What is the F1 sprint? How does new race work - qualifying, points and format as British GP gets underway

Capacity crowds will flock to Silverstone this weekend for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix

Sprint qualifying will be introduced into Formula 1 for the first time at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

This weekend will see a full capacity crowd embark on Silverstone for what promises to be a feast of F1 racing, including the British GP on Sunday 18 July.

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Spectators will get to see all the usual suspects line up on the grid, including leading driver Max Verstappen and seven time F1 drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton

F1 Sprint has been introduced for the first time on the Formula 1 calendar at Silverstone for the 2021 British GP. (Pic: Getty)
F1 Sprint has been introduced for the first time on the Formula 1 calendar at Silverstone for the 2021 British GP. (Pic: Getty)

And there will be a first for all involved in the high-octane sporting spectacle, with the introduction of the F1 Sprint - aimed to "enrich the experience" of a full weekend.

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Here's all you need to know about the F1 Sprint, how it works, what race points are on offer and where it fits into the format of the British Grand Prix 2021.

What is the F1 Sprint?

The F1 Sprint has been introduced for the first time on the Formula 1 calendar at Silverstone for the 2021 British GP.

Rather than fastest lap times to decide who will be positioned where on the grid for the Grand Prix, the finishing order of the sprint race will define Sunday's grid positioning.

The qualifying session on Friday will determine the grid order for Saturday’s F1 Sprint.

Raced over 100km, which amounts to 17 laps of the Silverstone circuit, drivers will compete flat out from start to finish without the need to pit stop in sprint qualifying.

The completion of the race is expected to take somewhere between 25 and 30 minutes of adrenaline fueled and fast paced excitement for all in attendance.

How many race points are on offer?

There will be six race points on offer for drivers ahead of the British GP.

The winner will be awarded three points, second place finisher will receive two points and the driver coming third will get one point.

Expect a special post Sprint presentation for the top three finishers, though, the podium ceremony will remain exclusively for the Grand Prix.

What time is F1 qualifying?

The introduction of the F1 Sprint Qualifying race has altered the schedule slightly.

There will be two one-hour practice sessions on Friday 16 July (2.30-3.30pm) and Saturday 17 July (12noon-1pm).

Sandwiched in between the two practice sessions is an hour of qualifying on Friday 16 July, between 6-7pm.

The time has been decided on to allow more people to watch the qualifying session after finishing work.

The sprint qualifying will then take place on Saturday 17 July from 4.30pm and is expected to last half an hour.

Sunday's British GP will begin at 3pm (18 July).

How many corners does Silverstone have?

The British Grand Prix will be contested over 52 laps of Silverstone's 5.891-kilometre circuit on Sunday 18 July.

Host to the inaugural F1 World Championship round in 1950 the track has seen some modifications over the years.

It now boasts 18 corners which means finishers of the 2021 British GP will have taken on 936 bends in total.

Most of the corners have their own names too - from Abbey and Brooklands to Maggotts and Becketts among others.