Formula 1’s new proposal to introduce shorter Saturday sprint races at select rounds in 2021 is to be put to a vote at the next F1 Commission meeting on Thursday.

After a reverse-grid qualifying race idea was rejected last year following three unsuccessful attempts to revamp the weekend format, F1 is pushing a different approach in a bid to increase entertainment levels this season.

New F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali confirmed last week the “reserve grid is over” while revealing the championship’s latest effort to trial a Saturday sprint race this year.

It is understood that Canada, Italy and Brazil have been chosen as the rounds where the format will be tested given that the circuits normally provide fast and exciting racing.

Qualifying for the shorter race on Saturday would take place on Friday at the selected events.

Friday practice track time has already reduced from 90 minutes to 60 per session for the upcoming campaign and the Friday qualifying session would replace FP2 at the aforementioned events - a move F1 believes would not only help improve TV audiences but also boost attendances at races.


The Friday qualifying would set the grid for the Saturday sprint race, which would run at around one-third’s distance of the main grand prix.

Reduced points would be on offer for the top-eight finishers, while the race would also determine the grid for Sunday.

Teams and bosses will discuss and vote on the plan on Thursday, where a ‘super majority’ of 28 votes out of 30 across F1, the governing body the FIA, and the 10 teams is required for the idea to be passed.

If the proposal is backed and successfully pushed through, F1 is likely to utilise the format more widely across the 2022 season.

Another subject on the agenda for the F1 commission to discuss is Red Bull’s push for an engine development freeze as part of its continuation bid to takeover the Honda power unit from 2022.