How does the new Sprint format work?

This Chinese Grand Prix will mark the introduction of the new Sprint format, updated after the latest complaints from F1 stakeholders.

Published on 18/04/2024 à 17:52

Gonzalo Forbes

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How does the new Sprint format work?

“I don’t understand anything about this Sprint format anymore.” © Florent Gooden / DPPI

Introduced in 2021, the Sprint format makes its comeback this weekend for the Chinese Grand Prix. This is the fourth season in a row that the F1 implements this type of event in its calendar and for the third time in four years, she decided to change the way she worked.

In 2021 and 2022, a Sprint weekend took place as follows: FP1 + qualifying on Friday, FP2 + Sprint Race on Saturday and Grand Prix on Sunday. Faced with requests from teams and drivers, F1 leaders have decided to review the system with a view to the 2023 season.

The goal ? Definitely detach the Sprint from the Grand Prix and reduce the number of sessions without challenges during the weekend, like EL2 where the cars were already under Parc Fermé regime. Thus, Saturday was entirely dedicated to Sprinting with qualifying (Sprint Shootout) in the morning and the race in the afternoon. Qualifying for the Grand Prix took place on Friday evening after the single free practice session.

New season, new format

The format was unfortunately not very well received despite the update, with the players complaining about two concerns: the Parc Fermé rule from the end of EL1 on Friday lunchtime and the lack of clarity with the sprint day interspersed between the real qualifications (Friday) and the Grand Prix (Sunday).

Faced with the revolt, F1 intervened and proposed a new plan, then validated during the FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council. It will be inaugurated during the Chinese Grand Prix and could perhaps finally find a buyer.

Now, Sprint qualifying will take place on Friday evening after free practice and the Sprint Race will take place on Saturday morning before traditional Grand Prix qualifying a few hours later. This makes it possible to resolve the two major concerns: that of the Parc Fermé since the teams will now have two separate ones (one just before each qualifying) and thus not encroach on the progress of the real program.

New Sprint format

Friday: FP1 + Sprint Shootout

Saturday: Sprint Race + Qualifying

Sunday: Grand Prix

ALSO READ > The program for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

Gonzalo Forbes

In charge of promotion formulas (F2, F3, FRECA, F4...). Carried by the grace of Franco Colapinto.

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