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F1 approves sprint format revamp for 2024; tyre blanket ban abandoned

Formula 1 teams will be presented with plans for a sprint format revamp at the start of next year, following agreement in a meeting on Thursday that change was needed.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, the rest of the field on the opening lap of the Sprint race

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, the rest of the field on the opening lap of the Sprint race

Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Amid a growing consensus in the paddock that the current standalone sprint format is not delivering as much entertainment as hoped for, team bosses and grand prix racing chiefs have begun discussions about tweaks for 2024.

At a meeting of the F1 Commission in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, it was agreed that a freshening up of the format – potentially involving reverse grids or a complete revamp of the weekend timetable – should be targeted.

One idea is for sprint qualifying to take place on Friday afternoons, with qualifying for the main grand prix taking place on Saturday mornings prior to the sprint race in the afternoon.

However, there is some concern that this format opens the risk of crashes in one of the sessions having a big impact on the rest of the weekend.

The reverse grid idea is also being considered, especially if the sprint moves away from offering world championship points. This could involve either reversing the top 10 positions or the entire grid.

The FIA's Sporting Advisory Committee will now work through the details of a sprint race shake-up, and this will be presented to teams at the start of next year during the first F1 Commission meeting of 2024.

F1 will also settle in the next few weeks on the six venues that will host sprints next year.

Tyre blanket ban abandoned

The F1 Commission also agreed to a move to abandon a ban on tyre blankets for 2025, which was due to be evaluated during next season.

This move has come as F1 chiefs make a push to improve the racing, amid a view that the characteristics of the current tyres are not ideal.

Tyres in tyre blankets

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Tyres in tyre blankets

In a statement issued by the FIA and F1, it said: "The Commission agreed that the direction for development for future tyres should be focused on reducing issues of overheating and improving the raceability of the tyres, and therefore the decision was taken to keep tyre blankets for 2025."

It was also agreed that F1 will stick with the standard 13 sets of tyres per car per race weekend for 2024, having evaluated an alternative tyre allocation at events this season.

Driver cooling

In the wake of the extreme conditions that drivers faced in Qatar this year, a push to improve conditions in the cockpit was agreed.

From 2024, the regulations will be amended to permit a scoop to boost driver cooling, with other options being looked at for more extreme conditions.

It is understood the scoop idea was originally pushed for this season but was rejected due to opposition from one team.

Further tweaks to the rules are being made to reduce the risks of metallic components in the floor causing damage to other cars should they work loose.

In a further move to improve safety, the FIA has agreed to conduct another test on wheel covers to try to help with visibility in wet weather conditions.

2026 car development ban

While F1 teams have already begun outline work on their 2026 cars, when F1's regulations are set for a radical overhaul, it was agreed that work should no longer be allowed in the near term.

A statement said: "The Commission agreed that no work may be carried out on the development of a car for the 2026 season before the start of 2025."

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