Formula One set to change sprint format for 2024

Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Circuit of Monza, Monza, Italy - August 30, 2018 General view of the FiA logo REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/ File photo

To simplify race weekends, Formula One is planning to alter its sprint format for 2024 with the backing of teams and stakeholders.

On Friday, the Sporting Advisory Committee of the governing FIA said it would submit a final recommendation to the F1 Commission in January.

“The Commission gave overall support for an update to the sprint format for 2024 to further rationalise the weekend by separating sprint activities from those for the Grand Prix,” the FIA stated.

“The final calendar for the 2024 sprint events will be published in the coming weeks.”

Sprint weekends they comprised six of the 22 races this year, including the Qatar Grand Prix, when Max Verstappen of Red Bull secured his third world championship on a Saturday.

Teams have been discussing rescheduling the 100-kilometer race on Saturday morning to precede qualifying for the Sunday central grand prix and relocating the qualifying “shootout” to Friday.

The calendar includes the sprint qualifying and standalone race on Saturday, with the grand prix qualifying on Friday. Christian Horner, the head of Red Bull, told reporters, “I think it’s clear that the sprints need to evolve a bit.”

In several instances, the sprints have lacked a little excitement. It is similar to receiving a medal for a lengthy run and does not have a pit break. Instead, it usually continues in grid order.

“I think it needs a bit more work done on it within the sporting forum, and then no doubt we’ll sit down at the next commission meeting early in the New Year and hopefully finalize a format.”

For the sprint race, points may be distributed more evenly, and the possibility of a reverse grid element is also considered.

The F1 Commission made the decision to keep tire coverings in place through the 2025 season after heat and humidity in Qatar raised concerns about driver safety. It approved technical and regulatory modifications that allowed for the installation of enhanced driver cooling in the car.

It was also decided that teams would not be permitted to begin developing 2026 vehicles before the 2025 season began. In 2026, Formula One will debut a new engine.

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