Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Hamilton expects F1’s first Sprint race will be a procession

2021 British Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton predicts Formula 1’s new Sprint races will fail to entertain, saying he expects to see a “train” of cars in its first running next week.

Formula 1 will introduce the new format at the British Grand Prix next week and use it at two further rounds later this year.

The revised weekend schedule will see qualifying brought forward to Friday afternoon. It will set the starting grid for a 17-lap Sprint race on Saturday, which will award points to the top three finishers and decide the starting order for Sunday’s grand prix.

Formula 1’s managing director Ross Brawn has described the extra race as “100 kilometres of action”. But Hamilton expects it will prove difficult for drivers to overtake at Silverstone.

“It will just be a train, probably,” said the world champion. “Hopefully there will be some overtaking, but most likely it won’t be too exciting.

In a further break from tradition, Formula 1 has stated the official holder of pole position for the weekend will be the winner of the race, rather than the fastest driver in qualifying. Hamilton, who became the first driver to record 100 pole positions at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year, said he “doesn’t really have an opinion” about that change.

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“We’ll wait and see,” he added. “There’s no point judging it before we even get into it.”

Feature: How will Formula 1 decide if ‘Sprint’ races are a success? Ross Brawn explains
Drivers will have free choice of tyre compounds for the Sprint race. Carlos Sainz Jnr is unsure whether that will make overtaking more likely.

“[Doing] 17 laps on a set of tyres should allow us to push a bit more and have a bit of fun,” he told media on Sunday. “But you guys know that the more we push also it’s tricky to overtake. This is not a secret. So we will see how it turns out.”

Antonio Giovinazzi was more optimistic about how easily drivers will be able to race each other. “It’s only 100 kilometres so not many laps,” said the Alfa Romeo driver.

“I don’t think it will be a problem, to be honest. But we will see, I will tell you on Saturday night in Silverstone.”

How the 2020 and 2021 British grands prix weekends compare

2020 British Grand Prix 2021 British Grand Prix
Friday 11:00 – 12:30 First practice Friday 14:30 – 15:30 First practice
Friday 15:00 – 16:30 Second practice Friday 18:00 Qualifying
Saturday 11:00 – 12:00 Third practice Saturday 12:00 – 13:00 Second practice
Saturday 14:00 Qualifying Saturday 16:30 – 17:00 Sprint race
Sunday 14:10 Race Sunday 15:00 Race

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2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

98 comments on “Hamilton expects F1’s first Sprint race will be a procession”

  1. I agree with him. The rewards are low (in terms of points and places on the grid) compared to the risks of falling back after a contact or spin. So you sit tight and wait for others to mess up.

    1. Plus reliability. Following closely other cars leads to overheating of the cars & their engine.

      And personally I very dislike the Pole position award for a Sprint race winner. Why is that? I mean you want to “test” the sprint race – please why not (although in my opinion you are already committed to the idea & will adopt it come what may), but why you cant keep the pole position award with the winner of Friday qualification?

      1. Except in qualifying where the drivers have to be in the dirty air cos it’s “faster”

      2. The whole point of the sprint race is to try and mix it up a bit when it comes to the grid.

        1. But it’s not very likely to. In fact, as it stands, the most likely changes are to allow people who qualified badly to get back to the position they “should” have qualified in.

          If they wanted it to be interesting, the cars would have to line up in a way where they didn’t line up in order from fastest to slowest. That’s what makes the racing end up processional.

    2. I think the only exception to this will be people who mess up in qualifying and so end up out of position (e.g., a Red Bull or Merc that has a mechanical issue on Friday, or spins in qualy, and so never makes it out of Q1). They’ll have an opportunity to make up places in the sprint race, making for a more boring actual race as they’ll start in a more representative position.

      1. my thoughts too if someone crashes the chances of loosing it when it comes to the final race are high. I think as it stays the races are being done well and no need to add .sometimes too much of something looses the excitement.

