The debate about whether the Sprint Races are good for the sport is finally about to be put to the test. Selected Formula 1 Grand Prix weekends will be taking on the revised weekend in order to asses the impact of the changes. Ross Brawn has said that it is not intended to "cannibalise" the Main Race but "it’s intention is to expand the whole weekend,” said Brawn. “It is not intended to impact the race event".
Three of the 23 races that we will see this season will feature this new layout. Venues to be announced shortly but it is well known that Silverstone are more than happy to explore this option.
F1’s traditional qualifying session will move to Friday, following 1 practice session. A 100km race is to take place on the schedule on Saturday replacing the normal Qualifying format. This will define the grid for Sunday’s race, the format of which will remain the same.
"We want to give fans engagement throughout the whole weekend. Sunday’s Grand Prix is fantastic, and we don’t want to cannibalise that, but we want to lift up the engagement on a Friday and a Saturday.
“Friday is really for the aficionados at the moment. Watching practice session on Friday is fun but there is no conclusion to it. But on a Friday now [at these selected events], we’ll have the excitement of the qualifying format.”
“I think it will be a great addition. There is unlikely to be pit stops, so it’ll be a clean race. It’ll be 30 mins roughly, 100km of action.
“We want to see how fans engage with it and if the short format is appealing, it’s complimentary and if it works with the main race. We feel it will. We feel it’s going to be very exciting.”
“[One of the challenges was] finding a format that had the right balance between giving us an opportunity to have exciting Friday and Saturday running – perhaps a shorter format race but one which did not take anything away from main event.
“We had to find that balance. Everyone had a different opinion on what that should look like. It was also about finding an economic and logistical solution that didn’t impact teams too severely.
“They want this event, but they are all working under massive challenges and we had to find a solution that worked with them without compromising the event.
“The drivers are open minded about the format - and that’s all we ask, that the drivers keep an open mind so we can evaluate this event and then we decide if in the future it forms a feature of the F1 season. If it doesn’t work, we put hands up and we will think again.”
Let us know your thoughts on this topic and which venues you would choose to have Sprint Races at, if any at all!