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F1 sprint qualifying - How penalties will be applied

F1 sprint qualifying - How penalties will be applied

F1 News

F1 sprint qualifying - How penalties will be applied

F1 sprint qualifying - How penalties will be applied

F1 will complete its first trial of the new sprint format at the British Grand Prix but just how will the stewards apply the rulebook on Saturday?

Normally, qualifying and the grand prix present the stewards with different options with regard to the penalising of misdemeanours.

For example, in qualifying, a grid penalty will often be applied whereas, in a race, a time penalty is usually the outcome.

Sprint, the official name of the sprint qualifying, is a hybrid of the two systems but crucially, the victor of the race will be declared the pole winner.

Although, in theory, this would suggest only the regular qualifying penalties will be applied, FIA race director Micahel Masi has confirmed no option is off the table.

“Both of those [options] exist to us now," he said. "If we find an incident two drivers are involved in during a grand prix, we can apply a grid penalty for the next grand prix.

"So grid penalties, time penalties for driving infringements and so forth, those penalties will be applied.

“The rest of the regulations regarding power unit and so forth, they will be applied in a different way and will be focused on the race.

“But things that affect your grid starting position will, from a perspective of a driving infringement or something like that, will be applied as either a grid or a time penalty at the time.”

Saftey car disruption not ruled out

Despite the shorter 17-lap distance, F1 will not compromise on safety in the interests of maximising the number of racing laps.

Although red flags remain an option available to Masi, a safety car - either virtual or real - could play a part in proceedings.

“The only thing that has really changed in that capacity is the duration," explained the race director.

"So obviously, the sprint is a notional 30 minutes in duration. There is a buffer that has been added into that, should we have a suspension that is deemed necessary.

“To be fair, you need to look at each thing on its merits. They’re all tools that are available to us and the Baku [due to the tyre blowouts involving Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen] was unique in its own right.

"From my perspective, it’s looking at the incident for what it is and utilising the tools that we have, be it the safety car, be it the VSC, be it a suspension.

“It is what it will be at the time and judged on the basis of the incidents that occur.”


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