Formula 1 Sprint Qualifying explained

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 leads the field during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The upcoming British Grand Prix will see the first-ever Formula 1 Sprint Qualifying race taking place on Saturday, and here you can read all about it.

The idea behind Sprint Qualifying is to offer more entertainment for those fans who don’t want to watch a full-length Grand Prix. As said by Formula 1 Technical Director Ross Brawn, “things changed and young people don’t necessarily want to watch two hours of racing on a Sunday afternoon. We may find the short format racing’s more appealing to them.” However, the introduction of these short races was made in combination with the main Grand Prix to not “disorientate” the sport’s loyal fans.

Practices and Qualifying

Formula 1 weekends that follow the Sprint Qualifying format will only have 2 free practice sessions, one on Friday, and the other on Saturday before the Sprint run. Qualifying as we know it will take place on Friday after free practice 1, and the results of the session will decide the grid for Saturday’s race.

Only soft compound tires will be allowed for Qualifying on Friday, with the Q3-tire rule being dismissed for Sunday, allowing teams to start the main event in a compound of their choice.

Sprint Qualifying

The Sprint Qualifying race will take place on Saturday after free practice 2. The grid will line up according to the results of Friday’s qualifying.

The race consists of a run of over 100 kilometers, 17 laps in the case of Silverstone. The idea behind it is to “provide a short and fast-paced racing spectacle,” Formula 1 states. There is no mandatory pit stop.

Points will be awarded to the top three finishers – 3 points for the winner, 2 points for second place, and 1 point for third place. There will be no podium ceremony, as Formula 1 wishes to leave that privilege to the top three of Sunday’s main event. However, they say a “special presentation” will be done after the Sprint run.

The finishing order of Sprint Qualifying will decide the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Parc Fermé

Parc Fermé regulations see a slight change for weekends with Sprint Qualifying.

Some damages during the Sprint Qualifying race, for example, to the front wing, allows teams to use previous specifications of said component without penalty should they run out of their latest model.

The only F1 Sprint race confirmed for this year will take place in Silverstone this weekend, with the two remaining venues yet to be announced, although Monza is a likely candidate.

You will be able to follow all the action of this weekend’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix here, on ASN Motorsports.

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