With a sprint race Saturday, the Italian Grand Prix is the second weekend of Formula 1 racing. Officially, the premier class has confirmed that Monza will be getting an extra race covering approximately 100 kilometers. Formula 1 is planning to introduce the new format later in the season. The exact location is not yet known, but it is possible.
Formula 1 attempted a sprint race on Saturday in Great Britain for its first time. However, the championship does not want it to be called a race. Because of the possibility of earning pole position and three World Cup Points, the championship prefers to call it a sprint qualifying. Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to win the first showdown. The second part of the experiment is in Italy.
Formula 1 has released the Italian GP timetable. It states that sprint qualifying will take places on Saturday from 4.30pm to 5pm. The race will be approximately one hundred kilometers long, or 18 laps over Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Regular qualifying will now take place on Friday evening as at Silverstone. The schedule outlines the time for decisive training, which runs from 6 to 7 p.m.
F1 is satisfied with its first test: “Something’s at stake every single day.”
Ross Brawn from sporting F1 says that most people have responded positively to the first sprint race. Although the Brit believes the test is more enjoyable than it should, he acknowledges that there are still many areas to improve. Many drivers are dissatisfied that pole position is awarded to the sprint race winner and not the regular qualifying fastest man. In addition, there is dissatisfaction with the parc fermé rules, which are already in force after the first free practice session. Verstappen among others has stated that Saturday’s second training session will be for bacon and beans. Formula 1 however, has not changed the situation and announced a setup that is identical to Silverstone’s.
Formula 1 sees the new set-up as a significant commercial win. Brawn, for example, has stated that something is at stake every single day thanks to sprint qualifying and shifting of regular qualifying. Spa and Zandvoort are able to sell tickets on Friday without much difficulty, while other races face more difficulties. Both TV viewers and track fans have something to look forward too by posting qualifying every Friday.