Sprint race is set to be biggest change to Formula One schedule in modern era

70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Race Day – Silverstone

Formula One is set for the biggest change to its schedule in the modern era with the introduction of a Sprint race at this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the key questions surrounding the maiden event.

What is the Sprint?

The race takes place on Saturday afternoon and replaces traditional qualifying. The finishing order of the Sprint determines the grid for Sunday’s main event, the British Grand Prix. F1 bosses hope it will spice up the weekend format and attract a younger audience.

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How long will it be?

The Sprint will be one third distance of a traditional Grand Prix, or 62 miles. At Silverstone that equates to 17 laps with the race set to take around 30 minutes.

Are points available?

Yes. The winner will be awarded three points, the runner-up will take two points and third will secure a single point. They will count towards both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. There will be no podium after the Sprint – with F1 chiefs keen to retain the prestige of a Grand Prix – and the result will not count towards official statistics. The winning driver will instead be accredited with a pole position on their record.

How is the grid determined for the Sprint?

Qualifying will be brought forward from Saturday to Friday, replacing second practice. It will have a later start time of 6pm in a bid to generate a bigger TV audience.

Will pit stops be mandatory?

No. The premise of the Sprint is a flat-out dash to the finish line with a free choice of tyre compounds; soft, medium and hard.

Is the Sprint here to stay?

F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn hopes the concept will be a success but insists he will not push it through for 2022 if the feedback is negative. The Sprint will also be trialled in Monza at September’s Italian Grand Prix, and again at one of the United States or Brazilian GPs towards the end of the season. Brawn is keen on doubling the number of Sprints from three to six in 2022.

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