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Miami and China join sprint race roster for F1 2024

Miami and China have been added to the roster of sprint race events in 2024, Formula 1 has announced.

Fans watching

Fans watching

Alexander Trienitz / Motorsport Images

While discussions between teams and series bosses about an overhaul of the sprint format for next year are ongoing, FOM has finalised the location of the six events that will take place next season.

While Austria, Circuit of the Americas, Brazil and Qatar already featured on this season’s sprint schedule, two of the events have been swapped out.

Baku and Spa will revert to a normal grand prix timetable this year, while the Chinese Grand Prix on 21 April and the Miami GP on 5 May will replace them in hosting their first sprint events.

It is understood the decision to go for China and Miami was prompted by them being the best options for the beginning phase of the campaign.

With Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ruled out for being too early in the season, some consideration was given for a sprint in Australia but the timezone difference meant track action would not take place at a suitable time for European audiences.

Instead, China and Miami both offer good overtaking opportunities which make them decent options for the early season sprints.

Speaking earlier this year, Miami GP president Tyler Epp said his event was not actively chasing a sprint, but was happy to adopt it if F1 felt it would work.

“We're always interested in the sprint race,” he said. “But I will also tell you that quali is really valuable for us, right? Like we see a lot of value in the qualification experience in F1.

“I think there's a tonne of our fans that have given us great feedback about traditional qualifying. But we're here to support [F1] and if we have an opportunity to host a sprint race at some point, we welcome that. But it's not something we're actively pursuing.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, leads Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, leads Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

F1 teams are set to be given proposals about a revamp of the sprint format in January, as efforts are ongoing to finalise potential rule changes.

It is thought extremely likely that the current sprint weekend timetable will be overhauled. That means sprint qualifying returning to Friday afternoons, with Saturdays then featuring qualifying for the grand prix as well as the sprint race.

One possibility is that the sprint race could take place early on Saturday, with qualifying following later in the day. However, such an idea has brought some scepticism from teams about the implications of accident damage in the sprint risking a bigger impact on qualifying for the main race.

Other ideas being discussed are a revamp of the parc ferme rules, amid a widespread feeling that teams get locked in too early to car settings on a sprint weekend.

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Furthermore, evaluation is being done about using a reverse grid format for the sprint race – either for the entire field or the top ten based on sprint qualifying.

However, F1 would need to find a way to encourage drivers to deliver their best in qualifying rather than deliberately going slow to secure pole for the sprint.

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “I am delighted to announce six exciting venues for next season’s F1 Sprint events, including two new hosts China and Miami, both of which will be fantastic additions and provide great racing for all our fans at the race and watching at home.

"Since its creation in 2021, the Sprint has been consistent in delivering increased audiences on TV, more on track entertainment for the fans at events and increased fan engagement on social and digital platforms, and we are looking forward to the exciting events next year.”

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem added: “I’m pleased to confirm the six Sprint events for next season and am looking forward to the return of four host venues that have provided some thrilling action in the Sprints this year.

"The addition of Shanghai will be a challenge for the teams and drivers as Formula 1 heads back to China for the first time since 2019, while a Sprint in Miami will add a new dimension to an enthralling weekend.

"We must continuously develop and adapt to ensure we are doing what is best for the sport, and as such we are working with FOM and the teams to define the future direction of the Sprint format.”

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