An agreement has been reached between the FIA, Formula One, and all 10 teams competing this year to debut Sprint Qualifying at three race weekends this season.
Although exact dates for Sprint Qualifying have yet to be announced, organisers confirmed that the new events will be held at two European and one non-European venue.
The new format will see every driver race 100km on Saturday afternoon, with the results from this deciding the pecking order for Sunday’s main event.
The top three finishers during Sprint Qualifying will also receive points – three for 1st place, two for 2nd, and 1 for third.
Saturday’s grid will be decided on Friday, by using the current format seen on a Saturday, and there will be a 60-minute practice session on Friday and Saturday mornings.
Parc Fermé conditions will apply from the start of Qualifying on Friday, to stop the construction of special Qualifying cars, limit the number of hours required for preparing the car for the following day, and allow enough reconfiguration of the cars to make Saturday morning Free Practice a useful session.
Speaking about the announcement, Jean Todt, President of the FIA, said:
“I am pleased to see that Formula 1 is seeking new ways to engage with its fans and enlarge the spectacle of a race weekend through the concept of Sprint Qualifying.
“It was made possible thanks to the continued collaboration between the FIA, Formula 1, and all of the teams.
“F1 is showing itself to be stronger than ever with all stakeholders working together in this way, and much has been done to ensure that the Sporting, Technical and Financial aspects of the format are fair.”
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, added:
“We are excited by this new opportunity that will bring our fans an even more engaging race weekend in 2021.
“Seeing the drivers battling it out over three days will be an amazing experience and I am sure the drivers will relish the fight.
“I am delighted that all the teams supported this plan, and it 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.”
More to follow.