To test this new format there have been three sprint races last season and this year there will be another three sprint races. This season the sprint format will be used in Great Britain (Silverstone), Austria (Spielberg) and Brazil (Sao Paulo).
Race Weekend with Sprint Race
In the sprint format, there is one less free practice for the drivers and teams than in the regular format. The schedule for a sprint weekend is as follows:
- Friday: 1st free practice, then qualifying for sprint races
- Saturday: 2nd free practice, then sprint race
- Sunday: Normal race (as usual)
The starting grid for the sprint race is determined in qualifying after the first free practice session. The sprint race has a shorter race distance and the result of the sprint is also the starting grid for the normal race on Sunday.
The race distance for the sprint race is only 100 km, which corresponds to a third of the regular race distance (305 km). As a result, the drivers do not have to make pit stops in the sprint. There is free tyre choice for the sprint race starting grid.
Championship Points for the Sprint Race
The first eight places also receive championship points for their sprint results. The scoring for the sprint is as follows:
This means that the maximum achievable points for a sprint weekend are significantly higher than for a regular race weekend. For example, a driver can earn 8 points for 1st place in the sprint, 25 points for winning the regular race and an extra point for the fastest lap in the race. This means that the maximum number of points for the sprint weekend is 34 championship points.