** Looks like Silverstone, Monza and 1 other which I would guess will be the American GP as that is where the FIA and Formula One are trying to build up viewership.**
The FIA and Formula One have been mulling over changing qualifying for some time and this season we will see this new sprint qualifier tested on 3 different occasions.
For those that don't know how it works currently the teams enter in a 3 phase knockout on a Saturday afternoon. Qualifying one sees the slowest 5 cars dropped for Qualifying 2 where the top 10 go through to the final Qualifying 3. The aim is to achieve the highest spot possible as depending where you finish is the position you start the main race on Sunday.
The new proposed format will see teams do the normal practice session on Friday morning which enables the teams to set their cars up correctly. The Friday afternoon session will feature the same qualifying we know already explained above which gives the teams their position for a short qualifying race on Saturday afternoon with a distance of 100km. This will then decide where the teams will start the main race on Sunday.
Obviously this is all about giving the fans more bringing more eyes into the sport. This will be good for sponsors and selling rights to television companies as the Formula One Company can now charge more for their offerings.
If we think about qualifying how it is right now most of the top cars have two warm up laps and two hot laps every session and there is more time sitting in the pits than racing. The 100km race would take about 30 minutes to complete. The tyres used will be interesting as possibly whatever you finish this final qualifying is the tyre you start the race on so teams will what looks like have to pit at some point to change tyres. There has to be a twist somewhere as this is just too easy having tyre choices laid out for you. Teams gamble now what they qualify with so that needs to remain somehow.
On the Friday tyre selection for practice is a choice of two different sets. The Qualifying for the sprint race the teams are only allowed to use the red walled soft tyres. The sprint the teams can choose from two different sets and the same goes for the main race with another two sets available.
The one big difference is that there will be points available for the sprint race/qualifying on Saturday. Three points for the winner ,two for second and one for third. This is all about entertaining the crowds over the entire three days keeping the interest as Friday is normally just a test day with not much happening. I agree they have to offer more and increase the interest in the sport by changing things up. Certain aspects were becoming stale and by doing this it should help increase viewership but also increase the coffers through extra charges possibly at the gates on Fridays plus television rights and sponsors.
Formula One is a viable business as with the new model of budget caps all teams involved will make healthy profits. Gone are the days of big spending as the budget this season per team is $145 million excluding senior team management and drivers salaries.