F1 will have more sprint qualifying rounds in 2022 but can it fix its contradictions?

2021 F1 season

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Having conducted two trials of its ‘sprint qualifying’ format, with one more to come in Brazil, Formula 1 is planning six more next year.

As RaceFans revealed yesterday the F1 Commission has agreed in principle to hold another half-a-dozen sprint qualifying events in 2022. The World Motor Sport Council is expected to rubber-stamp the decision.

What remains unclear, however, is how the sport intends to address the flaws and contradictions thrown up by its experiment with the format. F1 has repeatedly insisted fans love the change, glossing over the clearly more critical reaction from many of our readers and those on social media.

It’s too early to say whether sprint qualifying can win over its doubters, or attract enough new fans to the sport to make up for any who may be turned off by it. There most persuasive case for sprint qualifying is that it draws in more eyeballs by replacing practice sessions with competitive action. But with the 2022 F1 calendar expected to expand to 23 rounds, how many people will find the time to watch 50 competitive sessions in 52 weeks?

Monaco is a no-go for the sprint show
The praise F1 heaps on the format throws up another contradiction: If sprint qualifying is superior, why not use it at every race weekend?

F1’s argument is that it would not be suitable at some tracks, such as Monaco, because overtaking is so difficult there. But that is an indictment of anything, it is the circuit, not the format. If the overtaking problem at Monaco was that bad, F1 wouldn’t race there at all. And aside from that one circuit, which is an outlier among others in so many ways, are there really that many tracks which would be ‘unsuitable’ for sprint qualifying races?

This also underlines the fact F1 has not yet satisfactorily answered a vital question raised by sprint qualifying: Why should some rounds of the world championship be worth more points than others?

The two sprint qualifying events held so far have largely failed to make good on the promises of spectacular races in which drivers, untethered from the need to preserve tyre or engine life, would push flat-out in the pursuit of a better starting position for the grand prix. And, if they’re at the sharp end, a handful of extra points.

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Instead, sprint qualifying has re-emphasised familiar points about the shortcomings of modern F1 racing. Once the excitement of the start has died down and the field has spread out, the cars’ aerodynamics makes passing too hard.

Hamilton took advantage of freer tyre rules at Monza
(Arguably, by giving drivers free tyre choice for both races, sprint qualifying has shown F1 could create more interesting strategies by doing away with the ‘Q3 tyre rule’ at all events, something RaceFans readers have previously indicated they want to see.)

Some drivers have suggested F1 needs to encourage variation in the lap times between cars to increase overtaking in sprint races. “My feeling is the sprint is too short and the cars are pretty much driving flat-out every single lap and it doesn’t offer enough opportunity between the cars to be able to overtake,” said George Russell after the most recent sprint event.

“Normally when you see overtaking it’s because of a tyre delta. If everybody goes out there, Mercedes and Red Bull are within a few tenths, then McLaren and the next cars are within a few tenths and so on and so on. You only get that overtaking opportunity with the tyre delta and 100 kilometre race didn’t give you that opportunity.”

But this contradicts a key argument for the sprint format, which was that a shorter race would encourage drivers to push flat out and create more exciting races. Moreover, if the sprint qualifying races were extended beyond their current one-third grand prix distance, would they still be short enough to call ‘sprints’?

The most glaring contradiction of sprint qualifying has always been its name: F1’s insistence on referring to a race as a ‘qualifying’ session. This comes from the top: FIA president Jean Todt made it clear he will not accept the sessions being called ‘races’.

There are other nomenclature problems, notably the idea that pole position is no longer being decided by a true qualifying session. Even F1 drivers have described the re-defining of pole position as ‘wrong’.

But these quibbles over names aren’t merely surface problems. Fundamentally altering traditions which have endured since the first round of the world championship was always going to be a controversial move.

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F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn has indicated this problem will be addressed. One solution may be to split the sprint event from qualifying and make it a separate, stand-alone race. But the route may only lead to more contradictions, not least with Todt’s clear opposition to sprint races in F1.

F1 could have F2-style sprint races
By removing the grid-setting aspect of the sprint format, some other incentive will be needed for drivers to race rather than sit back and preserve their cars. Offering more points is one obvious route, as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggested when RaceFans asked him about the change last week.

