British Grand Prix first to feature radical new sprint qualifying
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The British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July will be the first to trial Formula One’s new sprint qualifying format, race organisers said on Wednesday.
Officials this week approved the new-look qualifying for three Grands Prix this season. It will be held over a distance of 100km and determine the starting grid, with the top three finishers earning championship points.
“We are incredibly excited that Silverstone fans will be the first to experience the Formula 1 sprint qualifying format at this year’s British Grand Prix,” Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said in a statement.
“We have not seen such a major timetable shake up in the sport for years and I appreciate the continued efforts being made by Formula 1 and the FIA to enhance the entertainment on track giving our spectators even more to look forward to this July.”
Race weekends featuring the sprint qualifiers will begin with a regular qualifying session based on the fastest single lap after the first free practice on the Friday. That session will determine the grid for Saturday’s sprint qualifying.
The driver who comes top in the sprint, which will take place after the second free practice, will collect three championship points, the second-placed driver will take two points and third finisher will have one point.
The Italian GP at Monza (September 10-12) and Brazilian GP at Interlagos (November 5-7) could host the two other sprint qualifiers.
The July 18 race at Silverstone is currently open to the general public with England on track to drop all Covid-19 restrictions on June 21.