Sprint format set for 2024 shake-up following crunch F1 meeting in Abu Dhabi

Thomas Maher

F1’s Sprint format is set for further tweaks in 2024, following a meeting of the F1 Commission in Abu Dhabi.

The Sprint format, first introduced in the 2021 season as a shake-up at select grands prix throughout the season, has been expanded in the two years since.

Six Sprint events were held in 2023, with a revised timetable to separate the Sprint qualifying session, known as the ‘Sprint Shootout’ to be held on Saturday ahead of the short race – essentially ringfencing all Sprint activity to one day.

Sprint format set for shake-up

However, the fact cars are placed into parc ferme conditions from Friday after just one practice session – as well as the Sprint running the same, albeit shortened, format as a grand prix – has resulted in a desire for further evolution of the event structure.

At the final meeting of the F1 Commission, held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Friday, the main topic of discussion was the format of the Sprint events for 2024 and beyond.

Chaired by FIA Single-Seater Director Nikolas Tombazis and F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali, the meeting of all the F1 teams with F1 and the FIA has given overall support for the format to be updated further in order to separate Sprint activities more from the running of the grand prix weekend overall.

The calendar for the 2024 Sprint events will be published “in the coming weeks.”

To begin work on this, the Sporting Advisory Committee (SAC) will now start working through details with regards to timing and parc ferme regulations, with a final proposal going before the F1 Commission for the first meeting in 2024.

PlanetF1.com understands that one of the ideas on the table is to run reverse grid races, although the F1 Commission has not confirmed this yet.

F1 tyre blankets ban scrapped

Further decisions made regarding future regulations include the call to keep tyre blankets for 2025 after the tyre blanket ban that had been mooted had been already pushed out by a season. Appendices to the Sporting and Technical Regulations regarding a decision needing to be made in July 2024 will be removed.

The reason for this is that the Commission agreed the direction for future tyre development will be focused on reducing overheating and improving raceability.

Further testing of the wet-weather package and spray-reduction measures that are in development will take place in Sprint 2024, with a new cover design to enclose the tyres. This is to establish a proof of concept for the wheel covers in development.

The Alternative Tyre Allocation (ATA) experiment which was carried out in select qualifying sessions this year has been abolished, with the Commission electing to stay with the standard supply of 13 sets of dry tyres.

Finally, following the extreme temperatures encountered during the Qatar Grand Prix, the Technical Regulations will be amended to permit an additional scoop to be added to the cars to improve driver cooling – the scoop can be fitted as necessary. More analysis will be carried out for further solutions for more extreme climactic conditions.

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