F1 could name ‘Sprint champion’ among other possible changes to format in 2022

2021 F1 season

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A ‘sprint race champion’ award is among the possible changes to the format being considered for the 2022 Formula 1 season.

F1 will also discuss other potential revisions to its new format which debuted this year to a mixed reception from fans. An official survey of over 167,000 F1 viewers found 40% agreed sprint qualifying “improved the show” while 34% disagreed.

The third and final sprint qualifying round of the current F1 season will take place at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix next week. As RaceFans previously reported the series plans to hold six sprint events next year.

“We’ve in principle agreed with the teams that we will look towards six events for next year,” F1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn confirmed.

Asked by RaceFans whether it could create a ‘sprint qualifying champion’ award, Brawn said: “Yes I think that’s a possibility.”

“I think as you saw with Crypto we were able to bring in a new commercial partner which was partly around sprint so therefore that could be a very appealing aspect for commercial partners,” he added.

However Brawn stressed any change to the format must not detract from the grand prix on Sunday. “The trick is always to make sure we never cannibalise the main event,” he said.

“The race on a Sunday is the main event. It’s the grand prix and we want to enhance that and not cannibalise that. So whatever we do, we’re mindful of not detracting from the Sunday event. So if we did do something it would have to enter consideration. But it’s an option.”

F1 will discuss other potential changes to the sprint format after its third running in Brazil. These include awarding more points on sprint weekends, describing the Saturday event as a ‘race’ rather than ‘qualifying’ and using Friday’s qualifying session to decide the grid – and pole position – for Sunday’s grand prix.

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“There’s a few things which are on the table for discussion,” said Brawn. “The pole position for Friday – which has clearly not been popular, not having the pole position for a Friday – that’s on the agenda.

“The naming of the event – because 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.

“And then perhaps the points distribution for a Saturday could make it more challenging and inviting for drivers to race. So that’s definitely something which is on our agenda to discuss with the FIA and the teams.

“Following Brazil, there’ll be another get-together. We’ve had the F1 Commission, it was very positive and after Brazil we’ll get down and start to sort out the details.”

The decision to name the sprint qualifying race winner as the pole position holder produced an especially strong backlash, including from drivers such as Sebastian Vettel who described it as “wrong”. Brawn is hopeful this will be changed if the format continues into 2022.

“We definitely need to look at it,” he said. “It’s been a consistent comment amongst fans and media and drivers et cetera that the person who does the fastest single lap with low-fuel in that sort of competition is the pole position holder. I guess we hadn’t really considered that, if I’m honest, when we set up this new format.

“So personally I’d like to see a reversion to that being pole position. These things are decided with the FIA and the teams but that one definitely I think [there’s] broad opinion that Friday should be pole position for the sprint weekends. So that’s something I would hope would get through for next year.”

The sprint qualifying events currently award three world championship points to the winner, two for second and one for third. Brawn would like to increase the maximum points on offer and award points to more drivers.

“I think the points distribution for a sprint, personally, we proposed something around the third of the points you get in a race for the sprint. That was the initial proposal which was not taken up because the feeling was that we needed to see how the sprint functions first before we allocated the points.

“So we think that will be the starting point for the discussion, something around that sort of order. 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.

“It will have an influence on the championship, it must have, that’s what we want, but not an excessive amount.”

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68 comments on “F1 could name ‘Sprint champion’ among other possible changes to format in 2022”

  1. that was a depressing read

    (not complaining about the writeup @Dieter Rencken and @Keith Collantine)

    1. Coventry Climax
      1st November 2021, 19:26

      Yep, agree.
      “.. so therefore that could be a very appealing aspect for commercial partners”. Everything else is irrelevant to LM, I’m afraid.
      I can only agree with Verstappen, in the picture: “Bye, F1”.
      Oh, and @ Robbie: We’re all the same, which is what ‘We race as one’ is also supposed to convey. So we all have the same butts as well. What on earth then is so appealing about Brawn’s crack that you can’t stop licking it?

      1. That really is uncalled for.

        Whilst I do often disagree with a number of the points that poster raises and feel they may be overly biased in favour of Liberty Media, you can disagree in a firm manner that doesn’t just descend into abuse.

        1. Coventry Climax
          1st November 2021, 23:14

          I agree. And take it back.

