“Super-qualifying” revealed as potential name for F1’s Saturday sprint races

2021 F1 season

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The Saturday sprint races which have been proposed for three rounds of this year’s Formula 1 championship could be given the name “super-qualifying”.

Formula 1 bosses are keen that the planned races, which are yet to be formally approved, do not diminish the significance of the main event during a grand prix weekend on Sunday.

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski revealed the proposed name for the sprint races, which he believes could be a worthwhile addition to race weekends.

“Sprint races or whatever they’re going to be called, ‘super qualifying’, it’s excitement over three days, really,” he said. “You’re going to qualify on the Friday, we’re going to race on Saturday and race again on Sunday.

“We’re going to go a lot less prepared into qualifying. For the fans, whether at the circuit or at home, it is three days of excitement.

“Teams sometimes look at it as we are so obsessed about competing with each other, we are so obsessed about improving our competitiveness and our performance, at the end of the day, we need to put on a good show. I think that’s going to help putting on a good show for the fans.

F1 almost had Saturday sprint races 35 years ago – this time it probably will
“So let’s try a new format. It’s a great opportunity to see if that’s something we want to carry over into next season.”

A working group has been set up to define the format and rules for sprint races, which will then be put before the F1 Commission for approval.

Formula 1 intends to further distinguish between the two races by reserving the traditional champagne-spraying podium celebration for the grand prix. The conclusion of a ‘super-qualifying’ sprint race will be marked differently.

“We have to make sure that there is a difference between the iconic celebration of the race,” said Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“It is the iconic moment at the end of the event, Sunday afternoon, that’s the peak of the sports event and that has to be kept separate from the other moments. So the most important celebration will still be Sunday afternoon and not Saturday.”

Domenicali was speaking at an event to promote Formula 1’s new ‘Official Toast’ partner Ferrari Trento, whose sparkling wine will be distributed on podiums in place of champagne this year at events which are not alcohol-free.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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65 comments on ““Super-qualifying” revealed as potential name for F1’s Saturday sprint races”

  1. Well, that’s an idiotic name. Cringey. Just call them what they are – sprint races, or qualifying races.

  2. A gimmicky name for an unnecessary, unneeded & largely unwanted gimmicky race.

    And it will take away from the grand Prix as having 2 races will always take some if the attention & prestige from the other as you are inevitability going to see the ‘x wins’ headlines after the gimmick race.

    1. So true.

      “Super” is lost for this one-upmanship stratagem. Not good.

    2. Super pole makes sense if it’s a poke shoot out.
      Super qualifying means nothing and is a horrible gimmick name.
      If you’re gonna bang on all winter about sprint races, then you can’t then go and call it qualifying anything, other than “qualifying race”. Sorry its not sexy enough for you.

      1. Kubica is the SuperPole.

    3. i totally agree.

    4. Qualifying, super qualifying race…all welcome to me.
      Couldn’t care less how they name it, but the FP friday sessions are boring for any sort of audiance who pay good money.
      Worst case they hardly drive when it’s wet.

      It works for F2, it should work for F1

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        3rd March 2021, 9:43

        I never found practice boring on channel 4 when you had passionate commentators back when they could broadcast live.

        Crofty often sounds board in practice and ends up talking about pies, curries and spices and laughs at his own terrible jokes. Sky has made me lose interest in practice. It was good when it was on a free channel!

  3. I’m looking forward to these. I could be quite fun.

    I can’t help the feeling that other races should have been chosen. Russia and Abu Dhabi for example, they are in desperate need of some extra spicing up.

    1. @napierrailton They might’ve wanted to avoid the very first and last race of the season on purpose.

    2. James Coulee
      2nd March 2021, 19:18

      I hope you’re right!
      I fear that the sprint race will just order the cars by race pace, granting a very boring GP on Sunday.
      I’m also afraid that the sprint race itself may not be that exciting itself: will the drivers risk contact trying to gain a position in the sprint race considering that if something happens they’ll start the feature race in the back.

  4. This is the type of thing I have hinted at many times and I’m glad to hear it. I was suggesting similarly that Friday’s qualifying could be called ‘Pre-Qualifying’ with actual qualifying via a sprint race (or two or whatever it will be) ‘Qualifying.’ So for me ‘Super-Qualifying’ is at least a step away from all the rhetoric that has centered around calling it ‘another race’ or ‘the first race’ or what have you…’another race just because Liberty wants another race.’

