budkowski Portuguese Grand Prix

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski believes that Formula 1‘s sprint race proposal, or super-qualifying, will add excitement to the race weekend.

The F1 Commission voted in favour of introducing some sort of sprint race format last month and speaking at the virtual launch of the Alpine A521 on Tuesday, the Polish engineer explained how it might work in practice.

“Sprint races or whatever they’re going to be called, ‘super qualifying’, it’s excitement over three days, really,” he said. “You’re going to qualify on the Friday, we’re going to race on Saturday and race again on Sunday.

“We’re going to go a lot less prepared into qualifying. For the fans, whether at the circuit or at home, it is three days of excitement.

“Teams sometimes look at it as we are so obsessed about competing with each other, we are so obsessed about improving our competitiveness and our performance, at the end of the day, we need to put on a good show. I think that’s going to help putting on a good show for the fans.

“So let’s try a new format. It’s a great opportunity to see if that’s something we want to carry over into next season.”

A working group is currently finessing the idea, with a full-formed proposal set to be put to the F1 Commission ahead of the opening race in Bahrain on March 28.

F1 are keen for the new format to not overshadow or diminish the Sunday Grand Prix and as a result, the winner of the super-qualifying race will not celebrate with champagne.

“We have to make sure that there is a difference between the iconic celebration of the race,” said CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“It is the iconic moment at the end of the event, Sunday afternoon, that’s the peak of the sports event and that has to be kept separate from the other moments. So the most important celebration will still be Sunday afternoon and not Saturday.”

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