F1 Sprint format: How new 2024 schedule will work at events in China, Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar (2024)

Formula 1's new Sprint weekend format for 2024 explained ahead of its debut at the Chinese Grand Prix.

What's changed for 2024?

There has been a very significant tweak to the running order of Sprint weekends.

As was the case last year, the weekend will begin with a single free practice session on Friday, but from there on it's all change.

Rather than Qualifying for Sunday's race, Sprint Qualifying (formerly known as the Sprint Shootout) will follow later on Friday.

Saturday will then begin with the 100km Sprint contest, with full Qualifying to follow later in the day, setting the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.


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The change of order allows for a crucial switch of parc ferme restrictions, which last year prevented teams from making significant setup changes from the moment full Qualifying began on a Friday through until the end of the weekend.

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The new running order will still see cars go into parc ferme when the first competitive session - Friday's Sprint Qualifying - begins, but they will then be released from the restrictions after Saturday's Sprint.

Teams will have the chance to use the knowledge they've gained to alter setups ahead of full Qualifying, at the start of which they will once more be locked in for Sunday's race.

Why has there been a change?

There had been a growing feeling in the paddock during last season's Sprints that giving teams just 60 minutes to prepare for the entire weekend was too much to ask.

While the system provided the potential for more surprises and an initial shifting of the pecking order, there were also downsides.

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Both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the United States Grand Prix after their cars failed a physical floor and plank wear inspection after the race, with the former's Mercedes boss Toto Wolff afterwards citing the challenges of the format.

The situation highlighted the challenge faced by teams, particularly on a bumpy surface like the one at Austin's Circuit of the Americas.

A repeat of a situation like that should be avoided, while there is another significant potential benefit.

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As world champion Max Verstappen - the most vocal critic among drivers of the Sprint format - has repeatedly said, the 100km has largely acted as a preview of the Grand Prix, if conditions remain similar, with no major changes allowed.

Under the new rules, there could be significant changes to performance from Saturday to Sunday, which could completely alter the pecking order for Sunday's race.

How does Sprint Qualifying work?

There is no change to the format of Sprint Qualifying, with the most notable alteration being the dropping of its former title, the Sprint Shootout.

The session will follow the same format as last season, with each of its three parts shorter than full qualifying to address engine and tyre concerns the teams had before last year's changes.

SQ1 is 12 minutes.

SQ2 is 10 minutes.

SQ3 is eight minutes.

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The aim is that each car would only have one flying lap in each session, although two runs could be done in SQ1 while SQ2 and SQ3 would allow time for two timed laps without a pitstop in between attempts.

The other significant difference between Sprint Qualifying and full Qualifying are restrictions on tyre usage in the former.

While drivers are free to use any of their available tyres in regular qualifying, in the Sprint Shootout they are only allowed to run one set of tyres in each part.

A new set of medium tyres are mandatory in SQ1 and SQ2, while a set of tyres is mandatory in SQ3, but they don't have to be new.

The 2023 rules had initially made a new set mandatory in each of the three parts of Sprint Qualifying, but the regulations were changed mid-season after some teams created an undesirable situation by intentionally leaving themselves unable to compete in SQ3 as they used up their new sets of soft tyres in earlier sessions.

What is the point systems for the Sprint?

Points for the Sprint in 2024 remain unchanged.

A total of 36 points are on offer for the top eight finishers in Saturday's race. This is allocated as follows:

1st place - 8 points

2nd place - 7 points

3rd place - 6 points

4th place - 5 points

5th place - 4 points

6th place - 3 points

7th place - 2 points

8th place - 1 point

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Unlike in the Sunday Grand Prix, there is no point for fastest lap in the Sprint.

And the points certainly can be crucial: Max Verstappen last season became the first driver to clinch a world title in a Sprint on the Saturday in Qatar.

Are there pit stops in the Sprint?

Pit stops are few and far between given how short a Sprint is.

Unlike the Grand Prix, there is no mandatory change of tyres required and, unless cars suffer damage or puncture or it rains, don't expect them to leave the action on track for the pit lane between lights out and the chequered flag.

Drivers are free to run on whatever tyre compound - hard, medium or soft - that they wish.

Where will Sprint weekends take place in 2024?

As was the case in 2023, there will be six Sprint weekends this season.

The first will be hosted by China, as the Shanghai International Circuit hosts F1 for the first time since 2019.

The fact that teams have no data from the circuit with this generation of cars promises an unpredictable weekend.

The first two Sprints of the year will be back-to-back, as Miami hosts a Sprint weekend for the first time at the start of May.

F1 Sprint dates in 2024

April 20 Chinese GP
May 2 Miami GP
June 29 Austrian GP
October 19 US GP
November 2 Sao Paulo GP
November 30 Qatar GP

In June, Austria will host a Sprint for a third successive season, before Austin's Circuit of the Americas retains Sprint hosting duties at the United States Grand Prix in October.

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix maintains its status as the only track to have hosted a Sprint in every season since the format was introduced in 2021.

Qatar holds the final Sprint weekend on the penultimate weekend of the season.

Who's won the previous Sprints?

Max Verstappen has won seven of the 12 F1 Sprint races to have taken place from 2021 to 2023.

The Dutchman won four of last season's six events, but actually sealed the world title when coming second to McLaren's Oscar Piastri in Qatar.

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The other driver to win one was Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who triumphed in Azerbaijan when he appeared to be threatening a title challenge in the early stages of the season.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has never won a Sprint, but Mercedes have three victories - two from Valtteri Bottas and one from the Finn's replacement George Russell.