  2. On the one hand he says that Sunday should remain as it is the main event and we should not detract from that, then in the next sentence he’s talking about awarding more points for the sprint race, heading towards the first proposal which was to award a third of the points. Is the man incapable of listening and understanding what he is saying, or intentionally misleading us like he did in 2008 with the overtaking working group before introducing the double diffuser?

    It’s like years and years of F1 history does not matter in the face of ‘like and subscribe’. Makes my blood boil, sorry. Great interview though.

    1. “I guess we hadn’t really considered that, if I’m honest, when we set up this new format.”

      Words fail me for that bit.

      1. @john-h As I commented below I would have thought there was much positive to take from Brawn as he reveals how much they are taking everything into consideration. I suppose nothing short of cancelling the Sprint concept will satisfy you, and that’s fine, but it has been agreed with the teams that there will be 6 next year, so I would think that at least most should be encouraged by his quotes here as he acknowledges the issues.

        Lol I cringed a bit when Brawn honestly admitted ‘we hadn’t really considered that’ as I just know it is going to be one of the most repeated quotes for the naysayers, but I would prefer his honesty and his (and F1’s of course) reconsideration than to just slough that off. Simply, most people, and I think that includes drivers, are still ‘stuck’ (not meant to mean in a bad way or a negative) that the pole the sitter for the race must be a flying lap pole sitter. Sounds like that will be changed for the Sprint weekends.

        I think you are showing your bias against Brawn with your comment about the working group and the double diffuser, like you are implying it was his working group to do with as he pleased, and that he had promised to the world no double diffusers, and then went ahead and developed a dominant one anyway. The very fact that he has headed a team for Liberty and has changed the cars dramatically indeed shows that years and years of history does matter. You’d rather though focus on the number of points for a Sprint race and forget all the good that is happening in F1.

        1. I find it a bit patronising that you think I’m biased against Brawn @robbie and somehow clouds my judgement, and if you’ve read some of my recent comments about how well the Covid situation was handled then you would have seen I have no problems at all paying Liberty compliments where due. However the constant frustration with this being advertised as a ‘trial’, essentially insulting our intelligence, has indeed given the whole thing a sour taste, those comments about Brawn not thinking it through is the icing on the cake. I’ve been a fan of Brawn in the past, especially in the early Merc days, but I’m afraid what I see lately I’m not really a fan of from the perspective of the _long term_ health of F1.

          1. @john-h Fair enough but I think you have had far more negative comments towards Brawn than positive comments towards Liberty regarding handling the pandemic, so I think I can be forgiven for accusing you of bias. Even here in this post you say ‘not thinking it through’ when if fact I bet that what Brawn and his team and the teams considered was that there would still be regular qualifying except on Friday, and then the Sprint would determine the order for the race. It is not like he removed flying lap qualifying completely, and he has obviously seen the reaction, in this trial, meaning this changeable concept, and now accepts that the majority want the flying lap qualifying to remain the race start order decider, not just the Sprint order. I’m not sure he has his team, F1 and the teams, could have predicted exactly how strongly the masses would have felt that flying lap qualifying is the preferred method to qualify for Sunday by far, as I say given that flying lap qualifying is still present at all races. Lesson learned and he has taken this info into account now in this trial. Yes yes I know it is going to happen next year too for 6 races so hardly seems a trial, but the fact they are willing to change it quite a bit, and didn’t start off by trying to have this at all events from race one of this or next season still makes it a trial this year to me.

          2. “but I think you have had far more negative comments towards Brawn than positive comments towards Liberty regarding handling the pandemic,”

            Sorry @robbie, stop right there because what you are saying simply is not true at all. I’m not going to read your comment any further, thanks.

          3. @john-h My apologies. I put those two words first in hopes you at least read that far.

    2. @john-h @robbie I am somewhat optimistic by the direction F1 seems to be going, toward a standalone sprint race — but whether or not the format will work, I think, depends on the implementation.

      I don’t exactly count myself a purist — I would have been okay with trialling reverse grids! But I agree with @stefmeister below that the current format simply doesn’t work for me, in terms of the flow of the weekend. Brawn acknowledging that Friday’s fastest qualifier should be considered the polesitter just highlights the contradiction that so many pointed out in advance — that the sprint race was a de facto Stage 1 of the grand prix with an overnight red flag.

