F1 could trial Saturday sprint races in 2021 (Update)

(GMM) Formula 1 is looking to trial a ‘sprint race’ format in 2021.

The teams earlier baulked at Liberty Media’s plans to radically spice up the weekend format, and new CEO Stefano Domenicali ruled out reviving the ‘reverse grid’ idea.

“That is over,” international media reports quote the Italian as saying. “That is something I can tell you.

“It is important to think of new ideas to be more attractive or interesting, but we must not lose the traditional approach to racing. I think we learned that when we changed the qualifying format all the time.

“What we are studying is what could be the approach of the so-called sprint race on Saturdays. We are wondering if this could be tested already this year,” said Domenicali.

“There are ongoing discussions with the teams.”

February 4, 2021 

Formula 1’s new boss, Stefano Domenicali, has revealed the series is toying with the idea of trialing Saturday sprint races in 2021.

The sport has debated a number of ways to spice up the action in recent years, including the potential for reverse grid races.

That concept would be loved by the fans so the idea got the deep-six, but the idea of sprint races the day before the Grand Prix is now being toyed with before it too gets the deep-six by the ‘suits.’

Sprint race idea will make some headlines in the off-season until the ‘suits’ kill it. They prefer fans watch their parades.

“What we’re looking at is what could be the approach of the so-called sprint race on a Saturday,” Domenicali said.

“We are thinking if this could be tested already this year.

“There are discussions going on with the teams in the right forum, and I think that maybe this could be the only one thing that could be interesting.”

“We need to give attention once again to the rookies, the real rookies,” he said.

“Today, with the fact that we have less testing, we need to create [opportunities] not only in the free practice, as already is written into the regulations.

“Maybe we can create good events, highlighting the fact that we need to focus the attention on the rookies.

“We have a very good number of young drivers that are already in Formula 1, but we cannot stop that flow going on.”

Miami Still in Play

“There are discussions in place (with Miami), that is true,” Domenicali said. “I can tell you that our strategy for the future is to be more present in the U.S. with more than one grand prix.

“Austin, Texas has been very important in the last years of our calendar and it will be for the future, and we are discussing the renewal of the agreement with them. Of course Miami is a place we are looking, I cannot say more than that but there is big interest from both parties to be there. So let’s work together to see if we can say something very soon or if we can confirm that at the appropriate date.”