Masi: Sprint qualifying adds different element strategically

Michael Masi

Race director Michael Masi believes that the reduced track time on Formula 1 race weekends including Sprint Qualifying will generate excitement due to teams being less “well prepared”.

With the introduction of 100km Sprint Qualifying races on the Saturday, traditional qualifying will move to Friday afternoon.

As a result, the teams will have just one one-hour practice session to prepare for qualifying, which could result in unpredictable outcomes becoming more common.

The plans were approved by the F1 Commission earlier this week, with the format set to be trialled for the first time at the British Grand Prix in July.

Asked about the new format, Masi said that it would add a “different element strategically” compared to the traditional race weekend.

“The new format will be something a little bit different because there will be less track time for the teams leading up to qualifying,” he said. “So that’s one element that will have an area of teams possibly not being as well prepared or refined as they would be normal qualifying.

“And then having that excitement of a Sprint Qualifying race start on Saturday, which is something we haven’t seen in Formula 1.

“And then the progression from there into the grand prix on Sunday, I think we’ll add just a different element strategically from the teams’ end in particular.”