Formula One Set to Debut New Sprint Qualifying Format This Season

1,512
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Columbus, Ohio
I feel like the tracks they debut this format on will be the real deciding factor on whether or not people accept it. They're going to have to use ones where something meaningful can happen in such a short distance, nobody will care if it just ends up being a 100km parade lap.
 

NotThePrez

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NotThePrez
NotThePrez
I feel like the tracks they debut this format on will be the real deciding factor on whether or not people accept it. They're going to have to use ones where something meaningful can happen in such a short distance, nobody will care if it just ends up being a 100km parade lap.

Calling it now, they're going to pick Monaco as one of the races.
 
11,061
England
Bromley
V16T91
E0nLeader
Calling it now, they're going to pick Monaco as one of the races.
Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos (if it can happen) have been earmarked as the tracks for this.


I have many thoughts on this. All of them scathing. Good job I've got a blog I can spit them all out on at some stage soon.
 
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20,101
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
I can't see how this is going to be good for the race, but as we know it was never about that. It was/is about FOM making the whole weekend more marketable, get more bums on seats and eyes on TV screens across the whole weekend, not just Sunday and probably Saturday.

But yeah, all this is going to do is return the grid to its natural order before the main race even starts. With the current set up, one mistake by the top guys or anyone in qualifying can put you several places down the grid, or one stellar lap can put you up near the front. Then you've got it all to do in the race.

Now, barring accidents or mechanical issues, Red Bull and Mercedes are always going to rise up to the front in that ~45 minute race and the rest of the grid is going to shake itself out as well. So all of that action is going to be transferred to the sprint race, and leave us with a pretty dull main event, if all things go normally, no heavy rain or whatever.

Oh, and just giving out more points to Mercedes and Red Bull. Cracking stuff.
 
20,101
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
This would be interesting, but are there current rules in place that would stop attempts to sandbag?

The proposed reverse grid idea would have seen them starting the sprint race in reverse championship order then starting the main race in the order they finished that race, so no place for sandbagging. But the whole idea was scrapped anyway, so here we are.
 

Cap'n Jack

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I can’t complain. I’m happy to see more racing over the weekend. One thing that isn’t clear to me is whether the top 10 qualifiers will still start the race on their Q2 tyres or not, anyone know?

Edit: a Reddit user answered my question, so no, the Q2 rule will not be in effect on the race weekends featuring a sprint race.
 
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CLowndes888

I want to be monkey
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I didn't think the teams would agree to this. Having an extra race will increase the chances of a crash and could seriously hamper those with poor race pace. Using a "race" to qualify negates the purpose of qualifying and I don't how to feel about that. You would be extremely demoralised if you set a good qualifying time then lost spots in the qualifying race. But on the other side of the coin, you could go up the order. It's sure to cause mayhem as drivers will be determined to improve or at least keep their position for the GP.
 
20,101
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
I didn't think the teams would agree to this.

It's not the first time they agreed to something because they think overall it will increase their revenues. That's what they're all banking on, this massively increasing viewership on a Friday and Saturday.

That's what they care about at the end of the day, not the actual entertainment/quality of the product for viewers.
 
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2,403
Scotland
Dundee, Scotland
Well I have a friend that's very 'opposed' to this qualifying sprint race format for F1.

To an extent I can understand his viewpoint, me I haven't really made up my mind on this yet as I 'prefer' to see it in action to decide my thoughts and fully understand the new idea. One thing I do like from this though is that if tyres will affect the Sunday strategy then I think we may see a different approach from all the teams to the race weekend and that surely is a good thing!

I do feel however that this is the Red Bull/Mercedes show but if it works and creates some difference 'exciting' Sunday races then I will support it but if not then back to the drawing board...
 

PeterJB

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Will McLaren be faster than Ferrari?
Can Aston Martin hold off Alpine?

Find out on Su- oh, it's already decided. See you in 200 miles.

This is why is "sprint" race is too long. It's the length of an entire tyre stint. In the proper race the teams just need to replicate it three times. What's gonna happen is the drivers will spend the entire sprint race tyre saving until the last lap. Make it 5 laps, crank the engines up to 11 and floor it.
 
2,745
Austria
Austria
GTP_SnowCrash
A qualifying session for a race, which is a qualifying session for another race... :boggled:

It's worse. There's a qualfying (Q1) for a qualfying (Q2) for a qualfying (Q3) for a qualfying race for the race.

I think the tire allocations could actually make this really interesting.

I actually think it's going to make it really boring, because everyone gets the same tyres by definition for every session. Also, everyone is getting only 2 tyre sets for the main race, so as a strategy there's a mandatory 1-stop race...
 
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57
United Kingdom
Rochester, England
I'm pretty indifferent to this announcement to be honest. Hopefully it will shake things up but I'd rather they'd done something more interesting like having a reverse grid for the sprint race (which has been mooted if I remember correctly).

