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F1 Sprint: Key talking points ahead of its return

| 22.04.2022

Guide to the F1 Sprint

Formula One’s sprint format returns for a second season at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

We have already previewed the main race but now we look at the key questions surrounding the F1 sprint race.

What is the Sprint?

The shortened race takes place on Saturday afternoon and replaces traditional qualifying.

The finishing order of the Sprint determines the grid for Sunday’s main event, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

How long will it be?

The Sprint is one third distance of a traditional Grand Prix, or 62 miles. At Imola, that equates to 21 laps with the race set to take around 30 minutes.

How is the grid determined for the F1 Sprint?

Qualifying will be brought forward from Saturday to Friday, replacing second practice. It will have a later start time of 5pm local (4pm UK) in a bid to generate a bigger television audience.

Will pit stops be mandatory?

No. The premise of the Sprint is a flat-out dash to the finish line with a free choice of tyre compounds; soft, medium and hard.

Have any tweaks been made to the format this year?

Yes. Points will now be awarded to the top eight drivers, rather than just three, with the winner taking eight points. They will count towards both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Last year, the driver who won the Sprint was awarded pole position, but following a backlash from fans, the driver who sets the fastest lap in qualifying will take the accolade.

Who will win the F1 Sprint?

Coral offer odds on the outcome of the sprint race, as well as qualifying and the main race, and Charles Leclerc is the 5/4 favourite after his flying start to the 2022 season.

Max Verstappen, who is the only other driver to win a main race this year, is the biggest threat to Leclerc at 2/1 while Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are 10/1 and 25/1 respectively.

Will Silverstone host a Sprint race again?

No. Austria’s Red Bull Ring and Interlagos in Brazil will be the venues for the other F1 Sprint rounds and there is no Sprint round at the 2022 British Grand Prix.

F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali, and motorsport boss Ross Brawn wanted to double the number of shortened-format rounds from three to six but faced resistance from a number of the top-running teams. However, they are hopeful of holding a greater number of Sprint rounds in future seasons.

View the latest F1 odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.