Verstappen Appreciates New Sprint Format Changes

The FIA announced changes to the sprint race weekend format for 2024, moving qualifying to Saturday afternoon to allow teams more time to optimize their car setups, addressing issues of predictability and setup challenges experienced in previous sprint race weekends.

Highlights

‣ The FIA announced adjustments to the sprint race format for 2024, including shifting qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, which impacts the parc fermé rules and the overall weekend schedule.

‣ The change allows teams more time to optimize their car setups, addressing issues from previous sprint race weekends where limited setup time led to problems, such as disqualifications for Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton at the US Grand Prix due to damaged planks.

‣ The adjustments aim to reduce predictability in races, a concern highlighted by Max Verstappen, by allowing different setups for the sprint race and the Grand Prix, potentially leading to a more varied and unpredictable race outcome.

‣ The new format is expected to improve the sprint race weekend experience, making it more appealing and possibly even convincing skeptics of its value, by allowing for more strategic setup decisions and potentially altering the competitive dynamics of the weekend.


The FIA dropped a bombshell about the sprint race weekend format. Honestly, it’s a game-changer for 2024. Ever wondered how a tiny tweak can turn the tables? Well, buckle up.

Amidst the whirlwind of news—Christian Horner’s latest and the flashy car launches from Stake and Williams—this gem from the FIA almost slipped through. They made it official: the sprint race format’s getting a makeover. But, the full scoop didn’t hit until Monday. The teams were itching for this, and GPblog had the inside track. Finally, the FIA spilled the beans.

### What’s new with the sprint races in 2024?
At first glance, it’s a small shift. Qualifying’s moving to Saturday afternoon. This nudges the sprint races up the schedule. But, oh, the ripple effect is massive. It’s all about the parc fermé rules.

Last year, parc fermé kicked in post-qualifying. Teams had one shot at practice before locking in their setup. Mess it up, and you’re in hot water. Just ask Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton—disqualified at the US Grand Prix over a damaged plank. Ouch.

Another hiccup? Predictability. Max Verstappen voiced his frustration loud and clear. With cars unchanged post-sprint, Sunday’s outcomes felt written in stone. Only a curveball from Mother Nature could stir the pot.

### Why Verstappen might just smile at these tweaks
This overhaul hits two birds with one stone. Teams now have till Saturday to fine-tune their machines, mirroring a typical race weekend. Instead of extra practice, they’ll use the sprint shootout and race to test their setups. Parc fermé? It waits till post-qualifying.

So, Verstappen’s gripe? Poof. Gone. With more wiggle room for adjustments, the Grand Prix setup can be a notch above the sprint’s. Expect teams to craft strategies specifically for the 100-kilometer dash.

The sprint shootout will see a similar evolution. Unlike the GP qualifying, where race considerations loom large, here it’s all about speed. This shift promises to shuffle the deck in rankings.

While the charm of traditional race weekends remains unmatched for some, this new sprint format is poised to win hearts. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll even sway Verstappen.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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