Silverstone will be the first circuit in F1 history this weekend to feature a 100km sprint race on Saturday to decide the grid order for Sunday’s race. The sprint race will have a couple of implications on the teams and also fans, including the weekend’s timetable.
With the sprint race on Saturday, there will be only one free practice session on Friday before Parc Ferme kicks in ahead of normal qualifying on Friday evening, which means teams will have two hours less practice time to find an ideal set-up.
According to Motorsport.com, Mattia Binotto, Ferrari’s team principal, expects a lot of potential engineering headaches due to the sprint race being introduced, in addition to a new tyre construction being introduced.
"We have got a new tyre specification at Silverstone, which we tested in Austria, but most of the teams need to have some more experience on it," he explained.
"There will be very little time for it because it's only the Friday morning [practice session] before going into qualifying – so you are really going straight into qualifying with the new spec.
"It's a new format, there is very little experience because it is parc ferme from Friday afternoon onwards, and that's really exciting. It could be exciting.
"I think there may be some mess because set-ups will not be optimised thanks to a lack of experience on the tyres, so I think it can be a great race weekend in that respect."
Formula 1 has declared that one of the main reasons to hold sprint races is to make the whole weekend more thrilling for fans, instead of just being it all about spicing up Saturday afternoon.
F1’s managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, declared: "It's not just about the sprint. We have qualifying now on a Friday afternoon. And so we have a premier event on Friday, we have another primary event on a Saturday and then we have the main event on Sunday.
"It's all about creating more engagement for the whole weekend, and having an event on a Saturday, which is new, and it's different.
"None of us know 100% how it will be accepted and how it will be received, or how it will develop."