      2. What happens if someone retires from the Sprint race? I think they’d be allowed to start from the back of the grid (or possibly pit lane), so you would see them coming through the field. Probably quite rare, but then it’s rare that the big teams fail to get in to Q3.

    3. Not to mention the risk of destroying your car during the sprint race (If you race hard) and messing up your entire weekend.
      I think they will have to be careful and that will probably lead to exactly what Lewis said.

  2. Come on F1. There’s still a week left to cancel this misadventure.

    1. I’m waiting for it

    2. +1

    3. yes, please

    4. It was there to screw up Hamilton. But the floorboard rules already did that. If anything FIA may now sabotage Max instead of gift him. That would be so funny.

  3. Luke S (@joeypropane)
    6th July 2021, 13:16

    Gonna be a whole load of tentative drivers not wanting to risk massive damage/parts changes less than 24 hours before the actual race… then maybe a have-a-go hero or 2 who looks at it as an opportunity to banzai himself up the grid.

    Either way, it’s still completely ridiculous, utterly unnecessary and mad complicated to explain to anyone who only knows F1 as “qualifying saturday/race sunday”.

    1. Wasn’t there a time when it was qaul on Friday and Saturday, both?

      1. They were just 2 two hour sessions on either day. Not too much was going on. It’s not like they were out there doing lap after lap or even ever out there together. There weren’t 36 cars out at the same time. They probably did a similar amount of laps to now.

  4. Hamilton does have a point, because the front runners won’t risk too much just to grab a pole position. It’s better to start P3 or 4 than damaging your car and possibly starting from the back of the grid.

    It might spice up the action in the (lower) midfield though. Teams like Alfa Romeo and Williams will likely take bigger risks to finish higher up the grid than others would. Considering they usually don’t have the pace for points, they might just give it a shot and try some courageous moves in the sprint race.

  5. who decided who’s on pole for the sprint race ?

    1. The quali on friday

  6. That’s too bad, Mr Hamilton. If only your employer had allowed the sprint races to use reverse grids…
    Wouldn’t be a procession then.

    As for the pole statistic – makes sense. Pole is the start of the race, not the fastest qualifier. Fastest qualifier would be the fastest qualifier.
    Whatever, it’s a pretty boring statistic if ever there was one – and there are certainly a lot of them in F1.

    1. Having much faster cars start at the back of the grid is dangerous, and it rewards teams for not succeeding.

      Just two of the trillion reasons why reverse grids are dumb. There are no good reasons

      1. +1

      2. “Having much faster cars start at the back of the grid is dangerous”

        “Dangerous”? This is Formula 1, not Tiddlywinks.

        Get those ‘faster’ cars at the back and let’s see them work for pole position.

      3. You’ve just given me two more reasons why I do want it. Thank you, jeff.
        But my favourite reason is that lots of stuffy inflexible purists don’t want it – that just makes me want it more.

        I’ll bet you’d still watch it, wouldn’t you ;)

        1. So, you want it to go ahead because you want to spoil something that others enjoy out of pure spite?

          1. @anon Don’t take it too seriously, mate.

            I want reverse grids because I think they would be more interesting to watch, more challenging for the drivers and would help to make the GP more about what happens in the GP than what happened in the CAD and the wind tunnel 12 months earlier. The car’s and driver’s performances on the track on that day should be paramount in motorsport, IMO.
            Ultimately, we’re only talking about changing the starting order for the race – not the finishing order. It’s not that big of a deal.

  7. I do think that it’s most likely going to be less interesting/exciting than those who support it hope it’s going to be as I think the way it’s likely to play out won’t play to the things that tend to help produce good racing in F1.

    Under normal conditions the periods in races where you have everyone doing similar pace & running a similar strategy are usually the phases which are the least interesting because that scenario doesn’t really create opportunities to do anything. It’s when you have different strategies or when you have divers at different phases of management that creates the performance variables which can led to good racing & we likely won’t have any of those elements in the sprints.

    Not to mention how there simply isn’t the same incentive to take risks as there is during the GP.

