British GP: F1 Sprint debuts as Silverstone hosts new weekend format, all live on Sky Sports F1

The 2021 British GP will see competitive action over all three days with qualifying on Friday, F1 Sprint – the new, shorter race that will set the grid – on Saturday and the flagship race at Silverstone on Sunday; Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Last update: 07/13/21 1:26 PM

Formula 1 is come home – and get ready for a racing weekend like no other at Silverstone as an all-new format makes its expected debut.

This is the GP of Great Britain. This is the 10th round of an exciting 2021 season. And it’s time for the very first Sprint F1!

This weekend’s exceptional Grand Prix sees one of the biggest changes to the weekend schedule in F1 history as for the first time the drivers will be racing on Saturday to set the grid of the flagship race to Sunday, with fast-paced competitive action over the three days at the Home of British Motorsport, which is expected to accommodate a large crowd.

Sky Sports F1 British GP Live Schedule & New Look

Date and show On air Start of session
Thursday July 15th
The F1 Show Live 6.30 p.m.
Friday July 16
Train a 2 p.m. 2:30 p.m.
Qualification 5:25 p.m. 6 p.m.
Saturday July 17th
Practice two 11:30 12h
Sprint F1 3:40 p.m. 4:30 p.m.
Sunday July 18
The British GP 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m.

The new-look program, launched by F1 with the aim of spicing up the spectacle, sees the traditional qualifying hour take place at the non-traditional Friday hour at 6 p.m. But rather than defining the grid for Sunday’s race, it will instead dictate the positions for the F1 Sprint.

F1 Sprint will take place on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and is essentially a qualifying sprint race (hence the name), with drivers pushing their cars to the limit for a short 100km race around the iconic Northamptonshire circuit.

This unique event will in turn establish the starting grid for the usual Sunday race at 3 p.m., as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen once again prepare to lock the horns for a Grand Prix that could make all the difference in the battle for the championship.

Ready for a British GP like never before? Then watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1, with our weekend schedule featuring in-depth interviews and reporting, exceptional live broadcasts, and expert advice from stars like Jenson Button.

It should be a cracker.

F1’s new sprint format: the key points

  • There will be a qualifying hour and this is the usual format (Q1, Q2, Q3), but it takes place Friday evening rather than Saturday, and sets the F1 Sprint grid on Saturday. The only major change is that riders are only allowed to use soft tires for the session.
  • F1 Sprint is a race of over 100 km – about a third of the distance of regular F1 races – and there will be the fewest laps exceeding 100 km. So it should be a 17-lap race.
  • Drivers are allowed to choose any tire they want, and unlike the usual Sunday races, there is no mandatory pit stop – which means we should have wheel-to-wheel battles of the start to finish.
  • In another reshuffle, the top three drivers in this race will be awarded points; three points for the winner, two points for the second and one point for the third.
  • The F1 Sprint order will then set the grid for Sunday’s British GP – which remains the main event of the weekend with the usual racing format and points system (top 10, 25 for the winner, 18 for the second, etc.). The drivers will have the free choice of tires for this race.
  • There are weekend workouts, but just the two rather than the usual three. They take place Friday before qualifying, and Saturday before F1 Sprint.

Hamilton vs Verstappen rolls over Silverstone

The 2021 British GP will witness a unique moment in F1 history this weekend – and there is also the added bonus of an intense title battle. But it’s Max Verstappen, not home favorite Lewis Hamilton, who has all the momentum.

After sweeping the triple header with three consecutive wins, first-time title challenger Verstappen now holds a 32-point lead over Hamilton, who has never overcome such a deficit before.

He hopes to get back in shape at an event that has always treated him well, with seven-time F1 champion Hamilton winning seven times at Silverstone.

Hamilton is expected to be helped by a new Mercedes upgrade package, as the world champions look to gain ground on Red Bull.

Verstappen, meanwhile, is aiming for his first British GP victory and his sixth of the season.

Battles further down the grid have also been exciting this year, with Lando Norris the pick of the other drivers and looking to wow the bumper crowd this weekend.

The young British driver from McLaren is fourth in the championship and enters the British GP after another superb podium in Austria. He hopes to be McLaren’s spearhead in his fight against Ferrari.

Sky Sports F1 live schedule for the British GP

Sky F1 is your home for the British GP, from the 2022 car launch on Thursday and the F1 live show at Silverstone, through to three days of competitive action.

Thursday
3:30 p.m .: The F1: One Begins – 2022 F1 car launch live stream on Sky Sports F1 YouTube)
6.30 p.m .: The F1 Show (also broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 YouTube)
7:30 p.m .: Pilot press conference

Friday
11:30 am: F2 training
2 p.m .: British GP Practice One (start at 2:30 p.m.)
4:50 p.m .: Qualifications F2
5:25 p.m .: preparation for qualifying for the British GP
6 p.m .: BRITISH GP QUALIFICATION

Saturday
8:50 am: F2 Sprint Course 1
11:30 am: British GP Practice Two (session starts at 12 noon)
2:45 p.m .: F2 Sprint Race 2
3:40 p.m .: British GP, preparation for the F1 Sprint
4:30 p.m .: UK F1 GP SPRINT
6 p.m .: Ted’s notebook

Sunday
10:50 a.m .: F2 Feature Race
1:30 p.m .: Grand Prix Sunday
3 p.m .: THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX
5 p.m .: Checkered flag
6 p.m .: Ted’s notebook
7 p.m .: highlights of the British GP

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