F1 Sprint explained: New rules, format and how it differs from standard F1 races

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen wins the F1 Sprint.

Max Verstappen celebrates winning an F1 Sprint in Austria.

F1 Sprint weekends fundamentally alter the structure of how a Grand Prix takes place, as well as the points on offer to the drivers.

Big changes were made to the format in time for 2023 after it was first trialled in 2021 under the name Sprint Qualifying, with more people coming around to its potential after a divisive start in Formula 1.

If you are new to the format or need a refresher on how it works, here is all you need to know about the F1 Sprint.

What is the F1 Sprint format?

Introduced in 2021 as a way of spicing up the Grand Prix weekend format and bringing meaningful action to each day of a race weekend, the F1 Sprint was brought in at three race weekends – upped to six in 2023 – with World Championship points on offer.

Three hours of practice are reduced to one, with Saturdays being all about F1 Sprint.

The Sprint Shootout sets the grid, before the F1 Sprint takes place later in the day over a one-third race distance, or around 100km.

What is an F1 Sprint weekend structure?

Instead of Fridays being reserved for two free practice sessions, F1 Sprint weekends see just one free practice session before qualifying sets the grid for the main Grand Prix.

Saturday is a standalone day for the F1 Sprint, with the main race taking place as planned on Sundays.

,这就是一个典型的F1冲刺周末d looks like:


FP1 [60 minutes]
Qualifying [60 minutes, Q1/Q2/Q3 format]


Sprint Shootout [44 minutes, SQ1/SQ2/SQ3 format]
F1 Sprint [100km or one hour maximum]


Grand Prix [300km + one lap]

What is the Sprint Shootout?

Introduced in 2023, Sprint Shootout sets the grid for the F1 Sprint over a shortened version of the Formula 1 qualifying format, with the bottom five being eliminated at the end of each session.

Instead of Q1 being 18 minutes, Q2 being 15 minutes and Q3 being 12 minutes, these times are condensed, with seven-minute intervals between sessions.

Rather than a free tyre choice, compounds are mandated by session as well.

SQ1:12 minutes [medium tyres mandatory]
SQ2:10 minutes [medium tyres]

The result of this session sets the grid for the F1 Sprint, with any grid penalties from qualifying on Friday applying to Sunday’s race and not Saturday’s Sprint.


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Do drivers have to pit during the F1 Sprint?

No, unlike in full dry races, pit stops are not mandatory for the drivers.

What points are on offer in F1 Sprint?

Points were initially only available to the top three finishers in F1 Sprint, but that was extended to the top eight finishers to offer more incentive to drivers – though they are reduced from the usual offering.

Drivers’ Championship points are as follows for F1 Sprints:

1st:8 points
2nd:7 points
3rd:6 points
4th:5 points
5th:4 points
6th:3 points
7th:2 points
8th:1 point

Where are the F1 Sprint weekends in the 2023 season?

The dates at which Sprints are taking place in 2023 are as follows:

April 29:Azerbaijan GP, Baku
July 1:Austrian GP, Spielberg
July 29:Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps
October 7:Qatar GP, Lusail
October 21:United States GP, Austin
November 4:Sao Paulo GP, Interlagos

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