What is F1 Sprint? Schedule, Shootout, points system and how format works in 2024 – Sporting News

F1 Sprint will be back on the calendar in 2024 after successful runnings in each of the last three seasons. 

This upcoming season, six different sprint races will take place just like last season, with the first scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China in the middle of April. 

Five more will then take place across the year with the final Sprint race of 2024 scheduled to take place in Qatar in late November. 

Upon announcing the races for 2024, Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, stated to media; “I am delighted to announce six exciting venues for next season’s F1 Sprint events, including two new hosts China and Miami, both of which will be fantastic additions and provide great racing for all our fans at the race and watching at home.”

Although unconfirmed for now, changes and tweaks to the current format are also expected for the 2024 season. For all the information you need, The Sporting News is here to explain. 

What is F1 Sprint?

The F1 Sprint was first launched during the 2021 season, when on three occasions the format of the racing weekend was changed. 

It was confirmed by Formula 1 bosses that the new format would continue with three more races in 2022, before the decision was made last season to up the amount to six.

In essence, F1 Sprint is a condensed race which takes place over 100km (around 62 miles). Unlike prior seasons, qualifying for said race will take place on the Saturday, before the actual sprint then takes place later on the same day. 

In these races, pit stops are not required to be made by drivers.

F1’s Sprint calendar is designed to feature circuits which encourage overtaking and make for close and entertaining racing and that’s seen again in 2024 with the additions of Miami and Austin in particular. 

As mentioned before, although changes to the format for 2024 haven’t been announced yet, the FIA have said that during discussions at the F1 Commission meeting in November, there was overall support for an update to the Sprint Format for 2024 to further rationalise the weekend by separating Sprint activities from those for the Grand Prix.

What is F1 Sprint Shootout? 

The biggest change to the F1 Sprint race weekends over the past year is that there’s a session called the F1 Sprint Shootout. 

In the opening two years of the format, qualifying was moved to the Friday which was used to set the grid for Saturday’s sprint race. The sprint race results would then set the starting grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. 

However last season, changes were made to those proceedings. The F1 Sprint Shootout acted as a standalone qualifying session for the sprint race and took place prior to said event on the Saturday of the designated race weekend. 

Interestingly, drivers had to use certain tyres in certain sessions during the Sprint Shootout.

So in SQ1 and SQ2 medium tyres must be used by all the drivers, whilst soft tyres will be used in SQ3. Those tyres all need to be new sets as well and if a driver doesn’t have a new set available after qualifying the day before, they cannot take part in said Sprint Shootout qualifying session. 

MORE: F1 standings 2023: Updated driver and constructor points, results and schedule

Do drivers get points in F1 Sprint?

The points system for F1 Sprint races in 2023 will stay the same way it was in 2022. 

That means that eight points are handed out to the winner, seven to second place, six to third and so on down to one for the driver who finished in P8 during the condensed race.

Those points will then be added to both the World Drivers’ Championship and the Constructors Championship standings. 

Does F1 Sprint still decide qualifying? 

Unlike previous years, the Sprint result will have no bearing on the starting grid for the Grand Prix. 

In 2023, Fridays of Sprint weekends will see a single practice session take place before qualifying gets underway, which will set the starting grid for Sunday. 

MORE: F1 2023 calendar: Full list of circuits, contract lengths, fastest ever lap times and more

What is the schedule for an F1 Sprint weekend?

Session Session
Friday (1) FP1
Friday (2) Qualifying
Saturday (1) F1 Sprint Shootout
Saturday (2) F1 Sprint Race
Sunday Grand Prix

F1 Sprint schedule 2024

Date Circuit Country

April 19-21

Shanghai China
May 3-5 Miami USA
June 28-30 Spielberg Austria
October 18-20 Austin USA
November 1-3 Sao Paulo Brazil
November 29 – December 1 Lusail Qatar

Who has won the most F1 Sprint races?

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen currently leads the way in sprint race victories with seven first-place finishes – nearly more than treble any other driver!

He won the debut sprint back in 2021 at Silverstone, before adding two more sprint victories during the 2022 season, at Imola and the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Verstappen went on to win the second Austrian Sprint in 2023 as well before adding three more victories to his tally.

Max Verstappen

Valtteri Bottas has also enjoyed the sprint format as he has finished ahead of Verstappen twice, at Monza and Brazil.

George Russell, Sergio Perez and Oscar Piastri are the other drivers to have previously won F1 Sprint races. 

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Raven Asher

Hey there, I'm Raven Asher, a writer and blogger currently studying at McMaster University. My passion lies in arts and culture, and I love exploring and sharing my thoughts on different aspects of this field through my writing. I've been fortunate enough to have my articles featured on several blogs and news websites, which has allowed me to connect with readers from all over the world. Apart from writing, I'm also an avid traveler, and I love experiencing different cultures and learning new things. Join me on my journey as I explore the world and share my insights on everything art and culture!

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