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EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about the 2024 F1 Sprint format

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Max Verstappen of Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 Honda RBPT leed the start

The F1 Sprint is back for the 2024 Formula 1 season, with the 100km dash set to make its first appearance this year at the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix, before further Sprints take place in Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar.

The format has had a slight tweak since we last saw it in action in 2023, so here’s a refresher on how it all works as we gear up for the first Sprint weekend of the year…

READ MORE: Formula 1 announces 2024 Sprint Calendar

What is the F1 Sprint?

Now in its fourth season, the Sprint is a 100km dash to the chequered flag. There are no pit stops – unless you’re unfortunate enough to need repairs – and should last around 30 minutes. The length of the Sprint is intended to promote a dash that is dynamic rather than strategic, with an emphasis on attacking.

That’s why the venues chosen for Sprint events are all circuits that have great overtaking potential – and there’s points on offer for the first eight cars to finish.

This general view shows spectators watching the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April

The first Sprint weekend for 2024 takes place in China, as F1 returns to the venue for the first time since 2019

How does the F1 Sprint work?

A Sprint weekend is still a three-day affair with the Grand Prix as the main event, but with two of the regular practice sessions are replaced.

A Sprint Qualifying session sets the grid for the Sprint and that replaces FP2 on a Friday afternoon.

F1 NATION: Shanghai returns for the first Sprint of the season – it’s our Chinese GP preview

The Sprint itself replaces FP3 on Saturday, before qualifying for the Grand Prix happens as normal in the afternoon.

All of this means the pressure is on for drivers and teams to nail their set-up at the first time of asking, with just one free practice session available to them, and also the added bonus of extra points on offer.

F1 Explained: How a F1 Sprint weekend works - Sessions, rules and points

What do you get for winning an F1 Sprint?

Both drivers and teams score points for their respective championships in the Sprint, with eight points dished out to the winner.

That descends down to one point for the P8 finisher, with drivers and teams below that scoring nothing.

Championship points awarded in an F1 Sprint

Finishing positionPoints awarded
1st8 points
2nd7 points
3rd6 points
4th5 points
5th4 points
6th3 points
7th2 points
8th1 point

What is Sprint Qualifying?

This is a slight change we have seen for 2024, compared to 2023. What was dubbed the Sprint Shootout last year will be called Sprint Qualifying this time around – but it follows the same format.

Split into three stages – SQ1, SQ2 and SQ3 – lasting 12 minutes, 10 minutes and just 8 minutes respectively, the session follows a similar format to regular qualifying for a Grand Prix as the five slowest drivers are eliminated after SQ1. Five more then drop out after SQ2, with the grid positions set from 20th up to 11th.

That leaves the 10 remaining drivers to battle it out for the top 10 grid slots, with the fastest driver starting from the front for the Sprint.

READ MORE: The beginner’s guide to the F1 Sprint

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 21: A detailed view of the F1 Sprint Race trophies in parc ferme after the

Bonus points are up for grabs in the F1 Sprint

What are the F1 Sprint changes for 2024?

The naming switch is not the only thing that has changed from 2023 – there has also been a minor tweak to the scheduling.

Last year, Sprint Qualifying was held on a Saturday morning – with qualifying for the Grand Prix on a Friday – before the Sprint itself on a Saturday afternoon.

For 2024, Sprint Qualifying has moved to Friday, following FP1, with the Sprint taking place on Saturday ahead of qualifying for the Grand Prix later that day. The Grand Prix itself will remain on Sunday.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 21: Sprint winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

There will be six Sprints in 2024, just as it was in 2023

Where are the F1 Sprints in 2024?

The 2024 Sprint Calendar was announced in December 2023, with six venues holding the event throughout this season. China is hosting the event for the first time this year, as is Miami in the following Grand Prix weekend.

Brazil is hosting its fourth Sprint weekend, with Austria hosting its third, while Austin and Qatar return to host for a second year.

READ MORE: FIA and Formula 1 announce calendar for 2025

2024 F1 Sprint calendar

DatesCountryLocation
April 19-21ChinaShanghai
May 3-5MiamiMiami
June 28-30AustriaSpielberg
October 18-20United StatesAustin
November 1-3BrazilSao Paulo
November 29 – December 1QatarLusail

Anything else I need to know?

In terms of how grid penalties will be applied across F1 Sprint weekends, any grid penalties incurred in first practice or Qualifying will apply to the race.

Grid penalties incurred in Sprint Qualifying will apply to the Sprint; while any grid penalties incurred in the Sprint will apply to the race.

For a more in-depth summary of the F1 Sprint read the Beginner's Guide here.

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