“If we were to do more [sprint events] then maybe the format overall needs to be tweaked,” he said. “How many points are attributed, is it really three, two, one or should it go back to 10th place, without undervaluing the grand prix?”

Wolff’s comment neatly captures this contradiction. The current sprint qualifying races cover one-third grand prix distance but offer less than one-eighth the reward of Sunday’s event in terms of points.

If F1 were to award the top 10 then – assuming they’re not going to deal in fractions of points – the value of finishing tenth in a sprint race would be at least one point, the same as a grand prix. That would obviously under-value the grand prix.

Alternatively it could borrow from Formula 2’s example. It uses the same points system as F1 for its feature races, then gives 15 to a sprint race winner, down to 1 for eighth place. These are in roughly similar proportion to their race distances of 170 and 120 kilometres respectively. Adopting a similar principle, F1 could give eight points to a sprint race winner down to one point for eight place.

If F1 does go down the route of stand-alone sprint races, it will essentially mimic F2’s format, which next year will have sprint races on Saturdays and longer races on Sundays. As well as accepting that similarity, it will also further increase the likelihood the world championship could be decided outside of a grand prix.

Both scenarios would arguably undermine and devalue the status of grands prix, which F1 has said it is eager not to do, and is Todt’s overriding concern. But perhaps the promise of extra eyeballs and greater revenue has proved too great for that to be a consideration any longer.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “F1 will have more sprint qualifying rounds in 2022 but can it fix its contradictions?”

  1. I’m so excited. 😐

    1. Be careful what you say, Domenicali will probably quote you on that and justify 10 more “sprints”.

      1. Im ok with the sprints. I dont love them, but they’re a nice change some weekends. And you cant deny that the two weekends we’ve had sprints have also produced two of the best races of the season.

        “the clearly more critical reaction from many of our readers and those on social media” this statement confuses the loudest faction with the largest faction. Those who are upset will always be more vocal than those who are not. But that doesnt mean that most fans dont like it.

  2. I’ll say it again, if you line the cars up fastest to slowest, and don’t allow changes to the cars between sessions, why on earth would you expect them to finish in an order other than what they started in?

    The introduction of the spending cap requires a review of the rules that were implemented in the name of cost cutting, like putting the cars in parc ferme prior to qualifying. That rule was introduced to prevent teams from having qualifying cars and race cars, but with everything else under the new spending cap, if a team can do that and remain within the rules, they should be allowed to do it.

    1. The one bit I like about Parc Ferme though is that teams have to decide if to set up the car for quali or for the race. Especially in changing conditions this can become interesting (it’s like naturally creating a reverse grid where teams decide to quali high and defend, or quali poorly and race hard).

    2. I’m definitely on the side that a big chunk of old rules introduced to cut costs should now be removed. There is a budget cap, no team is allowed to spend more than that so how could it become more expensive? But parc fermè is more intricate than that. It’s not really for saving costs, even though that is a side effect of it. It’s more to ensure the starting order (the result of qualifying) is representative of the cars that will take place in the grand prix. By having the ability to change every aspect of the car before the race, the cars that proved worthy of participating in the race would not be the ones on the grid. So why qualify at all?
      I would probably be ok with them changing setups. As in, freely adjusting things that are already on the car, without replacing any parts. Then it would still be the same machine, the same hump of carbon and metal, taking part in the race as it was in qualifying.

    3. @velocityboy the parc ferme regulations were not just about cost cutting though, but also about mechanic welfare – in particular, the tendency for mechanics to be ordered to work on the cars overnight so often, raising the risk that an overly fatigued mechanic could make a mistake with potentially quite serious consequences.

  3. Very, very disappointed to have to wait another year to see sprint qualifying at every round of the championship.

    This is the first good idea F1 had for decades and I was really hoping for it to become a fixed part of the weekend from next year.

    1. May I ask why you think it’s the first good idea in decades?

      1. I can’t think of another one. The current qualifying format is the worst we’ve ever had, limitations on testing made catching up almost impossible, restricted number of components have made the cars way to reliable, the 18 inch rims look absolutely horrible, the move to the middle east is laughable, the current run-off areas are dangerous and ruin races …

        … the only other good invention was the halo but they missed the trick of mandating that it should be black with no marking which would make it look less terrible.

