F1 set for season-opening sprint race in 2022 with more points on offer

2022 F1 season

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The 2022 Formula 1 season will open with the first of six sprint events, which are expected to reward more drivers with points than this year.

Plans to expand the sprint race concept to a greater number of races next season were revealed to teams by F1 during a meeting in Jeddah earlier today.

In a key change, F1 intends to ensure that the driver who heads Friday’s conventional qualifying system is referred to as the ‘pole winner’ for the weekend. This followed heavy criticism of the grand prix grid being decided by Saturday’s race.

Teams were also made aware of plans to extend points paid to finishers in sprint races beyond the top three drivers. The top three finishers scored points in this year’s three sprint qualifying races. How many more will be rewarded in 2022 remains to be determined, though the possibility of rewarding the top 10 finishers, as in a grand prix, is believed to have been discussed.

Six rounds on next year’s calendar will hold sprint races. Team were advised these will be the opening race in Bahrain, the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weekend at Imola, the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and – as this year – the Sao Paulo Grand Prix at Interlagos.

After teams expressed reservations over sprint qualifying races in 2021 and the potential impact on costs under the newly-introduced budget cap restrictions, F1 informed teams that they would receive up to $500,000 in compensation for damages to their cars in sprint races for each of the six race weekends that include one.

The 2022 F1 calendar will be the biggest in the sport’s history, with 23 events spanning from the Bahrain Grand Prix on 20 March to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 20 November.

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21 comments on “F1 set for season-opening sprint race in 2022 with more points on offer”

  1. Sigh.

    Also, some of the tracks they chose really show no good reasoning or study was done to where it would actually work I think. But I am not even sure they just went with tracks bidding who could pay most to get this. Again, we really don’t need this and it won’t do much good for F1.

    1. It’s still a trial, right? So, with the 2022 cars being an unknown in terms of racing it makes sense to test it on overtaking friendly venues like Bahrain, but also on more difficult tracks like Zandvoort.

  2. Just have an Order of Merit, a bit like golf, but based on how rich Daddy is.

  3. Spa-Francorchamps & COTA are more overtaking-friendly than some above-mentioned ones, so surprising.

  4. I don’t like the sprints and I especially don’t like the idea of devaluing the Grand Prix by awarding more points for them. I also am annoyed that the first Grand Prix of the season has been chosen to have a sprint race before it; it was enough of a kick in the teeth not having it in Australia like normal.

    But the one piece of good news about this article is that the races with the sprints are being rotated. But hopefully that is every year, rather than just until they find the best combination, because I think it is better that we always able to enjoy our favourite format on every track some years, rather than having certain tracks where that format is never used because there is always a sprint there. So I would prefer not to have a sprint at Interlagos in 2023.

  5. Well it seems that I won’t be watching F1 next year.
    It is a pity that they turned the pinacle of motorsport into a farce.

  6. Ugh.

    I don’t think they’re a good idea anywhere, but Imola and Zandvoort strike me as especially poor tracks for them.

    On the bright side, at least they’re only ruining one of my favourite grands prix weekends (Interlagos) with a sprint in 2022. Managed to spoil three this year…

  7. I might not mind so much if there were only 16 races a year but the calendar is already too long, so sprints really are not needed.

  8. Argh, FFS

  9. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    4th December 2021, 19:41

    Sprint Races honestly haven’t bothered me one bit this year…..but then again I guess I haven’t seen any to begin with. I watch Saturday qualifying and of course every Grand Prix but am not interested in a race before the race.

  10. F1 is now dead.

    1. overreacting much?

  11. Well it’ll be the first time in over 40 years that I won’t be watching the first race so a season, because I’ve already said I’ll be taking my eyeballs from any of the sprint race weekends.

    What a way to immediately stuff up our ability to determine whether or not the new cars will have made any significant difference by including this abomination in the very first race.