In terms of more action over a weekend, I'm content with what we have at the moment and not too fussed about the track action on Fridays as I can never watch it anyway due to it being a weekday. I'm not sure it'll attract new viewers/subscribers as it will still be behind the paywall. If they allowed the sprint race to be aired on a non-subscription service (e.g. the BBC in the UK or indeed YouTube) then I could see the logic as more people may try the sprint rice and then be tempted to take out a subscription. This worked for me with the WRC. When I got back into it a few years ago I started by just watching the highlights and one live stage on Red Bull TV and then took out a subscription to WRC+ to watch full coverage.

Ultimately it seems that most motorsport fans aren't thrilled with the idea and I can't see non-fans who may be enticed by the shorter length paying to watch it. I know a few people who aren't big motorsport fans who have been watching the Formula E and enjoying it because a) it's free and b) it's shorter so I suppose a sprint race could bring new fans on board if marketed right.
 
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Dotini

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CR80_Shifty
Certainly points paying sprint races are not traditional with F1.

IMHO, F1 owes what popularity it has to a sum of many factors, one of which is respect and a facsimile of adherence to tradition. If these sprint races ultimately detract from this fraying thread of continuity, I will not be surprised. But if this show-biz silicone enhancement is what it takes to keep the circus performing, then so be it.
 

Jimlaad43

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The Sprint race needs to have something chaotic happening in it, or it will end up being the same as the main GP. If, for example, this format was used somewhere like Sochi where overtaking doesn't happen, it would basically be a 400km procession rather than a 300km one. A bit of lap 1 chaos that puts some quicker guys at the back for the main race is what we need to happen in these Sprint races - or just a massive change in weather conditions.

Otherwise, if Verstappen pulls 3 seconds of Hamilton every 5 laps of the Sprint Race, and then does the same on Sunday, then it was a waste of time.

If Hamilton and Verstappen collide and get stuck in a gravel trap on lap 1 of the Sprint Race and have the start the main GP from the back, then it's a success.

But yes, if the story on Sunday's race is exactly the same as Saturday's, then we know it was a waste of time.


That said, we had 2 double-headers last year on the same layout, both of which gave us vastly different races. Races which set the order of the next one in series' like GTs and the BTCC manage to find that Race 2 is usually different to Race 1.

At least passing is possible at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos, so we do have a chance of the races being different.
 
57
United Kingdom
Rochester, England
As long as they don’t introduce fan votes for DRS or kers boosts.....

Agreed! I wish Formula E would do away with Fan Boost. Whilst it doesn't seem to make a huge amount of difference, that's all the more reason for scrapping it in my opinion.
 

TenEightyOne

I'm Slow, But I'm Wide!
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It's not the first time they agreed to something because they think overall it will increase their revenues. That's what they're all banking on, this massively increasing viewership on a Friday and Saturday.

But it costs three times as much to watch, of course. As a fan in the UK where there's no live free-to-air coverage (Silverstone excepted) the prices feel pretty steep. I've got a £20 a month deal with NowTV at the moment but when that expires I shan't be paying the 36.
 
57
United Kingdom
Rochester, England
But it costs three times as much to watch, of course. As a fan in the UK where there's no live free-to-air coverage (Silverstone excepted) the prices feel pretty steep. I've got a £20 a month deal with NowTV at the moment but when that expires I shan't be paying the 36.

Didn't realise they were hiking the price up! When mine runs out I'll probably just get a day pass to watch the main races given that there isn't a race every weekend. If it was like the old system where you could buy a day or weekend pass I could understand the logic behind sprint races as the extra race may give people more of an incentive but when the options are a day pass or a month pass I don't see it working in terms of attracting more subscribers.

I wish they'd just do something like WRC+ where you can pay a lump sum to watch the full coverage of the entire season. I guess they wouldn't make as much money that way though. Still, they may get more subscribers. My dad, who's a big motorsport fan, doesn't bother with Now TV at his place as he isn't interested in the other sports but I imagine he'd get a full season pass.
 
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LeGeNd-1

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Paraphrasing from Chain Bear, I think the idea isn't to spice up the race results (if anything, it's gonna do the opposite because any quali anomalies will be resolved by the Sprint race before the Main race). The idea is to make all 3 days more exciting, by making the first competitive session (quali) start on the first day instead of just 3 snoozefest practice sessions. The drivers have to hit the ground running from FP1, not a second to waste because 1 hour is all they have to learn the track, sort out setups and race strategy. I'm willing to give it a try personally, though the format obviously is highly track dependent as well (pointless to have 2 races at Monaco where you can't pass for example).

What I can't get around though, is why have FP2 when cars are already in parc ferme from the start of quali? :odd: I heard that it's not a "full" strict parc ferme and teams can still change some basic stuff, but why not just make it one practice session and introduce even more unknowns going into the race?
 
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