      I do think with a standalone sprint race, there are some opportunities to make it stand out from the grand prix. I’d love to see driver/team communications banned for the sprint race, or severely restricted, like in MotoGP, leaving all decisions purely up to the driver. You could have Pirelli bring a separate sprint race compound — probably one step softer but perhaps one step harder, depending on what skill set you wanted accentuate — which would also prevent the sprint race from giving away too much data for the grand prix. Maybe you could even bring back the ability for drivers to select different engine maps, but with no input from the team allowed; how much will drivers dare to risk their equipment without their engineer in their ear? I don’t like the idea of awarding a separate “sprint championship” — unless the field converges dramatically, it would be a rare occasion that the sprint champion is not also the world champion, and if it’s not, the sprint championship would be pretty poor consolation for losing a hard-fought world title. But emphasizing drivers’ decisionmaking would at least better justify sprint races as a somewhat distinct discipline.

      One problem though is how to set a sprint race grid that isn’t gimmicky — especially if it’s going to award significant world championship points. Of course, you could just use the same grid order set on Friday for both Saturday and Sunday, but that would make the grand prix feel repetitive. My solution would be to set the grid order within the Friday qualifying session, but by an alternate lap. Maybe the simplest would be to use the Q1 results for the sprint race grid, so everyone has equal track conditions — and it would make things spicier at the front since the top drivers would have to push right away. But you could also, for instance, use everyone’s second fastest qualifying lap from their last qualifying session, so that every lap and every mistake counts; if you bail on your first lap, you’d need to do two more runs to set representative times (one for each race), which would quicken the pace of the session and raise the stakes nicely.

    3. @john-h

      It’s like years and years of F1 history does not matter in the face of ‘like and subscribe’.

      Exactly that

  3. Please for the love of God, no. If they have to do sprints fine, Im fine with even a few more points for them. But no more trophies please.

  4. They say they don’t want to take anything away from the GP on Sunday yet for me having a 2nd race on the weekend the day before the GP automatically does that because at both Silverstone & Monza I went into the GP significantly less hyped/excited than normal because i’d seen a full race build-up, Race start & 17 laps of racing the day before. Not to mention how it takes away the unknowns we often go into the 1st stint of the GP with when we don’t fully know where everyone’s race performance is, How the tyres will act & how possible overtaking will or won’t be.

    The format just doesn’t work for me, I don’t like it & can’t see myself ever liking it because of what I mention above as well as how it for me destroys the flow of the weekend & the build-up you usually get on a normal weekend. The format just falls completely flat for me, I don’t like it & don’t want anything to do with it going forward.

    And again as i’ve said before why should 3-6 race weekends be more valuable in terms of points than other race weekends, It’s just a nonsense as far as i’m concerned just like that ridiculous decision to have Abu Dhabi award double points in 2014 was.

    1. Joe Pineapples
      1st November 2021, 16:08


    2. @stefmeister +1000000000000000000000000000000000000

    3. Yep, from all that I had against it, I hadn’t expected the biggest issues to be that it felt a bit boring while going on, nor the main problem of it deflating both the race and qualifying for me @stefmeister; and since that’s a fundamental issue (I guess unless/until they completely change what it is so that it is very different from the normal F1 event and team strengths?) I cannot see myself do anything but learn to live with it by not watching most of those weekends.

    4. I think @stefmeister ‘s point about the problem of one weekend (or 3 or 6) being worth more than the others is a big deal.

      Abu Dhabi (Abu Double) in 2014. Going into the race it was only a 17pt difference (HAM ahead of ROS). Under normal points that would have required ROS to win with HAM 7th or worse, or ROS 2nd with HAM 10th or worse. That was basically impossible without a DNF in 2014. Going into the final race the team had 5 retirements, 30 of 31 podiums, with a 4th as the only non podium finish. Because of the double points, HAM could have finished 3rd and still lost the title. Luckily, for F1, it didn’t fall that way. The outcry would have been significant.

      If the title comes down to a few points this year, do we really want it decided because of the sprint race at Monza?

      1. @stefmeister @hobo That doesn’t bother me as much as that Abu Dhabi race, which was an identical format to the rest but arbitrarily given more points. In this case, additional points are awarded because… there is an additional race.