  12. F1 may not be dead and may not (yet) be dying, but there is something going on here. If the vision is getting fuzzy, check to see if there is something getting pulled over your forehead.
    It started with the sprints being to set the grid order. Then they added points.
    Now it is more sprint races and more points. Catch the trend.?
    Next step is a longer “sprint” and even more points.
    With longer sprints, then the main race will get shortened in the name of equipment preservation and efficiency.
    End result, a two race weekend with equal (or close to it) points for the Saturday and the Sunday events.
    Naturally, this fits perfectly for the all electric hardware that is just down the road.
    Side benefit, now I will be able to join more Sunday morning bike rides.

  13. They should leave saturday qulaifying alone and put the sprints as separare events on Fridays. Make them race in spec cars or something or award poitnts for constructors only for the sprints.

    1. they can’t make them race in spec cars, but they will leave qualifying alone, as indicated in the article. except it’ll be on a Friday and not on a Saturday

      1. @nickthegreek

        but they will leave qualifying alone, as indicated in the article. except it’ll be on a Friday and not on a Saturday

        Which kills the flow of the weekend & qualifying on Friday with a day in-between it & the proper race just leaves qualifying feeling a bit flat & lesser somehow.

        Not to mention how qualifying on a Friday renders many unable to watch qualifying live (Due to work/school on Friday) & in some cases unable to see decent coverage of it at all. In the UK for example Channel 4 don’t air Friday qualifying highlights leaving those without Sky having to watch an ever more condensed qualifying highlights package over 24 hours after the qualifying session has taken place in the same program they show the gimmick race highlights.

        It’s an awful format that does nothing but kill the flow of the weekend, Makes every other session feel less worthwhile, Devalues the actual GP & makes some weekends more valuable than others due to offering more points which in my mind is utter nonsense!

        #LibertyOut #NoToSprints #NoGimmicks #NoGimmickRaces #NoArtificialBS #SameFormatEveryWeekend #SamePointsEveryWeekend

        1. Which kills the flow of the weekend & qualifying on Friday with a day in-between it & the proper race just leaves qualifying feeling a bit flat & lesser somehow.

          makes some weekends more valuable than others due to offering more points which in my mind is utter nonsense!

          I agree @roger-ayles.

          Some weekends offering more points than others & therefore becoming more valuable is a part of the format I honestly really dislike. I also dislike the prospect of a championship been decided on a Saturday which would then just sap most of the excitement out of the GP the next day.

          And I also agree about how the format changes the flow/feel of the overall weekend which is again something I really don’t like.

          I like how the normal format builds excitement through the weekend. How Friday is more laid back, More about testing, Watching the cars, Analysing everything & just bedding into the weekend. How Saturday then starts to ramp up with FP3 starting to feel a bit more serious, With qualifying building through each segment until we get to the end of Q3 & how that then leads into Sunday with the GP as the big main event.

          You just don’t get that with the sprint weekends which for me just makes the format feel a bit flat compared to normal weekends. And in fact all the sprint format has done for me is make me appreciate & enjoy the normal format even more & drive me about as far against the sprint format as I think I could get.

          I explained more about how I feel the sprint format changes the feel of the rest of the weekend in this comment.

  14. Great way to devalue the first GP of the year/new regulations by holding a race the day before it which will take away a lot of the unknowns & excitement & anticipation we would otherwise have going into the 1st GP of the new season & regulations.

    It’s bad enough the season is starting in Bahrain to begin with. It’s a good track but it lacks the atmosphere you get from Melbourne or other venues that draw big crowds & that just always makes the start of the year feel a bit flatter than normal. Same when it ends in Abu Dhabi.

  15. Derek Edwards
    5th December 2021, 0:24

    This is such an awesome run of comments. Someone should seriously get Stefano to read through these, responses to a news article on an F1 site of outstanding quality, and have him explain exactly how these constitute an “overwhelmingly positive” reaction.

  16. I think this is great!
    They’ll have been testing there for 3 days so no need for extra Free Practice. The first day the cars hit the track, we’ll get to see the pecking order in Quali. Then, the first time we see these new cars race is with limited consequences in a sprint! Can’t wait!

    Also good to see that they’ve chosen a lot of different types of tracks through the season so they can evaluate how these cars can race and the level of risk/reward the drivers are willing to put in. Should give a good overview of what works and what doesn’t.

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