At the venerable age of 70, F1 seeks to reinvent itself: thus, on Monday “unanimously” it adopted a format of a 100-kilometer “qualifying sprint race” on Saturday of three Grands Prix this season, “two in Europe and one outside. Europe, “F1 announced in a statement.
“I am delighted that all teams have supported this plan, and that demonstrates our joint efforts to deliver new to our fans, while respecting the legacy and meritocracy of our sport,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“F1 is stronger than ever with all its component parts working together, and much has been done to ensure that the sporting, technical and economic aspects of this format are fair,” added Jean Todt, President of the F1. International Automobile Federation (FIA).
“On Friday there will be a qualifying session after the first free practice session, which will determine the starting grid for qualifying for Saturday’s sprint,” the statement said. “The results of the sprint classification on Saturday will determine the grid for Sunday’s race,” with an average distance of 300 kilometers.
A second one-hour free rehearsal session is also scheduled for Saturday morning.
In addition, “the top three of the sprint classification on Saturday will receive points” for the drivers classification: three for the first, two for the second and one for the third.
As of Friday’s classifications, the teams will not be able to freely modify their cars.
However, at the moment no details were offered on the economic measures involved in this project. Indeed, some fear that these three races will entail additional costs for the teams, which have a spending limit from this course on.
– ¿Silverstone, Monza e Interlagos? –
The Grand Prix to be held in this new format have not yet been announced.
Silverstone (Great Britain) on July 18, Monza (Italy) on September 12, and Interlagos (Brazil) on November 7 start as favorites, although everything will depend on the health situation.
Since its acquisition by the Americans of Liberty Media in 2017, F1 has been considering new formats to make the Grand Prix more attractive.
“It’s a real suspense all three days,” Alpine CEO Marcin Budkowski estimated in preseason. “For the fans it would be three days full of emotion.”
But some purists, such as four-time German world champion Sebastian Vettel, were suspicious. “Why should there be a pre-final before the final, what is the interest?”, He wondered.
This agreement must now be approved by the World Motor Racing Council, whose next meeting is scheduled for July 9, although it should be nothing more than a formalism.
pel / dep / bde / iga