Why – is the Sprint race format changing?

History

For a while now, the F1 Grand Prix were like this:

  • Free Practice (FP) 1 on Friday morning, FP2 on Friday afternoon and FP3 on Saturday morning.
  • Qualifying on Saturday
  • Race on Sunday

Then arrived in 2021 the 100 km sprint races (compared to the 305 km GP) on Saturday. The goal of this race was to define the starting order for Sunday and also to have a small race the day before for more entertainment and to score points as well.

It was also necessary to define a starting order for this sprint race. The qualifications therefore took place on Friday.

The Sprint format was rather appreciated because it added show, whether you were at home or were lucky enough to be there.

The concern was that the order of arrival of the sprint race defined the starting order of the race on Sunday. Despite the few points that it was possible to win, the drivers took too little risk not to lose too much if there was a collision or worse, to start last.

2023 Format

The FIA has therefore thought about setting up a new format in order to:

  • keep the show of an extra race during the weekend
  • don’t scare pilots into taking risks

This is why the new 2023 format is composed by 2 completely unrelated races, each with their respective qualification:

  • Friday :
    • morning: FP1
    • afternoon: qualifying for the Sunday GP (with the usual format Q1 of 20 minutes, Q2 of 15 minutes and Q3 of 12 minutes)
  • SATURDAY :
    • morning: qualifying for the sprint race, called “sprint shoutout” to avoid confusion with qualifying of Friday (with the same format, slightly reduced Q1 of 12 minutes, Q2 of 10 minutes and Q3 of 8 minutes)
    • afternoon: sprint race

 

Other information :

  1. The gain of points in the sprint race is as follows: The first scores 8 points, the 2nd 7 points, the 3rd 6 points, and so on until the 8th who scores a point. (More information on points here : https://formulafanscommunity.com/how-many-points-can-you-earn-in-a-formula-1-season-in-2023/ )
  2. Free Practice Format :
    1. Before the existence of sprint races: FP1/FP2/FP3
    2. Old sprint format: FP1/FP2
    3. New format: FP1 only

Thanks for reading !

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