Sprint Qualifying set for Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos

14/03/2021
NEWS STORY

It's understood that the British, Italian and Brazilian Grand Prix weekends will feature Sprint Qualifying races to decide Sunday's grids.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the races - which are understood to be around thirty minutes in length - will be known as Sprint Qualifying and will see points awarded for the first three finishers on a 3, 2 1 basis.

"The critical thing is to preserve the Grand Prix," F1 MD, Ross Brawn told Sky Sports, having met with drivers, Stefano Domenicali and the FIA's race director, Michael Masi in Bahrain.

"We want the winner of the Grand Prix to come away from those weekends still being the strongest and most successful competitor of that weekend," he added. "But 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.

"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."

Weirdly, F1 had previously sought to reduce race weekend to two-day events, a move that proved unpopular with race promoters (understandably) and team bosses.

However, if qualifying - arguably for many the most exciting part of the weekend - now takes place on Friday, this will be impacted by reduced viewing figures as a result of fans being at work, school or simply having other things to do, should, as has been suggested, the session takes place in the evening.

Furthermore, there is the concern that, much like Sunday's race, the main pace-setters will still come out on top, dominating qualifying, the sprint race (Sprint Qualifying) and again on Sunday.

Check out our Day 3 pre-season test gallery from Bahrain, here.

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Published: 14/03/2021
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