Formula 1 will introduce a new format for the Sprint race weekend in Azerbaijan with the aim of improving competitiveness in the Sprint race itself.
Previously, the qualifying hour determined the grid for the Sprint, and the result of that set the grid for the Grand Prix.
This sometimes resulted in more cautious approaches from the drivers in the Sprint races, who didn't want to jeopardise their Grand Prix by making a mistake in the shortened race.
Now, Formula 1 has isolated the Sprint race and given it a separate qualifying session, called the Sprint Shootout, meaning the Sprint will have no impact on the main race.
The Sprint Shootout will replace FP2, meaning Saturday will now be dedicated to the Sprint qualifying and race.
The traditional qualifying hour will remain on Friday and only count for the Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Sprint Shootout qualifying sessions (Q1, Q2 and Q3) will be shorter than conventional qualifying and each session will have a dedicated tyre compound to use.
The dry tyre allocation for the Baku weekend will reduce from 13 sets to 12, and consist of 2x Hard, 4x Medium and 6x Soft.
Sprint Shootout Schedule
|Session||Remaining drivers||Duration (minutes)||Mandatory Tyre|
Penalties on a Sprint weekend
The F1 Commission have also attempted to simplify the application of penalties, and stop the penalties mixing between the Sprint and the main Grand Prix wherever possible, but some minor crossovers have been unpreventable.
Penalties will be applied as follows:
- A grid penalty incurred in P1 or Qualifying will apply to the Race
- A grid penalty incurred in the Shootout will apply to the Sprint
- A grid penalty incurred in the Sprint will apply to the Race
- A breach of parc ferme will result in a pitlane start for the Sprint and Race
- PU penalties will only apply to the Race (unless they are also a parc ferme breach)
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.