Red Bull car in Baku

Red Bull Media House

New weekend format approved for F1 Sprint races starting in Baku


At a meeting of the F1 Commission today a new sprint race format has been voted in anonymously and will be in place for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The weekend will now run with only one practice session starting off the weekend on Friday, which will then be followed by Grand Prix Qualifying, which will determine the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Saturday though will be completely stand-alone from the rest of the Formula 1 weekend with it having a Sprint Shootout qualifying session, which will determine the grid for the weekend’s Sprint Race.

The Sprint shootout works out like a normal qualifying session but a bit shorter, Q1 will be only 12 minutes compared to its usual 18 minutes, Q2 will be ten minutes compared to its normal 15 minutes, and Q3 will be eight minutes compared to its usual 12 minutes.

It also has tyre mandatories with Q1 and Q2 being run on medium tyres, and Q3 being the odd one out as drivers will be required to use the soft tyres.

The drivers will have to save three sets of new tyres to use for Sprint Shootout Qualifying sessions.

The Sprint race still stays the same with eight points going to the winner of the Sprint race and only one going to whoever finishes in eighth.

Furthermore, on the matter of penalties, any penalties that occur in Friday’s sessions will apply to Sunday’s race.

Whereas if a penalty is given in the Sprint Shootout, it will apply to the Sprint race later that day, and if a penalty is given in the Sprint race it applies to Sunday’s race.

Parc Ferme breaches will result in pitlane starts for the Sprint race and the Grand Prix, and Power unit penalties will apply to the race unless they are committed in Parc Ferme conditions.

The other race weekends that will be affected by this format will be Austria, Belgium, Qatar, the United States, and Sao Paulo.

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