    1. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
      6th July 2021, 14:06

      @stefmeister, that’s true. A driver in 7th place, for example, is less likely to risk an overtake to get into another non-point scoring position. It might result in them starting the proper race a position higher, but really the risks associated might not be deemed as worth the reward. A wheel bump or a dip of gravel could see them starting the Sunday Race from several positions back, it might be worth the risk during an actual race where they could score more points, but Saturday seems more about the top couple of teams scoring a few more points than usual on a weekend rather than the close midfield championship.

      1. @stefmeister Since the trial is to see if there is a more exciting way to qualify for the race on Sunday, your comparison is folly. We should be comparing single lap time trial running to a sprint race, not a sprint race to Sunday’s race.

        For me the usual quali format, which will still be available but on Friday, is usually just exciting for the last few minutes, and of course many of the times in the hybrid era that has come down to which Mercedes would get pole. So, not always that exciting and often predictable. This year it is finally less predictable.

        So for me there will be nothing less exciting about SQ vs regular gualifying, for to me the starts of races hold much more tension and excitement than the last few minutes of timed lap qualifying. Sometimes I would have to admit though, especially this year, the last few minutes of quali is as exciting as the starts of races, but then races also include the excitement of passes and pass/defend attempts, not just the excitement of the standing start.

        1. @robbie, its interesting that you only seem to have an interest in the last few minutes of qualifying whereas I have an interest in all of qualifying as it currently stands.
          This year there has not been a session in any of the qualifying where one or more drivers are desperately trying to wring those last tenths to progress through – some on them have been what we regard as “top” drivers so I just don’t understand why the entirety of qualifying has not been pretty highly charged all season.

          For me this “race” idea will in fact make qualifying far less interesting as all it will do is allow those that are out of place after “qualifying” to resume pretty much their normal expected positions for the race give or take a place or two. Certainly I expect that to be the case this year. Next year, possibly not, but this year ….

          I’m also a little concerned that they’ve chosen a couple of the most popular race weekends to do this which pretty much guarantees a success element just because there will already be as much interest in the weekend as you’d normally get – huge for both Silverstone and Monza. I’d rather see it trialed at somewhere like Sochi to get a real feel for whether or not it was responsible for generating more interest/excitement but can understand why its being done where it is.

          Sadly, because they’ve messed with the times, I won’t get to experience it “live”, something I normally do with as many races as possible because watching a replay next day just doesn’t “seem” the same (yes I’m that weird) and I’m annoyed that they saw fit to move the “qualifying race” from what was one of my more enjoyable moments of the year, being qualifying at Silverstone, so despite having an interest in seeing how this experiment pans out, its already had 1 negative tick and its not even happened yet :)

          1. @dbradock To be more clear I am ‘interested’ in every minute of coverage we get of F1, but I am just speaking more of when I am the most enthralled with quali, and that is usually for the last few minutes of Q3, and sometimes the last few of Q2. It’s very predictable who is usually going to get booted after Q1, and we always know the others are going to be going much faster yet than their Q1 posted times. Overwhelmingly I look at every minute we get of F1 with gratitude first and foremost.

            Like you I do prefer to watch live when the rest of the world is experiencing it at the same time, but that isn’t always possible and I’m very good at not hearing a spoiler, lol.

  8. I’m eager to see what Mazepin is capable of break, destroy or disintegrate.

  9. Well, they already moved real qualifying to when most fans are at work, so it’s screwed up anyway.

    1. @falken Indeed.

      Silverstone is going to be the first time i won’t be able to watch qualifying since the 90s and given how qualifying is actually my favourite part of the weekend (Watching these cars on low fuel pushing flat out is the most amazing spectacle of the weekend) this is reason enough to think this awful gimmick sprint race format is an bad idea.

      But it’s clearly that Liberty don’t give a stuff about the real long term, dedicated F1 fans & just want to get the nascar audience of gimmick lovers.

      1. @roger-ayles It’s interesting to me that you are more amazed at cars running on their own against a clock, than actual passing/defending attempts and passes during races.