Next up is the return of the Chinese Grand Prix on April 19-21, which is also the first Sprint weekend of the season. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and steam every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership - No contract, cancel anytime

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F1 Sprint format: How new 2024 schedule will work at events in China, Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar (2024)


What is the format for the F1 sprint race in 2024? ›

Championship points awarded in an F1 Sprint

Split into three stages – SQ1, SQ2 and SQ3 – lasting 12 minutes, 10 minutes and just 8 minutes respectively, the session follows a similar format to regular qualifying for a Grand Prix as the five slowest drivers are eliminated after SQ1.

How does the F1 sprint format work? ›

In principle, an F1 Sprint is a shorter race - approximately 100km or 62 miles - which puts drivers into situations that typically take more time to unfold. Qualification for the sprint will now take place in what would normally be FP2. Adding further drama is that drivers don't have to make pit stops either.

How many sprints are in 2024 F1? ›

Formula 1's Sprint format returned for a fourth year at the Chinese Grand Prix, with six Sprint weekends in total during the 2024 season.

How to sprint shootout work? ›

Sprint Shootout is the qualifying session for the sprint race. It is held over three shortened sessions – SQ1, SQ2, and SQ3 will last 12, 10, and eight minutes, respectively. The results from the shootout determine the grid order for the sprint race on a Saturday.

What are the new features of f1tv 2024? ›

These include:
  • A revamped mobile-friendly design to make it easier to navigate and select F1 TV content on the go.
  • A brand-new Interactive Schedule for web and mobile, enabling users to follow sessions live and access content straight from the schedule.
  • New in-depth shows such as Tech Talk Retro and F1 Icons.
Feb 22, 2024

How is the sprint grid decided? ›

The five slowest drivers are eliminated after SQ1, before five more drop out from SQ2 – thereby setting the grid positions from 20th up to 11th in the Sprint. The 10 remaining drivers head into SQ3 to determine the top 10 grid slots, with the fastest driver starting from the front of the pack in Saturday's Sprint race.

What is the format for the F1 race weekend? ›

How does a Grand Prix weekend work? The standard Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend sees each event take place over three days – typically Friday through Sunday. On Friday, there are two one-hour practice sessions – Free Practice 1 (FP1) and Free Practice 2 (FP2). Saturday starts with Free Practice 3 (FP3).

How does the F1 qualifying format work? ›

A qualifying session is held before each race to determine the order cars will be lined up in at the start of the race, with the fastest qualifier starting at the front and the slowest at the back. Drivers who could not set a time for any reason are also relegated to the back.

What is the old F1 sprint format? ›

In the traditional format, three were practice and two were competitive (Quali and the Race). The original F1 Sprint format changed that distribution to two practice and three competitive (Quali, Sprint, Race). The new Sprint format tilts it further to one practice and four competitive (Quali, Shootout, Sprint, Race).

Is China a sprint weekend? ›

Formula 1's sprint race format changes get its first outing of 2024 at the Chinese Grand Prix. Here's how and when to watch the sprint race and grand prix qualifying. F1 has altered its sprint race schedule once again, with sprint race qualifying shifting to Friday and the sprint race moving to Saturday.

Will F1 race in China in 2024? ›

The 2024 Chinese Grand Prix (officially known as the Formula 1 Lenovo Chinese Grand Prix 2024) was a Formula One motor race that was held on 21 April 2024 at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China.

How many races are in F1 2024? ›

Formula 1 will scale new heights in 2024 with a record schedule length of 24 races for the first time. All race weekends will be live on Sky Sports F1. The season again started in the Middle East with back-to-back races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, with both races taking place on a Saturday due to Ramadan.

What is the format for the F1 sprint in 2024? ›

The grid for the F1 Sprint is decided by a condensed qualifying session known as a Sprint Shootout, which consists of a 12-minute Q1, 10-minute Q2 and an 8-minute Q3. In effect, this means on an F1 Sprint weekend, fans are treated to two races and two qualifying formats, as opposed to just one of each.

How does the sprint format work in F1? ›

In essence, F1 Sprint is a condensed race that takes place over 100km (around 62 miles). In these races, pit stops are not required to be made by drivers. In 2024, sprint qualifying – or the 'Shootout' – will replace the second practice session on a Friday.

How many laps is an F1 sprint race? ›

How long are F1 sprint races? Sprint races run to 100km (62 miles). Lap count varies depending on the circuit. For the Miami GP, the sprint race is set for 19 laps, which is a third of the 57-lap grand prix distance.

What is the Formula 1 sprint race? ›

F1 Sprint will be a race run over 100km (in Silverstone's case, 17 laps) and lasting around 25-30 minutes. It is designed to provide a short and fast-paced racing spectacle – similar to a Twenty20 cricket match – with drivers racing flat-out from start to finish without the need to pit.

What's the point of the F1 sprint? ›

What, when and where are the F1 sprint races. This is one of the F1 terms where you can guess the meaning simply from the name: The sprint race is a mad dash over one-third the normal race distance, and rewards the top eight drivers with about one-third of the points they can earn in the GP.

How many laps are in the F1 sprint race? ›

Formula 1 Sprint Races are around 100km (62 miles). Sprints tend to last around 30 minutes but cannot last longer than 60 minutes. The length of each Sprint Race varies according to the track. For example, the Sprint Race at Baku in 2023 lasted 17 laps and was won by Sergio Perez with a time of 33:17.667.

How many sprint races are in Formula 1 this year? ›

A sprint race is a mad dash over one-third the normal race distance in which the top eight finishers score about one-third the points they'd receive in a normal grand prix. Like in 2023, six race weekends will feature sprints this season.

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