New Sprint race tweaks are here!

RED BULL RING, AUSTRIA - JULY 09: Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18 during the Austrian GP at Red Bull Ring on Saturday July 09, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

F1 has agreed to changes for this season with regards to the Sprint race format. The Sprint race was introduced to F1 in 2021 and while many liked it, there was a consensus that some tweaks to the format should be made. Apparently some of those tweaks have been approved.

Fridays now feature an FP1 session and standard qualifying session to set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Saturdays will include the actual 100km Sprint race but there will be am additional qualifying session called the ‘Sprint Shootout’ which replaces the previous FP2 seen on the Saturday morning of Sprint weekends

The shootout will be a shorter session than standard qualifying, with SQ1 set to run for 12 minutes, SQ2 for 10 minutes and SQ3 for eight minutes. New tires are mandatory for each phase, with mediums for SQ1 and SQ2, and softs for SQ3.

The thought here is that since the Sprint race is self contained and not impactful to the actual race on Sunday, the drivers and teams will push harder and the racing will be better. It did lead to a discussion over the umber of power unit usage, with approval given to increase the number of internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K elements for 2023 only from three to four.

Any breach of parc feme will result in a pit lane start for the Sprint and race, and any power unit related penalties will apply to the race, unless they are also a parc ferme breach.

Additionally, any grid penalties in first practice or qualifying will apply to the race; any grid penalties in the Sprint Shootout will apply to the Sprint; and any grid penalties in the Sprint will apply to the race.

It’s an interesting number of changes to issue in season, if you ask me, and room for some confusion as well as one of those typical F1 pragmatism moves that begets issue no one ever anticipated. I’m also curious about the cost cap given you are hoping the drivers will go for it during the shootout and damage will most likely occur as well as the increased cost of running.

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It’s official folks: The Formula 1 Race Weekend has become a bloated walrus, ready to explode.
“Let’s watch six qualifying sessions in one weekend” said no one ever. ~X8

Brock Totman

I’m just confused why they can’t use one qualifying season for the start grid of the race and the sprint. I agree with the power unit issue as well, they are almost doubling the time those engines are run in anger on those weekends

Xean Drury

I’m still of the opinion that they should use the previous race finish as the Sprint grid. And leave Quali and the Race alone as their own thing. ~X8

Tim C

If you’ve watched NASCAR over the last decade or so, almost every time they have tried to “spice up the show” on a race weekend it’s usually not worked out so well. They lost a huge number of their hard core / diehard fans with these changes and they have never returned. F1 needs to take some lessons from what NASCAR has done. Be careful with the tweets . . . they might just bite you in the rear.

The Captain

I really do not like this continual nascarification they are doing to my F1.