        1. @markzastrow – We’ll have to agree to disagree, which is fine.

          Aside from just not seeing any benefit of the sprint race format, it is still arbitrary. What if the tracks happen to suit RBH and Verstappen wins the title by 5pts, which he got from sprint races?

          I’m a complete supporter of the entire season matters and any race can be the decider. But I feel that way because the races are all the same points wise. Now they aren’t.

          1. @hobo I can understand that. I agree, it’s arguably more elegant for each race weekend and track to yield the same number of points. And I think you raise a good point about the competitive balance of the season. But numerically, adding a partial-points sprint race has much less impact than adding and removing entire race weekends from season to season, which we accept as part of the sport.

            To your point, I think that the 6 (or however many) sprint races in any given season should be announced at the same time as that season’s calendar itself. Then, in principle, teams can decide to redirect their development, just as they would if a race were added or removed. But the larger trends of expansion that Liberty is chasing — street tracks vs. legacy tracks (like Zandvoort and Kyalami) vs. new tracks — could have more of a say on that than the selection of sprint races.

    5. Agreed!

      That’s why I think they should do a completely new event that is unique to quali and race. I’m thinking do an even shorter sprint. Make it literally like 5 laps or 30km so it’s all about the race start and the 1st lap bunched up racing chaos that we all love. And do that 3 times like the 3-part qualifying – result of first “sprint” sets grid of second “sprint” etc. Result of last sprint can set grid of sunday’s race, or can just be its own result.

  5. I almost didn’t read this article because I thought it would be another sprint-is-the-greatest-since-sliced-bread spin-fest but I am relieved to see some acknowledgement of the problems with it. I like this comment in particular:

    …the fastest single lap with low-fuel in that sort of competition is the pole position holder.

    1. @x1znet I agree. I would think most who have had concerns should be encouraged by Brawn’s quotes here.

      1. @robbie I’m encouraged by nothing that he says because I don’t agree with 99% of it.

        They are doing nothing but introducing most of the elements of American sports that I cannot stand. Gimmicks, Artificial nonsense, Fake drama, Bonus points, sponsored awards for everything, fake drama & so on.

        It’s everything I was terrified would happen when Liberty came in. They have/are literally doing everything I was afraid they would do. My crystal ball was 1000% correct on everything.

        1. @roger-ayles Sounds to me like you were only ever interested in that aspect of the races anyway then, given that nothing has changed for the real main day, Sunday. One ‘gimmick,’ that being Sprints at 6 venues with bonus points. The potential for DRS they inherited to be dropped or reconsidered in it’s usage. Not sure what the artificial nonsense nor the fake drama is, unless, according to Max, you voluntarily watch the Netflix series. Sounds to me like you were predisposed to hate Liberty as soon as you learned an American entity took over from BE.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        1st November 2021, 16:57

        @robbie – I guess the issue is that it’s like someone saying “I’m going to kick you in the balls” and then later saying “ok… I hear you… Not popular. I’ll kick you in the shin instead”

        We’d rather not be kicked… I guess I’m now coming at it from a position of acceptance that I’m going to be kicked regardless so on that basis, yeah, it’s an improvement. If qualifying sets the grid for both races then it’s just a case of getting used to F1 adopting the junior series’ approach and having a sprint race and a feature race. It could be a lot worse!

        The stuff about awards and trophies is irrelevant to me so I’m not bothered about that. They could give out 100 sponsored trophies for different things every weekend and it wouldn’t affect me as I wouldn’t pay any attention to it.

        1. @petebaldwin Yeah for me it is simply not a ‘kick’ at all, just a change. Nothing changes for Sunday nor for 3/4 of the entire race weekends.

          1. your ‘nothing changes’ is misleading @robbie, as @stefmeister describes above in his first paragraph: the fact that it is there alone (unless they change it such that it’s effectively a different cars/teams/class) for me as for him deflates the race, just a bit.

          2. @bosyber I don’t feel the same since it is a single stint on lower fuel without strategizing. The race on Sunday is where the real action for the real points takes place. In general, funny weather aside, the qualifying order is pretty predictable, as is the order for the Sprint and the race start. So for me no surprises are ruined by a Sprint race but it is another opportunity for a race start which I always consider to be far more nail biting than flying lap runs, even when those come down to the wire between, as this season, LH and Max, as opposed to the previous 7 seasons as to just which Mercedes.

