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Sprint qualifying details still to be "ironed out"

NEWS STORY
25/03/2021

Guenther Steiner reveals that the teams have yet to agree on sprint qualifying races, with money understood to be at the heart of the matter.

Though F1 bosses have already identified the three events - Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos - where a sprint race - to be known as Sprint Qualifying - will decide the grid order for the following day's Grand Prix, the teams have yet to agree to the move.

As ever, money appears to be at the heart of the matter, with teams concerned at the level of compensation to be awarded in terms of the wear and tear of an extra race, not to mention the heightened potential for accident damage.

"There's a few details to be ironed out," admits Guenther Steiner, "but I think we're in a fast moving world and we just need to adapt to it to stay current

"I think we have got enough information now that should help more," he continues, "which I think it will, that we can get ready. I don't see a big issue."

"We want to fill out the weekend and we want to give the fans something more substantial to look at and follow on a Friday, something interesting on a Saturday too," F1 MD, Ross Brawn told Sky Sports recently.

"So as well as the Sprint Qualifying we're going to have the normal qualifying on a Friday," he revealed. "You qualify to get your position in Sprint Qualifying and the Sprint Qualifying (result) will take you forward to the race. So really we have a much fuller weekend and that's what we want to explore.

"We want this opportunity to try it at three races this year," he admitted. "If it doesn't work then we'll put our hands up and we'll go away and we'll think about it again.

"But I'm quite optimistic about it. I think if you take the view of the whole weekend it's got a lot going for it."

The sprint races are understood to be around thirty minutes in length, around 100 kms, and will see world championship points awarded for the first three finishers on a 3, 2 1 basis.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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1. Posted by flyinglap, 26/03/2021 14:29

"Personally, I was against this whole thing of "Sprint Qualifying" since the very beginning, and still am. Nevertheless, given that the teams seem keen (or obliged) to go ahead with it, one possible acceptable solution might be to do all qualifying as normal, and then have the "Sprint Qualifying" race only for the last 10 drivers on the grid, i.e. among those left out after Q1 and Q2. Thus, we would still have the pursuit of ultimate speed for pole position and for the front rows among the top teams, while the last 10 drivers could possibly improve their starting position thanks to their racecraft if not thanks to their absolute speed. And their teams would benefit from the extra money, while the top teams would get no money at all. And no points whatsoever would be awarded for "Sprint Qualifying" race positions. Possibly, this could be implemented throughout the entire season. Any thoughts?"

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2. Posted by TSGoodchild, 26/03/2021 8:37

"I am so against this. Scrap Friday in its entirety - most people worldwide work on Fridays so aren't able follow what is going on anyway. For those at the circuit, turn Friday into a fan-day, meet the drivers, pitlane tours, crowd events, maybe some ontrack action but limited to test and development drivers.

My ideal weekend format would be akin to Imola last year:

FP1 - Saturday morning - 1 hour
Quali - Saturday afternoon
FP2 - Sunday morning - 1 hour (bring back race day practice - those that didn't get it in gear for quali can change setup for the race)
Race - Sunday afternoon.

All the teams do umpteen hours in sims before turning up anyway. Personally it packages it into a 2-day format, and none of this sprint nonsense. Points for the top 3. I mean anyone outside of Mercedes or RedBull just aren't going to be up for the additional expense. Talking of which, extend points down to all finishers.

Happy Friday - hope the racing is good this weekend anyway. "

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3. Posted by Steve W, 25/03/2021 22:07

"I think the sprint races will mostly be parades."

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4. Posted by Roli, 25/03/2021 15:12

"I am opposed to Sprint race for grid positions, It would be completely against the interest of the sport, against the nature of the sport. Its not F1"

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