Formula 1 announced today that there will be three Sprint Qualifying sessions this year. The exact locations are yet to be announced.
One location is already fixed, however. Silverstone will be the first to present the new qualifying format.
However, according to Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Formula 1, the new event will not be the main spectacle of the weekend. The main focus will remain the “race Sunday”.
The new format is as follows: Qualifying will be moved from Saturday to Friday, while a 100-km race will take place on Saturday. This event will determine the starting grid for the race on Sunday. The aim is to develop a “Grand Slam” feeling among the spectators. Thereby, the tension will increase with each “race day” this weekend and the highlight will then rise on Sunday.
“The thing to remember about Sprint Qualifying is that it’s intention is to expand the whole weekend. It is not intended to impact the race event. The Grand Prix is still the vital event of the weekend.”
“Friday is really for the aficionados at the moment. Watching the practice sessions on Friday is fun but there is no conclusion to it. But on a Friday now (at these selected events), we’ll have the excitement of the qualifying format.”
“I think it will be a great addition. There is unlikely to be pit stops, so it’ll be a clean race. It’ll be 30 mins roughly, 100km of action. We want to see how fans engage with it and if the short format is appealing, it’s complimentary and if it works with the main race. We feel it will. We feel it’s going to be very exciting.”