Grand Prix Sprint Race Changes Start in Baku
The FIA have been in discussions with the 10 Formula 1 championship teams on a new sprint race grand prix weekend format. Sprint races were first introduced to Formula 1 in 2021. The change offered drivers additional opportunities to score championship points and to create more variability
The old format featured qualifying being held as usual on Saturday to determine the starting order for the sprint race. The sprint race results would set the Sunday starting grid and the sprint winner was credited with a pole position.
The new format adopts the MotoGP style of sprint race grid setting. The Sprint race will become an independent race with its own qualifying session taking the place of FP3 on Saturdays. The main grand prix qualifying will take place on Friday after 1 practice session. The grids will be independent of one another. Points for the F1 Sprint race remain the same. The top eight finishes will receive points
The FIA have stated the following process for applying penalties at F1 Sprint events. Grid penalties incurred in first practice or qualifying will apply to the race. Any grid penalties incurred in the Sprint Shootout will apply to the Sprint. Any grid penalties incurred in the Sprint will apply to the race.
Oracle Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner had previously expressed concerns with the introduction of a new format in a race such as Baku. Horner stated “The reality is it’s absolutely ludicrous to be doing the first sprint race of the year in a street race like Azerbaijan.” His concern was the high probability of crashes at this circuit. Additionally, cost cap concerns are also looming. Resources are stretched thinner by the addition of sprint races. There is also concern that incidents that arise in Sprint races may have a high impact on the outcome of a grand prix.
For more information be sure to check out F1.com