Formula One will introduce shorter “sprint” races for setting grid positions at three Grand Prix events this year. Points will be awarded to drivers in the top three positions, with the winner getting three points, the runner-up two, and the driver in third place – one point.
The rules were passed by unanimous agreement from the F1 team commission; the implementation will start on the Silverstone track this July. The upcoming Monza race and one additional yet-to-be-determined event later in the year will also feature sprint qualifiers. Brazil was the early favourite for the second spot, but many other tracks have since shown interest. It’s also highly doubtful that the country will fix its worrying rate of COVID-19 infections in time for the event in November.
According to F1 president Stefano Domenicali, the proposed idea is a “testament to our united efforts to continue to engage our fans in new ways while ensuring we remain committed to the heritage and meritocracy of our sport.”
Although the proposal was first approved back in February, it took over two months to finally work out the details with FIA and F1. Finances proved to be the largest obstacle to a quick agreement. F1 initially wanted to pay the racing teams just £54,000 per qualifying race, with the teams pointing out it would cost more just to run the cars, not to mention the insurance against potential damage. In the end, the two sides reached a compromise, with F1 agreeing to provide £324,000 per team or £108,000 per race and insurance in case any expensive parts got damaged.
The first sprint race to qualify racers for the main event will be held over 100 km (17 or so laps at Silverstone), with no mandatory pit stops.
You can be sure that both established and new betting sites will closely follow both the race and any further developments, working out how best to determine odds for the sprint events.