Formula 1 will trial a sprint qualifying format at three select grand prix’s in 2021 following a unanimous agreement between the series’ bosses, the FIA and all 10 teams.
Sprint races have been a major topic of discussion the past few months as F1 revealed its ambition to shakeup a regular grand prix weekend to engage with new fans.
The idea had gained broad support from all 10 teams, but an agreement was delayed due to concerns over costs for car damage.
The addition of a qualifying sprint race will be run over 100km on a Saturday afternoon, replacing the one-hour qualifying session which moves to a Friday.
Qualifying will determine the grid for Saturday’s sprint race, with the top-three finishers scoring points, three for first, two for second and one for third.
Drivers will have two sets of free tyres to choose for the sprint race, leaving them two remaining sets for the full grand prix distance on Sunday.
There will be two practice sessions, one on Friday morning prior to qualifying, and a second run on Saturday morning before the sprint race.
Two European venues will host a sprint qualifying race, which is widely expected to be Silverstone and Monza, with one non-European round set to take place in Brazil.
“We are excited by this new opportunity that will bring our fans an even more engaging race weekend in 2021,” said Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“Seeing the drivers battling it out over three days will be an amazing experience and I am sure the drivers will relish the fight.
“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.”
FIA President Jean Todt added: “I am pleased to see that Formula 1 is seeking new ways to engage with its fans and enlarge the spectacle of a race weekend through the concept of Sprint Qualifying. It was made possible thanks to the continued collaboration between the FIA, Formula 1, and all of the teams.
“F1 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.”