LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both won at Silverstone last year but an experimental new race format poses a fresh challenge for Formula One’s title rivals on their return to the British Grand Prix circuit this weekend.
The biggest sporting crowd in Britain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 140,000 expected on Sunday, will see Formula One history made with the debut on Saturday of The Sprint -- a qualifying race without pitstops.
Slverstone, where the championship started in 1950, is the first of three tracks that will trial a 100km half-hour long dash to decide pole position and set the grid for the next day’s main event.
A three-part qualifying session for The Sprint will be held on Friday instead of the usual second practice, meaning teams only have one hour on track to set up their cars before the competitive action.
A mistake on Friday is likely to carry far bigger consequences now, while fans -- absent last year due to COVID-19 restrictions -- can look forward to meaningful action on all three days.
Points will be on offer for the top three on Saturday, meaning a driver who wins both races and sets the fastest lap on Sunday can bank a maximum 29.