Grand Prix 2021 British Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Better late then never!

There is a Formula One Grand Prix this weekend. Now, let's take a step back and look at that sentence. We use some words without thinking about what they mean so why is it Formula One? My apologies if this seems a bit patronising but the Formula bit refers to the design specification for the car and engine around which the teams must design their car. It's One, because it is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor sport, the fastest, the toughest test of car and driver. And for this you win a grand prize, and although other races use the term Grand Prix, this is the only series which (I believe) is allowed to use the term.

So why am I going on about this? Well, this weekend the powers that run Formula One Grand Prix racing have given up trying to actually create a competitive race series and have decided that it is better that this series can be made more exciting by trying to get the drivers to crash in to one another in a "Sprint Race" on Saturday rather than than allowing the fastest car and driver combination to start from the front of the grid as has been the norm in virtually all forms of motor sport since people started racing cars.

I know motor racing is contrived and there is no such thing as "pure" motor sport, but there are a few norms which I believe should not be messed with, and the idea of a qualifying session which often pushes the driver to, and sometimes beyond, the limit is one. How that session works, what groups of cars go out when, whether drivers get one lap or one hundred I don't mind. I do object to trying to gerrymander the starting grid by running what I'm sure the power brokers in F1 hope will be a destruction derby to replace a qualifying session.

That's my two pence worth. I may be wrong, it may be a great success, it might be very exciting, I have no idea. I am really not that excited about the prospect of this experiment.

Anyway, here's the revised running order for this race:

Friday
14:30 to 15:30 F1 practice
18:00 to 19:00 Qualifying Session (for the sprint race)

Saturday
12:00 to 13:00 F1 Practice (yup, after the qualifying session)
16:30 to 17:00 Sprint "Qualifying"

Sunday
15:00 to 17:00 F1 race

So there you go. I shall rant about the 2022 car design elsewhere.
 
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Titch

World Champion
Premium Contributor
So if there is a qualifying session for the sprint race, how many cars will be in the sprint?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I presume all of them Titch . I would also presume the format is the three session knock out as per the current qualifying system. I'll have a dig about and see what I can find out
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
F1.com says

Friday
The qualifying format we’ve all become accustomed to – split into three segments with the 10 quickest fighting it out for the best grid slot in Q3 – remains the same.

However, it moves to Friday and into an evening slot – 1800 local – to maximise the chances of more people being able to watch after work. The fastest time in qualifying gives you P1 on the grid for the new F1 Sprint event.

Drivers can only use the softest tyre compound available and have four sets to run – with those making into Q3 getting an extra set.

And the drivers who make it into the final part of qualifying will no longer have to start the Grand Prix on the compound they went fastest on in Q2 – as the choice is now free.


Saturday
Saturday afternoon brings the first F1 Sprint – a 100km dash, which based on the length of the Silverstone track will be 17 laps and it’ll last around 25-30 minutes.

It is hoped cars will run at maximum speed for the full distance, without having to conserve their tyres. That might mean the compound of choice varies from circuit to circuit.

The tyre model used by F1’s data team suggests that all the tyres will have the same level of performance when they are around 15 laps old. After that, the quickest tyre becomes the hard, followed by the medium.

The softs will struggle after that point, with their performance dropping off quickly.

Will teams choose to run the soft tyre, that will be quicker but might need a little bit of tyre management to stretch it to the flag or go for the harder rubber and maximum attack for the duration? It’s all part of the intrigue.

The winner will get three points. Second and third will get two and one point respectively, with the classification defining the grid – and the pole position winner – for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
 

Johnny Carwash

World Champion
Contributor
It is hoped cars will run at maximum speed for the full distance.

That’s wishful thinking considering no team or driver has done that since the introduction of the Pirelli tyres.
 

Titch

World Champion
Premium Contributor
Another question. Pole is decided by whoever gets the three points, I assume that 2 and 3 go to the other two point scorers. Is the rest of the grid a free for all ?
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
And how about power units, gearboxes etc. Do they get a greater allocation per year? I suspect some teams without a hope of scoring points in the sprint race might want to protect their power units instead.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
no morning practise is a bit of a pain. certainly upsets my schedule. as i like watching F1 in the morning

i said on different thread that im dreading the sprint race, there going to be extra scrutiny & extra eyes on the race because of the novelty, people will be interested to see how it plays out & in uk it will be channel 4. im expecting it to be a big disapointment. because 1st of all if you have poor qualifying its a safety net. & if your ie: 2nd there is no real incentive to risk your sunday. to overtake into 1st. because as long as your front row thats all that matters really. by the end of 17 laps everyone is going to be where they are should be. & russell cant outperform his car
 

sobriety

Race Winner
Given the quality of the "Racing" at Silverstone in general, I expect the sprint race to be deadly dull, just like the GP generally is when it doesn't rain or they tyres don't self destruct.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
i was thinking earlier. i dont mind Friday qualifying even if it ballache for me because im not able to watch it live. the sprint race is good to competitive on every day of the weekend

but i dont see how it improves the racing & of they want to make something to be excited. keep Friday qualifying & have a sprint race 1/3rd distance. reverse top 6-8 from qualifying. points 9 6 4 3 2 1
 

aaron8831

Points Scorer
God forbid they try something different. Don't get me wrong, I hated the knockout qualifying idea in 2016 and thankfully they were smart enough to get rid of it after one race. I have no problem with the idea of a sprint race, but I think the overall format could be different.

How about they have qualifying on Friday that sets the grid for the race on Sunday. Then, reverse that grid for the sprint race on Saturday and award points to the top 6. Have Haas on the front row and give the field 15 laps all out and see what happens. That would be more exciting and the grid for Sunday isn't impacted by the sprint race at all.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The closer they get to announcing Bottas will be leaving Mercedes the faster George Russell goes.

:thinking: How strange.
 
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