New in Formula 1: how does the Sprint Shootout work?
Max Verstappen and Nyck de Vries will face a new Formula 1 setup midway through the season. 1 day before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, they will drive the new Sprint Shootout. With this they can possibly earn extra points, apart from the GP. Why was this Sprint Shootout born and how does it work?
What will the Formula 1 weekend in Azerbaijan look like?
The Baku GP on Sunday April 30, 2023 is of course the highlight of the Formula 1 weekend. On Friday April 28, qualifying took place, which determines the starting order of the race. Verstappen finished number 2 behind Charles Leclerc in this qualification. The Monegasque from Ferrari will therefore be pole position start, for Verstappen. De Vries crashed in the 1st qualifying lap and starts the GP on the back line.
Saturday April 29, 2023: New Sprint Shootout and Sprint Race
Saturday is devoted to the sprint race. This is a shorter race around the track, in which drivers can earn extra points. Where Sunday’s GP is over 300 kilometres, Saturday’s sprint race will be 100 kilometres. But before this sprint race, there will for the first time be a separate qualification, the Sprint Shootout. The result of this new qualifying race will determine the starting grid for the sprint race later on Saturday.
How does the Sprint Shootout work in practice?
The Sprint Shootout consists of 3 qualifying rounds of 12, 10 and 8 minutes respectively. In Q1 and Q2 the drivers must use medium hardness tyres, but in Q3 they must ride on soft tyres. We explain in this article what types of tires exist in Formula 1 and how to recognize them. In the first qualifying race of the Sprint Shootout, the 20 drivers are all at the start. The 5 slowest drivers are eliminated per race, so there are 10 left in Q3.
Read also: Formula 1 season 2023: Max Verstappen goes on 3, Nyck de Vries 2nd Dutchman at the start
How does the Sprint Shootout affect the number of points earned?
The result of the Sprint Shootout therefore determines the starting order of the drivers in the sprint race. Whoever wins the Sprint Shootout therefore takes pole position in the sprint race. The top 8 of this sprint race can possibly score additional points. So the winner gets 8, number 2 earns 7 points, number 3 collects 6 points and so on.
Why is this Sprint Shootout taking place?
The majority of teams voted yes. Sprint races introduced in 2021 will receive an additional addition to provide more excitement. “Thus, there is a show every day, from Friday to Sunday”, they specify in a joint press release. Saturday’s Sprint Shootout and Sprint Race are separate from Sunday’s GP. “It allows everyone to give it their all and that just adds to the tension.” After the Azerbaijan GP there are 5 more sprint races in the rest of the season. They are found in Austria, Belgium, Qatar, Texas (USA) and Brazil. So there will also be a Sprint Shootout on Saturday. Verstappen isn’t very happy about that, by the way. The title holder is disappointed that the program is becoming increasingly busy and wonders if the promised show will take place. “I like racing and winning, but sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it,” he said ahead of the Baku GP.
How are the Dutch doing in the Formula 1 season?
After the introduction of the Sprint Shootout, place in the 4th GP of the season, out of a total of 23. The defending champion Verstappen started the season with energy, with victories in Bahrain and Australia and a 2nd place in Saudi Arabia. He tops the standings, 15 points clear of Mexican Red Bull teammate Sérgio Perez. De Vries came out of the top 10 in the 3 GPs and is therefore still at 0 points.
(Source: Archives, FIA, ANP, Algemeen Dagblad, NOS, Eurosport. Photo: Remko de Waal/ANP)
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