China, Miami, Austria, Austin, Sao Paulo and Qatar are the six grands prix chosen to host ‘sprint’ events during the 2024 Formula 1 season.
F1 announced the list of races on Tuesday, and said changes to the format of the events were under discussion.
A plan to move qualifying for the sprint to Friday and hold the shorter race on Saturday before grand prix qualifying has been effectively agreed.
More radical changes, such as reversing the sprint grid, are being considered.
These will be discussed at a meeting of the F1 Commission – which comprises F1, governing body the FIA and all 10 teams – in January.
F1 president Stefano Domenicali said: “Since its creation in 2021, the sprint has been consistent in delivering increased audiences on TV, more on-track entertainment for the fans at events and increased fan engagement on social and digital platforms, and we are looking forward to the exciting events next year.”
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem added: “We must continuously develop and adapt to ensure we are doing what is best for the sport, and as such we are working with F1 and the teams to define the future direction of the sprint format.”
Two plans of different nature are under consideration for a format change for the sprints, which are races that run to about one-third of the distance of a grand prix.
The more dramatic is to reverse part of the grid for the sprint – likely the top 10 positions. Discussions are being held as to how this could effectively be done.
The other option is not to take up the reverse-grid idea but to change the current rule that forbids teams from changing their cars after the single practice session held before the first qualifying on a sprint weekend.
The first sprint of 2024 will be held at the Chinese Grand Prix on 19-21 April. The Shanghai race will be on the calendar next year for the first time since the pandemic, having been cancelled in 2023 because of China’s difficulties in coming out of Covid.
Miami follows on 3-5 May, and is also hosting a sprint event for the first time.
The other four races have all held sprint events previously.
Austria is on 28-30 June, the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on 18-20 October, the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on 1-3 November and Qatar the penultimate race of the season on 29 November to 1 December.
Source : bbc