The new qualifying format, the Sprint Race qualifying, will finally happen at the British Grand Prix. The new format will see the current quali session being held on Friday afternoon, after the first free practice session, which will determine the grid for the Sprint race. Saturday's 100km race will then determine the pole sitter and the grid for Sunday's race.
The World Motor Sport Council rubber-stamped the new rules for the sprint races on Thursday, as the format will take place in other two venues to decide if it will replace the actual qualifying system. The new format has rise some criticism among fans, but drivers too. Seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton is not impressed, saying he doesn't think the Sprint Race could deliver an exciting on track- action for fans.
"It’s going to be a train, probably. Hopefully there’ll be some overtaking, but it most likely won’t be too exciting,” said Sir Lewis, who has conquered one hundred pole positions throughout his career.
“I don’t really have an opinion about it - the Mercedes driver said - we’ll wait and see. There’s no point judging it before we even get into it. It doesn’t matter”.
Other drivers seems cautious as well before giving any judgement on the new format: Pierre Gasly is "open minded" about it, as he wants to try it first.
"I think it’s fair to wait all three weekends, and if there are any positives from it and people like it, then why not keep it in the future? - said the AlphaTauri's driver - but I think we have to review after all three weekends. What does it bring? Does it really make it more exciting? Because I think that’s the whole point of it.
“If it does, then why not? But if it doesn’t, then it’s important to keep the format that we have, which I think is good.
“I enjoy the qualifying on Saturday and having only one single race during the weekend.”
George Russell, instead, doesn't think the format will suit Williams' challenger features, as the FW43 seems faster in quali than the race.
"I'm not too sure that will play into our favour, because obviously we're normally a bit better on the quali performance than we are in the race," said the Briton, who's looking forward to race in front of his fans.
Russell made it to Q3 in the Austrian Grand Prix qualifying, the first time in the top ten for Williams since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix, while the Briton managed to put himself in 11th one week earlier at the Red Bull Ring.
“But we've got to give it a chance and maybe it goes the other way. It's new for everybody, and that also gives an opportunity”.