Formula 1 is preparing to return to the track after the quarantine period, now that the double appointment in Austria has been confirmed at the Red Bull Ring on 5 and 12 July, after the first 10 races of the season have either been postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to recent reports by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, however, to avoid a ‘photocopy effect’, Liberty Media and the Formula 1 teams are currently studying a different qualifying format for the second races, on the occasions when they will take place on the same circuit.
F1 2020, restart from the Austrian GP on 5 and 12 July: «sprint race» instead of qualifying sessions?
“The government of Austria has given the green light to the organization of the Austrian GP, on the Spielberg circuit which will open the Formula 1 season […].
In the second of the two races, a novelty in the format could also debut: to avoid the «photocopy» effect between one GP and the other and introduce an element of unpredictability, FIA and Formula 1 have in fact proposed to change the qualifying format, only for the second GP. Which would be replaced by a sprint race (the number of laps is to be defined) while the starting grid would be determined by the championship standings of the moment, but reversed: therefore the first in the standings would start last, the second penultimate and so on. This proposal had already been presented last year, but had not obtained the consent of the majority of the teams, which now would seem more likely to accept it. The first reaction was almost unanimous support. A few more days and it will be understood whether the necessary unanimity will be obtained.” – Corriere della Sera reported.