        1. @robbie Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t like watching the passing, defending & stuff during races as I do (Well apart from the easier DRS highway passing boringness).

          It’s more that I enjoy the spectacle of qualifying a bit more as watching the cars on low fuel been driven on the limit is a more thrilling spectacle to watch because it’s that which highlights just how amazing the cars are. When you put fuel in & get into the management during a race the cars look slower, lazier & less spectacular & the margin for error is also a bit greater because they are more below the limit compared to qualifying & it just takes away from the overall visual spectacle a bit.

          1. @roger-ayles You might have an awesome eyesight. I wouldn’t be able to differ from a 1.09 to a 1.03 laptimes.

          2. @omarr-pepper Yeah I was thinking that too.

            @roger-ayles I do get what you are saying, but at the same time for me the race fuel loads and the ‘slower, lazier’ look just comes with the territory, but I don’t notice it so much especially when they are racing for position for it is still all under similar conditions car to car until they may get to different tire states or compounds of course.

            I hope next year with clean air independent cars and hopefully tires that can be pushed more, there will be more passing attempts and the art of defending, and I hope their use of drs will be for all drivers on whatever straights they designate as drs zones, and independent of being within one second of the car ahead such that it is just a fuel saving measure and not a way for one car to have an unfair advantage over another.

          3. @omarr-pepper You clearly can’t look & say that’s a 1:06 & that’s a 1:09 but you can tell when cars are on low fuel flat out laps & when they are on high fuel race runs or even managing something during a race because they visually act/react differently.

            On Sky for example when Brundle is standing trackside during FP2 you will often hear him mention the difference between the cars looking alive on qualifying runs & then looking a bit lazier during the long runs & you will also hear whatever ex driver is alongside Croft in the comm box bring up stuff like that as well. And you have other things as well such as maybe taking a corner flat in qualifying but then lifting/downshifting or something when they have fuel in the car in the race.

            It’s similar when you watch an F1 session & then an F2 or F3 session. You can just visually notice that those cars are slower, You can’t tell by how much but it’s just obvious they aren’t as fast. Same when I went to COTA for the Indycar’s a few years ago, They lacked that visual ‘wow factor’ you get from watching F1 cars through the sector one esses for instance.

          4. @roger-ayles I do love when Brundle goes trackside like that during FP2.

          5. So you want refuelling to return? @roger-ayles
            The cars would spend much more of the race running lighter with low fuel.

    2. @falken Qualifying takes place in the evening (Europe) for a reason.

    3. @falken: Say what? If 6pm Friday most (British?) people are working, then I’m happy not be working there.
      I for one – usually – do not work Friday 6pm British time (which is 7pm CEST where I’m, in what Brits call Europe; seemingly they don’t understand that Europe is about geography not politics, whether they like it or not; the British Isles are geographically placed in Europe ;-), ehem) so really I do see a problem with that.

  10. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    6th July 2021, 14:21

    This is up there with double points when it comes to horrific ideas. Why not add grooved tyres for the sprint races.

  11. Yeah I can’t imagine the top drivers/teams taking to many risks. The cost cap appears to be already biting and any major incidents would put the team under enormous stress. But I do think the teams will see it as an additional 30 minutes of testing.

  12. 17 laps on a set of tyres should allow us to push a bit more

    So it’s the tyres being in the focus again. Instead of fixing them and ditching the “designed to deflate” concept, it’s basically “let’s cut the distance to 30% so drivers will be able to push without thinking how to save these tyres”

    1. Yes, I found that comment disappointing, I was hoping for a lights to flag race without pitstops and tyre management.
      And please, those of you that find tyre strategy the most exciting part of F1, understand that it is these tyres and their management that make the majority of race laps uneventful .

      1. I think you forgot about fuel restrictions, engine/mechanical endurance and aerodynamic effects, @hohum. They also contribute just as much as tyres to how the teams and drivers approach racing in F1 these days.
        Having the mythically perfect tyres that many seem to want would help everyone equally – attackers and defenders. It’s a zero-sum scenario in itself.

