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F1: Saturday sprint race proposal up for vote

Formula One could feature Sprint Races on Saturday in 2021
Formula One could feature Sprint Races on Saturday in 2021
ANALYST
Modified 11 Feb 2021
News

The proposal to move Saturday's qualifying to Friday and conduct a shorter sprint race on Saturday will be up for a vote at the F1 commission meeting. The plan involves moving Saturday's qualifying to Friday and conducting a shorter sprint race on Saturday. The results of the sprint race will then decide the starting grid for the race on Sunday.

The Canadian, Italian, and Brazilian Grand Prix events are being targeted as races where this format could be trialed this year before an eventual wider implementation in 2022.

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F1's new boss, Stefano Domenicali, had admitted that a format change was under consideration. Speaking to SkyF1, Domenicali had said:

We are thinking how to keep the racing format alive in a different way. We are talking with the teams because of course, it's important to have the opinion of the teams but also the stakeholders. We are going to have dedicated meetings to prepare the right offer.
"We need to be sure that we don't lose any opportunity and we need to be sure we are not auto-referential in what we are offering because this would be a big mistake."
Stefano Domenicali has admitted that a format change for saturday is under consideration
Stefano Domenicali has admitted that a format change for saturday is under consideration

For the plan to be passed, it needs a "super majority" of 28 of the 30 votes. F1 and governing body the FIA will have 10 votes each while the 10 teams will have a vote apiece.

Also read: What is the Concorde Agreement and its role in F1?

In an effort to improve the spectacle, there are already changes taking place in the race weekend schedule, with the practice sessions reduced from 90 minutes to just 60.

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A step too far for F1 purists?

Formula One has been looking long and hard at improving the spectacle and the entertainment value of the sport. The shake-up of the 2022 regulations, which have reportedly been designed to promote closer racing, is also a step in that direction.

It remains to be seen if the proposal receives the stakeholders' approval and how it is perceived by the fans as well. F1 has always focused on maintaining the DNA of the sport. Will a sprint race format akin to the GP2 series be perceived as a step too far? We'll have to wait and see.

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Published 11 Feb 2021, 18:14 IST
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