F1 will have radical changes in Silverstone this weekend, following the introduction of F1 Sprint. Here is what to expect from an F1 attempt set to spice up the experience of an entire Grand Prix weekend for fans worldwide.
F1 Sprint will last for 25-30 minutes, and it will cover 100km (17 laps, in Silverstone’s case). It is intended to present a short and fast-paced racing performance like a Twenty20 cricket game- with drivers racing vigorously from beginning to end without having to pit.
The first three winners will be awarded points. The first will receive three points, the second two, and the third one. A podium celebration will not be involved, as the privilege of the three top finishers will be represented in Sunday’s Grand Prix. However, the top finisher will receive a trophy in Parc Ferme, given in the same way to the tire the pole-sitter gets from F1’s tire supplier Pirelli after winning.
The finishing order of the run race will determine the grid for Sunday’s special occasion, where the existing format will not be changed. There will be a more advanced grid process for F1 Sprint, as press personalities and guests will be allowed in the grid contrary to Covid times cases from the Grands Prix. For Sunday’s primary race, moments of the National Anthem will be different.
What will happen to the qualifying session?
The traditional one-hour session, divided into three sections, which has caused many dramas in recent races, will remain unchanged. However, it will be moved to Friday, giving some solemnity to the first day of track action. The session will also take place later in the day to make it easier for working fans to enjoy the race.
Tire regulations for this session will be adjusted, allowing only soft tires throughout the race. Consequently, participants will be free to begin Sunday’s race on any compound without having to run the tire they qualify on in Q2.
There will be only two practice sessions over the weekend, each going for one hour. The first session will happen on Friday, with teams being free to use any two sets of their weekend assignment of 12. The allocation of sets has been reduced by one set as the running had reduced in total over three days. The teams must set aside five sets of softs (for qualifying) and two sets of tires, chosen freely (for the race). It is assumed the teams will prefer the harder compound for a basic set-up and probably one soft as they begin to check at the performance.
The cars will then get into parc Ferme after FP1, before entering FP2, which will happen on Saturday morning. During FP2, the teams will be allowed to use one set of tires of their preference. They will then go back to Parc Ferme before F1 Sprint and then return in the quarantined environment overnight ahead of Sunday’s run.
What will happen in wet conditions?
In cases where the practice and qualifying sessions are performed in wet conditions, teams will be provided with an extra set of intermediates tires but must be sure to take back a used set of those before F1 Sprint. If F1 Sprint is held in wet conditions, they may choose to return one set of used or intermediate tires later to be given another new set.
About Parc Ferme.
Changing major components in Parc Ferme is prohibited to prevent teams from making unique “qualifying cars” and restricting the number of hours needed for car preparations for the next day. However, rules can be changed on car rearrangement for Saturday’s FP2 session to be more useful.
To be safe, teams can adjust brake friction material for a new, identical set that was used in qualifying and F1 Sprint before the Grand Prix. They can also change the brake ducts. There are allowances for power unit and gearbox cooling changes if the surrounding temperatures change remarkably or the weight distribution varies.
Suppose a front wing is damaged in F1 Sprint, for instance, and the team has no other latest specification front wings. In that case, they can run a used specification without being penalized. Traditionally, changing a specification could have led to a penalty.
The future of F1 Sprint.
The first F1 Sprint will be held at Silverstone. The other two races are yet to be announced. Monza is widely known to be participating in one of the races. If F1 Sprint works, the format will be rolled out at selected weekends instead of at every Grand Prix.