Formula One racing which was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, made a packed race schedule return this year. The new race roster features a record 23 races in 2021, which is a drastic increase from the 17 races that took place in the previous year, making it the longest season in F1 history.
Among the new additions/changes, Portuguese GP was added to the docket in March. While the Vietnam GP was removed after the arrest of Nguyen Duc Chung. The ongoing pandemic concerns and restrictions saw the Chinese GP, Canadian and Singapore races being dropped from the roster. However, FIA filled those with the Styrian and Turkish Grand Prix. The iconic Imola circuit will also make a return to the schedule this year in round two.
Out of the 23 races scheduled this season, nine have been successfully completed. Meanwhile, F1 is all set to shake things up this weekend at Silverstone (British GP) with the debut of a new feature called F1 Sprint. The Sprint Qualifying format will be featured at three Grands Prix this year, two European venues and one non-European one, other venues to be announced in due time. The decision was taken following an agreement between the FIA, F1 and all 10 participating teams on the grid. Sprint Qualifying will see the drivers fight it out over 100km, lasting around 25-30 minutes and without pit stops. It will also decide pole position and set the grid for the next day’s main race.
The top three finishers in Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying will receive points - three for the winner down to one point for third. However, there won’t be a podium ceremony, as that will remain the privilege of the top three at the end of Sunday’s race. Nevertheless, there will be a special post-Sprint presentation for the top three F1 Sprint finishers.
With the new set of rules and features F1 racing now moves to the British GP at the Silverstone Circuit. More than 100,000 fans are expected to attend the Sunday race, making it the biggest sporting crowd in Britain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Racing enthusiasts and fans can catch all the action on from the British GP Live on Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD on Saturday (July 17) and Sunday (July 17) from 8:25 pm IST onwards.