        1. You have forgotten race-fuel qualifying and open sessions with an empty track for 45 minutes. This is the best qualifying framework in the history of the sport by far.

        2. I meant to ask why is sprint race qualifying is better than the current quali that you already described above.

          I’m also confused, you think making cars reliable is bad for racing?

  4. They want extra races during Grand Prix week-ends, fine. Just make it so it’s separate from Sunday’s race and has no implication on either driver’s or constructor’s championships.
    I’d be all for having a separate sprint championship, only for constructors. They should make it so that a single driver could not participate in more than a third of sprint races (4 out of 6), to force teams to occasionally use their 3rd or reserve drivers.
    We always complain that their is only so many spots available in Formula 1, and so few opportunities for young or reserve drivers to drive a current-generation F1 car. Well, that checks all the boxes in my opinion.

    1. But would teams/drivers actually want to compete in a separate competition like that? Isn’t it likely you would see teams not doing very much in the sprint to preserve their cars for the real race?

    2. Nice idea!

      We need some fresh ideas like this. I know a lot of fans here don’t line SQ, but we need to accept that Liberty want more races.

    3. One good point is to use reserve/ third drivers for the sprint somehow

  5. notably the idea that pole position is no longer being decided by a true qualifying session.

    That comment has becomes childish; especially after a normal weekend where the pole was not decided by the ‘true’ qualifying session.

  6. It’s too early to say whether sprint qualifying can win over its doubters, or attract enough new fans to the sport to make up for any who may be turned off by it

    They know FULL WELL that us fans will put up with anything because we cannot bear outselves if we don’t watch. That’s what I always think when I’m sitting alone on a sunday afternoon watching a horribly bad race: “I’d not really be me if I wasn’t watching this borefest”.

    Sadly, motorsport is the only sport I follow and one which I adore with all my heart. Cars racing each other brings me joy, as it’s the deepest of my passions, far deeper than anything else.

    And they know that, they know the die-hard fans will still watch, while sponsors and organizers give them more money for a pointless bit of racing on saturday and some, probably very few, new fans show interest.

    For them it’s win-win. For me, it’s sad, disappointing, enraging, but what could I do? I’ve already complained enough, but other than my girlfriend, my cat, and a couple of friends, all of them who keep rolling their eyes probably thinking “get a new hobbie”, I’m not reaching anyone else…

    1. Very well summed up @fer-no65.
      Unfortunately apathy is the only way to deal with the current situation, as much as I’d like to dream otherwise.

    2. I don’t know, I stopped watching a few championships because of strange race formats (reverse grid races etc.). They are slowly killing my excitement for F1 too. I’m not looking forward to these sprints, I wished I could fast forward to the real race. Qualy one day, whatever-it-is sprint the second and then race the third day, that’s so watered down and boring. More doesn’t mean better in this case, sprint can’t compare to a real race. As a matter of fact it spoils it for me, we get to see what to expect in the actual race performance wise. If they continue with decisions like this I may eventually give up, especially if we lose another team. losing more cars on the grid, while at the same time those rare seats get taken by spoiled rich kids more and more. Not to mention that every second race will be held in middle east, places like Saudi Arabia that would give me nightmares if I wasn’t at a safe distance.

    3. @fer-no65 I love F1 and work in open wheel racing, however I also have other sports and hobbies that I love to do, I’m the one who has to decide if I’m going to make the time to watch F1 racing at the expense of the others things I need be doing or could do. I’m I lucky that I have choices and my time is precious.
      If Liberty Media wants to go ahead and chase new fans, re-invent the wheel and create what they perceive as good motorsport racing, then fine I can scan over the results Sunday night on the plane/Monday morning over coffee. It will be sad but I value my time and will spend it else where.
      I do have to admit, it’s a tight rope when the popularity in motorsport racing is what pays my income (or not) and what I feel should be true motorsport racing.

      F1 has been and will be around my whole life and its always changing, I can go back to it to fill my spare time if it starts to make sense again and interests me. I’m a huge proponent of not having sprint quali, it’s a band-aid to increase entertainment for some fans but it’s not making it better competition. It’s the topic/butt of many jokes inside racing circles.

  7. “But with the 2022 F1 calendar expected to expand to 23 rounds, how many people will find the time to watch 50 competitive sessions in 52 weeks?”

