Jul 16, 2021 - Sports

Formula One unveils new car, debuts "The Sprint"

Image of a Formula One car.
Photo: Race Service/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Formula One on Thursday unveiled a concept car based around new regulations being introduced next year.

Why it matters: The new regulations, which were supposed to be introduced this year but were delayed due to the pandemic, are aimed at creating closer, more dramatic races.

  • Current F1 cars only retain 55% of their total downforce once they're within a car's length of the car in front, making it difficult to remain close through high-speed corners.
  • Simulations suggest that number will increase to 86% with the new design, which means tighter wheel-to-wheel racing.

Speaking of new ... F1 will debut a 100-kilometer sprint race on Saturday at England's Silverstone Circuit ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix.

  • Grand prix starting positions are usually determined by fastest-lap qualifiers. But this weekend, they'll be determined by the results of "The Sprint."
  • The top three finishers in the sprint will also earn points (three for first place, two for second, one for third).

The big picture: F1's popularity is soaring — particularly in the U.S. — thanks to the über-compelling Netflix series, "Drive to Survive." With new cars and a new qualifying format, F1 is seizing the moment in hopes of attracting even more fans.

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