          3. @robbie, yes, it is clear you don’t, but generalizing that to say there is nothing different is not a valid approach, and tends to make your argument useless for me to interact with, because you dismiss my experience, just as Libery seems to be doing because they see this as the way to give race organisers extra track action so they can keep asking for high sums to keep money flowing in. I get the business case, but for me it makes the product worse, from what I have experienced so far at the sprint weekends, and the changes aren’t likely to change that.

          4. @bosyber Not dismissing how you and others feel at all, just stating my feelings on it and why, since others are stating their feelings towards it.

      3. That is the only good thing he said Robbie.

  6. Joe Pineapples
    1st November 2021, 16:06

    🎈🥇🏆‘Sprint champion’🤸‍♂️🥇🏆

    ……[slow clap]

  7. The bonus points, sprint races, handing out of extra awards & stuff is everything I was afraid of with an American company taking over because most of what Liberty are pushing is everything I hate about American sports.

    Honestly I don’t think F1 exists now, What we have is F1 in name only because 90% of what F1 was has either been stamped out or is going to be heavily restricted with the focus now been on show rather than sport with gimmicks & artificial nonsense because that seems to be the default for any American company because that is what your average American looks for.

    And I say that as an American (Although I did grow up in the UK) who lives in the US but cannot stand any of the US sports. I loved the purity of F1, I loved what F1 was & how it was presented because it felt like it was a sport rather than a show & I just don’t think that is true anymore.

    I want to walk away from it because I don’t like where it’s going under Liberty but I don’t have anywhere else to go because none of the other categories offer what F1 did or give the same buzz that watching an F1 car does. It breaks my heart to feel this way & it breaks my heart to see F1 die & become Indycar+ as it is.

    1. The Le Man’s Prototypes are probably closer to what you would like to see, at least in terms of the potential technical development. It’s not without criticism either, but there is more interest in diverse designs there.

      Alternatively, perhaps the Japanese Super Formula might be of interest in terms of performance? They might not be as fast as an F1 car, but they are the next fastest open wheeled series (although it is quite hard to view).

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      1st November 2021, 21:47

      @roger-ayles Firstly, I’m not trying to start an argument, and I know we’ve discussed this before and not exactly seen eye-to-eye, but I have to question how much of this can actually be blamed on Liberty and if previous rights holders were any better?

      To start with, there’s the obvious money argument due to Covid that FOM have lost a lot of money by having to help out teams, waive hosting fees and delaying the highly publicised new regs, and needing something to recoup those losses (which a major sponsor for the sprints would provide for example). I can see points in that argument, but that isn’t the main subject of this comment.

      I was thinking, and are Liberty really ‘worse’ than previous people (most notably Bernie Ecclestone) in this regard? I’m sure you’ll remember Ecclestone proposed similar, and probably much worse, ideas while rights holders, notably sprinklers, lottery qualifying and the medal system, which from what I can tell was pretty close to introduction for 2009, even gaining FIA approval before being rejected by teams. And then he tried to introduce, surprise…. Sprint Races. Except his plan was arguably even worse. He wanted to split the main race into 2, with quali deciding the grid for race 1, and the race 2 grid being set by the race 1 results. This wouldn’t just devalue a GP, but completely annihilate the format (at least will still get a 305km race on Sunday). And the reason he wanted this format? Yep, to appeal to American audiences (There was also the 1986 sprint race plan, but that was proposed by FISA/FIA over safety concerns not by the rights holders, and rejected on the grounds of other alternatives). All of these plans eventually fell through, because they weren’t supported by the teams. And I was wondering if that is the more distinguishing factor this time around is that the teams support it. And it doesn’t matter how much they speak out against it (teams, not drivers), they all voted for it at the end of the day. I’m not saying Liberty is blameless, but I think there is more than just the commercial rights holders in play in this.

    3. “Honestly I don’t think F1 exists now, What we have is F1 in name only because 90% of what F1 was has either been stamped out or is going to be heavily restricted”

      This is absurdly over-dramatized and can’t be taken seriously. Why don’t you summarize this “90%” for those of us with less of a flair for drama?

