the normal qualifying session that takes place on the Saturday is now moving to Friday – with there being just a single practice session on the opening day of track action.

The shuffle of sessions has also opened the door for a wider shift in the timing of sessions, with Silverstone moving everything back later on each day.

First practice on Friday will not begin until 2.30pm, with the qualifying session getting under way at 6pm.

The late start to action on Friday could help Silverstone increase crowd attendance as fans could still make it to the track after school and work.

On the Saturday, the second free practice session will get underway at 12pm, with the sprint qualifying beginning at 4.30pm.

The British Grand Prix itself will start at 3pm on Sunday, which is an hour later than normal.

F1 plans to run the sprint qualifying format at three races this year with a view to seeing if it is something that interests fans and broadcasters.

As well as deciding the grid for Sunday's race, points will be handed out to the top three finishers to offer an extra incentive to push for the win.

Start action, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 leads

Start action, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 leads

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Stefano Domenicali, F1 CEO, welcomed the fact that all teams had got behind the sprint race idea, which is also set to be used at Monza and perhaps Brazil later on in the campaign.

“We are excited by this new opportunity that will bring our fans an even more engaging race weekend in 2021. 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.”

2021 F1 British Grand Prix timetable (all local times)

Friday
FP1: 1430-1530
Qualifying: 1800-1900

Saturday
FP2: 1200-1300
Sprint Qualifying: 1630-1700

Sunday
Race: 1500

shares
comments

Related video

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Previous article

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Next article

Grosjean's Mercedes F1 test to proceed despite French GP date change

Grosjean's Mercedes F1 test to proceed despite French GP date change
Load comments
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021