We’re just over two months away from seeing the first Sprint Qualifying race to take place in the 2021 Formula One season. It will be held at the British Grand Prix in mid-July as one of three venues where it’s going to be trailed during the course of this year.
Formula 1’s managing director Ross Brawn was asked about it during a conversation with The Muscle Help Foundation.
The 66-year-old Brit, a huge figure in leading Benetton, Ferrari and Brawn GP to World Championships during the 1990s and 2000s, believes these Sprint Qualifying races [set to last somewhere between 25-30 minutes] will suit younger fans of the sport and says "young people don't necessarily want to watch two hours of racing on a Sunday afternoon."
"We've been working on trying to get a sprint race format for a number of years, and it is now part of the whole weekend," Brawn said.
"So Friday, we'll have qualifying as you do now, that will set the grid for a Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday, a 100km race. And the outcome of that will determine the grid for the Grand Prix on a Sunday. And along the way, the first, second or third in the sprint qualifying will score three to one points. And it's a format we want to test, things change.
"And young people don't necessarily want to watch two hours of racing on a Sunday afternoon, we may find a short format of racing is more appealing to them. But we don't want to disorientate our loyal fans who are really the core of our sport. And so can we find a combination? And that's what we're testing. So we'll do three races this year, we'll take stock, and then we'll decide what the next step is for the future."