Formula 1: Sprint Race Format Could be Permanent Admits Stefano Domenicali

Will Sprint Race Qualifying be a permanent format in the upcoming races? Formula 1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali feels, it could be a possibility.

Red Bull and Ferrari in F1

The British Grand Prix saw the traditional qualifying session being replaced by sprint qualification. Although there were many drivers and staff members who were not entirely happy with the concept. But the majority of the personnel did approve the concept. Now, Formula 1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali has admitted that the sprint qualifying could replace the old format for good in the coming days. 

The format made its debut at Silverstone, with the second of three trial ‘sprint qualifying’ rounds in 2021 now confirmed for the Italian GP in September. Some F1 figures have suggested tweaks to the format are needed, but the Italian says the general reaction to sprint qualifying has been positive. Until now, F1 officials have said that the format will not be a permanent replacement for qualifying. Managing director Ross Brawn says it is more likely that only a handful of races will get ‘Grand Slam’-like status in future. 

Stefano Domenicali Admits Sprint Race to Replace Traditional Qualifying is a Possibility 

Stefano Domenicali PA - FirstSportz
Stefano Domenicali

“In the US, they are enthusiastic about it. We know that Americans love the show as well as the competition,” Stefano Domenicali said. “As for the team bosses, he claims they are “100 percent in favour”. 

“We finally had the courage to do something different and this attitude was greatly appreciated by those we consider as potential newcomers to F1,” said Stefano Domenicali. 

Giving different content to those who come to the track on every day is something extraordinary,” he added. “The fact that there is something of importance every day is an extra element. 

“We will now analyse the details and the feedback we got from the community of experts, from the fans, from the commentators and of course from the drivers to fix what should be fixed for Monza and then draw conclusions at the end of the third experimental race and see what to do in 2022.” 

British GP Sprint Qualifying
Max Verstappen Won the Sprint Race Qualifying at Silverstone

It is widely held that the biggest flaw with the sprint qualifying format as it stands is that the ‘qualifying’ winner on Friday is not officially regarded as the pole sitter. 

Domenicali said, “The concept of pole position resulting from a flying lap is in the history of F1, but things can change. Just think of the Halo and how many people were against it – but today, no one dares to question it anymore. But it is an evaluation that we are doing.

Silverstone Formula 1 Sprint Race
Silverstone Formula 1 Sprint Race

“It’s also nice to see how the drivers approached it, which for me is not a surprise – I know that they like racing more than they like to do long runs on Fridays.

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