“Similar to a Twenty20 cricket match” – Explaining how Formula 1’s brainchild sprint qualifying will work, set to be held in Monza, Silverstone and Interlagos this season.
Before we explain the unique sprint qualifying in detail, it is imperative to understand the schedule released by the F1 Commission for the three special weekends in Italy, Britain, and Brazil.
- 60-minute First Practice in the morning with two sets of tyres for teams to choose freely
- Normal Qualifying format in the afternoon with five soft tyre sets available only
- 60-minute Second Free Practice in the morning with one set of tyres for teams to choose freely
- 100km Sprint Qualifying in the afternoon with two sets of tyres for teams to choose freely
- Full distance Grand Prix with two remaining sets of tyres
New race weekend format, new challenge.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 26, 2021
Format of Sprint Qualifying
As per Formula 1’s Lawrence Barretto, Sprint qualifying is “similar to a Twenty20 cricket match”. The special session on Saturday will see drivers racing from start to finish without having to pit for fresh and/or different sets of tyres.
The Sprint Qualifying will be run over 100kms, lasting around 25-30 minutes. Considering its blank-and-you-miss duration, the ‘race’ will be held late into Friday, to allow fanatics from all across the globe to witness the spectacle.
Championship Points will be awarded, the winner earning three points, runner-up two, and a solitary point for P3. Most crucially, the order of the sprint qualifying will decide the grid for Sunday’s extravaganza, taking away the privilege from the traditional qualifying, which will decide the grid for the sprint qualifying race instead.