F1 Sprint to bring return of wreath celebration and lap of honour


F1 will bring back wreaths and laps of honour for the top three drivers in the Qualifying Sprint race this weekend

Sir Jackie Stewart, 1971 French GP

Classic celebrations are back on the menu with unique wreaths designed for the top three in the Sprint Qualifying race

Grand Prix Photo

Old school F1 fans might not like the introduction of a new sprint race format this weekend but the return of wreaths and laps of honour for the winner might be enough to bring one or two back around.

Formula 1 is set to trial sprint races this weekend with the Sprint Qualifying format used for the first time to form the grid for the 2021 British Grand Prix.

While the winner of the qualifying race won’t have a win added to their F1 tally nor the top three get on the podium, an old-school flavour celebration will mark the end of the race.

The top trio will receive uniquely-designed wreaths and go back out onto the track for a parade lap in front of all the 100,000+ fans gathered at Silverstone this weekend.

It is intended to be a tribute to the format used in Formula 1’s past with race winners clutching their hard-earned trophy with a giant wreath wrapped around their shoulders.

“F1 Sprint is a brand-new and exciting format, so we felt it was important to come up with a post-race moment that was equally special,” said director of event spectacle for F1 Alex Molina.

Related article

“The moment recognises the seven decades of history in the sport and combines it with a modern twist – very similar to the Sprint itself.”

F1’s Qualifying Sprint format has been tipped to appear a further two times this season following the first attempt at Silverstone.

Managing director for motor sport at F1 Ross Brawn is confident that the new format will promote close racing despite the 17-lap sprint potentially forcing drivers to race conservatively to avoid crashing and starting at the back of the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

“I think the thing that gives a different flavour, a different nuance, a different emphasis, is that it’s a flat out race,” Brawn said. “There’s no team strategy involved. It’s driver alone, 100kms flat out racing, no team strategy, no pitstops, no fuel saving, nothing.

“I think they will battle intensely for position on a Saturday afternoon. People have said won’t they drive conservatively, because they want to preserve their cars and look after things? I guess a driver always drives within a certain limit whenever they’re on the track, because they don’t want to damage the equipment.

“But you’re sat there in second or third and you’re driving conservatively and everyone’s overtaking you, what are you going to do? You’re going to battle, you’re going to compete. There’s no way these guys are going to cruise round on a Saturday afternoon.”

F1 Sprint Qualifying will start on Saturday afternoon in place of the usual qualifying session.