    It’s still qualifying as far as I’m concerned just done in a more exciting way, and to me the winner is the pole winner and that needn’t be celebrated with any more fanfare than is currently done with the usual format, nor do points need be awarded. Keep the main fanfare for the main event, as Domenicali says.

    1. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
      3rd March 2021, 6:23

      No matter how you call it it is just a short race.

    2. @robbie why do you feel the need to try and reshape the part of the weekend that the majority of those who are either involved in the sport, or those watching the sport, would say generally works pretty well and which people already find fairly engaging though?

      Is the current qualifying format perfect? I don’t think anybody would say that it is completely perfect, as nothing will ever be, but most would say that it is probably one of the best systems and that moving away from that is moving towards a less optimal solution. Saying that you think it will be “qualifying done in a more exciting way” really doesn’t say anything – that might be an idea behind it, but just stating an objective does not turn it into reality.

      It’s a measure that seems to have been introduced with no real clear structure or impetus beyond wanting to change the current situation for the sake of a change – a change that, in the very nature of being very nebulous and lacking in detail right now, does not feel properly thought out.

      The other aspect is that the way that Liberty Media have reacted at times makes some concerned that they won’t listen to the wider audience and will just listen to what Sky tells them they think of the idea – we’ve already had the individual on this site who works with FOM indicating that these initiatives seem to have come from Sky, and that Liberty Media has adopted them even when other broadcasters have questioned the wisdom of such ideas and asked why Sky has an outsized influence on the sport.

      1. anon Fair comment again. It is not so much that I feel the ‘need’ to try and reshape anything so much as that I appreciate Liberty simply exploring a way that might be better. As I have said I will be 100% perfectly fine if they don’t do this experiment (which it sounds like will happen) or if they do it and drop the idea. For sure the current method works pretty well, but now that Liberty is asking, I feel I can go along and agree that I am not that enthralled spending the amount of time we do during the one hour qualifying watching drivers sitting in their cars in their garages. They must wonder the same. I certainly don’t expect whatever format they use to ever be ‘perfect’ nor satisfy everyone completely. But waiting an hour to watch LH get pole? Let’s at least make him work for it a bit more, and yes I know I am taking license there and being a bit sarcastic as of course he is working for it, but to us it is quite predictable, no? At least can’t we have a little more action before he wins pole, lol?

        I hear you about the lack of clear structure, but what I also really like is that they have simply started by asking a question…can we explore something here…can we trial something here…can you all provide us feedback to help us explore this? The structure appears unclear because, just as Brawn took such great measures in consulting the teams for feedback over the big big changes to the financial side and the technical side of F1, and the engine freeze, they are also involving the teams in forming the structure of the experiment in mind, so that all are as much on board as possible, consistent with what Brawn has tried to do all along since Liberty took over.

        As to whether or not this is Sky driven and by how much, that doesn’t concern me either. I don’t believe Sky no matter what, has power over Liberty to take F1 out of it’s DNA comfort zone, and if collectively this is about driving revenues, well we all know F1 could use some of that especially after the hit they have all taken under the pandemic, and as well we know that the revenues and the audience size has been suffering, I think particularly on the revenue side since the big market crash of 2008 that took a lot of marketing dollars away practically overnight, globally, and hurt all racing series not just F1. I have no worries and am only bolstered by F1 righting the ship and by both F1 and Sky wanting to grow this sport and make it a better product and a more profitable one. Good for us, good for F1, good for Sky.

        Ultimately too, I strongly believe that if indeed you are right and Sky has too much power here and ruins F1 with said power, that can be very temporary for fans can always react immediately by not watching. That will send them a far greater message than anything. We have seen immediate reaction to changes under BE before, that got reversed in very short order when the outrage was great enough.

  5. *long sigh*

    why do billion dollar marketing departments come up with names that sound like something a 4 year old would suggest???

    1. LOL well Brawn did say he wanted the new cars to look so cool that kids want to hang posters of them in their bedrooms.

      1. @robbie along with all the sponsors, it’s not silly.

