There will be a sprint race for the first time at the British Grand Prix. Formula 1 drivers are not very excited. t-online explains how the race weekend is going.
What’s new at Silverstone: For the first time in its 70-year history, Formula 1 is holding a sprint race to determine the grid. As a result, the usual track for a racing weekend is quite mixed. Officials are hoping for a spectacle, and drivers are not yet convinced of the plans.
t-online explains the details.
This is how the weekend race works:
►Friday: In the beginning there is only one free training (From 3:30 pm live on t-online), the second Friday session is already the first qualifier (From 7 pm on the live tape on t-online): In the usual coordination with Q1, Q2 and Q3, three divisions handle the starting grid for the race.
► Samstage: Another free training session starts at 1 pm.In the live tape at t-online), followed by the new qualifying sprint race (From 5:30 pm on the live tape on t-online).
A third of the Grand Prix distance, 17 laps at Silverstone, should be covered, and after about half an hour the grid will be ready for Sunday’s race.
►Sonntag: The Great Britain Grand Prix starts at 4pm (in the live tape on t-online).
What should a sprint race bring?
First of all: extra points. Because the sprint winner not only secures pole position in the race on Sunday, but also earns three points in the world championship. The runner-up gets two points, and the driver in third gets one more point.
From a Formula 1 perspective, this approach outweighs the opportunities. If Friday is used only for preparation, the three-day competition sessions are supposed to enhance the weekend. In addition, the judges are confident that they have laid the foundation for the 30-minute hard race. While tire wear in a Grand Prix often leads to a wait-and-see tactic, there should be full throttle in racing the full distance.
What do drivers think and the difference in that?
Enthusiasm is limited. Kimi Raikkonen didn’t know anything about the operation until a few days ago, and even Lewis Hamilton thought it wouldn’t be “particularly exciting”. The problem: In theory, drivers could drive a lot more aggressively in the sprint than in a grand prix – but failing in a short sprint would ruin Sunday.
This is why Sebastian Vettel is not entirely excited either: “If there are opportunities in the race, you will take them, but the most important thing is to finish the race. Otherwise, you will start from the back on Sunday.” Not too elated, Red Bull star, World Cup leader Max Verstappen said, “Neither for nor against. But of course I want to win this race as well. There are three points for that.”
Should there be sprints more often?
After Silverstone, there will also be a sprint race at Monza and in an outdoor race, after which it will be decided: if the format is useful, it will also be applied in some races in the coming years. But it probably won’t completely replace the regular qualifiers. “In Monaco, for example, success is not likely to be possible. We want to distribute the sprint races as special events on the calendar,” said Ross Brawn, sporting director of Formula 1:
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