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Sprint 'race' winner to be deemed pole winner

NEWS STORY
01/07/2021

Ross Brawn says that the winner of the Sprint Qualifying race will be the driver credited with having won pole position.

The F1 MD was keen to clear up confusion over the fact that many had assumed the driver quickest in qualifying for the Sprint Qualifying race - and therefore starting it from pole position - would be credited with having won pole. However, Brawn says that it is the driver who wins the Sprint Qualifying race, and therefore starts the Grand Prix from pole, that is officially the pole winner.

"I probably have to correct something I've said before because initially we thought it would still be the Friday qualifying," said Brawn, according to Motorsport.com. "But, in fact, after discussions with the FIA, they feel pole position is the guy in front of the grid for the grand prix.

"So it's the person who finishes a sprint in first place, it's the one who is on the front of the grid and has pole position for the race, the Grand Prix, on a Sunday. And that's what we'll count statistically towards the number of poles, because it is the sprint qualifying.

"That's one of the reasons the FIA want it covered that way," he added, "so that we can ensure that the race is the race, the Grand Prix is the Grand Prix. And we don't cannibalise the Grand Prix."

Brawn also confirmed that there will not be a podium ceremony following the Sprint Qualifying race, nor will the event feature the usual pre and post-race procedures.

"We are trying to give a little bit of a fresh flavour, so that there'll be a shorter period going on to the grid. There won't be the driver parade, but there'll be opportunities on the grid to interview the drivers.

"And we've got some interesting things we want to try after the race, short, sharp," he added. "There won't be a podium, it will be rather like qualifying, because we want to keep the podium for the big event of the weekend.

"We'll just keep that in the bag, but there are some fresh things that we're doing with the sprint, which I think will be nice to try.

"We're going to have a real competition on a Friday," he said of qualifying for the Sprint Qualifying race - still with us? - and a new competition on a Saturday, and all of that should enhance the grand prix on the Sunday. So I don't believe we cannibalise the grand prix in any way. This is all additive, and will contribute towards the whole weekend.

"I guess to meet the criticism head-on, some people like the traditional approach and think we're messing with something that doesn't need messing with, and I understand that.

"As you know, I've been in the sport a very long time. I think the way we're exploring this opportunity is not going to damage F1 at all, and it will become clear, after the second or third of the events, how well this is succeeding, and how well the fans are engaging with it.

"We've got new graphics, we're doing a lot on social media in the next week or ten days. So we're doing a lot to explain to our fans, what this is all about so that, when they turn the telly on at any stage, over the Silverstone weekend, they know exactly what's going on."

Of course, while there won't be a podium or any of the 'traditional' pre or post-race procedures there will no doubt be time allowed for the event's newly announced sponsor, Crypto.com, and any other sponsors F1 can pick up along the way.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 02/07/2021 1:34

"There's one issue that I think needs clearing up...at least for me that is. As we know the top ten qualifiers have to start the race on the tyres that they set their best time on in Q2. What happens if the 'sprint' is now to be the final race 'quali' ? Do the top ten finishers have to start on the tyres that they used to 'qualify' for the 'sprint' on Friday, on Sunday!!!!"

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2. Posted by neil-o, 01/07/2021 14:53

"I'm interested to see how this mixes things up, "for the fans". Could result in some of the weaker qualifiers but strong racers startin the GP further up the grid, Kimi? But does it also introduce an additional tactic stream? At some circuits starting second or lower could have a distinct advantage for the start of the GP, could we see some unexplained position changes on the last lap of a sprint race to secure the best grid position for the GP? "

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3. Posted by MossMan, 01/07/2021 11:18

"I'm interested to see how it will work out, but I'm not really seeing how certain teams always qualifying at the front and going on to win the race is going to change things - surely they'll just qualifying at the front, win the sprint, be at the front for the race, win the race...!?"

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4. Posted by kenji, 01/07/2021 10:36

"I am truly supportive of testing this purely and simply as an interesting exercise in competition.One of what I see as a major problem, and always has been, is that the top teams by way of driver/car/budget always start from the front row and guess what happens during the race!! In 99% of races it's a foregone conclusion. Mid and lower teams get zip in the race stakes. Consider this, we'll have 'quali' on Friday for the start positions of the 'sprint'. Comp1. Then those finishing positions will determine the start for the 'sprint race' Comp.2 The winner of the sprint will take up 'pole' for the Grand Prix Comp.3. It may be possible that some of the midfield teams will approach the week end with a more aggressive race program and possibly they may start higher up the grid...how can that be bad? I want to see more teams in with a chance, albeit a very small one, to get better race results. We should keep an open mind until the format has at least been tested. If it's a disaster then so be it but I do think it has a chance to enliven the week end beyond the same old two horse race. I am truly sick of seeing Bottas/Verstappen/Hamilton juxtaposed in any order on the podium for years in row."

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 01/07/2021 9:09

"Initially I was against this, but actually feel it may spice up the weekend, my only concern is that as I have said previous, do not want it to directly effect the outcome of the World Championship.
I would rather they trialled it with no points on offer for the sprint race, the qualifying session on Friday still determining the grid on Sunday, see how the sprint race goes and how it would have effected the grid for Sundays GP, based on the reaction from everyone possibly impose fully for the 2022 season."

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6. Posted by F1nerd, 01/07/2021 9:07

"If it ain't broke don't mend it. It works perfectly well as it is so leave it alone. "

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7. Posted by Roli, 01/07/2021 8:57

"why does he think we need this pointless excercise? Qualifying the way it is is good enough. why fix something that works"

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