F1 approves sprint qualifying

New format will be used three times across the 2021 season.

F1 approves sprint qualifying

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  • Sprint qualifying set to take place on the Saturday of a race weekend
  • Top three finishers from sprint qualifying to receive points

The proposed Formula One sprint qualifying format has been unanimously approved by the Formula One Commission.

All ten teams, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and Formula One have been consulted ahead of the vote to approve the new format on 26th April.

The sprint qualifying sessions will take place three times during the 2021 Formula One season, with two taking place at yet to-be-confirmed European-based circuits and one outside of Europe.

The sessions have been designed with an eye on increasing on-track action during race weekends and engaging with fans.

On the Friday of a race weekend with sprint qualifying, a qualifying session will take place after the first practice session to determine the grid order for the sprint qualifying on Saturday. The results of the sprint qualifying will be used to determine Sunday's race grid.

In addition, the top three finishers of the sprint qualifying sessions will gain world championship points. First place will receive three points, second place will receive two and third place will receive one.

“I am pleased to see that Formula One is seeking new ways to engage with its fans and enlarge the spectacle of a race weekend through the concept of sprint qualifying," said Jean Todt, president of the FIA.

"It was made possible thanks to the continued collaboration between the FIA, Formula One, and all of the teams. Formula One is showing itself to be stronger than ever with all stakeholders working together in this way, and much has been done to ensure that the sporting, technical and financial aspects of the format are fair.”

“Seeing the drivers battling it out over three days will be an amazing experience and I am sure the drivers will relish the fight," said Stefano Domenicali, president and chief executive of Formula One.

"I am delighted that all the teams supported this plan, and it is a testament to our united efforts to continue to engage our fans in new ways while ensuring we remain committed to the heritage and meritocracy of our sport."

The 2021 Formula One season continues on 2nd May at Portimao, Portugal.