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F1 2023

This F1 experiment failed immediately

F1's new weekend format for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix calls to mind a rule change from 2016 that proved wildly unpopular and was quickly dropped.

Rosberg Bahrein 2016
To news overview © Mercedes

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the first Sprint event of the 2023 Formula 1 season, and there's been a change in the weekend format from previous such events.

Instead of qualifying taking place on a Saturday, the one-hour session setting the grid order for Sunday's race will instead take place on Friday.

A separate qualifying session, dubbed the Sprint Shootout, will replace FP2 on Saturday to set the grid order for the Sprint race later that day, meaning Saturday will be dedicated solely to Sprint qualifying and race.

However, this is not the first time that F1's powerbrokers have attempted to shake up the qualifying process.

Back in 2016, an elimination-style format was introduced, but it proved to be almost universally unpopular, and was quietly dropped after just two races.

So how exactly did this format work, and why was it so hated? Find out more with our video below!


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