We have had to wait no less than a month for the next Grand Prix, all because the Chinese GP has been cancelled. Fortunately, Formula 1 will continue this coming weekend and with not just another race. It’s time for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a race where something chaotic always happens. For example, do you remember the 2021 race? When a Max Verstappen tire exploded and Lewis Hamilton went straight into the first corner on the restart after his brake magic had accidentally been activated.
A new sprint format
But the GP of Azerbaijan is already a special Grand Prix before the first meters have been driven. It is the first race in which a completely new sprint format is tested. The sprint races were first introduced in 2021 and were also overhauled last year by introducing more points for more drivers.
However, the format is still not a success and provides more predictable results on Sunday, instead of a big surprise. If a driver of a top team makes a mistake during qualifying, he will have a lot of time to recover during the sprint race, and then start from a high position on Sunday.
The sprint race will therefore be completely disconnected from the race on Sunday for this weekend. On Friday is the normal qualifying, followed by a special qualifying for the sprint race on Saturday and a few hours after that the sprint race itself. This is what the special timetable for the Azerbaijan GP looks like.