Switch to sprint race format in F1

From next season, Formula One sprint races will take place before qualifying for the main race of a grand prix after a proposed change to the format was approved on Friday.

The decision to change the weekend’s schedule was made following discussions with the F1 Commission during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The commission includes the FIA ​​governing body, the teams and the commercial rights holder of F1.

Overall, the commission supported an update of the sprint racing format for 2024, the FIA ​​said in a press release. A final proposal will be presented to the F1 Commission for its first meeting in 2024.

On weekends when a sprint race took place, qualification for the main Grand Prix race took place on Friday instead of the usual Saturday. A qualifying session, a so-called shootout, for the sprint race followed by the subsequent race itself took place on Saturday.

This format has proven unpopular with some teams as it leaves too large a gap between qualifying on Friday and the main race on Sunday.

Under the new format, qualifying for the sprint race would instead take place on Friday and the sprint race would follow on Saturday. Main qualifying would take place later today.

The changes still need to be approved by the FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council in the new year.

Sprint sport still needs to develop a little further, said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. I understand the concept and action of the three days, but they were a bit disappointing at times.

The F1 Commission also approved the installation of an additional cooling duct on the single-seaters.

The change came after several drivers struggled with intense heat at the Qatar Grand Prix in October.

American driver Logan Sargeant retired after suffering severe dehydration after almost losing control of his Williams on the track. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon vomited in his helmet while riding in track temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius.

Juliet Ingram

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