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Sprint qualifying given the green light for three 2021 F1 races

Stefano Domenicali says the introduction of sprint qualifying will make F1 race weekends more engaging for fans.

Sprint qualifying given the green light for three 2021 F1 races

A new sprint qualifying format will go ahead at three Formula One races this season. The FIA, F1 and all 10 teams have agreed to the changes to be implemented at two European circuits and one non-European track, with all three venues to be announced in due course.

How F1 sprint qualifying works

Drivers will race over 100 kilometres in sprint qualifying on Saturday afternoon to determine the grid for Sunday's race. Sprint qualifying winners will earn three points, with two awarded for second place and one for third.

The grid for the sprints will be decided on Friday afternoon using the current qualifying format, with cars entering Parc Ferme conditions from the start of Friday qualifying. There will be one-hour practice sessions on both Friday and Saturday mornings

F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: "We are excited by this new opportunity that will bring our fans an even more engaging race weekend in 2021. 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."

Sprint qualifying format in full

Friday
60-minute first practice in the morning with two sets of tyres for teams to choose freely
Normal qualifying format in the afternoon with five soft tyre sets available only

Saturday
60-minute second free practice in the morning with one set of tyres for teams to choose freely
100km sprint qualifying in the afternoon with two sets of tyres for teams to choose freely

Sunday
Full distance race with two remaining sets of tyres