        1. @justrhysism No I thought it was a great comment Brawn made, a great general image of what he had in mind for the look of the new cars, back when he and the teams were starting to gel with the desired concept of ground effects cars. Kids hanging up posters is exactly one of the side effects of the new gen they should be aiming for. My lol was about a 4 year old coming up with the name for the sprint qualifying. Many other sports such as baseball are clamouring to get and keep kids interested and grow the youth audience to, they hope, become lifers.

        2. @justrhysism I agree with @robbie here: this was a great comment by Brawn and certainly a great idea when it comes to promote the sport. but why is it that I used to collect F1 miniatures models as kid and stopped doing it as an adult? (I mean, besides the insane price tag those go for these days…)

          it was not because the cars ‘got ugly’ (even though I prefer the looks of the cars of the 80s and 90s, but blame that on nostalgia). it was also not because F1 was like the games I played, I assure you. in fact, it was the other way around: I played those games because back then it was to closer I could get to drive an F1 car. the same way, people hanged F1 posters on their walls because the wanted to dream about being an F1 driver. F1 wasn’t something that was dumbed down towards kids!

          this is why I think naming something ‘Super-qualifying’ or FE’s ‘Attack Mode’ (soooo many problems with this one) underestimate young people and ultimately end up as a bad version of the HOW DO YOU DO FELLOW KIDS meme…

    2. You’re not wrong there!

  6. I don’t see any harm in trialling the idea at 3 races. What’s the worst that can happen. I personally am one of the people who don’t tend to watch F1 on Fridays (except for the first few races of a season when all the cars are new and different), so for me it would be a reason to watch across 3 days instead of 2. Having said that, I also really enjoy the current Qualifying format. But you never know if something’s a good idea or not unless you give it a go so why not. If the fanbase/teams generally react poorly to it, then at least the FIA can say they’ve tried, it didn’t work, and put it back on the shelf.

    1. @t1redmonkey

      What’s the worst that can happen

      That it is made permanent as seems bound to happen now. Next will then be fanboost.

    2. @t1redmonkey “What’s the worst that can happen.”

      The silly gimmick been ‘trialed’ could end up deciding the championship.

      It’s a horrible gimmick that has no business been trialed at race weekends that count towards the world championship.

      If the gimmick race trial does end up been a deciding factor in the championship in some way all it will do is totally devalue the result of the championship as well as totally devaluing the grand prix. You simply cannot have 2 races on a weekend & have one not detract from the other as you are going to have 2 winners.

      I mean how are you going to explain the gimmick race winner? Are they just not going to say they ‘won the race’? As soon as you start saying that the gimmick race winner is a race winner it immediately starts taking some of the prestige away from the grand prix, You simply cannot avoid this.

      I’m hoping it’s so obvious after canada that its a bad idea that it’s something we never see again.

      1. @roger-ayles Never mind that they have said they do not want this to unusually or unfairly sway the Championship then. I’m sure they will say the winner won pole, like they do now. How again does determining a pole sitter for the race in a more exciting way take away from Sunday’s race? Especially if they call it something like Super-Qualifying? I still don’t see why this has to be so complicated. Rather than watch them race the clock on Saturday, we’ll watch them race each other, for pole and the order of the grid.

        As I’ve said before, my goodness the level of paranoia and distrust after all the good Liberty has done to prop up the unsustainable F1 we had is just unbelievable to me.

        But really, fear not. We are the boss here. If this turns out to be soooo terrible, which somehow the teams don’t seem to agree, then we can collectively send a message and all stop watching. We have that power. We can fire them in a heartbeat. That I have taken from what Sam Walton has said of his company Walmart. ‘The customers are the boss for they can fire us in a heartbeat.’ Obviously he means by not shopping there. If there is a mass boycotting, they’d immediately go back to the same old quali. Back to sitting there spending 60 or 70 percent of the one hour quali watching them sit in their cars in their garages until there’s a few minutes of action at the end of Q3. Oh wait. You’ll still get that on Friday. Ohhh but that’s not a good day, that’s impossible to deal with.

        Where’s the gratitude? No wonder F1 is looking for new audience. That they say they want to keep the old audience as well, makes them heretics and liars, to be distrusted and insulted.

        Oh well, another rant over. I’ll be gratefully watching, so grateful for the real and vital changes to come, always mindful of how damn lucky we are to have F1 at all.

