The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is considering the introduction of a new F1 Sprint race format, beginning with the first of six such weekends at the Azerbaijan GP scheduled from April 28 to 30. It was last year when the FIA brought the F1 Sprint race weekends for three different Grand Prix, beginning at the Emilia Romagna GP, to make the sport more interesting for the fans and drivers alike.

Last year, the F1 Sprint race weekend format saw the FP1 continue as normal while FP2 getting replaced by qualifying on Friday to get the grid for the Sprint race. Meanwhile, on Saturday, the F1 Sprint race, a 100-km flat out dash to the finish line, took place after FP2, while FP3 was completely gone from the picture. The starting grid for Sunday's Grand Prix was decided on the basis of F1 Sprint race finishes.

But in the days and weeks leading up to the Sprint race weekend for Azerbaijan GP, many in the F1 fraternity have shown their desire to see the FP sessions cut to one if not completely removed from a race weekend. It would mean that the Saturday’s FP2 during F1 Sprint race weekend would make way for qualifying to get the grid for the Sprint race, while ensuring that the Friday qualifying gives the pole sitter for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali gave his opinion about the FP sessions on the sidelines of the Australian GP last month, “I am a supporter of the cancellation of free practice sessions, which are of great use to the engineers but that the public doesn't like.”

Also, the Team Principal of Mercedes, Toto Wolff mentioned that he likes the traditional F1 weekend but he would still want the sport to continue evolving with F1 Sprint race. He said, “Whatever Stefano decides is good, I think he will have all the data on the table what is good for the audiences, what is good for the brand and then, we just want to, maybe, try and tweak things without using a baseball bat, but a Stanley knife…. a more precise way to cut it.”