The F1 Commission voted unanimously in favour of changes to the Sprint format. These will now come into effect at the first Sprint event of the season – the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix (28-30 April).
Following discussion at the F1 Commission meeting in February, clear objectives were set by the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams to investigate how the Sprint format could be improved to increase the level of intensity on-track across the weekend, making as many sessions as possible result in a competitive sporting outcome. Following this mandate, the sport’s Advisory Committees and key Formula 1 stakeholders returned a series of recommendations targeting a Sprint format that exists separately within a Grand Prix weekend and does not result in the Sprint setting the grid for Sunday’s main event, delivers more ‘jeopardy’ though a reduction in practice time and provides a greater incentive to drivers to race hard on Saturday.
The Sprint will therefore become a standalone element, with a qualifying session – to be called Sprint Shootout – to determine the grid for the Sprint, which will carry the same points system as last season. The outcome of the Sprint will therefore no longer determine the grid for the Grand Prix, with Qualifying for the Grand Prix taking place on Friday.
The proposals that have been agreed by all stakeholders result in the following format changes:
The Sprint Shootout will be a shortened version of traditional Qualifying:
Penalties will be applied as follows:
Following this successful vote and concurrent approval by the World Motor Sport Council by e-vote, all stakeholders believe that this will boost the spectacle of Sprint weekends and enhance track action for fans around the world. Thanks to the close working relationship between the FIA, FOM as well as the sport’s ten Formula 1 teams, moving the changes from concept to regulation has been accomplished swiftly and positively.
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