Formula 1 sprint races will no longer set the starting order for Sunday Grand Prix races

This weekend's race in Azerbaijan is the first of six sprint race weekends in 2023

Formula 1 sprint races will no longer determine the starting lineup for the Grand Prix races that follow.

F1 announced Tuesday that qualifying on Friday would set the field for races on Sunday while the Saturday sprint races would not have any bearing on the race the following day. This weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the first of six sprint race weekends during the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The sprint race format was introduced on three occasions during the 2021 season. Over the first two years of the sprint trial run, qualifying was moved up a day to Friday and that session set the lineup for Saturday’s sprint race. The sprint race then set the lineup for Sunday’s race, meaning that a driver who wrecked out of the sprint race would have to start at the back of the field for the more important race on Sunday.

Points will still be awarded to the top eight finishers of the sprint race. The winner gets eight points while the eighth-place driver gets a single point.

Since points are still involved and there’s no effect on Sunday’s races, Formula 1 hopes that drivers will be more incentivized to be aggressive during the 100 km sprint races in the new format.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 12: Carlos Sainz (#55) of Ferrari and Spain during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 12, 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Aziz Karimov/Getty Images)
This weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the first of six sprint race weekends in Formula 1 in 2023. (Photo by Aziz Karimov/Getty Images)

Friday’s first session in Baku will be a practice and qualifying for Sunday’s race will be the second session. A second practice and a mini-qualifying session for the sprint race will be held on Saturday before the sprint race itself.

The Austrian Grand Prix, Belgian Grand Prix, Qatar Grand Prix, U.S. Grand Prix and São Paulo Grand Prix are the other five sprint race weekends in 2023. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the first F1 race in nearly a month because of the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing has won the first three races of the season as two-time defending world champion Max Verstappen leads the points standings.