  8. Ok, if I understood correctly, they decided to go ahead and double down on a mediocre idea, with total, complete disregard of what fans of F1 have been saying.
    At this pace, I guess in two more season F1 to revive the “fan boost” used in Formula E, an idea universally ridiculed. I guess calling third-tier star wannabes to shake their moneymaker at the grid may be expanded to fourth-tier celebrities.
    How depressing.

  9. petebaldwin (@)
    1st November 2021, 16:46

    It sounds to me like they are potentially planning to have qualifying set the grid for both races and the only difference will be that on some weekends, there will be two races. A little one and a proper one.

    I have to be honest, that deals with at least 60% of the issues I have with sprint races…. It’s not a change that is necessary or will improve Grand Prix weekends but it doesn’t really detract from it too much. If I had a choice, there would be 0 but if we have to have some, this is probably the best way to do it.

    They obviously will have to change the points if they do that however as only giving points to the top 3 means most might as well retire the car to save the engine. If both Red Bulls and both Mercedes pull off into the distance and you’re in 10th, why stay out and lap?

  10. so, gimmicks is what its come down to :(

  11. Its entirely possible that the champion this season will be decided by points given out for races outside of this season’s grands prix. I think that’s a shame and does detract from the point of the sport. Its all a bit mickey mouse.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      1st November 2021, 21:59

      @f1hornet While not exactly the same scenario, I wouldn’t say this sort of statistical anomaly is unique to this season. Up until the end of the 1990 season, it was possible to win the championship by having fewer overall points than a rival, because scores were dropped. Most famously was Senna in 1988, where he scored 94 points over the whole season, of which 90 counted (dropping his DSQ in Brazil, retirement in Monaco, 10th in Italy, 6th in Portugal and a 4th in Spain), while Prost scored 105 points, more than a race win worth’s more, but only counted 87 (he dropped 2 retirements and 3 2nd place finishes). As I say, it isn’t the same scenario, but it’s not unheard for the driver who scored the most points in GPs to not win the championship.

      My other favourite anomaly like this is that Jim Clark technically won 100% of the points he could in both the seasons he won the championship, as only the best 6 results would count and he won at least 6 races in both of them (in 1963 one of his dropped scores was actually a first place).

      This season would not be unusual in creating a statistical anomaly like this. Although this has also accidentally become just an excuse for me to get nerdy with numbers because I’m like that…

    2. @f1hornet That was already the case with the fastest lap points

  12. I have been very much against sprint races since their first introduction, but I have thought of a way in which I think they could work.
    Qualifying on Friday sets the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix and the sprint on Saturday. There are points awarded for the sprint races (maybe 20 for 1st, 19 for 2nd down to 1 for 20th) but they are completely separate to the main championship. At the end of the year, there are standings for the normal championship and also a separate standings for the sprint championship. There is some prize money for the sprint championship, to encourage the teams to want to compete. Now I see zero drawbacks in this plan. People who don’t like sprint races are happy, because they can completely ignore them if they like; they are completely irrelevant to the actual championship. But people who like sprint races are happy because they still get sprint races, and their own sprint championship. I wouldn’t even be opposed to reversed grids in the sprint championship because it is like a new series, and can be as gimmicky as they like as long as the normal championship is left as the pure, pinnacle of motorsport F1. Domenicali, please make this happen.

    1. @f1frog
      Will participation be mandatory in your scenario?
      With no ‘real’ points involved, I could see some teams electing to save wear and tear by sitting it out or start and park.

      We could really spice up your sprint race.
      Pay 1-20 as you say, but offer row one (or one and two) the option to start from the back get paid double points.

      1. No, of course participation could not be mandatory, but enough prize money would have to be given to encourage teams to join. I quite like the idea of some drivers being replaced by reserve drivers, but then it might end up just being Formula 2.

        And I quite like your last idea too. The whole point of this race is that it is gimmicky and fun, because it does not have any bearing on the actual championship.

    2. I actually thought of something similar some time back.

      Let all sprint races be run in reverse of the Friday qualifying order / reverse championship. Award points 20 to 1 but these are sprint points and not FIA Formula 1 World Championship Points.

      But at the end of the last sprint race of the year, sort drivers in descending order of print points. To the top 10, award points 25 to 1 (as per a regular race), which count towards the main championship.

