F1 set to sign off sprint races plan before Portuguese GP

Formula 1 is set to sign off its plans for sprint qualifying trials ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix, with an official vote on the matter being tabled on Monday.

F1 set to sign off sprint races plan before Portuguese GP

Following lengthy discussions about the idea of holding a trio of sprint race Saturday events this year, a framework of rules plus an extra financial package have been put in place between the teams and F1's bosses.

The matter still needs to go through the formal channels to be put in to the rules, with that process now underway.

A vote on the sprint race format is being tabled at the F1 Commission that is meeting on Monday, and there will be a 48 hour deadline for responses.

For the sprint race to be approved it will require a 'super majority' of 28 out of the 30 votes on the commission. Each team has a vote, while the FIA and F1's commercial rights holder have 10 votes each.

However, with F1, the FIA and all teams in agreement about the plans for the sprint races it appears to be a formality for the matter to get the support that is needed.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B battle at the start of the race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B battle at the start of the race

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A formal announcement confirming the sprint qualifying trials could come imminently and will almost certainly be made before this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix.

The sprint qualifying plan will be to run three 100km Saturday races at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos this year to see what impact it has on the television and trackside spectacle.

A regular qualifying session will be held on the Friday of each of these grands prix, with the sprint qualifying event on Saturday both deciding the grid for Sunday's main event and offering a small number of points (3-2-1) for the top three finishers.

One of the biggest hurdles that F1 needed to overcome for the sprint race format was to sort the financial package for the teams – amid concerns that greater crash damage on Saturday could push teams over the edge of the budget cap.

In the end, a deal worth around $500,000 for each team was put in place, with scope for an individual team's cost cap limit to be raised if there has been an expensive crash in the sprint events.

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