Silverstone to feature sprint race?

11/03/2021
NEWS STORY

As teams meet to discuss sprint races on Saturday to decide the grid for Sunday afternoon, F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali reveals that if the proposal gets the green light Silverstone would be among the first to trial the concept.

Ahead of pre-season testing, which gets underway tomorrow, team bosses are meeting in Bahrain today to discuss a number of issues, not least the proposal that selected race weekends feature a sprint race on Saturday afternoon that decide the grid order for Sunday's main event.

Reaction among teams and drivers remains mixed, with some up for the idea but others arguing that other than increased costs and wear and tear, a sprint race might "dilute" the value of the actual Grand Prix.

Montreal, Monza and Interlagos have already been mentioned as possible venues to trial the idea, but speaking to the Daily Mail, Stefano Domenicali admits that Silverstone could be among the first to feature a sprint race.

"We are finalising the intricacies of it," says the Italian. "We will have qualifying on Friday and then 'sprint qualifying' on Saturday. It will provide some meaningful action the day before the race. It will give fans, media and broadcasters more content.

"It will last about half an hour," he added. "There will be no podium celebration. That will wait until Sunday.

"Points will be awarded," he confirmed, "(though) how many is yet to be decided, towards the world championship and determine the grid for the race itself.

"What I can say is that Silverstone will hold a sprint race," he added.

With doubt over the Canadian event, this means that if given the green light today, Silverstone - which is hoping to host a capacity crowd in July - would be the first to trial the concept.

While Sebastian Vettel has said that the concept makes "no sense", McLaren boss, Zak Brown believes that this season is the perfect time to try such ideas.

"With the sport in a little bit of a transition year, with new leadership, carrying over the 2020 car, the biggest schedule, navigating COVID, this is the year to try some things to see what works, what doesn't," he told Standard Sport.

"The sprint race has been done in other forms of motorsport. It's been well thought through. If it works, maybe we'll do more of them. Or maybe it will be six a year or maybe all the time.

"That's why need to see how this plays out. All other sports experiment with their game from time to time so for us to experiment this year is the right time to do it."

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Published: 11/03/2021
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