      This way 6 reverse grid 33% race distances, or 2 full length reverse grid races count equivalent to 1 normal race. The main championship is barely affected (just 1 race out of 23/24). Teams are incentivized to treat sprint races with some bit of seriousness as eventally there are points on offer. Liberty is also happy as they get 6 small races with potentially lots of overtaking. The standard Qualifying-race format for every weekend also stays untouched.

    3. I’d say both of these ideas (@f1frog and sumedh) have potential. I might quibble on some of the details but they aren’t bad.

      My overall issue though is complexity. DRS is weird, tire/tyre compound usage rules are weird, and adding a complex sprint race scheme makes everything more difficult to follow for new fans. And it significantly increases the likelihood of sprint races impacting the overall championship. (Wear and tear on engines, possible crashes, etc.)

      The only benefit that I see is a slight to moderate bump for race attendees. It makes it more difficult to follow as a fan watching on TV because it changes from a 2day to 3day commitment. I still say that the one day in a race weekend that is not qualifying day or race day should be a sprint race in non-F1 spec cars (Porsche Cup, Miatas, something). The race attendees get something fun to watch, fans via TV can watch or not but it doesn’t impact the championship. And you get to see the drivers and teams still. And drivers still get time on track.

  13. It can sorta work. This is what I would change:

    Friday Qualifying is the initial setting for the Sunday Race. The Pole man on Friday WILL start on Pole for the Sunday and the same for the other positions.

    The Friday Qualifying also counts for the Saturday Race except more points are given on Saturday. The points system is full reward points system. Last place is 0.5 points, First place is something like 12 points. The idea here is to reward for competing in the sprint.

    The Saturday race finishing order will have no influence on the Sunday grid, and the incentive for competing on Saturday is the points reward. The Sunday race will be as traditionally done.

    1. Two words to this – “no chance”.

      Liberty have decided on this already, still don’t know why the author refers to “possible changes”

  14. I really appreciate Brawn’s honesty. The “sprint race discussion” seems to be going in one direction. More or less something like the following:

    1. Friday qualifying for both races.
    2. Saturday sprint race awards 10 points for the 1st place and one for the 10th place, but only if the driver finishes in points on Sunday.
    3. Grand Prix on Sunday awards points exactly like today plus the points from the Sprint Race.

    This way we have two races but the GP is still the main event, Sprint Race is still something important, and hot laps decide pole positions. Win-win-win?

  15. Well the writing was on the wall wasn’t it? Liberty are going to flood the market with F1 diminishing it’s status. This has always been their plan, I said earlier this year that potentially 40 races per year could be held using this concept.
    I compared it to the V8 series in Aus and how the Sunday race is just a continuation of the Saturday race, this is what F1 are going to do. Of course it will diminish the prestige of the GP, how can it not? It will also push out any other series, making the weekend an F1 only event.
    Now that Liberty has shown it’s not to be believed, how can we not think they intend to turn F1 into a full spec series by 2026?
    Who was the Liberty mouthpiece who said they want to turn the F1 GP into the Super Bowl of Motor Racing?

  16. There’s one sentence that sums up the whole stupid idea, and why they will continue ramming it through regardless of fan reaction:

    “I think as you saw with Crypto we were able to bring in a new commercial partner which was partly around sprint so therefore that could be a very appealing aspect for commercial partners”

    1. Exactly what I said recently, regarding the sponsor

    2. And supporting cryptocurrency is not compatible with F1’s claimed goals of sustainability so they shouldn’t even be interested in keeping this sponsor. But I guess neither is Saudi Aramco, etc. They clearly are only saying they have sustainability goals to offset the perception of racing cars that use internal combustion engines as being unsustainable despite the sport having a smaller carbon footprint than many sports leagues that have far simpler equipment. If they were serious about sustainability they wouldn’t be taking money from a who’s who list of dirtiest companies in the world.

  17. RandomMallard (@)
    1st November 2021, 19:35

    Right, I’ve got a few thoughts.

    I’m not totally opposed to the idea of sprint races. I don’t see them as a gimmick, if used correctly. I don’t see them as fake drama, because it is all very much real and still happening. DTS, from what I’ve heard, is fake drama (don’t have Netflix so I wouldn’t know), but if it’s bringing in new fans, who are watching the real race and sticking with it, without the fake drama, I’m fine with that.