  13. It will be interesting how the penalties and damage that will inevitably come during sprint qualifying will affect the proper race on Sunday. Ross, I’d say you really are opening a can of worms this weekend, and you won’t be on a fishing trip this time.

    1. @ferrox-glideh

      Ross, I’d say you really are opening a can of worms this weekend, and you won’t be on a fishing trip this time.

      Interesting comment as that could well be the basic idea from the American paid fisherman

  14. With just one free practice session ahead of (pre)qualification, that may cause some surprises in the order.
    Then the teams have another practice session to fix whatever did not work, so there will be faster cars behind slower ones in the sprint race. And everything needs to happen on track, no pit stops planned.

    The Q2 sets of the 10 fastest driver in qualifying will be used in the feature race, I get it? That too will create some disruption when the sprint race mixes up the order.

    So I don’t know. It could enhance the show, but there’s a wheel of fortune vibe about it.

  15. I really don’t mind two races per weekend. F1 is in the minority compared to other race classes. But I think the reward for scoring well in the qualifying race is too little compared to the risks of falling back, so people will be very careful. But we will see, I am open minded.

    1. @matthijs

      F1 is in the minority compared to other race classes.

      Not really as most of the top tier categories only have 1 race over a weekend. It’s really only the lesser categories which feature 2-3 races which also tend to all be shorter.

      Reason been that the top tier categories want the race to be the main focal point of the weekend so it builds to that & they don’t want extra races to make the main race feel like a lesser event.

      All adding a 2nd gimmick sprint race is going to do is make the main grand prix feel less special which is a huge negative & why Ross Brawn is doing everything to try & say the gimmick sprint race isn’t a race when i think anyone with half a brain can see that it is indeed a race. It will have a start, all the drivers will ‘race’ for about half hour, they will wave a chequered flag & we will have a winner. It’s a race so ross, liberty & the gimmick lovers should just call it that & admit that the grand prix is going to be severely devalued by having a 2nd race.

      1. @roger-ayles For me the value of Sunday’s race will not be devalued at all. It will be run as normal and it is still worth the lion’s share of the Championship points each weekend, and the teams will be racing on Sunday for said points as normal.

      2. @roger-ayles, I’m hoping that the sprint race is a way of trialling alternative race rules, like doing away with mandatory crud tyres and pit stops, to get back to proper racing.

  16. Sprint race qualifying had to have originated with Bernie. It’s the sort of cockamamie idea he’d adore.

  17. ian dearing
    6th July 2021, 15:55

    F1 have the most compelling argument for keeping the sprint and it will also be the ultimate deciding factor in it’s favour. They have a sponsor for it.

    1. That’s the ugly truth, right there…

      1. Ugh, I hate to agree but ultimately money talks – especially in this sport. On the topic of money will this sprint race format not increase costs for the teams? I thought we were meant to be cutting costs?

        1. @alex, I was wondering that also, and what about engines per season, surely sprint races would take annual racing events from 23 to the equivalent of 30 X 300km races, and if the teams have to de-rate the PUs for the sprint (all?) races it will entirely defeat it’s purpose.

        2. uGh, i HAte tO AGREe bUT ULtImAteLY moneY taLKS – eSpeciALLy IN THis spoRT. On thE tOpIC OF MONeY will ThIS sprINT RACe foRMat noT IncReAse coSts fOR tHE TEams? i THougHt WE wERE meaNT to BE cUtTINg COSTs?

          Are you writing this from a hiding spot?

  18. I dnt understand why change the current qualifying format. Its very good. They need to focus on better racing that is making the cars more able to follow and actually rave each other. And unfair penalties.

    1. Of course they are well focused on the night and day difference to the cars that will come for next year and onwards. And current qualifying can still be viewed on most Saturdays and a few Fridays.

  19. Steve Jackson
    6th July 2021, 16:10

    I don’t see how all the unwashed here can see it’s a bad idea yet those in the ivory towers….oh

    Qualify for a sprint race then go again from qualifying order for a full distance.

    Fastest qualifier should be pole position barring penalties.