        1. @robbie I do love your rants but I feel that your faith in Liberty is almost as obsessive as those of us that that take a slightly more contrary view.

          I liken some of these things to what I call the scourge of reality TV. Those types of shows dominate our local TV channels because they TV channels not the viewers decided “that was what the viewers wanted”.

          A very similar thing has occurred in the sport of cricket where we’re now bombarded with a short (and grotesque) form of the game that has all but replaced the traditional game.

          Both of these phenomena started as trials until the broadcasters found that they were a way to maximise profit (easy to put on lots of shows and cheap to run) so they now completely dominate their broadcasting.

          Yes they lost a huge number of traditional viewers, but covered that under the guise that it had brought in new viewers because their surveys said they were popular.

          In the case of cricket, I believe that’s true (increased viewership) to a degree but traditional TV here in my country is all but dead these days because there’s virtually nothing to watch other than inane reality shows.

          I have no doubt F1’s “qualifying” races will be deemed to be hugely successful in their surveys. To me they will be no more exciting than the current qualifying so my conclusion is that they’re really doing it because they believe that they can capture a new audience that, like so many sports these days, can only watch a highlights package rather than a full main event.

          No it’s not in itself a big change, neither was a couple of reality shows, or a few games of T20 cricket. It could be however a path to changing the balance of the “traditional” feature race to a number of shorter races. Not this year or next but over a relatively short few years.

          We the fans in the main don’t vote with their feet, and neither do Walmart customers, they just accept what they’re given in the main and that’s really how companies get things done. We’ll get a series that suits Liberty’s bottom line the best.

          Yes so far, there’s a lot of positive, but there’s also signs of the sorts of things I see time and time again where profitability, or the illusion of short term profit, brings about irreversible change.

          That being said, I appreciate you have the right to have your opinions as you have allowed Me to have mine.

          1. @dbradock Fair comment and I know you have this fear of a slippery slope that I just don’t share. I have faith in comments such as Brawn and TW and the teams drivers we have heard from that maintaining the DNA of F1 is crucial ie. they are saying exactly that it is not to become a reality show nor will the Sunday races ever be altered. This is uniquely F1, not cricket. There is huge money and commitment involved by the teams, many of whom have to consider the global impact on their brand, so I’m highly confident they will always want to keep it real and true. They’ve only talked about the very things most fans should have wanted and seen necessary for years now, and have implemented those absolutely vital changes. Nothing they have implemented needs be turned around into unfounded speculation of a dire slippery slope when the very thing they have done, thank goodness, and with the teams’ blessing, is take F1 off the unsustainable slippery slope it was on and set it on the right track.

        2. @robbie it is extremely easy to say that Liberty Media might not want to “unfairly sway the Championship”, but being able to achieve that in practice is rather harder – and it does seem to contradict the aim of introducing random elements into the weekend, which by its nature implies changing the way that the championship is fought for in order to create a more “exciting” and “dramatic” series.

          Equally, it is one thing to say that you want to “preserve the DNA of the sport”, but people don’t want to take that purely on trust – it is the actions, not the words, that they will look to.

          Individuals like Brawn are not immune to outside pressures, and Dieter’s recent article on the commercial inflows into the sport highlights how Sky has an influence on the sport – thanks to contributing one third of the overall TV revenue, and a sixth of the entire revenue of the sport – that is vastly out of proportion to their viewing figures (even with fairly generous estimates, you’re probably looking at maybe 3 million across the UK, Italy and Germany combined).

          Sky’s really not representative of the global audience – their viewers make up about 4% of the total global audience – but because they make up 33% of the TV revenue, they have disproportionately high influence and, if those on this site who work for FOM are right, it seems that Sky is using its leverage over the commercial income of the sport to put pressure on Liberty Media to make changes that it wants to see.

          There is a suggestion that it was Sky that pushed Liberty Media into lobbying for reverse races, and similarly that they’re leaning on Liberty Media for this proposal as well. It’s all well and good to sing about wanting to “preserve the DNA of the sport” – but if Sky wants to push for changes it wants to see, how much can Liberty Media push back when they depend on Sky for $350 million a year?

