F1 finalising agreement on sprint qualifying format at Imola

F1 finalising agreement on sprint qualifying format at Imola

In recent months, Liberty Media has been working on a more favoured version of a sprint race format without the reverse grid element that saw three previous attempts blocked.

The proposed idea, known as ‘sprint qualifying’, would see a regular qualifying session on Friday to decide the grid for a 100km race on Saturday, with the results from that used to form the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Despite initial approval, further discussions have been taking place on a range of issues from points scoring to a recently agreed financial arrangement, which will see teams receive a lump sum from Liberty Media to cover additional costs.

And now CEO Stefano Domenicali is confident the final go-ahead from teams can come as soon as this weekend.

“The sprint race experiment on Saturday? We are defining the final details, the goal is to close for the Imola Grand Prix,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We would like a much more intense weekend with an hour of free practice on Friday and then qualifying with the sprint race to define the starting order of the real race on Sunday.

“We hope to define all the details to start with the experimentation [this year], that if successful we will see how to define next year.”

It has been confirmed that the new format would only be used at select races if adopted with three races targeted in 2021, the British, Italian and Sao Paulo GP’s.

Uncertainty over the dire Covid-19 situation in Brazil could see the third trial moved if the race at Interlagos can’t go ahead.

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