Next weekend at the UK Grand Prix we will see the sprint qualifiers for the first time, but Lewis Hamilton says there are not too many expectations from that short race and that we will probably watch the ride “on the train”.
The Silverstone race weekend brings us the first test of the new Formula 1 competition format. On Friday, July 16, there will be one free practice and classic qualifiers, and the next day there will be another free practice and sprint qualifiers - a short 100 km race.
, which will decide the starting order for the main race on Sunday. Such a concept should be applied to two more Grand Prix races this year, and then the competition management will decide whether it makes sense to keep and apply such a weekend format in the future.
Ahead of his home Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton gave an opinion on the sprint qualifiers and says he doesn’t expect too much excitement. “They will probably ride the train. Let’s hope there will be some overtaking, but it most likely won’t be overly exciting.
We need to wait and see. There is no point in judging it before we even start, but now I don't really have an opinion on it ", said the seven-time world champion.
Gasly on the race
That qualifying race at Silverstone will last 17 laps and the winner will receive a pole position award.
The qualifiers that will be run on Friday will be used to determine the starting positions in Saturday's sprint race, but the fastest in those qualifiers will not be declared the winner of the pole position. The British have also changed the schedule of sessions a lot, so that the qualifications will take place very late on Friday, at 7 pm.
The sprint qualifiers will begin on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday’s main race at 4 p.m. Drivers remain quite reserved about the new format for now, which is logical until they see what it will look like in practice.
Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri is ready to give the new format a chance, although he also emphasizes that he loves the weekend concept that has been valid so far. "I think it would be fair to wait for all three weekends to be done.
Then if there are positive things and people like it, why not keep them in the future? I think we really need to analyze all three weekends. What does this bring us? Does it make things more exciting? ” “If so, why not continue? If not, then it is important to keep the format we have, which in my opinion is good. I enjoy qualifying on Saturdays and driving only one race over the weekend, ”said the Frenchman.