          You also say that the viewers are “the boss”, but who really is the boss? As Dieter notes, Sky’s subscribers in the UK make up 1.4% of the global viewing figures, but 25% of the revenue – as a whole, Sky’s viewers are maybe around 4% of the total, but 33% of the TV revenue, meaning that you have a very small group of viewers who have an outsized influence.

          If anything, in 2020, and maybe for a couple of years yet, the impact of the current outbreak, with the reduction in circuit hosting fees and potential loss of some sponsorship opportunities as well, means Liberty Media is probably relying even more heavily on Sky and that small group of viewers. If it comes down to annoying Sky’s fans or annoying the wider world, financially, it could hurt Liberty a lot more to annoy those fans on Sky if it means Sky threatens to cut its fees or to stop its broadcasts – so, a small minority can have a fairly outsized influence on the vast majority of fans.

    3. The worst that can happen with the sprint races is that the first few sprint races are exciting because the teams haven’t optimized their strategies yet, the rules are unclear, etc. Then F1 may adopt it based on those three races, only to find that it creates much worse weekends when everything is optimized.

  7. This is a bit like when they went mad naming the tyre compounds. What next, Ultra Qualifying? Hyper Qualifying? Designed-to-degrade Qualifying?

    1. Qualified Qualifying.

  8. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    2nd March 2021, 18:58

    “Sprint races or whatever they’re going to be called, ‘super qualifying’, it’s excitement over three days, really,” he said. “You’re going to qualify on the Friday, we’re going to race on Saturday and race again on Sunday.

    So, there’s qualifying, which is where you qualify for super qualifying, which is actually a race, but is also the event where you qualify for the big race. Okay, then.

    However, here’s my question: Normally, pole position is awarded to the driver who sets the fastest time during qualifying. But does super qualifying (which is actually a race) now mean that one can, hypothetically, win two pole positions during the same race weekend? Or does it mean that one can, hypothetically, win two races during the same race weekend? Will both race wins “count” in the same way in the statistics? Or will super qualifying wins (which are, of course, actually race wins) be counted as their own separate thing?

    Aside from not at all being a pointless gimmick, this is also not confusing in the slightest.

    1. Fair comment which makes me like my idea even more of Friday being ‘Pre-Qualifying’ and Saturday being ‘Qualifying.’ That way the winner on Friday is the Qualifying pole winner, and the winner of Qualifying on Saturday is the race pole winner. I am intentionally using the term pole winner because that is what is used and somehow we don’t confuse that with a race winner. Why must the winner of Super-Qualifying, if that were to be what they call it, anything but the pole winner, just because it might be a more exciting way to qualify for Sunday via a different format?

      1. @robbie I get what you’re saying, but I don’t want the term pre-qualifying to be detached from its traditional sense of being that awful Friday morning session, only used when the grid is oversubscribed!

  9. Why not Sprint Qulaifying – that’s what it is after all – or failing that “The Race to Pole”

    1. *Qualifying – my bad – didn’t re-read it to check.

      1. I don’t mind those.

        1. To this day we still can’t edit.

    2. @ahxshades My choice too. If in doubt, call something what it is, as Tyrion Lannister would say. It’s a sprint race for qualifying (again). So ‘sprint qualifying’.

  10. I really good this awful gimmicky idea

    This is F1, The pinnacle of the sport & not some American style series full of this sort of gimmicks.

    What next?
    Stage racing?
    A silly convoluted chase style championship system?
    Bonus points…. Oh wait that was one of the first gimmicks they forced on us.


    1. ColdFly (@)
      3rd March 2021, 7:52

      If you’re concerned about gimmicks then you must loathe:
      – giving a chasing driver a mechanical boost on the straight;
      – whenever there is a full track safety period bump up the field and even allow lapped drivers to unlap themselves, and …
      – … consequently cause the real race to be significantly shorter then it could have been;
      – allowing only half the cars to start on new tyres.

      But instead you get upset that all cars (equally) are required to fight for pole position in a short ‘gloves off’ race.
      Some (people who call themselves) fans are weird.

  11. Tell’s you everything you need to know.

    It’s a marketing name for a marketing idea that will do zero to fix anything or improve the racing in the true race.

    I just hope it is a gimmick we don’t see again after this year. To be honest I kinda hope it’s so obvious how bad a gimmick it is after canada that we don’t see it again & they opt to have italy & brazil run to a proper weekend/qualifying/race format rather than the marketing gimmick one.

