Sprint Qualifying…: Why Will Top 3 F1 Drivers be Given a Wreath & paraded around a ‘Crypto-Sponsored’ Bus?

Published 07/17/2021, 12:03 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 (L – R) Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel pose during a promotional photoshoot for the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge


The glorious Silverstone circuit – the birthplace of Formula One. The sport came back to this iconic track in 2021 by introducing a new format of racing – the sprint qualifying. With the new, there’s a place for the old; in line with going back to where we started, the events after the sprint race will be old-school.

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Lewis Hamilton will sit tight at the top of the grid, followed by championship contender Max Verstappen and teammate Valtteri Bottas. The grid has been determined by the best lap times at Friday’s qualifying session. 17 laps around the circuit, lasting roughly 30 minutes; will give us the starting grid for the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Usually, at the end of a normal qualifying, drivers partake in the post-race interviews and head for their weigh-ins. But, this Saturday deviates from the normal. The top three placements not only receive points for their positions but will also take part in a post-race parade. The victors will parade around the Silverstone circuit; a ‘Sprint Victory Lap’ in the awe of the fans on the grandstands, accompanied by former racer Jenson Button.

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The grandeur doesn’t end there. The top three will then be presented with unique wreaths, as was once customary in the sport. The  This weekend will surely be one of the season’s best.

A voyage into the unknown- Sprint qualifying

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 General view at the start of sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

The unusual wheel-to-wheel battle on a Saturday has everyone excited and nervous. There have been drivers downplaying their enthusiasm, but the elation slowly slipped its way through as they arrived at the circuit. All eyes are on the top three positions, anything to get extra points to your name.

The top three itself has a lot of contenders- the championship rivals, McLaren‘s rising star Norris, the ever-improving Ferraris– anyone can make it on the victory bus. Will Verstappen grab the top spot from Hamilton on his home soil?

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Well, from the get-go, he did. The green flag waved; Verstappen, his brakes ablaze, took the starting position from Hamilton and maintained the lead. Hamilton trailed behind, trying hard to find some power in his Mercedes. however, the champ was stuck looking at the Red Bull’s rear wing for the entire event.

With the history of the circuit paired with the roaring crowds; the new format and fast drivers, it’s the perfect Formula One weekend. It’s not a race, but it was a sprint worth watching.

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Shreya Sanjeev

134 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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