Brawn clarifies sprint qualifying pole situation

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso

Ross Brawn has clarified that the sprint qualifying winner will be considered the pole-sitter for the grand prix that weekend.

The British Grand Prix weekend from July 16-18 will see Formula 1 trial a brand new race weekend format, with traditional qualifying moving to Friday evening, followed by the new sprint qualifying concept on Saturday and then the main British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Sprint qualifying will consist of a 100km sprint race, with the grid for that determined by the traditional Q1, Q2 and Q3 format. But this had created a bit of confusion. Which of these qualifyings would actually determine who was recognised as the pole-sitter for the British Grand Prix?

Brawn has stepped in to confirm ‘pole’ will indeed be awarded to the winner of sprint qualifying.

“The one who finishes the sprint in first place is at the front of the grid and has pole position for the grand prix on Sunday. And we will count that statistically for the number of pole positions,” said Brawn, Formula 1’s motorsports managing director, quoted by Sky Germany.

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Formula 1 will revert to the original format after the British Grand Prix, with sprint qualifying then set to return for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

A third staging is set to take place in 2021, although the location has not yet been decided. It is expected to happen outside of Europe.

There remains a division of opinions on the format between the drivers and teams. All drivers are willing to give it a go, but there is a concern that sprint qualifying could dilute the importance and prestige of winning a grand prix.

The winner of sprint qualifying will be awarded three points, with second place earning two and third picking up a single point – but for full details on the rules surrounding sprint qualifying, make sure to check out our explainer piece.

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