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
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021