Formula 1 has confirmed that a new qualifying format – called Sprint Shootout – will determine the starting grid for Sprint races in 2023.
The changes were proposed last month and ratified on Tuesday after a unanimous vote by the F1 Commission and subsequently by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.
Sprint was introduced in 2021, with qualifying shifted to Friday, followed by a 100km race on Saturday, the outcome of which determined the starting order for Sunday’s grand prix.
But Formula 1 has opted to shake up the structure of Sprint weekends for this year’s expanded roster.
From the upcoming round at Azerbaijan’s Baku City Circuit Friday’s qualifying session – the format of which remains unchanged – will now set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.
Saturday’s second practice session has been scrapped and, in its place, will be a truncated qualifying session known as Sprint Shootout.
Sprint Shootout will mirror the standard Q1/Q2/Q3 knockout format but the duration of each session will be reduced.
Q1 will last 12 minutes (down from the usual 18), Q2 will last 10 minutes (down from 15), and Q3 will last 8 minutes (down from 12). The session should last approximately 45 minutes, barring stoppages.
In another twist in Sprint Shootouts drivers will be forced to use only Medium tyres in both Q1 and Q2, before Softs are compulsory for Q3.
It is hoped that whittling Q3 down to just eight minutes will effectively mean drivers have time for only one push lap in the fight for top spot.
The changes also mean that drivers will have only one hour of practice all weekend.
As per 2022 the top eight Sprint race finishers will score points from eight down to one.
The changes have been implemented following feedback from fans, drivers, media and broadcasters.
It has also been clarified that any grid penalties incurred in practice or qualifying will apply to the race only, any grid penalty incurred in Sprint Shootout will apply only to the Sprint, while any grid penalty incurred in the Sprint race will apply to the race.
Power unit penalties will apply only to the race.
Sprint will this year take place in Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, the United States (Austin) and São Paulo.