The question for many Formula 1’s enthusiasts is how exactly the newly introduced sprint qualifying races will affect the teams. The first sprint qualifying event, which will be the first of its kind in Formula 1 is set to take place in a few weeks. It will take place at Silverstone and the event will only include five races.
However, team engineers are already exercising their minds aiming to understand the implications of this new event before taking the stage. So, should we be excited for the F1 sprint race qualifying during the Silverstone Grand Prix?
What is changing at Silverstone?
If you are a fan of the F1 or an intimate enthusiast, then it’s most probable that any F1 race will excite you. As you may already know, all the teams participating in F1 races are used to following the established routines via FP1, FP2, FP3. They do this to prepare for the qualifying stage that usually takes place on Saturday, and for the race that follows the day after Saturday.
However, this normal routine is only viable if other conditions such as the weather remain favorable. That said, let’s learn more about this new F1 sprint qualifying that is already planned to take place at the Silverstone Grand Prix.
Sprint Race on Saturday
When transport became an issue, it meant there would no longer be the Friday track action that we were used to. And a specific planned break or breather alongside tradition took place at Imola the past year. After this happened, the Saturday morning practice session meant that teams go straight into qualification. This introduced format gave people a little teaser of how the sprint race qualifying weekend would unfold in future.
Additionally, the first session, which was the only one, mainly focused on the performance of a single lap, while preparing for the qualifications. From that experience, it’s now certain that the sprint weekend Fridays will also follow the same pattern. This will happen with the FP1 being allowed to last for only an hour. The duration of this coming event is of course shorter compared to the Imola’s 90-minute morning session that took place on a Saturday.
But unlike the Imola situation or event, this time the teams now know that they have an FP2 session that will take place on Saturday after the FP1. This gives the racing teams more time to organize and finalize on any race set-up work for a better experience.
The good news now is that all the racing teams have been involved in creating the racing rules. Therefore, the teams are now mostly focused on fully understanding how this new sprint format will affect the weekends at Monza, Silverstone, and the upcoming flyaway venue.
Full capacity expected for Silverstone
The first Formula 1 sprint qualifying race is planned to happen in the Silverstone stage on 17 July this year. After this first event, the second one is also planned and expected to take place in Monza as the second stage. The second event in Monza is set to take place in September in the Italian Grand Prix.
That’s not all, the third and final sprint qualifying race is rumored to happen in Interlagos, Brazil. It’s expected to take place in November but this will only be possible if the country’s high Covid-19 infections manage to reduce at a favorable rate to host the event. Without this, the host location might easily be rendered unsafe for the final sprint qualifying race.
The Formula 1 managing director was in fact very happy that Silverstone would be the first place this sprint qualifying race will take place. And it will happen at a favorable time just after the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted following the increased success of fighting the pandemic in England.
And come July 17th, the Formula 1 fans will have something to cheer for and the racers a crowd to please and feed their adrenaline from. In fact, it’s expected that this year’s British Grand Prix is expected to fill the 140,000 capacity at Silverstone hospitality. Now this is something to really look forward to as the fans prepare to get back on the stands and cheer for their favorite teams.
That’s why it’s so important for the sprint qualifying race to go well in the first three sessions because commemorating the return of normalcy in the Formula 1 space, which is something to be excited about.