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Method 1 is making a break with history at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, with the introduction of a brand new weekend format that features a second race along with the principle occasion.
Will probably be the primary time in history that the grand prix is just not the one F1 race on a world championship weekend.
So-called ‘sprint qualifying’ is a shorter race on Saturday afternoon that can determine the grid for the principle race on Sunday.
The beginning order for the shorter race – which might be simply over 100km in size, or about one third of the gap of a grand prix – might be set in a traditional qualifying session shifted to Friday afternoon.
The hope is that it’ll boost the motion, add further curiosity and supply extra aggressive jeopardy by way of the weekend.
F1 managing director Ross Brawn says: “I’m very optimistic. I feel it is going to be an excellent occasion, an amazing race.
“And I feel the drivers will go for it, as a result of do we predict Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are going to have a distinct mindset going into that first nook, as a result of it’s a sprint? I don’t assume so. However that’s to be established, and that’s what we have to discover out.”
Championship factors might be awarded to the highest three finishers – three for first, two for second and one for third.
How has it been obtained?
Usually, drivers have given the thought a cautious welcome.
Many have stated that it’s a good suggestion to strive new concepts, and that they’ll reserve judgement on the deserves of this specific system till after they’ve tried it.
Williams driver George Russell stated: “It’s an attention-grabbing idea and we’ve acquired to provide it an opportunity. If it brings motion and pleasure then that’s for the very best pursuits of everybody.”
And 4-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who drives for Aston Martin, stated: “It makes the weekend a bit extra intense. It’s a must to come up with your set-up pretty shortly after simply hitting the monitor. We’ll see if folks prefer it.”
Why is it taking place?
The hope is that introducing a second, shorter race will enhance each viewers curiosity in and the variability of a grand prix weekend.
The thought for the most recent model of sprint-race qualifying has developed after the unique plans for a reverse-grid sprint qualifying race – with the sphere beginning in reverse championship order – had been blocked final yr by Mercedes.
The hope is that the brand new construction of the race weekend may very well be a optimistic change for F1 itself and race organisers, by growing spectator curiosity and probably earnings for each.
The argument is that shifting qualifying provides a aggressive curiosity to Fridays, which at the moment characteristic two observe classes which might be used solely for the groups and drivers to arrange their vehicles and plans for the weekend.
And different classes which have added a second race on Saturdays forward of the principle occasion on Sundays – akin to Germany’s DTM Touring Automobile championship – have seen a rise in tv audiences.
The transfer will contain a collection of different sporting adjustments to the usual race weekend and is meant as an experiment to see whether or not it introduces further ranges of uncertainty and curiosity to the weekend’s motion.
The plan is for there to be additional weekends with sprint qualifying this yr, after which an evaluation might be made on its affect. Whether it is judged to have been profitable, it may very well be used at extra grands prix subsequent season.
What are the foundations?
The ‘sprint qualifying’ might be over 17 laps. Tyre selection for the beginning is free, and there’s no obligation to make a pit cease for a distinct compound, as there’s on Sunday.
The grid for the sprint qualifying might be set by a traditional-style qualifying session, which has been moved to Friday from Saturday.
As it’s a work day, it’s going to begin later than regular at 18:00 UK time, within the hope of attracting a bigger tv viewers than can be the case had been it run on the extra conventional time of 14:00.
How will the race weekend change?
The weekend might be restructured within the following methods:
Friday morning observe will run as regular, whereas the same old Saturday afternoon qualifying session might be held on Friday as a substitute.
Parc fermé – the purpose at which groups can not make main adjustments to their vehicles – might be introduced ahead to the beginning of the Friday qualifying session. The explanation for that is to forestall groups constructing vehicles particularly for qualifying, which might enhance prices.
Tyre use might be restricted throughout the weekend in comparison with a traditional grand prix, with an advanced algorithm geared toward growing the jeopardy for the groups.
– In first observe, groups can use solely two of the three sorts of tyre – laborious, medium and tender
– Qualifying might be run solely on the tender compound, with every workforce getting 5 units
– One set of tyres just for second observe on Saturday morning, of the workforce’s selection
– Two units of tyres for the sprint qualifying race, of the workforce’s selection
– That leaves solely two remaining new units of tyres for every workforce for the grand prix. There may be free selection when it comes to the compound for the beginning of the race.
How is it prone to play out?
F1 has billed sprint qualifying as a brief blast that ought to generate each pleasure of itself and the potential for a shake-up of the grid for the principle grand prix.
Brawn says they’ve “actually tried to encourage flat-out racing the entire time. We wished to don’t have any holding again in qualifying, no humorous tyre decisions within the qualifying and the identical within the sprint.”
The idea of the sprint race being a flat-out, no-holds-barred occasion that differs from the principle grand prix has been pushed closely by Brawn as consultant of the business rights holder.
However there’s a trace of gross sales pitch about this, as there isn’t a apparent motive why it could be the case, and a quantity why it is not going to and can’t be.
The drivers will be unable to push tougher on this race than they will within the grand prix, as they face the identical restrictions as they do in an extended race.
The Pirelli tyres stay the identical, and are as susceptible to thermal degradation and the requirement for cautious driving to make sure they don’t overheat as ever.
And the gap of the race, and the arithmetic of timing, imply that each one groups might be desirous to keep away from pit stops and run the sprint qualifying on a single set of tyres.
Strategists predict that the racing will seemingly distil right into a collection of what inside F1 are often known as ‘DRS trains’.
These are clumps of vehicles, following one another carefully, however no-one capable of overtake as a result of every has use of the DRS overtaking assist as they’re inside one second of one another, and the usage of it on one automobile cancels out its effectiveness on one other.
Because of this, when requested about his expectations for the sprint qualifying, Lewis Hamilton stated: “It’s going to simply be a prepare, in all probability. Hopefully there might be some overtaking, however most probably it received’t be too thrilling.”
In essence, then, ‘sprint qualifying’ is successfully the primary stint of a traditional grand prix being run on Saturday, and overtaking and shut racing is not any roughly seemingly than it’s in the principle occasion itself.
Lowering the possibilities of various tempo between the vehicles even additional, strategists say the chances are high that the overwhelming majority of groups will select the identical tyre for sprint qualifying – the medium compound, because it presents the very best compromise between tempo and sturdiness for a continuous race of this size.
On high of that, the drivers might be extra-wary of avoiding an incident, as any collision or bodywork injury will imply a begin decrease down the grid for the grand prix itself, when the details are scored.