The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will debut the new F1 Sprint format

The F1 Sprint format, which was introduced in 2021, will make its third appearance this season, debuting with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend.

The new F1 Sprint format for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The new Grand Prix format will see the light during the Azerbaijan race, which will be held on the lightning-fast Baku Street Circuit. The system will be based on the current sprint model, but with major adjustments based on input gathered by FOM over the last two years.

To begin, there will be several modifications from last year’s sprint formats: the first free practice session will take place on Friday morning, followed by the race qualifying session in the afternoon. The only difference is that, while last year this qualifying determined the grid for the Saturday race, now it closes the grid for Sunday.

If Friday had changed little, Saturday is the opposite. The morning free practice session is replaced by a shortened qualifying session. It will still be contested in three stints (Q1, Q2, and Q3), but they will be shorter (12 minutes, 10 minutes, and eight minutes, respectively) and will require a different tire type for each (hard, medium, and soft). A 100-kilometer sprint race will take place in the afternoon, with the starting grid chosen the same morning.

As usual, the 305-kilometer race will be held on Sunday. The only change we will see compared to other years is that the sprint race will not determine the starting grid, but rather the qualifying that took place on Friday.

This new arrangement will be seen this year in Austria, Belgium, Qatar, the United States, and Brazil, in addition to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The history of the F1 Sprint format

Liberty Media has attempted to strengthen its flagship product after purchasing Formula One at the end of 2016. The Americans have changed everything: from the media side, introducing some very well-received changes, to the technical side, altering the technical regulations of the cars with the FIA to improve the show. The alteration in the Grand Prix weekend format, on the other hand, has not been well accepted.

The first adjustments were implemented in 2020. Taking advantage of the epidemic, they experimented with a shorter format weekend, with all on-track action confined to Saturday and Sunday. There was only one free practice session, qualifying, and the race for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. However, they were only tests that did not progress any further.

In the 2021 season, however, the sprint format arrived. Formula 1 used the first version of the format on three occasions, in which there was a free practice session and a qualifying session that did not award the ‘pole’ on Friday; a free practice session on Saturday morning and a 100km race that defined the starting grid and awarded small points to the podium; and finally the Sunday race. A method that was thought confusing and, in the opinion of many, reduced the value of fast single-lap drivers.

Taking these criticisms into account, Liberty Media and the FIA decided to give the format a small facelift. For the statistics, the ‘pole’ was for the fastest on Friday, but the Saturday race still defined the grid for Sunday. Additionally, the Saturday race would award points to the top eight finishers. This system still didn’t convince everyone, but it allowed Kevin Magnussen and Haas to officially score their first pole position in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Related Posts

Hamilton and Russell Make a British Double Podium

Hamilton and Russell Make a British Double Podium: Verstappen Dominates the Spanish Grand Prix

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, securing his fifth win in the 2023 season and extending his championship lead. Lewis Hamilton and…

Spanish Grand Prix: Which Tracks Have Hosted the F1 Race

Spanish Grand Prix: Which Tracks Have Hosted the F1 Race?

The Spanish Grand Prix was first staged in 1951, making it one of the oldest races in the Formula One World Championship. However, it lacked a permanent…

Josef Newgarden wins the Indy 500 for the first time

Josef Newgarden Tastes the Milk for the First Time: Victory at the Indy 500

Josef Newgarden won the 107th Indianapolis 500 in a nail-biting finish, gaining his first victory in America’s biggest motor event. Following three red flags in the final…

Max Verstappen Takes the Win at Monaco Grand Prix

Max Verstappen Takes the Win at Monaco: One of the Best Races of the Season

The usual winner prevailed, but he had to endure it like he’d never experienced before. Verstappen ruled the streets of the Principality of Monaco, winning a race…

Honda remains in Formula 1: New AgreementWith Aston Martin for 2026

Honda remains in Formula 1: New AgreementWith Aston Martin for 2026

The Japanese car manufacturer has confirmed their commitment to the new engine specification and, along with Aston Martin CEO Lawrence Stroll, has announced a new arrangement to…

Formula 1: which Grand Prix have been cancelled?

Formula 1: which Grand Prix have been cancelled?

When sports become more global and events are held in many parts of the world, the chances of anything going wrong or an incident happening in one…