It was already in the air and now it’s official: Formula 1 is coming with a different sprint race weekend. The first Grand Prix with the new sprint race program will take place in Azerbaijan next weekend, with five more to follow this season.
After an exceptionally long break during the season, next weekend it will finally be time to get back to Formula 1 action. Baku is the first sprint racing weekend of the year and it will be immediately one on a different schedule than what we are used to. As a rumor came out in March, Formula 1 is running a different schedule.
The sprint race weekend now looks like this: on Friday there is first free practice, then qualifying for the Grand Prix on Sunday. These qualifications are as you are used to during a normal race weekend, except that they already take place on Friday. But on Saturday, there will be another qualification. This is a “Sprint Shootout” with shorter qualifying sessions. Q1 lasts twelve minutes, Q2 ten minutes and Q3 eight minutes. This qualification determines the starting grid for the 100 km sprint race which will take place later on Saturday. The result of the sprint race then has no consequence for the Sunday Grand Prix, although you may, for example, incur a grid penalty in the sprint race which continues into the GP. Again, there are points up for grabs in the sprint race, just as much as last year. This means that the winner scores eight points, the second seven points and so on until number eight.
Apart from Baku, there are five places where a sprint race weekend is planned this season: Austria, Belgium, Qatar, the United States (Austin) and Brazil. This new sprint race format is also in effect during these race weekends. Below you can see the schedule for next weekend:
|friday april 28||Free training||11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.|
|friday april 28||Qualification (for GP)||3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
|Saturday April 29||Sprint shot||10:30 a.m. – 11:14 a.m.|
|Saturday April 29||Speed race||15.30 – 16.00|
|Sunday April 30||grand prize||1:00 p.m.|
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