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Belgian Grand Prix 2023

F1 Sprint: How does it work?

A reminder of the Sprint format as it returns for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Belgium start 2022
To news overview © XPBimages

F1's final race before the summer break sees the Sprint format return for the third time this season.

The Belgian Grand Prix will play host to just the ninth running of the alternative schedule as Red Bull and Max Verstappen aim to continue their fine run of form at Spa-Francorchamps.

Before the weekend gets underway, RacingNews365 brings you all the information you need to enjoy the Sprint format.

Friday - FP1 and qualifying

As has been the case since the first Sprint event at the British Grand Prix in 2021, Friday will see an hour of practice precede qualifying.

Practice has no change to its running as teams and drivers are given 60 minutes to prepare the best they can for the weekend.

After this, parc fermé is enforced to lock in set-ups for each car before qualifying.

The qualifying format remains unchanged from a typical weekend, with three segments split into 18, 15 and 12-minute allocations.

Five cars are dropped at each stage, with the top 10 eventually left to battle it out for top spot.

Due to a change in the Sprint format this season, times in Friday's qualifying will determine the grid for Sunday's main event.

Verstappen na de F1 Sprintrace in Oostenrijk 2022 © XPBimages

Saturday - Sprint Shootout and Sprint

The changes to qualifying mean Saturday is now a standalone day on a Sprint weekend.

Sprint Shootout now determines the grid for the 100km race later in the day - a shortened version of traditional qualifying where SQ1 is 12 minutes, SQ2 is 10 and SQ3 is eight.

Medium tyres are mandated for the first two segments before a switch to Softs for the top 10.

The grid is then set for the Sprint, which remains a 100km dash to the chequered flag.

Winning the Sprint earns a driver eight points, with a one-point difference between each position down to eighth.

Timetable Belgian GP

Session Date Time
Free practice 1 Friday 28 July -
Qualification Friday 28 July -
Sprint shootout Saturday 29 July -
Sprintrace Saturday 29 July -
Race Sunday 30 July -

Sunday - Race

With Saturday now standalone, the Grand Prix is now unaffected.

The grid will form up in the order determined by Friday's qualifying ready for the full race with pit stops included.

Both Sprints have been clean-swept by a Red Bull so far this season, can anyone stop Verstappen or Sergio Perez from making it three from three?

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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