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F1 to bring back podium laurels for sprint qualifying

Formula One will reward the top three finishers of its first sprint qualifying race with old-school podium laurels.

This weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone features a revamped schedule. The traditional qualifying, split into three sessions known as Q1, Q2 and Q3, will be held on Friday evening and will set the grid for the sprint qualifying race on Saturday afternoon.

The sprint race will take happen in qualifying’s usual slot, Saturday afternoon, and will be 17 laps of the Silverstone circuit. The finishing order of that event will determine the grid for the British Grand Prix.

The top three finishers in the sprint race will be awarded championship points (1-2-3), while the winner of the race will officially claim pole position for Sunday’s grand prix.

F1 has revealed the top three will also get a victory parade of the Silverstone circuit, before being presented with laurels similar to those handed out to podium finishers until the mid-1980s. The practice was stopped because the wreaths covered too many logos.

Sunday’s race will proceed as it normally would.

F1 is effectively testing sprint qualifying at three events this year. Silverstone is the first, Monza’s Italian Grand Prix is the second, while a third will be held at a non-European venue later in the season.

It is hoped the format will mix up the grid order and create a more entertaining weekend schedule for fans in attendance. Silverstone is expecting a sell-out crowd for the British Grand Prix – the venue hosted two races without spectators in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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