    If americans can watch 160 3 hours long baseball games during an MLB season (April-October) im pretty sure we can handle 50 F1 sessions in a year.

    1. If F1 is betting on just Americans they’ve lost already.

    2. @latorres86 But how many people watch all 160 games?

      Most of the people I know who watch sports such as baseball, football etc.. pick & choose what games they watch.

      I remember seeing a stat maybe a decade or so agin which said something along the lines of how less than 10% of nascar fans watch every race with a majority only watching less than 20 each season. And indeed in every fan poll, survey or discussion aimed at F1 fans a vast majority have said they would prefer less than 20 with most of those saying they would be willing to skip races once the season goes beyond that.

      I already know people who have skipped races this year because of not having time to dedicate so many weekends to F1 regardless of how passionate about the sport they are. I myself have already decided I won’t be watching every race next year (The gimmick weekends will be the first to be ignored) & that would mark the first time since we got coverage of every F1 race in the early 80s that i’ll have skipped races.


      1. Your rant didn’t end yet.

    3. @latorres86 It’s rare that @roger-ayles and I agree on subjects but I think you’re maybe confusing the days of ’70’s and way earlier as we’re now in the 2020’s when whole families are individually constantly texting their own friends and on Instagram while all are at the same dinner table. No one seems to be able to focus what’s in front of them for more than 5″, let alone commit that much time. Which is probably the main reason they’re creating spring quali’s.

      It’s a very, very rare bird in today’s society that watches 160 MLB games in a year. If F1 is banking on that, then indeed they’re in very big trouble, plus they wouldn’t need to do sprint quali if they’re going after that type of hardcore fan.

      1. Man, I had to mandate a ban on devices at dinner in my house. And it was really to constrain me and my wife not the kids. Because it’s always tempting to check the work phone or soccer practice schedule or whatever. There is always a “good” reason to ignore the present and your family for that screen it seems.

  8. Ultimately as soon as that Cryptobitcoin sponsorship deal happened we all knew Sprint Races were here to stay.

    F1 doesnt care about what the fans think or the integrity of the sport and its history. All they care about is selling advertising space.

  9. “Money talks” —Lewis Hamilton 2021

    1. Said LH at the negotiating table.

  10. Just have two races in a weekend then, so each session is worthwhile. Formula E does this a lot and it doesn’t devalue a win. Did anyone mind seeing two consecutive races in Austria or Silverstone last year? No. A win is a win, regardless of whether the previous GP was the day before or two weeks before.

  11. Stephen Higgins
    14th October 2021, 17:16

    All right then Ross / Stefano.

    Fine, have it your way.

    Just have one qualifying session at the first race then do away with qualifying altogether and line up in reverse championship order for the ready of the season.

    Happy now ?!

    1. That will be the slowest qualifying session ever, at least for cars that know they won’t win the first race. Half the field won’t even leave the pits lol.

  12. Love you man, finally someone that explain quite all my frustration about this “genial” idea. So angry with this, history destroyer

  13. If F1 does go down the route of stand-alone sprint races, it will essentially mimic F2’s format, which next year will have sprint races on Saturdays and longer races on Sundays.

    This has ruined F2. The 3 race format was bad, but to not go back to the original 2 race format (Saturday = feature race, Sunday – sprint race) is disappointing.
    The F2 sprint was great all out racing BECAUSE the important race (feature race with full points and grid determined by qualifying) had already taken place.
    The Sprint race then gave the slower guys an opportunity to be at the front, but at the same time, the best drivers could stage heroic blasts through the pack without any concern of keeping the car in one piece.
    To have the Feature race on the Sunday means less risk in the Sprint as you don’t want to ruin your chances in the Feature race. Just like the current problem with F1…

    1. That’s a great point about how F2 organizes things. But of course the problem is scheduling—Can F1 and F2 both have a full race on Saturday (and qualification sessions)? Of course not every weekend is shared with F2 so for where it’s not share, your idea would be much better—full race, then sprint on Sunday.

      1. @dmw Sadly, that would go against the normalities of motorsport racing and other weekend entertainment which makes Sunday as the biggest day of motor racing and having the F1 feature race on Saturday would really hurt viewership numbers. The headliner always plays last.

