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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. 

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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