F1 still ‘ironing out’ new sprint qualifying format, Haas team boss reveals

The changes have yet to be made ahead of Sunday’s grand prix

Alan Baldwin
Thursday 25 March 2021 16:42

Formula One still has some issues to resolve before a new sprint qualifying format can be accepted for selected grand prix weekends this season, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said on Thursday.

The sport had hoped to get everything sorted before Sunday’s start of the season in Bahrain but is set for more talks this weekend.

“There’s a few details to be ironed out but I think we’re in a fast moving world and we just need to adapt to it to stay current,” Steiner told reporters on a video call, adding he assumed it would happen.

“I think we have got enough information now that should help more, which I think it will, that we can get ready. I don’t see a big issue.”

Motorsport.com reported that teams were divided over the level of financial compensation for potential extra costs due to crash damage.

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Steiner said starting a season without knowing the full timetable was something teams had already got used to as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the calendar completely rewritten last year.

“We are still in this, I call it the pandemic times,” said Steiner. “We are now used to a little bit of uncertainty but at some stage we will get back that we knew exactly what we do before we start a season, but I think we can live with it.”

The experiment looks likely to award championship points for the top three on Saturday, as well as the usual points from Sunday’s race, at three of the 23 planned grands prix.

The 100km Saturday sprint would effectively serve as qualifying for Sunday’s main event, with Friday’s second practice used to set the next day’s grid.

Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali has said one of the sprint races would be at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.


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