    1. @roger-ayles It was never meant to fix or improve the racing in the true race, only ever posed as a question as to if there is a more exciting way to qualify. They have not said a single thing about changing the race format, but of course the fix is in that we all knew was crucial, to getting away from clean air dependent cars, and I believe the truly damaging-to-the-DNA integrity-harming DRS will soon be gone as well. That has truly been the worst gimmick.

  12. Super-qualifying

    Well I suppose it’s better than super duper qualifying or last chance death defying qualifying.

    1. Stupid qualifying?

      Qualy Racing?

      Qualified Racing?

      We paid to much for commercial rights now we are flailing wildly to increase revenue new weekend extravaganza?

  13. Super-qualifying…… But what’s so super about it?

    Frankly i think the likely outcome will be that under normal circumstances the sprint race will probably end up not been all that interesting as for as much as a lot of fans seem to want ‘flat out sprint racing’ it is often the races/phases of races that feature that which tend to be the least interesting. Reason been that the performance variables are so relatively small in those circumstances that having everyone running flat out & therefore been of similar pace results in less opportunities for drivers to make something happen as far as overtaking goes, Especially given how difficult it is to run within 1-2 seconds of a car ahead.

    That is a part of why you saw less overtaking opportunities in the re-fueling era between cars that were running the same strategy & doing very similar pace where they also struggle to run that close to each other.

    And even should the sprint race end up featuring more action than I expect it will I do think that all that will do is lead to the Sunday GP been worse as any shuffling of the order we would have got on Sunday would have happened on Saturday. So you could end up with a fairly fun short race following by a worse than normal longer main race which is something I don’t feel would be a positive.

    1. @gt-racer I think yes you are highlighting the downside of clean air dependent cars, which makes me think, and I have said before, the sprint qualifying might be more exciting when the cars are not held handcuffed in dirty air. When drivers will have a much better chance of driving their way up the grid.

      But the concept of anything making the Sunday race worse is I find just a convenient way of saying no I don’t like it because of one set of projected circumstances happening that needn’t be assumed unless one is just trying to support one side of an argument. This is why they run the events. To see what actually happens.

      Worst case scenario they do the Friday Qualifying and little unexpected happens and it is the usual running order that most could have predicted. As happens more often than not right now. Then they run the Super-Qualifying and we have an action packed hour, where, again worst case scenario little changes in the usual and predictable order based on where the teams generally sit amongst each other, and then on Sunday we get the race as normal with a staring grid that could have been fairly closely predicted, and as well a finishing order. But what we will have had is a more potent and exciting day to look forward to on Friday, a more action packed event on Saturday, and a normal race on Sunday as we have had for decades. So that’s the worst case scenario as I see it, only with an added element to perhaps shake things up a bit or at least provide some more tension on Saturday.

      Now add to that cars no longer hampered in dirty air, and therefore drivers more equipped to affect their fate, and the seemingly always-hoped-for element of variable weather throughout the three days (a bad sign when we have need weather to create excitement when the cars couldn’t due to dirty air) and I think that would be great for a much more enthralling product on the track. Much more buzz around an F1 weekend which is what will grow the audience as word quickly gets around.

      And they don’t even want too much to change from what we would normally expect based on where the cars generally belong amongst each other anyway. That’s why reverse grids were rejected. They just want to ask and explore for a more exciting way to get to where most would expect the cars to qualify all things considered after some races have been run and we have gotten to see generally where they (the cars and the drivers) belong amongst each other.

  14. ColdFly (@)
    2nd March 2021, 22:05

    Very grown up comments by the team boss, as opposed by some journos and fans.

    It’s just a test.
    I applaud testing things which can give us more full on/out racing as requested by the fans.
    I’ll tell you if I think it’s an improvement or not after the test.

    PS no double standards here; check my comment history.

    1. @coldfly

      I’ll tell you if I think it’s an improvement or not after the test.


  15. If nothing else it could serve as an opportunity for the cars to be measured without any difference in strategy influencing the outcome. Although if Parc Ferme rules apply then even that won’t be true as conditions could be different for the main race which some team will target. I really don’t think it will add much excitement…

    My main concern with this is if it’s only trialled for 1 or 2 times and the races are good due to some random influence then it will get ushered in for a full season without being considered fully.

