Hamilton predicts first F1 sprint race at Silverstone will be ‘a train’

Lewis Hamilton says he has “not particularly” high hopes for Formula 1’s first sprint race at Silverstone next weekend, predicting it will be “a train”.

Hamilton predicts first F1 sprint race at Silverstone will be ‘a train’

F1 will debut its new weekend format at the British Grand Prix, holding a 100km sprint race on Saturday in place of regular qualifying.

Qualifying will still take place using its traditional format on Friday, setting the grid for the sprint race, the results of which will then define the starting order for the grand prix on Sunday.

The World Motor Sport Council rubber-stamped the new rules for the sprint races on Thursday, with the format also set to be used at two other events this year.

But seven-time world champion Hamilton has doubts the new concept will deliver an exciting on-track product.

Asked if he had high hopes for the first sprint race, Hamilton replied: “Not particularly.

"It’s going to be a train, probably. Hopefully there’ll be some overtaking, but it most likely won’t be too exciting.”

The sprint race at Silverstone will last for 17 laps - one-third of the usual grand prix distance - and is scheduled to get under at 4:30pm on Saturday.

The late running of the session serves as part of a wider shake-up of the weekend timings that will see qualifying begin at 6pm on Friday evening.

A further change in the rules for the sprint weekend will see the FIA officially declare the winner of the sprint race as the driver to take pole position - not the fastest man in qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Hamilton holds the record for the most pole positions in F1, having scored his 100th earlier this year at the Spanish Grand Prix, but he did not think much of the rule change.

“I don’t really have an opinion about it,” Hamilton said.

“We’ll wait and see. There’s no point judging it before we even get into it. It doesn’t matter.”

Read Also:

F1 has already said that it will use the sprint events this year as a trial for the format that could be expanded in the future should it prove to be a success.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly said he was going into the weekend “open-minded”, believing it would be tricky to make any firm judgements after a single trial.

"I think it’s fair to wait all three weekends, and if there are any positives from it and people like it, then why not keep it in the future?” Gasly said.

“But I think we have to review after all three weekends. What does it bring? Does it really make it more exciting? Because I think that’s the whole point of it.

“If it does, then why not? But if it doesn’t, then it’s important to keep the format that we have, which I think is good.

“I enjoy the qualifying on Saturday and having only one single race during the weekend.”

shares
comments

Related video

Horner: Red Bull not sacrificing 2022 F1 car with current upgrade push

Previous article

Horner: Red Bull not sacrificing 2022 F1 car with current upgrade push

Next article

How to become a Strategy Engineer in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more

How to become a Strategy Engineer in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021