F1

EXCLUSIVE: Silverstone chosen to stage sprint race on July 17

Silverstone chosen as one of three venues to stage pioneering F1 sprint race on July 17 to decide starting grid at British Grand Prix… and it could be watched by more than 100,000 fans if restrictions are lifted

  • Silverstone will be used as one of three venues to trial the half-hour blast
  • Sprint race will take place at the Northamptonshire circuit on Saturday, July 17 
  • Qualifying will be held on Friday with order from that determining starting grid
  • The sprint race will in turn decide grid positions for the Grand Prix on Sunday 

Silverstone has been chosen to pioneer a revolutionary new sprint race at this year’s British Grand Prix.

Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali has told Sportsmail that the Northamptonshire circuit is one of three venues that will trial the half-hour blast — on Saturday, July 17 in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 fans, Government restrictions for Covid-19 permitting.

The concept — one of the biggest changes to the weekend schedule in Formula One history — is that qualifying will be held on the Friday of the event with the order from that determining the starting grid for the sprint race, which in turn will decide grid positions for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Silverstone is one of three venues that will trial the half-hour sprint race during 2021

The sprint race ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone would be staged on July 17

The exact details will be discussed on Thursday at a landmark meeting in Bahrain, where pre-season testing will take place.

Domenicali said: ‘We are finalising the intricacies of it. For sure we do not want to take away the prestige of the Grand Prix itself. That will remain the climax of the weekend. We will have qualifying on Friday and then “sprint qualifying” on Saturday.

‘It will provide some meaningful action the day before the race. It will give fans, media and broadcasters more content. It will last about half an hour. There will be no podium celebration. That will wait until Sunday. 

‘But points will be awarded — how many is yet to be decided — towards the world championship and determine the grid for the race itself. What I can say is that Silverstone will hold a sprint race.’

Monza in Italy, Brazil and Canada are the other contenders to host a trial sprint race.  

Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali revealed the news to Sportsmail




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