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F1 sprint qualifying "success" to be judged by the fans - Steiner

F1 sprint qualifying "success" to be judged by the fans - Steiner

F1 News

F1 sprint qualifying "success" to be judged by the fans - Steiner

F1 sprint qualifying "success" to be judged by the fans - Steiner

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner stated "if the fans like it", the new Formula 1 sprint qualifying format can be judged a success.

F1 has gone through a number of different qualifying formats over the years from a one hour, 12 lap session to one-shot qualifying and the infamous 'knock-out' iteration of 2016.

“I am looking forward to it because it’s something new and something new always gives opportunity and hopefully we can be a part of that," said Steiner.

"I think the success will be if the fans like it. At the moment I think it’s a good format but if there’s something we can enhance, and the fans embrace it, that would be good and then I would say let’s do more of it.”

Although the current three-phase qualifying system will still run in place of second practice on Friday evening, this will only set the grid for the 'sprint qualifying' race with pole position officially awarded to the winner of the 100km sprint.

He added: "I think for sure the drivers will race hard because in qualifying everyone races hard and this is like a sprint race which defines the qualifying positions.

"On Sunday, when points are at stake, you want to be in the best position to start the race as you can. From our side, this year it’s all about learning so running the race, having a few more race starts during the year because of sprint qualifying format will be an advantage next year.

"On the sprint, I will tell them to keep their noses clean and keep the cars on the track."

Haas cautious of "tough" second half of 2021

Against the odds, F1 has been able to complete a relatively normal first half of the season despite postponements to both the Australian and Chinese races, the former more recently cancelled outright.

There remains concerns over a number of races in the second half of the season but with F1 committed to running a full 23 race season, this leaves 12 races to take place over a 16 week period.

Steiner said: “It's been a relatively normal first half of the season and with already one triple-header - people can feel the strain of it. We all look forward to the shutdown in August which is not far away – just two more races to go.

"We also know after the shutdown, we will have a very tough second half of the season, with quite a few triple-headers so I hope everyone takes some rest over the summer and comes back recharged because we need it.”

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