F1 approves sprint races plan at three rounds in 2021

Formula 1 teams and the championship’s bosses have unanimously supported the plan for sprint qualifying trials this year, with the first event set for the British Grand Prix.

F1 approves sprint races plan at three rounds in 2021

Following a vote at the F1 Commission on Monday, the matter drew universal support from all parties.

Although the plan still needs formal approval by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council before being put in the rule book, this should be a formality.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali welcomed the move, which he felt would deliver an added entertainment factor for fans.

“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.”

For now F1 has not confirmed where the sprint races will be, merely stating that there will be two in Europe and one at a flyaway event.

However, it is understood that the first two sprint trials will take place at Silverstone and Monza. A final decision on the flyaway, which has long been expected to be Brazil, will be taken nearer the time.

Start action, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 leads

Start action, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 leads

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

FIA president Jean Todt believed the go-ahead for the sprint race trials was evidence of the collective power F1 has when organisers and the teams work together.

“F1 is showing itself to be stronger than ever with all stakeholders working together in this way, and much has been done to ensure that the sporting, technical and financial aspects of the format are fair,” Todt said.

How the sprint race format will work

The idea is to run a Saturday 100km sprint qualifying race at three grands prix this year.

The result of this race will decide the grid for Sunday’s main event, as well as offering a small number of points (3-2-1) for the top three finishers. The weekend timetable will be as follows.

Friday:

AM: One hour FP1 session with two sets of tyres for teams to choose from.

PM: Normal qualifying format in the afternoon with five soft tyre sets available.

Saturday:

AM: One hour FP2 session with one set of tyres for teams to choose from.

PM: A 100km sprint qualifying race in the afternoon with two sets of tyres for teams to choose from.

Sunday:

PM: Full distance grand prix with two remaining sets of tyres.

In the event of wet conditions:

  • Three sets of wet tyres and four sets of intermediate tyres will be available at the start of the event.
  • If FP1 or qualifying is wet, teams will receive an additional set of intermediates but must return a used intermediate set prior to the sprint race.
  • If the sprint qualifying is wet, teams may return one set of used wet or intermediates after – which will then be replaced with a new set of intermediates.
  • There will be a maximum of nine sets of wets and intermediates in total.

New parc ferme rules

In a bid to keep costs down and prevent teams from building special qualifying cars on Friday, F1 will change the parc ferme regulations.

After the start of sprint qualifying, cars will be in full parc ferme. However, between Friday’s qualifying session and the start of the sprint race, some limited changes will be allowed.

A small number of components (to be confirmed) can be swapped out and the weight distribution of the car may be altered. The power unit and gearbox cooling may also be adjusted for ambient conditions if there is a 10-degrees Centigrade swing between Friday’s qualifying session and Saturday’s sprint race.

shares
comments

Related video

AlphaTauri's strong start to F1 2021 won't change '22 switch plans
Previous article

AlphaTauri's strong start to F1 2021 won't change '22 switch plans

Next article

F1 young driver programmes: Which drivers are signed to which teams?

F1 young driver programmes: Which drivers are signed to which teams?
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022