        F2 is a feeder race and fills in gaps where there could be extra races to watch. Having their feature race on Sat. makes sense when the main event (F1) is on Sunday. The F2 sprint race was just an extra and less important race thats intended to help junior drivers and not as important as the feature race.

    2. @eurobrun Bravo, +1

      And we have to remember that F2 was created as an educational race series to help junior drivers gain experience and improve abilities to hopefully race one day in F1. Sprint racing was not created to increase entertainment, it was created like you said, it’s an educational tool for slower junior drivers at the expense of the best drivers.

      Why they’re doing this in F1 is bizarre, F1 is suppose to be the pinnacle of motorsport racing showing who is the absolute best in the sport without any handicaps handed out (like F2). Implementing sprint quali goes directly against what F1 is suppose to be.

      Agree, the old F2 format was much better, especially for fans watching and tracking the whole season and made way more sense.

  14. since witnessing the Monza sprint, I am in a mental home,
    since my excitement would not want to decline back onto a normal level

    1. But this is “progress” @gosac and you and I are simply luddites stuck in the past and need to get over it.

      1. yes, you are right, they call it so — whereby sports connoisseurs know that best top sport is being achieved via balance of evolution & tradition;
        when you change the sporting regulations every 2 years, the logo of the franchise every 5 or 10, and the tracks every now and then, there is few tradition left;
        when connoisseurs of entertainment are aware that the normal fan would prefer some sort of stability in his sparetime, instead of being expected to re-learn (and re-tell their kids) everything again and again (including ever more complicated regulations, because with simple regulations the powers in charge could not prove their power :)

  15. Why stop there? They can have sprints on Fridays and Wednesdays and a double-header on xmas and thxgiving, so it’s like baseball or the NBA.

    As for the flaws and contradictions, the main point is Russell’s: Everyone going flat out not only makes passing less likely, it heightens the differences between the cars’ performance. For the same reason, it’s odd to give points for it because on average you are just giving more points to the car likely to win the Sunday race, because that car was most likely to win Saturday qualifying. It’s distributionally regressive.

    If the goal is to Mix Things Up, you have to literally mix up the cars on the grid—reverse grids or lottery grids. Or, one idea I haven’t seen offered, is to limit the relative benefit of qualifying faster (or placing better in the sprint) by de-staggering the grid slots. Make the cars start side by side or reduce the stagger and put them 3 wide like MotoGP. (I would not like a rolling start like in the U.S. those are a mess and half the time 3/4s of the field are just in a queue as they cross the line.)

  16. I have commented on this before and I stand by it.

    Sprint should be a Friday event in which the grid is formed in reverse-championship standing and points awarded to the top 3 drivers (3 because those are the podium finishers and depending on the points awarded it would not cause too much of a shift in the championships)

    Following the Sprint, on Saturday, would be the traditional Qualifying (I, for one, am a fan of the Q3 tire rule as it introduces some variance and strategy in the top 10 qualifiers) which determins the starting order of the Grand Prix on Sunday.

    1. To add to this, penalties which need to be served from prior races or due to power unit changes should be applied after Qualifying and would impact the drivers grid position in the Grand Prix on Sunday. Any effort by the teams to serve these penalties in the Sprint would undermine their severity.

  17. Qualifying on Friday (for both sprint and race – 2 birds with one stone):

    Q1 determines Sprint grid and event on Saturday.
    Q2 & Q3 run as usual – Fastest in Q3 gets Pole Position for Sunday’s race.

    Points distribution for Sprint event – roughly 1/3 of normal race points, and to fairly implement, only top 5 scores points as follows:

    1st 8pts
    2nd 6pts
    3rd 5pts
    4th 4pts
    5th 3pts

    This would also make the Sprint a standalone event without interfering with the Grand Prix itself.

    1. This is probably the best solution that I have heard so far if we are to continue with Sprints. Although I still do not like that some race weekends are worth more than others points wise.

  18. Nice to see they listened to the fan vote and fan feedback ahead of the short term viewing figures.

    Thoroughly looking forward to more tacky medals on the crypto wagon. Please try to keep some dignity F1 will you, you’re better than this tacky garbage.

  19. Once the excitement of the start has died down and the field has spread out, the cars’ aerodynamics makes passing too hard.

    I know that many are of the belief that next year’s car been (Hopefully) able to race closer & overtake easier will make the sprints more action packed, But i’m not so sure that will be the case.

