By James Galloway
Watch Fernando Alonso’s amazing electric start to the inaugural F1 Sprint at Silverstone from 11th on the grid
The Italian GP at Monza in September has been officially named as the second venue for F1’s sprint weekend experiment.
As expected, the next edition of F1’s trial format will take place at the circuit dubbed the ‘Temple of Speed’ when F1 heads to Italy for the second time this season on September 10-12.
The weekend format will be the same which debuted at last week’s British GP, with qualifying on Friday evening ahead of the 100km sprint on Saturday afternoon. The Monza weekend will end with the usual 53-lap Grand Prix on the Sunday.
A third and final sprint weekend for 2021 is pencilled in for one of the season’s later flyaway rounds.
Designed to increase value for fans and create more unpredictability for select events, the format could be rolled out at more events in 2022 if the three-race trial in 2021 is deemed to have been a success.
Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsport, told Sky Sports F1 after the debut of the short-format sprint event last Saturday that he had been pleased to see “pure racing”, with no pit stops or tyre strategy involved across what were 17 laps and 25 minutes of racing at Silverstone.
“No major things but a lot of things we need to take away from this weekend and think about with, time, and see if we can fine-tune them,” he said.
“But I’m really pleased with the overall concept.”
Ted Kravitz brings his Notebook to the British GP, as he looks back at the first Sprint Race of the season and interviews Ross Brawn
What did the drivers say about F1 Sprint?
Lewis Hamilton: “I think it’s been great to try something new if I’m really honest. I don’t think the race was particularly exciting after the first lap from myself. We should just do a long Saturday and long Sunday. P1, P2, Qualifying on Saturday and then a Sprint race and a race on Sunday. Pack it all in!”
Daniel Ricciardo: “My favourite day of race week is Sunday and that’s because it’s a race. I like the start, the intensity of it all and wheel-to-wheel racing. With this format we kind of get to do that twice in a weekend, so for me it’s a win. I like it.”
Next up live only on Sky F1: The Hungarian GP!
Don’t miss the next instalment of a gripping F1 season and Hamilton vs Verstappen’s title duel at the Hungarian GP on July 30-August 1.
Max Verstappen: “It was different. I enjoyed driving on lower fuel in a race setting because the car comes more alive and it’s a lot better to drive. Just a bit weird then to hear you have got pole position because you are racing and then you have got pole position. Maybe we have got to get used to it, I don’t know, but that was maybe the weird thing about it.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I have enjoyed this unusual weekend format so far. It was interesting to have the intense moment yesterday evening followed by the Sprint today, which can go either way.”
Fernando Alonso: “I did enjoy it because we had three days of action. Normally the free practice are very useful for the teams and drivers but not for the spectators because they just see the cars passing around [the track]. Yesterday they had qualifying, today they had this race and tomorrow they have the main race. So it’s a good format.”
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