What is F1 Sprint Qualifying?

The F1 Sprint is back for the second year in a row, and while many of us are somewhat skeptical – F1 is a sport steeped in history and tradition, after all – it certainly wasn’t a disaster. absolute last year. For those unaware, however, F1 Sprint might seem like a rather confusing prospect.

As the first change to the qualifying process since the short-lived and widely hated elimination qualifying of 2016, F1 Sprint seems to have its fans. But to decide which side of the fence you are on, you will first need to fully understand what it is.

So if you’re not familiar with this F1 update yet, here we’ll explain exactly what F1 Sprint is, who gets Pole Position, how it differs from the system we’re used to, and how to watch a Live Stream. F1 to catch F1 Sprint on the day.


What is the F1 Sprint?

Regular qualification for a Grand Prix works by direct elimination over three rounds, all held on a Saturday.

All drivers take part in the first session, and the five slowest finish 16-20 on the final grid. The remaining 15 drivers take part in the second session, with places 11-15 on the grid once again taken by the five slowest. The final session sees the fastest 10 drivers compete for Pole Position, and subsequent grid places 2-10.

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When Sprint qualifying is on the cards, regular qualifying will still take place – although it will be pushed back to Friday (in place of practice 2) and will determine the starting grid for F1 Sprint which takes place on Saturday, at the place of regular quals.

The F1 Sprint will take place over a single session. All drivers will cover 100 km around the circuit in question, and their position at the finish in this shorter race will determine their place on the final grid. The short duration is intended to provide an exciting race for both drivers and spectators, in which teams will not have to deal with pit stops for fuel or tyres.

Max Verstappen at the British GP

(Image credit: Jure Makovec/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

How has the F1 Sprint changed from last year?

The general F1 Sprint format has remained much the same, but there are some tweaks to make the races more impactful and competitive.

The biggest change is the fact that Sprint racing is now much more lucrative for drivers in terms of points. Last year, the top 3 drivers received points – 3 for first, 2 for second, 1 for third. Now, however, the top 8 drivers are awarded points, ranging from 8 points for first to 1 point for eighth.

Who gets Pole Position in F1 Sprint?

Last year, the winner of qualifying started first for F1 Sprint, and the winner of F1 Sprint started on pole position in the GP.

Now, due to the fan reaction to the ‘Pole Position’ title awarded to a driver who failed to complete the single fastest lap on the circuit, arguably devaluing the term, during a week of F1 Sprint , a driver can hold Pole Position and not start the actual GP at the very front of the grid.

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Qualifying in first position will see a driver clinch Pole Position, and they will also start first in F1 Sprint. However, if another driver wins the F1 Sprint, they will start P1 on the grid on Sunday, but the winner of qualifying will retain “pole position”.

Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Emilia-Romagna GP

(Image credit: Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Where are F1 Sprint qualifying taking place in 2022?

This year, F1 Sprint will take place at Imola, for the Emilia-Romagna GP, at the Red Bull Ring, for the Austrian GP, ​​and at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Sau Paulo, for the Brazilian GP.

F1 Sprint has never taken place either at Imola or at the Red Bull Ring, but returns for the second time to Brazil.

How to watch sprint qualifying

To watch the second round of F1 Sprint qualifying, you’ll need to get a live stream. To find out about the global viewing options, we highly recommend you check out our article on how to watch the Italian Grand Prx article, which describes the global viewing options.

If you are outside your home country when the Grand Prix takes place, you may find that you cannot access your usual streaming service that you use to watch F1. However, there is a trick to get around this problem: use a VPN.

All you have to do is sign up for a quality VPN – our top pick is ExpressVPN – then change your location to go home. So, for example, if you’re currently in the US and want coverage on Sky Sports, all you have to do is select a UK server on the VPN, go to the website and to start watching.

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