Hamilton on British Grand Prix F1 sprint race: ‘It’ll be a train’

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t expect Formula 1’s sprint qualifying format to be too exciting, predicting it will be “a train”.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
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F1 will trial its new sprint qualifying format at next weekend’s British Grand Prix.

It will replace the conventional qualifying session on Saturday with a 100km sprint race to determine the grid for Sunday’s main grand prix.

Qualifying will be run on Friday to determine the grid for the sprint race, while there will only be two practice sessions - one on Friday morning before qualifying; one ahead of the sprint race on Saturday. 

On Thursday, the FIA announced it has re-written the sporting regulations to accommodate the new format.

The top three finishers in the sprint race will be awarded 3-2-1 points respectively. 

Speaking during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton downplayed the chances of the new format delivering an exciting show for fans, with Silverstone expected to host a full capacity crowd next weekend. 

Asked if he had high hopes for sprint qualifying, he said: “Not particularly. Just be a train probably. Hopefully there’ll be some overtaking but most likely won’t be too exciting.”

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz expects the race to be more “fun” for drivers given that they can push on the same set of tyres and not worry about tyre degradation.

“We should be having a meeting this week to discuss the format and how we’re going to approach this new concept of weekend,” Sainz added. “Yeah I’m just trying to answer your question, 17 laps on a set of tyres should allow us to push a bit more, have a bit of fun but you guys know the more we push, it can be tricky to overtake, it is not a secret so we will see how it plans out.”

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