Formula 1 have confirmed tweaks made to their Sprint format, with FP2 being dropped for a new “Sprint Shootout”.
Sprints have been adjusted to be standalone events during the course of a race weekend, with the grid for Sprint races now being determined by a shorter qualifying session called a ‘Sprint Shootout’.
The Sprint Shootout has three sessions like normal qualifying, except they are shorter in length. Q1 is 12 minutes, Q2 is 10 minutes and Q3 is 8 minutes. Drivers are mandated to use medium compounds during the first two sessions. but can use softs in Q3.
Sprints will no longer determine the grid for the grand prix, with a regular qualifying session taking place on Friday afternoon doing so instead. This also means that drivers will not lose positions for Sunday’s race should they have an incident during Saturday’s Sprint.
There will be only free practice session, taking place Friday Morning. Saturday morning will see the Sprint Shootout followed by the Sprint in the Afternoon. The grand prix will take place as usual on the Sunday.
Parc Ferme will take effect for the rest of the weekend as soon as Qualifying starts on Friday. Breaches of parc ferme will result in pit lane starts for both the Sprint and Grand Prix. Engine change penalties only apply to the latter of the two.
Grid penalties incurred during practice or qualifying will apply to the Grand Prix, grid penalties incurred during Sprint Shootout will apply to the Sprint, whilst grid penalties incurred during the sprint will be applied to the Grand Prix.
Teams have been granted an increase in power unit parts, with the number of ICE, MGU-K, MGU-K and turbocharger components being increased from three to four.
The Sprint itself remains unchanged, both in terms of its length and the points scored.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the first of six Sprint weekends this season. The other races that will use this format are Austria, Belgium, Qatar, United States and Sao Paulo.