The format was approved by the Formula 1 Commission, made up of F1 management, teams and officials from the governing body, the FIA. It now needs to be rubber-stamped by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.
The races will be held at two European venues, which are expected to be Silverstone and Monza, and one non-European venue this year, where the race weekends will feature a Friday qualifying session after the first free practice session, with the familiar three-round format.
This will determine the grid for what is termed Sprint Qualifying on the Saturday. The 100km race (equivalent to 17 laps of Silverstone) will reward the winner with three championship points. The second-placed finisher with two and the third-placed driver with one.
“We are excited by this new opportunity that will bring our fans an even more engaging race weekend in 2021,” said Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of F1. “Seeing the drivers battling it out over three days will be an amazing experience and I am sure the drivers will relish the fight.
“I am delighted that all the teams supported this plan, and it is a testament to our united efforts to continue to engage our fans in new ways while ensuring we remain committed to the heritage and meritocracy of our sport.”
Sprint race weekends will introduce Parc Fermé restrictions, on Friday ahead of qualifying (instead of Saturday qualifying on a normal weekend), preventing teams from changing major components to prevent them building special qualifying cars.