    1. My main concern is how this added strain on PU will impact the reliability management on further races.
      Usual qualifying adds 8-10 laps of full use of the PU. This superqualy will add 15-20 to it. This will have to come from somewhere. Probably the race. So either SAT or SUN teams will be even more restricted on the use of the PU.

  16. Rui (@colinmcrui)
    2nd March 2021, 22:17

    That is great news, we will have Ferrari in the three podium places at all the races!

  17. I’d have gone with something a bit more classy. Something like Saturday Happy Hour Fantastic Racing Elimination Idol. I just feel it would convey the drama much more potently for the occasional viewer and the afficionado alike.

  18. If we must have them, why complicate it?

    Practice. Takes place on a Friday morning.
    Qualifying. Takes place on a Friday afternoon.
    Sprint Race. Takes place on a Saturday.
    Grand Prix. Takes place on a Sunday.

    Keep it simple.

    People are not so stupid as to not understand that the grid for a Grand Prox could be set by the results of a Sprint Race. There’s no need to dumb it down or try to appeal to a new generation with gimmicks and just provide something that looks and sounds like authentic racing. Then people will watch and if it’s really good they may even pay to do so.

    1. To me it pretty clearly signifies no points for the sprint race. Seems a fair idea in trials.

  19. Neil (@neilosjames)
    2nd March 2021, 23:07


    I think ‘Barrier-Creating Time-Sink #2’ would be a better name. Currently you can watch all the competitive sessions live and only drop a maximum three hours out of your weekend. Three and a half if it’s Singapore and you like a bit of podium ceremony and post-qualifying interviews.

    With these things… five hours? And not only more time, but also having to find that time across three days. And for a fan of sport to reach the desired Maximum Engagement™, they’re going to be watching live – so it’s often right in the middle of those three days. One of which the majority of them, in the western world at least, will be spending at work. So they’re not going to be able to maintain the Maximum Engagement™ they’ve had for many years.

    Just seems like too much of a time commitment, especially if I’m not going to be able to watch qualifying (often the most fun part) live…

  20. How about “second qualifying”?

  21. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
    3rd March 2021, 6:32

    This reminds me of the double points final race gimmick. Just imagine the backlash if it was Hamilton’s car the one that broke down in the final race of 2014…

    1. @exeviolthor It wouldn’t have made a difference if it was Hamilton’s car that broke down. Rosberg would have won the title even in a normal scoring system.

      1. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
        3rd March 2021, 10:54

        True. My bad.

        But my point still stands that it was a gimmick that could have determined the championship.
        Imagine if we go to the final weekend with the championship wide open only to see that it is determined on the sprint race…

  22. John Ballantyne
    3rd March 2021, 9:12

    Grand Prix racing is known throughout the world as a grueling test of performance for men and machines, sprint racing is mere gimmickry.

  23. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    3rd March 2021, 9:47

    Are there now fewer race fans on this site now this format is coming?

    Maybe this site should become superracefans! That may improve things!!

    I have to say though I’m missing the name F1 Fanatic.

  24. > gimmick solutions to non existing problems
    > idiotic names for new gp
    > pay tv with only screams and no actual content
    > “disco” concerts with djs at the end of some gp
    > use of the word *super* for the denomination of events
    > DRS still in place

    this sport is plummeting as fast as we can let it go

  25. I don’t mind the idea of trying this as personally I am one of the minority I think who does not find qualifying very interesting. I hardly ever watch it these days but maybe that is because, in recent seasons we have all had a pretty good idea about what is going to happen. I am not a newcomer either. I have been watching F1 for 30+ years.

    So I say why not give this a go and see how it works out. With the usual caveats about it still being referred to as qualifying and no points being awarded. I also am happy with there being no similar podium celebration.

    I am not sure the name they label it as really matters all that much. I would suggest that on these three weekends the timetable refers to pre-qualifying on Friday and ‘sprint qualifying’ on the Saturday.

  26. Why don’t they just make the teams closer in performance rather than resort to stupid gimmicks?

    The FIA had no hesitation in evening the playing field when Ferrari and RBR were winning championships, but hesitant to nullify Mercedes advantage for soon to be 8 years.

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