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Brazilian Grand Prix 2021

Refresher: How does F1's Sprint Qualifying format work?

With F1 trialling Sprint Qualifying for the third and final time this season at Interlagos, here's everything you need to know about the new format.

Brazilie start 2019
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Formula 1 has trialled a new 'Sprint' format at three Grands Prix in 2021, with this weekend's Sao Paulo Grand Prix following in the footsteps of Silverstone and Monza.

Officially, the 30-minute race is called 'Sprint Qualifying', with the finishing order determining the starting grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

RacingNews365.com presents everything you need to know ahead of the action in Brazil.

How does the weekend change?

The biggest change to the Grand Prix weekend will be that the traditional qualifying session is moved to Friday evening.

As usual, the weekend kicks off with the first practice session. This will take place on Friday afternoon, and consists of the standard 60 minutes.

In the evening, a normal qualifying session will take place. This session will determine the starting grid for Saturday's Sprint Qualifying session at Interlagos.

On Saturday afternoon, the second practice session will be held, with the teams given another 60 minutes on track but, critically, without the ability to make any setup changes.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, the grid will line up for Sprint Qualifying. This will take place over 100 kilometres, with drivers given free choice of tyres to start the race. There are no mandatory pit-stops, meaning drivers can push from start to finish if they feel like it.

The finishing order of Sprint Qualifying determines the starting grid for Sunday's Grand Prix, which takes place as normal. The winner of Sprint Qualifying will get three points, second place will get two points, and third place will get a single point.

2021 F1 Brazilian GP time schedule

Date Event Time (BST) Time (Local)
Friday 12 November Practice 1 15:30 12:30
Friday 12 November Qualifying 19:00 16:00
Saturday 13 November Practice 2 15:00 12:00
Saturday 13 November Sprint Qualifying 19:30 16:30
Sunday 14 November Race 17:00 11:00

What about tyres and parc ferme?

All cars will be put into parc ferme conditions ahead of Friday's qualifying session, meaning the teams can make no further changes after the first practice session at Interlagos.

This virtually negates the point of the second practice session on Saturday afternoon, as there can be no tweaking of setups ahead of Sprint Qualifying.

As for tyres, drivers are only permitted to use two sets during Friday practice. They will then take part in the normal qualifying on Friday using five sets of Soft tyres.

Teams can use one set of tyres, a compound of their own choice, during Saturday afternoon practice, with the same rule in place for Sprint Qualifying.

There are two remaining sets of tyres for the Grand Prix, with teams having the choice of which compound to start on.

Tyre rules

Session Tyres
Friday (Practice 1) Free choice (2 sets maximum)
Friday (Qualifying) Soft tyres (5 sets)
Saturday (Practice 2) Free choice (1 set)
Saturday (Sprint Qualifying) Free choice (1 set)
Sunday (Grand Prix) Free choice (2 sets)

Also interesting:

Video: F1 Sprint Qualifying Races explained

The third 'F1 Sprint' event will take place at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil. How does the new qualifying format work? Here's everything you need to know...

F1 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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