File picture: Getty Images via AFP.
File picture: Getty Images via AFP.

F1 planning to double the number of sprint races in 2022

By AFP Time of article published Nov 3, 2021

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Paris - Formula One is planning to double the number of qualifying sprint races to six next season, the sport's managing director Ross Brawn said this week.

The two that have been trialled so far this season at Silverstone and Monza have been generally well received, with a third scheduled for Brazil later this month.

The new concept sees Sunday's Grand Prix grid determined by the outcome of a 100km race staged on the Saturday, in place of the traditional one-timed lap qualifying format, which is moved to Friday to determine pole for the sprint.

Championship leader Max Verstappen won the inaugural Silverstone sprint for the British Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas following up in Italy.

"We've in principle agreed with the teams that we will look towards six events for next year," he confirmed.

Brawn suggested further tweaks to the system to make it more attractive were in the pipeline, but only after 2022 when the new breed of F1 cars are introduced in a bid to promote closer racing.

Among the changes under consideration are increased points to give it more clout, reverse grid, and its name.

"We all call it a race, it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – the naming of the event is something we want to tidy up," Brawn told an online press conference.

On the points distribution he envisaged "something around the third of the points you get in a race for the sprint.

"So it's significant enough to be worth going for, it goes far enough down that people in lower positions still want to fight for it but not of a number that has an over-influence on the championship."

"What's in discussion is how can we make the rewards for a Saturday greater, so there's much more incentive to race on a Saturday," he added.

On the sprint's popularity he revealed: "From a fan perspective, we've had a good response. We look at the demographics and we seem to have engaged some more younger and casual audience with the Sprint.

"I'd say that the avid fans, the dedicated fans have not been convinced yet. They're indifferent to it but they all watched it, by the way, they didn't turn off."

Agence France-Presse

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