    But yeah, basically the sprint race is a bad concept without a reverse grid and proper points.

    1. I agree. I actually really enjoy the qualifying format we currently have. I recognise the need to keep things fresh in the sport but this just seems gimmicky and a bit desperate to me.

  20. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    6th July 2021, 16:26

    Another challenging weekend for Mercedes. They have exactly one hour to run, correlate, evaluate and fine tune their upgrade package before qualifying. One hour! Ouch!

  21. Sprint Qualifying is a solution in search of a problem, or the answer to a question nobody asked; choose your adage.
    There are already too many Grand Prix races in a season, making each one less “grand”. Now we have a Saturday race in addition. They are overexposing the product and diluting the offering. A Grand Prix used to be special, one of nine or twelve or fifteen, and winning a Grand Prix was special; no more. I’ll still watch, but it’s a bit sad.

    1. I disagree, as far as I’m concerned even 52 races a year, every single week would be fine; I understand teams and drivers have a limit, but as a fan I don’t.

  22. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    6th July 2021, 16:56

    If it’s bad it’s bad, if it’s good it’s good – we’ll see. To be honest It’ll probably be a little mix of both, some positives, some negatives. But that’s what a trial should be. We could discover some good in it… or some bad.

  23. Thankfully this website and the comments do not represent the vast majority of F1 viewers. I really can’t fathom the opposition to the idea of seeing two races on a Grand Prix weekend. If someone wants to see the spectacle of qualifying that will still be occurring as well. Change happens. Enjoy the races.

    1. Thankfully this website and the comments do not represent the vast majority of F1 viewers.

      And you know this how exactly?

      1. Own a multi-platfrom TV performance and analytics company who provides data to major content producers and sports promoters. Literally exactly what I do is measure audience opinion and viewing habits to provide objective information for sponsorship marketing and activations. Cool?

        1. People watch TV?

          1. “multi-platfrom”

        2. @spencer Very cool.

        3. Yet no numbers are shown. Gotta reveal some numbers if you want to back that statement. So no, not cool. Smells a lot like a gut feeling rather than actual numbers.

          1. @montalvo Commercial in confidence perhaps :)

        4. @spencer as others have noted, whilst you say that you “measure audience opinion and viewing habits”, you’ve not said what it is that you have actually measured or what measures you have taken to ensure that your audiences are representative of the wider audience as a whole (particularly when we are dealing with an international sport).

          Do you have any figures that you can provide to back up your assertion? How have those figures been obtained, and what long term monitoring have you been undertaking to see how those opinions have changed over time?

          Is your survey confined to a particular audience? After all, there is the issue that there has been a tendency for that sort of research to be concentrated in a few places, particularly the USA, which raises the question of whether your results really just reflect the views of the USA and not the wider world.

          Similarly, how are you planning to follow up on those same viewers after the sprint races to evaluate what they thought of those events afterwards? How are you evaluating whether the event is successful, and how are you taking into account the potential short term spike in interest that might occur due to the novelty factor of the events?

          Also, when Liberty Media ran their “Fan Voice” survey, they ended up closing that poll and took it offline when it became apparent fairly early on that the reaction was largely negative. Why is it that their poll also showed such a negative reaction?

  24. Stupid idea and for me zero novelty value.

  25. Lyle Clarke
    6th July 2021, 18:32

    I hate the idea anyway but this has completely ruined it;

    “In a further break from tradition, Formula 1 has stated the official holder of pole position for the weekend will be the winner of the race, rather than the fastest driver in qualifying.”

    1. True, that’s not great.

  26. Ross Brawn’s comments are the teaser for what we’ll all suffer during saturday at Silverstone. They’ll force the excitement everywhere… I bet Crofty is already practising his shouting…

    I said from the beginning that this sprint race idea can only backfire. On one hand, it could be extremely boring making it a pointless effort. And on the other hand, if it is exciting, it’ll make the normal feature race pale in comparison, even more so than we’re used to. What kind of positives could you get from that?