    My (provisional) problem with it is that it hasn’t been used effectively. I say provisional because I’m going off of a sample size of 2, which any statistician will tell you doesn’t really mean anything. Which is why I’m fine with them trialling a few more next season (especially with the new cars). I’ve tried to go into these with an open mind and will make my mind up after what I feel has been a sufficient number of trials.

    As I say, I think they could be used more effectively. There are a few ways of doing this. Either, a separate sprint championship that awards points, for example, on the old 10-1 scale for the top 8. At the end of the season, this could either be a completely standalone title with standalone prize money, almost like the Silver Cup or Am Cup in GT racing, or could award points equivalent to 1 GP (2 at a stretch) to the main standings. If it was an independent championship, I also would not mind reverse grids, or partially reversed grids, but would be less accepting of this if it influenced the main championship. Again, if involved in the main championship, I would also prefer the final round of the sprint championship to occur a few (maybe 3+) races before the end of the season, so there are still a significant number of points on offer in the main standings. Overall, I have conflicting thoughts about this idea, and it’s probably too complex to ever see the light of day.

    Secondly, I stand by the fact that having Quali on a Friday is still not the best idea. I know FOM and race organisers want to monetise Fridays more, but it creates a lame duck FP2 and is really poor for scheduling (at least for my position as a European), and can imagine it being even worse in the American races in particular. Move it to Saturday morning please. I know Sunday mornings didn’t work in the early 2000s but enough of the broadcast rights holders have dedicated F1 (or sports or similar) channels now that I think it would work much better. Make Friday for practice, Saturday and Sunday for competition.

    Which brings me onto a positive I saw in this article, and that’s ‘normal’ quali setting the grid for the race. I much prefer this idea, and could improve a sprint weekend significantly imo.

    Finally, I want to talk about the survey’s and people’s opinions. Firstly, no matter your feelings on them, take part in the surveys. They’re the only way people will be taking feedback (and that is completely fine and their right imo). I’m not saying that polls on this site or others are a bad idea, but the easiest and best way of telling Liberty exactly how you feel is directly through their services. They may have a bias or a leading question, but it is the only way your feedback has a chance of being heard. As stated above, there have been surveys and the result appears to be a very small (6% in it) victory in the ‘pro sprint race’ camp. However, I think it is important to note that neither side achieved a majority of the vote, which may suggest that a lot of people’s mind haven’t yet been made up either way. As I said above, I don’t feel 2 races (so far) in very different cars to what the future is going to look like is a representative sample of the potential (positive or negative) of sprints. I’m fine with one more season of them, and hopefully then I’ll be in a better position to make up my mind.

  18. Sprint race champion, done with reverse grid, not affecting sunday face or friday quali..

    That sounds good to me.

    Seperate championship points for saturday.

  19. And we thought Bernie was about to desecrate F1 with sprinklers and medals.

  20. I have an opinion
    1st November 2021, 22:09

    I imagine it could be something like the DHL Fastest Lap award that was run for several seasons, before actual championship points were available for that mini-contest. To show how impactful that contest was, no one here has mentioned it.

  21. Why not a separate Sprint series with F1 hopefuls?

    1. For this to work they would need separate cars, separate practice, separate qualifying oh wait we already have that in the F1 support series (F2, F3, W-series). A lot of casual 1 fans and a big portion of the new F1 fans are less interested in racing than the personalities involved. You would not believe some of the wacky stuff i overheard in Austin this year. Clearly informed more by Netflix TV than actual racing.

  22. These articles are beginning to make me physically sick. This is complete nonsense. They know the sprint format is unpopular and has many problems but they love the potential money making ability of it and won’t give it up. The future of F1 seems to be mostly propaganda races and more exploitative gimmicks.

  23. Please cancel all these stupid gimmicks unimaginable in other sports and let us enjoy the pure racing.

  24. what a joke! First of all, this sprint race format SUCKS, it is boring and stupid. Liberty is slowing making the F1 the European/middle eastern NASCAR where you will have all kinds of weird championship formats to ‘keep the hype going’ while most fans snooze and turn off their interest. NASCAR has been decimated with all the recent changes they have done with the sprint formats etc.

  25. Brilliant, can’t wait for it…to crash.

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