    Even when you go back to years past where cars in F1 could run closer & overtaking was easier because of that you never really saw that much action or overtaking between cars of fairly similar performance & drivers of fairly even skill when both were pushing pretty hard.

    Overtaking in F1 has always come about more as a result of a big performance difference between cars, Cars been out of position compared to there current race pace, Different levels of Car/tyre/fuel management, Different strategies, Mistakes, Unreliability or other similar factors.

    A shorter sprint race where everyone is pushing harder, Where strategy isn’t a factor where car management is less of a consideration & where mistakes are less likely is always going to feature less action, excitement & interest because they are not going to feature most of the elements that contribute to creating those things during an F1 Grand Prix.

    1. CoTD, @stefmeister.

      If only Liberty could be honest with us – sprint racing has nothing to do with racing or qualifying. It’s a revenue grab add-on.

      Call it the Liberty Media Share Price Bump Sprint On Wheels. Instead of awarding points to the top whatever drivers, just award them some add-on endorsement deals.

      1. Honest with us???

        I just spat out my morning coffee.

        The main players have come from top management positions of F1 teams where honesty and integrity are of course the two most common and highly regarded character traits. Somehow people thought they were great choices for their new jobs because of their vast experience but conveniently overlooked their skills in mistruth and misdirection.



  21. I do not like the format of the SQ thing at all. Please Liberty and FIA, stop it forthwith!

  22. It’s really simple.

    If Liberty must do this then it must be done for all races not just “some”

    All events have to be worth the same in terms of the championship so it’s quite wrong to have some races worth more than others.

    For those that say you can’t have it at Monaco, yes they could. It actually IS possible to pass there, difficult but possible. With the new 2022 cars it should be less difficult if cars can follow closer.

    I’d rather none of these abomination sprints, but if we’re going to be stuck with them then for goodness sake make it the same at each circuit.

  23. There are two problems with sprint qualifying.
    1. The cars still have difficulty following and therefore passing.
    2. These are the same cars to be used in the race and the same engines for multiple races, so you cannot crash or you risk severe penalties (starting at the back or losing an engine, as well as costs against the cap for any repairs) all to chase a few points.

    When you put those two things together, why would anyone want to push hard and take big risks?

    On sprint weekends, qualifying and the sprint race should be done in spec cars. 911 Cup cars or something. That will mix up the Sunday grid.

  24. The thing is that F1 needs dedicated fans to pay for the product. Seems a bit foolish to upset the fanbase with pointless changes that they don’t like. The real test will be when their Sky Sports contract comes up for renewal and they think about what they are paying per month, and how the sport they love has been slowly ruined to try and appeal to people who wouldn’t even bother watching a 7 min highlight video of the race on Youtube.

    Problem is Liberty wont see it coming because there is a massive delay in implementing changes to F1 and real customer feedback such as cancelling a Sky contract. Mine is up in August next year and I’m starting to think if it would be better for me to cancel Sky and just pay F1TV £20 for a year of F1TV Access then watch the races from the archive each January. While I wait I could go back and watch some of the old seasons and reminisce over happier times.

  25. So far the sprint qualifying has not been a good thing, but maybe after the aero changes next year we will see more overtakes?

  26. Let’s see how they work next year if the cars really have improved to allow for much closer racing. Then it might be more meaningful to keep the Sprints. I think it’s just silly though that they can’t be called races when they so clearly are races.

  27. Oh believe me just get rid of it! It’s not a solution for the cracks that already papered time after time, just wait for the new generation of car and we’ll see the racing will be better or not.. Last thing F1 need is another point that Keith already mentioned in the article, gimmicky things that could decide the championship outside the real race..

  28. sports connoisseurs know that best sport is being achieved via balance of evolution & tradition;
    when you change the sporting regulations every 2 years, the logo of the franchise every 5 or 10, and the tracks every now and then, there is few tradition left;
    with connoisseurs of entertainment being aware that the normal fan would prefer some sort of stability in his sparetime, instead of being expected to re-learn (and re-educate their peers & kids) everything over & over again & again
    (including ever more complicated regulations, because with simple regulations the powers in charge could not prove their power :)

  29. Just don’t let Sprint Qualifying decide the race grid.

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