    Besides, at no point during any race I’ve watched have I thought “man, this would be incredible if it was 3 times shorter”. It brings up all the negatives of racing: very little reward for huge risk and enough time to sort out the fastest from the slowest even easier, giving an even bigger advantage to the stronger teams to wrap up a good weekend regardless of starting position…

  27. Sprint races on Saturdays would be a great idea if everyone raced in exactly the same type of car i.e. same engine, chassis and set-up.

    All the advantages of driving a Mercedes or Red Bull would be lost and we’d see how talented those driving for lesser teams really were.

    Drivers would also really go for it with overtakes as they’d have their own car to drive in the race the following day if they had a crash.

    F1 could also use the sprint races to trial new tech, tyre compounds etc.

    Obviously with cost-cutting it will never happen but as a concept it would work far better than what we’ve got in store at Silverstone.

  28. Aren’t the sprint races something that conflict with the idea of cost cutting?
    I hope the sprint race leads to lots of expensive damage — that’s one way the teams will decide it is not worth it.

  29. That ought to sell it to the casuals! I bet everyone’s super pumped now, thanks Lewis!

  30. I’m more annoyed by poll going to the winner of the sprint race than the sprint race itself. I don’t see the problem in testing the format. But poll = fastest driver over one lap. That’s the point. Not the fastest over multiple laps. And they could easily stipulate that the winner of one lap qualifying on Friday is the poll winner (for the records). Why change that?!

    1. Poll is a sort of survey, like driver of the weekend poll btw!

      1. Cheers @esploratore1 must have been a temporary (?) brain fade!

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      7th July 2021, 13:34

      @david-br I guess the point is that the driver “on pole” means he starts the (actual) race from P1.

      But yeah it potentially dilutes the actual pole records a little. Only if the fastest in Q3 gets passed during the sprint race though.

  31. Not only does the sprint race devalue the Grand Prix, it also devalues qualifying. That intensity of battling for pole position will no longer be there, since it can all change again the next morning, in ‘other qualifying’. It all seems really unnecessary and counter-intuitive to me. But what do I know – I’ve only been watching F1 for 25 years, I’m no longer relevant.

  32. It can be interesting. The trade of between one lap pace and race pace comes into the equation with a higher weightage. I think this actually disadvantages excellent qualifiers like George Russell and Charles Leclerc , while helping guys like Sergio Perez .

    If the soft tires hold up for 17 laps ( Silverstone is infamous for tyre blow outs), we can be in for some surprises. Fingers crossed.

  33. Completely wrong way to go about it for F1.

    Saturday/Qualifying should ALL be about speed, like the Indy 500 qualifying. Make it a huge event, maybe even have the two knock out rounds then the top ten only given a single flying lap. But whatever, the message of ultimate speed and energy should have been turned up to 11!

  34. That’s funny from what I see most F1 races are processions, they had to put in mandatory tyre changes or it the order would never change!

    1. And drs.

  35. Sprint races should be man with most points starts at back and so on…..result is grid for main event simples

  36. So pole goes to sprint race winner?

  37. I think the key point, for me, that hasn’t been addressed is that a sprint race can easily mix things up … in a SPEC SERIES!! When all the cars are equal and the driver is the difference, then a sprint race can lead to a driver from a lesser team making a big move up the pack. But the same can be done in other qualifying formats, like the one already in F1.

    If the issue is that they want to mix up qualifying more, then you have to address performance across cars. End. You can add ballast, or give teams more or less wind tunnel time or practice or fuel or whatever. There are ways to address car performance differential, but that’s the only way for qualifying to be more variable. Some people would be okay with that, some not.

    But just so we are clear. If the idea is something along the lines of: races are boring and qualifying is boring because qualifying does not vary. Then swapping out qualifying for racing, or inserting another race, won’t fix that. You might get some RNG instances where a car fails or a car gets wrecked, because you’re adding more miles, but that’s it.

    This whole thing is DOA. If you want closer racing, address that issue. This, in my opinion, is NOT going to lead to that.

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